U.S. to Remove Gray Wolf Protections

Conservation groups to fight plan

Lunchtime at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center at West Yellowstone, Montana.     Photo: OnyxDog86/Flickr

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans this week to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list, drawing fire from scientists, conservationists, and a former director of the agency who says that the removal "reeks of politics." The new rule would eliminate federal protection for wolves, except for a small population of about 75 Mexican wolves in the southwest.

Reactions to the announcement have been mixed. Over 70 members of the House and Senate signed a letter to the USFWS urging it to delist the wolf. Jamie Rappaport Clark, a former director of the service who now works as the president of Defenders of Wildlife said her organization would challenge the decision in court.

"This is politics versus professional wildlife management," Clark told the Los Angeles Times. "The service is saying, 'We're done. Game over. Whatever happens to wolves in the U.S. is a state thing.' They are declaring victory long before science would tell them to do so."

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