August 17, 2019

Wolves in the U.S. are doing better than you think

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*Editor’s Note* – The below article is republished on this website with permission from the editor of The Outdoorsman. Please click on The Outdoorsman branded logo to the right to subscribe to or donate to The Outdoorsman. All proceeds go to make sure the right people get a copy of this publication. Thank you.

By Larry Kline

(Retired FWS Biologist Larry Kline was involved with endangered species for ten years prior to his
retirement. I believe his article responding to an opinion published in Virginia newspaper on October 1st is an example of the type of input that is needed to silence the wolf advocates who oppose delisting. – ED)

I read with considerable interest the letter from Robert Wilkinson in the Oct. 1 Free Lance-Star regarding
continued protection for U.S. populations of the gray wolf [“Wolves deserve continued protection”]. Like Mr. Wilkinson I am a lifelong hunter. I share his interest and appreciation in predator-prey relationships involving the wolf and other large predator species. I believe as he does that we should not begrudge the taking of game species by predators necessary to sustain their populations, with the
caveat that both predator and prey populations should be maintained in reasonable balance. That often requires management by man.

I am a wildlife biologist retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service following 30 plus years of federal service. I spent the last 14 years of my career in the Arlington office of the FWS. Ten of those years were in the Office of Endangered Species and four were in the Office of Management Authority.

I disagree somewhat with Wilkinson regarding the status of the wolf and regarding ongoing management. He
speaks of the wolf being “pushed to the brink of extinction in much of the United States.” I believe “extirpation” is a more accurate term since there has always been a large and secure population of gray wolves in much of Canada and Alaska. He also suggests that full recovery has yet to be achieved in the Lake States and the Northern Rocky Mountain populations when in fact it has been significantly exceeded for several years.

De-listing would have been completed several years ago if not for frivolous lawsuits brought by the
Humane Society of the U.S. and its allies. It is past time that management should be turned over to the range states like every other resident species. Keeping species on the ESA after recovery objectives have been met does nothing but harm the credibility of the act. Appropriately, the Mexican wolf in New Mexico and Arizona will continue to be listed as endangered.

Larry Kline

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Thank you,
George Dovel

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