December 30, 2005 -- According to an article published in The Billings Gazette, the Bush administration plans on proposing early next year that federal protections be lifted from gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. The proposal presumably will include wolves in Montana and Idaho, but federal officials are less clear about wolves in Wyoming.
"That would be predecisional for me to answer that," said Paul Hoffman, the Interior Department's deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks.
It is possible that all three states could be included in the initial proposal to delist, but before a final version is approved, Wyoming would have to change its management plan, Hoffman said.
Despite the disagreement with Wyoming, Interior officials said they plan to release delisting plans for wolves in the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes states "as early as possible" in 2006.
Reprinted in part from The Billings Gazette