Calling it a “victory for responsible wildlife management,” the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership roundly praised a decision by the federal government to remove the Wyoming gray wolf from the endangered species list.

As announced by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe on Friday, wolf populations in Wyoming will be overseen by the state through an approved management plan, as they are in Idaho and Montana, starting Sept. 30. The USFWS will continue to monitor wolf numbers in all three states for at least five years to ensure that recovery objectives are met. The department retains authority to reinstate Endangered Species Act protections if necessary.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist a sustainable population of wolves in Wyoming and turn their management over to the state of Wyoming is a significant achievement for science-based wildlife conservation,” said Dr. Steve Williams, president of the Wildlife Management Institute, former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and TRCP board member. “There is no question that wolf numbers exceed recovery goals and mechanisms are in place to manage their numbers, just as states manage other predators like bobcats, bears and mountain lions. Wildlife enthusiasts should thank the federal and state biologists, political leaders, and private and public landowners who made this conservation success story possible.”

“Sportsmen in Wyoming and across the country have good reason to commend this decision by the federal government, which stands as a victory for responsible wildlife management and perpetuates our nation’s rich outdoors legacy,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh. “Science clearly shows that the wolf is recovered and, therefore, that returning management to the states is the right thing to do. We offer our thanks to Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe for exercising sound judgment and promoting sportsmen-driven values.”

Following yesterday’s decision, wolves in northwest Wyoming, location of the majority of the state’s wolf population and habitat, will be managed as “trophy game” animals. This management status allows the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and Wyoming Game and Fish Department to regulate timing, methods and numbers of wolves taken through methods such as hunting.

Read the USFWS release regarding the announcement.

Image courtesy Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

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6 thoughts on “Sportsmen Commend Federal Decision to Delist Wolves

  1. I disagree with your comments. Wolves are essential to the environment and they should continue to be protected. This policy will lead to the wholesale destruction of a viable and important wolf population. It will disrupt packs. It will lead to cruel in inhumane hunting practises. It is a shame that we continue to protect these animals. Wolves are not game animals.

  2. Wolves have greatly improved riparian areas by reducing elk grazing that was destroying seedlings. Scientists long ago realized the value of predators. Wolves have played a beneficial role in improving ecosystems. Hunting wolves disrupts packs and leads to predation on domestic animals. Wolves should be left alone to increase in numbers as a protected species. Many people enjoy viewing wolves in the wild. These interests are being ignored and only the views of those who don’t like wolves are being heard.

  3. I fully support responsible hunting and management. That being said what many off the states are doing is not responsible gunning wolves down from helicopters and shooting mother wolves leaving the puppies vulnerable in the dins is wrong and should be fought by all hunters

  4. Sadly despite many decades of sound, science-based conservation, there is still a strong and wrongheaded anti-predator sentiment among many US sportsmen. Previous posters correctly state how the presence of wolves in the Yellowstone (and other) regions BENEFIT elk and other prey species. That is a proven fact. This ruling is only going to give gunners (note that I do NOT call them hunters or sportsmen) a chance to wreak havoc and turn back the clock.

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