The head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) says he expects the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes to come off the endangered species list by the end of this year.
About five months ago, USFWS proposed delisting the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The agency later extended the comment period for the proposal. That led to some concern at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as it wants more ways to handle problem wolves especially in the northern part of the state. Over the weekend, USFWS director Dan Ashe said he expects the wolf delisting to go ahead within a couple of months.
Ashe says he's pretty sure the wolf plan could withstand a legal challenge from any wildlife activist groups that say it's too soon to remove endangered species protection from the gray wolf in the upper Midwest. He thinks wildlife groups may not sue to block delisting again, even though the groups have succeeded when doing so before.
Reprinted in part from Wisconsin Public Radio