The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) on Wednesday announced that they will be removing gray wolves in the western Great Lakes and in the northern Rocky Mountains from the federal endangered species list.
The decision would apply to wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho and Montana but would leave the Wyoming wolves under protection.
The revised plan could put management back in the hands of the states as soon as next month, but the Obama administration could delay implementation.
Animal rights extremists have also promised to challenge the latest plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the wolf
The government delisted wolves last year, and management was turned over to the states for three months, but federal protections later were restored after environmental groups successfully sued U.S. District Court in Missoula, Mont.
Federal and state wildlife managers said the new plan is better, both scientifically and legally. Additional evidence shows that genetic intermingling is occurring between the wolves in three subpopulations, Idaho, northwestern Montana and the greater Yellowstone National Park.
Wolves will be removed from the endangered species list 30 days after the decision is published in the Federal Register, which could happen within the next two weeks.