Gray Wolves “Recovered” and Removed from Endangered Species List
Written by Andrew-Rossi on October 29, 2020
The Trump Administration has officially removed protections for the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act, ending nearly half a century of federal protection.
The Administration announced the decision Thursday, in conjunction with several conservation partners who agree the wolf populations have recovered and are stable in all states where they exist.
“Today’s action reflects the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to species conservation based on the parameters of the law and the best scientific and commercial data available,” said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt. “After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery. Today’s announcement simply reflects the determination that this species is neither a threatened nor endangered species based on the specific factors Congress has laid out in the law.”
There are currently 6,000 gray wolves in the lower 48 states, all of them concentrated in the same handful of states in the Rocky Mountain and Western Great Lakes Regions. There are also thriving populations in Alaska.
The administration argues that the wolf populations are “large, genetically diverse, stable to growing populations broadly distributed across several contiguous U.S. States”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue monitoring wolf populations nationwide to confirm their successful recovery and see that it stays maintained. Then, the management of gray wolves is in the control of states and tribal nations where they exist.
Both Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi applaud the delisting. They both cited Wyoming’s success and ability to manage the state’s populations and that the delisting was “a long, difficult road” but ultimately worth pursuing.
The Trump Administration has delisted 13 endangered species since 2016.
Grizzlies might be next on this list. Several hearings of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works –- led by Senator Barrasso – have used the bear as the “poster child” of a successfully recovered species and why states should have more authority under the Endangered Species Act.
Governor Gordon testified at one of these hearings, advocating for Wyoming’s success in restoring species and the efforts to maintain that success.