17 Mar 2008, 5:35pm
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

States ready to manage wolves

COEUR d’ALENE — Few animals have been as politicized and socially divisive as the wolves of the Rocky Mountains.

Now in the remaining days before the gray wolf is expunged from the Endangered Species List, state management agencies, stakeholder groups and a menagerie of wildlife groups are getting ready with their responses.

Federal hands have guided wolf recovery efforts for 13 years, but this month the management responsibility of wolves will be passed to the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The rule, posted in the Federal Register in February, will take effect March 28.

Days after the rule was posted, a coalition of 11 conservation groups charged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with violating the Endangered Species Act.

The groups, which include the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, argue wolves are not numerous enough in the Rocky Mountains to maintain a healthy, viable gene pool. They intend to challenge the service in federal court.

The lawsuits will likely be ongoing for the foreseeable future, but the states will be granted management as planned, unless the coalition convinces the court to file an injunction. … [more]



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