Gray wolves to leave endangered list

Gray wolves to leave endangered list. By Matthew Brown. AP

The Department of Interior is announcing the delisting of the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies and will do so soon in the Great Lakes.

Normally the recovery of an endangered species is a cause for celebration, and that’s because normally the states don’t then quickly announce a “hunting season” to greatly reduce the numbers of the the species that was listed because its numbers were too low. The Bald Eagle is being removed from the list, and no one is proposing a hunting season on it.

Unfortunately, with the wolf, all those old ideas dragged out of Europe in the 15th century, and hanging over in parts of the West from the 1890s, are still present. These are the very same ideas that put the wolf close the extermination in the first place.

Probably the best think people can do around the country right now, is to contact their member of Congress and complain. It really is a new Congress, and people with a different attitude are in charge. They should also call, email or write to their state governors and letters to the newspapers. I think ballot initiatives may be in order. It is hard to get enough names, but if there is money behind an initiative in many states getting it on the ballot is almost guaranteed. I would not be surprised if some wealthy people step forward and offer to help.

New article on the delisting to be formally announced on Monday. Wolf Delisting Plan Due Next Week. By Bill Schneider. New West.







  1. Alan Avatar

    The big bad wolf myth of children’s literature persists to this day. It reminds me of people’s persistent misunderstanding of snakes. I watched a woman literally hammer a beautiful (and pregnant) milk snake after the serpent showed up on her driveway. She said she thought it was a timber rattler. The ecological ignorance of the American populace is astounding.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Some groups are not afraid to actually use fairly tales. Check this out.

    “Little Red Riding Hood warned us about wolf,” the ad states, “and Little Red Riding Hood was right.”

  3. Jordan Avatar

    Ralph – isn’t the headline “Gray wolves to leave the Endangered list” premature? I realize the AP used it but delisting ain’t over until the fat lady sings. The battle over delisting is just beginning, or am I mistaken?

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It is premature. I just posted the headline they used, rather than alter it.

    It should read “Interior will try to delist gray wolves.”

  5. Bob Fanning Avatar
    Bob Fanning

    It should read “Interior will try to delist gray wolves.”

    It’s a court case ralph.
    Only those with standing to sue will make any real diffrence.

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    There’s no court case yet. No one can sue until the delisting notice is published in the Federal Register on Monday.

    Lots of people will have standing to sue on this proposal. Rounding up plaintiffs with standing will be no problem.

  7. Kim Avatar

    those people have lost their minds.!!!!! wolves would rather go the other way than to eat a human..

  8. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Technically, no one can sue until there’s a Record of Decision published in the Federal Register.

    So right now, it’s all sabre-rattling and artillery duels.

  9. kt Avatar

    In relation to any plan related to ESA de-listing: It is informative to look at how the Idaho Office of Species Conservation (not) handled monitoring commitments under a Plan (called a Candidate Conservation Agreement) being used to try to prevent ESA listing of slickspot peppergrass.

    The ranchers and OSC drew up a plan that fails to address nearly all the impacts of livestock grazing. But the Plan (and a year or two with rain and mis-analysis of trends) are being used to claim there is no need to list this Idaho plant.

    Well, a year or so after the Candidate Conservation Agreement was finalized, the rancher rep. on a review/oversight panel associated with slickspot, along with the OSC gentleman in the You Tube video Ralph has posted, set about to change how monitoring of livestock trampling was done. They were concerned that what was termed “penetrating” trampling was being found too often. So – Whoopee – let’s change the trampling definition so that the botanists doing the monitoring could almost never document cattle trampling damage.

    PURE, unadulterated politics trumping science. I keep bringing up slickspot, because what we have been seeing go on there is EXACTLY where wolf management will go upon de-listing. They might even behave for a little while – but given the ferocity of Otter and the legislature, and the bloodthirsty outlook of the FG Commission, I doubt it will be for very long. Then, all of a sudden there will be new and different OSC and rancher-imposed “Idaho” ways to count wolves.

    And Ralph in his Post with the video raises the point that some think OSC is supplanting IDFG. That’s why Dirk Kemphtorne set it up in the first place – the livestock industry in this state has always hated the Game Department. There is simply no need for OSC, and taxpayers of Idaho could save hundreds of thousands of dollars if it went away. I’m sure THAT’s not part of Butch Otter’s austerity program.

    It is alarming to see OSC, and not Fish and Game, really in charge. Maybe it’s time for a ballot initiative to get rid of OSC, and develop some kind of better protective mechanisms for biologists in this state. mechanism

  10. Alan Avatar

    Suitable gray wolf habitat exists in northern New England and the Adirondacks of New York, yet FWS has not moved to the reintroduction stage there, even those those regions are within the original range. Why? Because the process is fraught with political undertones.

  11. Alan Avatar

    A quick overview of the Coalition to Restore the Eastern Wolf can be read at

  12. bc Avatar

    Would it be easier to restore wolves to Colorado if they are delisted or stay listed? WHy?

  13. kt Avatar

    I know nothing about wolf genetics.

    Here’s a proposal:

    Even though this isn’t a NEPA process, but an alternative to be considered nonetheless unless it would mess up wolf genetics should be: FWS would coordinate any de-listing and “excess” gray wolf removal in Idaho with re-intro in the Adirondacks and northern New England. Fly those Idaho wolves east.

    That way: No need for “hunt” until, hopefully, Otter and cabal of current commissioners and OSC go away or go to jail for likely malfeasance at some point in the next 4 years…

    (I’m assuming there are no wolf DPS’s identified, or genetic nuances that would cuase problems to wolves).

    Plus, fewer wolves = reduced federal funds for OSC to divert.

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The Eastern Gray wolf (Canis lupus lycaon) which remains in Quebec and Ontario, is a different sub-species, or even a different species of wolf, more closely related to red wolves, according to DNA analysis.

    Many biologists are in fact calling it a different species, Canis lycaon

    The wolves from British Columbia and Alberta, reintroduced to Idaho, are closely related to the gray timber wolves of the Great Lakes, but then the Great Lakes wolf restoration has been more successfull than the one in the Northern Rockies. Minnesota has over 3000 wolves in an area smaller than central Idaho, and yet they have not reduced the white tailed deer population. Of course, the Great Lakes states are biologically more productive than the wolf recovery area in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

  15. Bob Fanning Avatar
    Bob Fanning

    ” No one can sue until the delisting notice is published in the Federal Register”
    209 S Willson Ave
    Bozeman, MT 59715
    (406) 586-9699 might want a written legal opinion before making a declaration that you have ‘standing’

    Bob, I don’t understand what you are driving at. I don’t have any personal ambition to be a plaintiff. Whether the Wolf Recovery Foundation becomes a plaintiff in a potential lawsuit, and whether it has standing, is a matter for events to determine. OK?

    Do you to make some announcement on behalf of the Friends of the Northern Range Yellowstone Elk? Ralph Maughan

  16. Andy Avatar

    Let’s stop argueing based upon what is “right” or “wrong”..let your $$$ voice their opinion. Go to your local Scrap Booking Store or go online and get an ink stamp of a wolf. Stamp your money with the stamp. When enough money gets around with that stamp on it…you might see attitudes change! It’s all about the $$ with most of those folks! VOTE with you $$$

  17. Warren Avatar

    I like that idea Andy.