BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota – Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced yesterday that the Trump administration is removing endangered species protections for gray wolves in the states where wolves are currently protected.
Wolves have already been removed from the federal list in Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, the Northern Rocky Mountains, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Wolves in those areas are solely under state management. Wolves in Alaska were never placed on the endangered species list.
The move, in effect, puts states and tribes in charge of overseeing the animals. The announcement could lead to the resumption of wolf hunts in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, which are crucial battleground states in the coming presidential election. The decision maintains protection for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in the southwestern states.
The wolves lose federal protection 60 days after the decision is published in the Federal Registry on Tuesday. The wildlife service will continue monitoring wolf populations for the coming five years.