Plan would lift gray wolf protections in Lower 48 states

Gray wolves, whose packs now prowl through hundreds of square miles of the northern Rockies and the forests along the Great Lakes, need no more federal protection to prevent their extinction, the Obama administration announced on Friday.

The Fish and Wildlife Service unveiled a proposal to eliminate the remaining endangered-species restrictions that had anticipated the spread of these existing packs into areas like California and the southern Rockies, where there are few, if any, wolves now.

The only wolf populations to have protection going forward would be Mexican wolves in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

The announcement by Dan Ashe, the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, marked the imminent end of 50 years of controversial federal efforts to bring back a predator that once roamed the continent, but had been all but exterminated in the United States by the mid-20th century.

“Wolves are recovered and they are now in good hands,” Mr. Ashe told reporters on a conference call. “States are the most competent people to make the decisions in the future about how many wolves” there should be and “where wolves can add value to the landscape in the years ahead.”

But environmental groups that focus on biodiversity were quick to criticize the decision, saying that it reflected a parsimonious view of the Endangered Species Act and would hinder the further expansion of the wolves’ current range, effectively leaving the species’ recovery a work in progress, not an accomplished fact.

Kieran Suckling, the president of the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, said, “What this is really about is the agency saying: We’re closing the door on the recovery of wolves, new wolf populations in new areas. We’re going to be satisfied with a Northern Rockies population, a Great Lakes population and a southwest population.”

The protections available for wolf populations in the northern Midwest have been largely uncontroversial, as was the removal of these populations from the endangered species list in 2011. But in Montana and Idaho, where wolves were reintroduced a generation ago, they were a magnet for bitter controversy, pitting ranchers and hunters against groups dedicated to making the transplanted populations thrive. The federal protections of these populations were removed by Congress two years ago; the gray wolf was delisted in Wyoming last year.

But until the current proposal was made, federal regulations still protected wolves in areas where they once lived, and to which they might return. If the new rule is adopted, that will no longer be the case.

Responses to "Gray Wolves No Longer Need Federal Protection, Obama Administration Says"

  1. Demfatale says:

    Obama's record has sunk to an all-time low. Yes, if the election had gone otherwise, Palin would be in the VP seat now, and things would be a WHOLE LOT worse (she gets off on shooting helpless wolves from a helicopter--ugh!). Still, this betrayal of wolves cannot go unrenounced. What shall we do to protest?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree, this is shameful and needs to be protested!

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Anonymous says:

    Terrible ,terrible news....

  5. Anonymous says:

    What the hell is wrong with these politicians? The wolf is a beautiful creature and isn't causing anywhere near the damage that people would have you believe. To take away their protection is a blatant disregard for nature. They awe an essential part of the ecology.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I say lets get rid of the politicians and keep the wolves.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The wolves are a beautiful animal and deserve to be allowed to live. Obama is making this nation a laughing-stock and his cronies are following everything that he says as gospel. Without wolves the population of other animals would explode and then the ranchers would complain about that.
    This just another stunt perpetrated by Obama to strangle the American people.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think president should b put down instead of the wolves.

  9. It's not soon enough that this president that hates the environment is out of office...The Wolf and our wildlife deserve much more...

  10. Anonymous says:

    the wolvers are beautiful. the presdent needs to run the white house.take care of the people that work for him and leave the wolvers a lone.politicans do you job that you were that we pay you to do .maybe the wolvers do a better job then government.

  11. Lisa Best says:

    America and all other countries needs to stop and think of the destruction we cause in the natural balance of nature......let's stop ruining the Earth for our children and future generations!

  12. Wish mother nature would have her day. I'd gladly perish knowing nature and wildlife would thrive and be more plentiful then people. Willing to participate in any action to protect animals and earth,

  13. Anonymous says:


  14. Anonymous says:


  15. Anonymous says:

    Obama, n0!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    We can't allow this to happen! They need to stay protected!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Firstly, I'd like to state that I do feel that it is a bit too early to completely remove the grey wolf from the lists...they should at least go down to endangered
    They're not "getting rid" of the wolves...they are saying that the grey wolf is no longer in danger of extinction, and it is not a threatened species anymore either. There is a REASON that the lists have the names they do (endangered and threatened) as you can see if you read through this lists of terminology used in making decisions whether or not a species is endangered.
    "Endangered - The classification provided to an animal or plant in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range."

    The grey wolf is NOT in danger of extinction at this point because the numbers of that species is high enough at this point (and keeps growing)

    "Threatened - The term “threatened species” means any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range - - as defined in the Endangered Species Act."

    Due to those who have no respect for animals (usually not even human animals), I do believe that the grey wolf may be in grave danger when the bans are actually lifted...HOWEVER...yes, there is a however to this...

    Lifting this ban does NOT mean that it will be open season on grey means that it will not be a FEDERAL offense to hunt them. Removing the status on the wolves means that control of the wolf population will be in the hands of the states where the wolves reside.
    SOOOO...that means that the people in the states where they are, need to contact their representatives to find out what will be done to protect the grey wolves in THEIR OWN STATE...

    It is time for the STATES...for the PEOPLE to speak up locally to protect our wildlife...if you don't, then you need to seriously stop posting on blogs about stuff you're never going to stand up for.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I meant down FROM endangered in my post above--in other words, threatened.

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree, I'm so disappointed in him. I too wonder what in the world can we do? Being that they are still in recovery stage, this will be devastating! We have to come up with something fast. IDK- I feel helpless :-(

  21. Anonymous says:

    President Obama, PLEASE change your mind! The Humans will totally destroy Balance of Nature if you don't!!!

