Feds Postpone Plans to Delist Wolves Indefinitely

In a surprising turn of events, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a delay in its plan to strip federal protection from nearly all gray wolves throughout the U.S. this week, but the plan could still move forward at any time.

Since losing protection in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions hundreds of wolves have been brutally slaughtered by hunters and trappers – both wolves who lived anonymously in the wild and collared wolves whose stories we followed.  Michigan, the only state in the Great Lakes that didn’t have a wolf hunt last year, recently reclassified wolves as a game species, while other states are now working towards allowing hunting with dogs and baiting.

It’s a success story turned war zone for wolves, who unfortunately don’t understand state boundary lines and continue to pay for their ignorance with their lives.

At the end of April, the FWS was intent on moving forward with its plan to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection from wolves throughout the lower 48 states, with the exception of Mexican gray wolves, which sparked a lot of controversy and outrage from conservationists, wolf advocates, members of Congress and the public. Letters were written, phone calls were made, petitions were signed and lawsuits were filed with one common goal: to ensure that wolves remained federally protected and that management authority was not turned over to states.

Opponents of delisting believe the plan is premature, ignores the benefits of top predators, undermines the premise of the ESA and that there is still a lot of space in their former range for them to expand to in the Pacific Northwest, California, the southern Rocky Mountains and the Northeast.

Last week, leaders from Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking her to reconsider the plan, which was followed by a letter sent by Rep. Raul Grijalva on Endangered Species Day asking that she cancel the “scientifically flawed” delisting proposal.

Following even more letters that were sent from the American Society of Mammologists and 16 biologists, government attorneys announced on Monday that “a recent unexpected delay” is indefinitely holding up the works, without offering any other explanation, reports the AP.

No one seems to be sure what exactly happened, but wolf advocates are thrilled with the reprieve. Meanwhile, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit get a hold of the meeting records that led to the plan in the first place.

Because the proposal to strip protection from wolves has not been permanently canceled, they need us to keep speaking up on their behalf now more than ever.


Please help seal the deal for this iconic species by signing the petition asking Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to keep wolves federally protected.


Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Mike Kowalchuk
Mike Kowalchuk2 years ago

as if the wolves don't suffer as it is,they are a very important part of life in the wild at least whats left of the wild...very sad in deed...

Dolores Hayes
Sharon Talbot2 years ago

If only wolves had guns...

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Mark Donners
Mark Donners2 years ago

What human species don't understand is they have not earned the right to exist on this earth. They are the feral species.

AntiTeapublican Progressi

So is the delisting of the wolves on again???

Mcspocky Progressive News

Wolves aren't a problem, but delisting them will be. The reasons given as to why wolves should be delisted and hunted are stories made up and passed to others as fact. Other reasons are actually tiny problems that through gossip have grown to gargantuan proportions. The majority of people. at least in the area of the Northwest I live in, want to get rid of the wolves out of an emotional response to the extreme misinformation they believe to be fact.

One example of the ridiculous myths being spread was demonstrated to me today when I saw a comment from a lady in Idaho saying the original wolves were around 85 lbs, and the ones introduced back into the state were 200 lb. People actually believe this kind of nonsense!

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore2 years ago

Barbara V.: What's been postponed is the DELISTING itself.

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore2 years ago

David V.: That is an irresponsible statement. There are actually SOME hunters who eat what they kill...though most of THOSE hunters limit themselves to animals like ducks, geese, hares, rabbits and small game like deer.

Lynda Harrison
Lynda Harrison2 years ago

Hi there, Barbara V.

What would a bunch of morons such as we apparently have in the corridors of power know or understand about what is essential to the ecosystem. Most of them probably don't even know what an ecosystem is, let alone what is essential to a healthy one!

B Jackson
BJ J.2 years ago

"They" can send a man to the moon so why the hell can't the infamous "they" come up with a humane solution to this man-made problem? Our "honest" politicians surely aren't being paid off by ranchers and hunters, are they???