October 26, 2008

The Gray Wolf to be Taken Off of the Endangered Species List?

We’ve already covered Sarah Palin’s support of aerial wolf gunning. Now the Bush administration is trying to get wolves off of the endangered species list, again. The gray wolf of the Northern Rockies was put back on the list earlier this year when a federal court sided with conservationists. The judge stated that the wolf population would be in jeopardy in Montana, where a management plan included allowance of wolves to be shot on sight in 88% of the state. The judge also said that enough genetic exchange between sub-populations had not yet occurred to further protect the wolves.

Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to reopen for public comment this 2007 proposal to remove wolves from the list. The government will open a comment period this Tuesday through November 28. After the conclusion of this period, officials could decide to remove the federal protections for the wolf. Management of the predator species would then be turned over to the states which is in accordance with procedure that once an endangered species has recovered, states take control of their management.

Watch the NRDC blog on this topic for updates from conservationists.

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