  22. Redpill says:

    I will not vote for him again if he runs another term. I am ASHAMED of President Obama. I think I need to actually call the White House and share my thoughts. ALL the hard work thousands of groups have done to PROTECT the Wolf, and now this. I am just so so scared and terribly saddened. SHAME SHAME SHAME on Obama. I do NOT endorse him anymore.

  23. Judy says:

    This is a biggggg sin!!! :( have mercy for this innocent animals.

  24. Anonymous says:

    what a sin against the wolf against God against all that I believe in. Please don't let barbaric people kill the beautiful wolf population. Being part Native American, the wolf is my spirit guide and I identify with this beautiful creature. Shame on those who let them be hunted into extinction !

  25. Anonymous says:

    I think this is so sad!! The WOLF is one of God's creations just like you & I & it is horrible the way that they are doing these beautiful creatures!! I think that the hunters should become the hunted & see how they like it?? why do people have to be so cruel?? But their judgment day will come & God will take care of them!! God take care of these beautiful creatures!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    No way! We should celebrate wolves like the Germans do. This is not good news.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Leave the wolves and impeach him and get other's to put all wolfs on a don't touch list

  28. Anonymous says:

    You people are all idiots (with a few exceptions). The grey wolf populations are doing better than expected, hence the lift from their status under the ESA. Instead of listening to bias arguments, look at the science for once and maybe you'll understand how biologists try to managage recovering populations. We should be epnthralled that these wolves are doing so well and act as a model for a successful recovery program.

  29. Anonymous says:

    where is the petition?

  30. Anonymous says:

    We were put on this earth for a reason, protects of the world and all it inhabits, people sicken me.

  31. Kristina Potter says:

    Thought we were moving FORWARD....not BACKWARDS! This is very very sad.....Shame on you.

  32. pennyspen says:

    Please people, stop being 'Anonymous' and voice your concerns OUTLOUD!(o.k., I admit, this page doesn't allow me to sign in correctly through one source, so I'm trying another)

    I want to see changes in the way these decisions are made. I know you all want this too! Why is it that the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe has the ability to base his opinion, or collectively, the department's opinion like this: ““Wolves are recovered and they are now in good hands,” . . . “States are the most competent people to make the decisions in the future about how many wolves” there should be and “where wolves can add value to the landscape in the years ahead.” ”Are you to tell me there isn't a collaborative effort amongst both sides, for and against, that can come up with something that both sides can live with, more importantly where wolves can actually LIVE with? Why are the numerous, concerned voices not being heard? Why can't we change the way these decisions are made? Under state rule, we will see extinction through heartless killings everywhere! The change needs to be within the department overseeing these things, first. It will never be the change we want to see without a combination of effort on both sides.

    We the People -Pshaw! Now people in each state have to fight for the same thing? If it is a universal topic where many would come together and agree that they need to stay on the endangered restrictions, then it still should be taken care of federally. I don't know all the rules/laws concerning power, but so far, it seems the power that be just lost my vote.

  33. Anonymous says:

    This is horrible..People can't own everything on the earth and that includes wolves..They have a right to live just as we do..Someone needs to stop before we wipe everything off of the earth and end up with nothing..Wake up and vote to help these Wolves.

  34. Debbie says:

    I think that know one should have the right to kill an animal, other than for survival. When these beautiful creatures were put on this earth for us to respect, love and enjoy it wasn't for us to have open season on them just because. Our world is in such a sad state, we should be cherishing and respecting all life.

  35. Unknown says:

    We are far greater in number than wolves and most creatures for that matter.That in itself creates an inevitable problem.Mankind has striped this planet of it's resources for profit and greed and in the process we have pushed wildlife and yes the wolf to the brink of no return.It is unfortunate that in the end they are penned up or caged,like some antiquity in some museum for all the world to remember.And yes in the end we have done so exhaustively for their protection.This world and it's creatures once lived by a law,a natural balance of life and death without human intervention a perfect symbiosis.It is sad that natures wolves must once again fight for their survival,some of those in the ivory tower will never understand. My name is Jon Read Here is a poem by Mary Tall Mountain. The last wolf hurried toward me through the ruined city and i heard his baying echos down the steep mashed warrens of Montgomery street and past the ruby crowned highrises left standing their lighted elevators useless. Passsing the red and green of flickering traffic signals baying his way eastward in the mystery of his wild loping gait closer the sounds in the deadly night through clutter and rubble of quiet blocks I hear his voice ascending the hill and at last his low whine as he came floor by empty floor to the room where i sat in my narrow bed looking west,waiting i heard him snuffle at the door and i watched He trotted across the floor he laid his long grey muzzle on the spare white spread and his eyes burned yellow his small dotted eyebrows quivered Yes,i said.I know what they have done.

  36. Anonymous says:

    so I guess now the stupidass wants the money that protects our animals, along with us being on this planet. He wants it to be his place only, I'm so sick of hearing the shit he wants and making everything about him and him only. we need to protect our wildlife and lets stop all the pay and rights for our so called president, since the money comes us the people anyway, I say we should have the right to say not him!!!!!!

  37. TANYA says:


  38. Anonymous says:

    This is great news!

  39. Anonymous says:

    This is great news!

  40. Anonymous says:


  41. nkullberg Biology Teacher/Farmer/Sportsman says:

    I am an avid hunter, and enjoy training and hunting pointing dogs. I've had the pleasure of traveling to many different states across the US in search of game birds. I realize Wolves pose a risk to livestock and to my own domestic hunting dogs. But, when I enter the woods I am know I am entering the HOME OF NATURE. I am the visitor. WOLVES BELONG THERE! There is no real prize or value to killing a wolf. Since wolves are unique social animals, killing ONE WOLF effects the dynamics of the entire PACK. OBAMA ADMIN. Please come to your senses! Wolves Still Need Fed. Protection!!!!!! A no brainer!!

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