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More Comments Sought on Wolves

USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday opened an additional public comment period on the proposal to remove the gray wolf in Wyoming from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.  That additional comment period will remain open for 15 days.  The additional comment period came after Wyoming completed four documents to clarify Wyoming’s approach to wolf management once the gray wolf is de-listed in Wyoming.  The federal agency says the decision to reopen the comment period is intended to allow all interested parties an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed rule in light of these documents. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director of the Mountain-Prairie Region Steve Guertin says the documents demonstrate a strong commitment to maintain the Wyoming wolf population well above minimal recovery levels after delisting. Overall, the USFWS says they expect the Greater Yellowstone Area population will be gradually reduced from around 500 wolves in recent years toward a likely long-term average of around 300 wolves across portions of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. As such, the gray wolf population here is considered biologically recovered, with more than 1,774 wolves and 109 breeding pairs. The agency adds that this population has exceeded recovery goals for 10 consecutive years, fully occupies nearly all suitable habitat, and has high levels of genetic diversity.

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