Feds file to delist wolves, except in Wyoming

Apr 01, 2009 By BEN NEARY , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a formal rule Wednesday to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered list in Montana and Idaho while keeping protections in Wyoming.

That state and environmentalists promised to challenge immediately when the formal delisting rule is published Thursday in the Federal Register. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had said last month that he would uphold the agency's decision to continue managing in Wyoming.

State Attorney General Bruce Salzburg said Wyoming will sue over being denied management of wolves. The state has proposed classifying wolves as predators that could be shot on sight in most of the state or that they be managed as trophy game in some parts.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups said they would sue over their contention that federal protections are inadequate.

Doug Honnold, a lawyer with Earthjustice in Montana - the law firm representing conservation groups - said they were "going to fight until we can get to legitimate recovery. We think that the population is close to appropriate recovery levels, but it's not there yet."

Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator with the U.S. Fish and in Montana, said the agency expected the legal challenges.

"We know we're going to be in litigation over this whole thing," he said.

Salzburg said Wednesday that Wyoming objected to the federal agency's request to raise the number of wolves the state should accommodate. He said the agency has said for years that Wyoming, Montana and Idaho needed to maintain 15 breeding pairs and at least 150 wolves each. The rule released this week specifies that Wyoming also should maintain at least seven breeding pairs and 70 wolves outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service needs to make its decisions based solely on science, as opposed to what we think are political and public relations concerns that in our view don't have a place in a listing or delisting decision," Salzburg said.

The federal agency in late 2007 accepted Wyoming's management plan but environmentalists sued over the delisting. A federal judge later ruled in favor of the environmental groups, saying the state plans were insufficient to protect the wolves.

The agency also filed a separate rule Wednesday calling for removing federal protections for wolves in the western Great Lakes.

Bangs said about 1,645 wolves live in the northern Rockies, including more than 300 in Wyoming, nearly 500 in Montana and about 850 in Idaho.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Feds want wolves taken off endangered list

Feb 02, 2006

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was expected to issue a proposal Thursday removing gray wolves in the northern Rockies from the Endangered Species List.

Many in West fear wolf reintroduction

Dec 27, 2005

Some 900 wolves roam Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado thanks to a federal program that reintroduced and protected the wolf in the West.

Are wolves the pronghorn's best friend?

Mar 03, 2008

As western states debate removing the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act, a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society cautions that doing so may result in an unintended decline ...

Wolves might be cut from endangered list

Mar 16, 2006

A federal official released details of a plan Thursday to remove gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan from federal Endangered Species protection.

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...