The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced Tuesday in a Federal Register notice that four petitions to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin contain substantial information indicating that delisting may be warranted. FWS will begin an indepth review of the species status in order to determine whether to propose gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region for delisting.
Tuesday's decision, known as a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the species available in service files and provided in the petitions requesting delisting of the species under the ESA.
The FWS is soliciting information from interested parties regarding the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes region. Based on the status review, FWS will decide whether delisting is warranted.
Four petitions to remove ESA protection from the gray wolf were received. The petitions were submitted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Sportsmen's Alliance (representing five other organizations) and Safari Club International with the National Rifle Association.
The FWS removed ESA protection from these wolves in 2009 but subsequently reinstated protection under a court settlement following a lawsuit.
Comments must be received by Nov. 15. To read the Federal Register notice, go to http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-22752.htm.
Reprinted in part from TheLakelandtimes.com, WI