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Proposal Would Lift Restrictions On Endangered Gray Wolves

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Proposal Would Lift Restrictions On Endangered Gray Wolves

Proposal Would Lift Restrictions On Endangered Gray Wolves

www.fws.gov

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Obama administration proposed lifting protections for gray wolves Friday. The announcement comes almost four decades after federal officials listed them as endangered.

More than 6,000 gray wolves live in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director says that’s enough to prevent extinction. But some scientists, lawmakers and environmentalists want protections to remain for the rest of the species. The Center for Biological Diversity’s Noah Greenwald said the job of wolf recovery isn’t done.

"The Endangered Species Act defines an endangered species as any species at risk in all or significant portions of its range," Greenwald said. "Although the western Great Lakes may have 4,000 wolves, wolves are not recovered in Colorado, Utah or California where there’s basically no wolves."

Under the new proposal, federal protections would remain only for a fledgling population of Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest.

Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.