Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is urging the US Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon what she calls a “flawed” proposal on gray wolves.
“The Service’s strategy to delist the gray wolf seems to be ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” said Nessel. This is the 10th attempt to remove the gray wolf from the endangered list by the Service in less than 20 years. The gray wolf species has a population of less than 16,000 nationwide, 11,000 of which are in Alaska.
Nessel sent a letter to the agency last week criticizing the move to remove the gray wolf from the endangered and threatened wildlife list. In her letter, Nessel urges the Service not to hinge its rationale for delisting the species on Michigan’s successful and innovative wolf-recovery efforts.
“While Michigan has been successful with its recovery efforts, other states have not been so fortunate,” Nessel said. “Instead of using Michigan’s leadership to the detriment of the gray wolves in other states, the Service should allow the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to lead by example so that other states can manage the gray wolves within their borders into recovery, not extinction.”
Calling the proposal irresponsible and unlawful, Nessel argues that the service is only considering the population of wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and not the other 13 states – Washington, Oregon, California, North Dakota, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, and Kansas – where she says wolves are in danger of extinction.
“Simply put, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not adequately accounted for why this species should be removed from the endangered list,” Nessel added. “This flawed proposal is the first step toward allowing gray wolves to be hunted to near extinction once again.”