After the federal government delisted the gray wolf
in those two states last year, Montana and Idaho introduced hunts to control the wolf population.
"The Fish and Wildlife Service originally exterminated the gray wolf
from the western United States on behalf of the livestock industry, and the Bush administration has led the agency back to its bad old days," he added.
When the gray wolf
was first placed on the Endangered Species List, the USFWS divided the animal's historic range into several areas known as Distinct Population Segments.
Historically, there were several subspecies of gray wolf
in North America (Federal Register 69).
numbers in the western Great Lakes--estimated at more than 2,445 in Minnesota, 323 in Wisconsin, and 278 in Michigan--have climbed beyond recovery plan goals for wolves in the eastern U.S.
And they worry that, as news of the delisting spreads, it will send a signal that Oregon is not serious about protecting the gray wolf
- and also sow confusion about what the rules are, whether the wolf is now fair game.
The gray wolf
was largely gone from New England by the mid-19th century and, a century later, was at the brink of extinction in the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service rejected the Gray Wolf
Management Plan submitted by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, primarily because it was concerned about Wyoming's classification of the wolf as a predator and its commitment to managing for at least 15 wolf packs in the state.
For information on the Mexican gray wolf
or lobo, which is not affected by the reclassification proposal, visit Region 2's "Mexican Gray Wolf
Yet many wildlife biologists warn that the species' numbers have not reached sustainable levels and that the gray wolf
has only begun to re-establish itself in historic ranges such as California and Oregon.