Federal officials in the US Fish & Wildlife Service are taking a look at the status of the gray wolf, according to a recent email to an animal rights group.
“The USFWS has begun reviewing the status of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA),” said USFWS chief of public affairs, Gavin Shire in an email to the animal rights group, Center for Biological Diversity.
“Working closely with our federal, state, tribal and local partners, we will assess the currently listed gray wolf entities in the lower 48 states using the best available scientific information,” the email continued. “If appropriate, the Service will publish a proposal to revise the wolf’s status in the Federal Register by the end of the calendar year.”
Shire assured the review process will include opportunity for public comment and discussed the exceeded recovery goals leading to the current review.
“Any proposal will follow a robust, transparent and open public process that will provide opportunity for public comment,” he said. “With the gray wolf’s recovery goals exceeded, the Service proposed delisting the species throughout the remainder of its range in 2013 under the previous administration. The proposal was based on sound science and predicated on wolves already being delisted in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes. Unfortunately, the delisting of wolves in the Western Great Lakes region was successfully overturned by the courts, which prevented the Service from moving forward with the full delisting proposal at that time.”
The Endangered Species Act is currently under review, with several bills being introduced in the United States House and Senate. One of the key problems with the Act is the number of species placed on the endangered list and the obstacles placed in the way of removal following recovery.
SCI has, on multiple occasions, joined with states, the federal government and other groups to defend against the challenges to the delisting of recovered gray wolf populations and transfer of wolf management to state authority.