Midwest wolves may find themselves in the crosshairs again

MINNEAPOLIS — Gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan could again find themselves in hunters’ crosshairs — possibly as soon as this fall if federal protections are removed for the predators.

A ruling is expected soon from an appeals court that recently lifted protections for wolves in Wyoming.

In Congress, wolf-hunting supporters aren’t giving up even though a Minnesota representative was instrumental in killing an effort that would have allowed the three western Great Lakes states to resume wolf hunting.

Gray wolves were once hunted to the brink of extinction in most of the country, but they recovered under Endangered Species Act protections and reintroduction programs. They now number more than 5,500 in the lower 48 states, including nearly 3,800 in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has repeatedly tried to remove wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan from the endangered species list, but courts have stymied those efforts.

Now, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is looking at the issue. The same appeals court in March took wolves off the list in Wyoming.

Wisconsin and Minnesota each held three wolf seasons before a federal judge put their wolves back on the list in December 2014. Michigan held one.

Backed by farm groups upset about depredation of livestock, and hunters who would like the chance to bag a wolf, lawmakers from the region have tried to attach riders to various bills in Congress that would ‘‘delist’’ wolves, return management responsibilities to the states, and bar further court challenges.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Midwest wolves may find themselves in the crosshairs again

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: