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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to explore relisting the gray wolf


September 28, 2021
posted in: Conservation, News

Groups still unhappy with state management continue to petition the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to relist wolves. These latest petitions are no surprise. The petitioners are fundraising to get wolves relisted, fundraising to stop attempts to delist, and in between, fundraising to stop management actions once wolf populations reach a point of needing more aggressive methods to control their numbers. Regardless, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an obligation to address petitions and has concluded these new petitions to put wolves back under federal control are deserving of complete scrutiny.

"We do not find these petitions to include substantial information, said Gray N. Thornton. "We are confident a science-based review will once again show that wolf conservation and management should remain under the scientific management of state wildlife agencies."

Last month, the Fish and Wildlife Service re-approved the nationwide return of the wolf to state management. The petitions cite changes to state law in Idaho and Montana as a reason to reconsider federal status in those states. 

"This is a procedural step," Thornton said. "While we hope it will end in the right place, it does run a risk. Since wolves are no longer endangered with extinction, like the fundraiser's claim, the best future for wolves and the problems they create for state wildlife agencies tasked with managing their numbers to what people who live with them will tolerate is for all to follow the science."

The Wild Sheep Foundation urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the states of Idaho and Montana and their appointed commissions to work closely together to keep science foremost when directing the conservation of the gray wolf.

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