Federal government removes protections for Great Lakes gray wolves

Michigan

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLNS) – The Trump administration has removed gray wolves from the Endangered Species List in most areas of the United States.

Wolves once ranged from Alaska to Mexico, but were nearly wiped out in the Lower 48 states by human expansion. Populations of gray wolves have made a comeback in the Rocky Mountains and upper Great Lakes, where they were protected by federal law.

Today’s action removes federal protection for those populations, allowing states to establish hunting seasons for wolves.

The only exception is for the Mexican wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf that lives in Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas.

Supporters of this action say gray wolves have a stable population and no longer qualify for the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act.

Opponents say the populations are still vulnerable, and there is no scientific justification for lifting federal protections.

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