March 29, 2013
More than 70 members of Congress wrote to the Obama administration last week requesting that the gray wolf be removed from the endangered species list.
In a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the legislators argued that the wolves, which recently lost their endangered status in the western Great Lakes region, no longer merit protection in the lower 48 states under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The lawmakers wrote that the "unmanaged wolf population poses a threat to the communities and surrounding livestock and indigenous wildlife" and that state wildlife managers "need to be able to respond to the needs of their native wildlife without being burdened by the impediments of the federal bureaucracy created by the ESA."
There are roughly 6,000 gray wolves in the continental United States, according to the USFWS. About 8,000 to 11,000 roam Alaska, where they are unprotected.
Reprinted in part from Northern Ag Network