Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, David Bernhardt, recently announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will publish a proposed rule removing federal protections under the Endangered Species Act for the endangered gray wolf (Canis lupus). Secretary Bernhardt announced the plan at the 84th North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference in Denver, Colorado.
The gray wolf was originally listed as endangered in March 1978 throughout the contiguous United States, except in Minnesota, where the Service classified the species as threatened. The current move to delist follows a 2011 attempt by the Obama administration to delist the species in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, which was reversed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In 2017, the D.C. Circuit reinstated the Service’s delisting of the gray wolf in Wyoming.
The proposed rule to delist the gray wolf would leave management of the gray wolves to state regulators. The Service has stated that the proposed rule will be published and available for public comment in the near future. Please check back with us for further information.