SCI Commends Interior Decision Affirming Wolf Delisting
Washington, DC – -(OutDoorWire.com)- Safari Club International (SCI) commended the decision by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to affirm the delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Salazar’s announcement affirmed a decision reached by the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service, based in a extensive review of the best available science, to remove gray wolves from the list of threatened and endangered species in the western Great Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountain states of Idaho and Montana and parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah.
SCI President Merle Shepard hailed the announcement, saying “This decision is the right one and we commend Secretary Salazar for reaching it so quickly. Delisting the gray wolf came about as a result of years of effort involving the states, tribes, landowners, academic researchers, sportsmen and other conservation groups, the Canadian government and many other partners. All of these stakeholders can breathe a sigh of relief today that our years of effort have not gone down the drain.”
In making the announcement, Secretary Salazar reviewed the numbers behind the decision. “When it was listed as endangered in 1974, the wolf had almost disappeared from the continental United States. Today, we have more than 5,500 wolves, including more than 1,600 in the Rockies,” Salazar said.
Gray wolves were previously listed as endangered in the lower 48 states, except in Minnesota where they were listed as threatened. The Service oversees three separate recovery programs for the gray wolf; each has its own recovery plan and recovery goals based on the unique characteristics of wolf populations in each geographic area. Wolves in other parts of the 48 states, including the Southwest wolf population, remain endangered and are not affected by the actions taken today.
“SCI’s nearly 50,000 members have been waiting for an indicator of how this Administration will handle controversial conservation issues, and we are encouraged by this announcement,” SCI President Shepard said. “We look forward to working with Secretary Salazar and the Interior Department on other conservation issues in the future,” Shepard concluded.
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