Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials want the federal government to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened species.
The federal government removed the wolf from its endangered list a year ago, but environmental groups sued to have the wolf put back on the list. As part of a settlement reached in June between the environmental and animal protection groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wolves were put back on the list, at least temporarily.
Now Minnesota officials want the Department of the Interior to remove the wolf again, and they're asking federal officials to make a decision within 90 days.
DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten said in a news release that wolves in Minnesota are not endangered or threatened and should not be treated as if they are.
"It is time to have the federal classification match the Minnesota reality," Holsten said.
Officials estimate the Minnesota gray wolf population is about 3,000, and the regional population in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan is about 4,000. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture also supports the petition to have the wolf delisted. The department has received more than 1,000 claims of livestock loss to wolves since 1998.
Reprinted from Minnesota Public Radio