Wolf ESA Protection in Doubt
On Monday the governors of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho had a closed door meeting with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. All three governors have been pressing the Fish and Wildlife Service to turn over management of wolves to the states.
The Denver Post has a write up about the meeting and the general state of wolves in the western U.S.
Federal and state authorities seem to have reached agreement on the need to remove endangered-species protection from wolves so the population can be controlled through hunting, but they still must agree on a healthy target number for wolves. The original goal of the federal wolf-recovery program was to get the population to 300. The latest federal data indicate that at least 2,000 gray wolves roam Western forests, mostly in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Wolves gave birth to about 600 pups this year, continuing their rapid growth over the past 15 years.
There are also a few congressional bills pending in congress that would delist the gray wolf, however it seems that the odds of passage are long for this legislative session.