The Associated Press obtained a statement Wednesday in which Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the more than 4,000 wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have exceeded recovery goals and will be removed from the endangered species list.
The federal de-listing rule removing wolves from the endangered species list will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, Dec. 28, and will take effect Friday, Jan. 27, 30 days after its publication.
Responsibility for managing and protecting these wolves will be turned over to state wildlife agencies. The populations will be monitored for at least five years to make sure they remain at sustainable levels.
The Interior Department also said it is reconsidering a previously announced plan to remove endangered species protections for wolves in 29 Eastern states, even though they are not believed to have any established wolf populations. Officials say they will decide on the status of Eastern wolves later.
Reprinted in part from WEAU TV