Interior Delists Gray Wolf

Photo: ODFW

On Thursday, the Department of the Interior announced it has removed the gray wolf from the endangered species list, signaling a successful recovery under the Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf spent more than four decades on the endangered species list, and federal officials say the population is now thriving in the lower 48 states. With Thursday’s decision, state and tribal wildlife management agencies will now be responsible for the management and protection of the gray wolf.

“Oregon’s wolf population grew over 15% last year, and meanwhile, wolves continue to kill livestock in the area under federal management, with little recourse for local ranchers,” said eastern Oregon representative Greg Walden. “Today’s action by the Trump Administration to officially delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List is long overdue. This move will allow our state wildlife officials to manage the wolves more effectively by allowing for a single management plan under local control.” 

“The gray wolf is an Endangered Species Act success story,” said Central Washington Representative Dan Newhouse. “By empowering states to manage gray wolf populations, the federal government is recognizing the effectiveness of locally-led conservation efforts, basing management decisions on sound science – instead of politics, and providing certainty to families, farmers, and rural communities in Central Washington and throughout the country. This action is one of the many steps the Trump Administration is taking to modernize the Endangered Species Act and protect American wildlife, and I look forward to continuing to build upon these efforts in Congress.”

“WCA applauds today’s Department of the Interior announcement regarding the removal of all gray wolves from the list of ESA-protected species,” said Ashley House, Executive Vice President of Washington Cattlemen’s Association. “We have tremendous confidence in the science that informed this important decision and thank Secretary Bernhardt for his leadership on this matter… We would especially like to extend sincere gratitude to Congressman Dan Newhouse for all his efforts that were undoubtedly instrumental in bringing forth the delisting and for his continued support of ESA reform. We are hopeful that this decision will guide our Washington state policy and policymakers towards a similar statewide decision towards management of the gray wolf population here locally.  As ranchers, we remain optimistic that we will be able to protect our livelihoods and ability to produce a safe, affordable, domestic food supply while working in tandem with wildlife managers for balanced management and realized success. We commend the administration for this terrific work.”

“This is great news for Washington state where our wolf population has reached recoverable levels,” said Mike LaPlant, President of the Washington Farm Bureau. “We are very thankful for the work of President Trump, Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Director Aurelia Skipwith, and Congressman Newhouse for all their work to make this happen. It’s time to end the federal/state split management of wolves in Washington and allow our state wildlife managers to manage wolves in conjunction with all other species.”

“This is an Endangered Species Act success story,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “The gray wolf joins more than 50 other animals, including the bald eagle, as an example of how careful management and partnerships between federal and state agencies can result in the successful recovery of a once-threatened species. The gray wolf population is now thriving so it is appropriate to turn management over to the states, which can oversee the species in a way that is most appropriate for each region.”

Over 1,600 species remain on the federal threatened and endangered list.

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