June 23, 2006
June 23, 2006 -The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) offered comments this week to a Federal Register request stating its support of the proposal to create a Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the gray wolf and to de-list that DPS.
There is no question that gray wolves in the Great Lakes region have long met recovery goals with wolf numbers more than double those required. Just as the Endangered Species Act provides for imperiled species by adding them to the list, it is as important these restrictions be removed when a species no longer needs protection.
ASI and sheep producers support the delisting of the wolf but strongly request the removal of any boundary for the delisting proposal. Sheep producers are concerned that with wolves migrating out of the three-state area there will be a need to protect livestock in these other states. As a fact, wolves with the Great Lakes GPS collar have already been found in states outside the boundary area--two wolves have been found in Kentucky, as well as several other states reporting sightings of these wolves.
If producers in the surrounding states are to protect their livestock from predators, they must have the same allowances regarding wolves as the sheep producers in the three primary states.
For these reasons, ASI believes the delisting proposal should not include a boundary and all Great Lakes Gray Wolves should be delisted. Staff contact: Tate Rosenbusch