Department of Interior Announces Recovery of Gray Wolf Population
March 8, 2019

On Wednesday, U.S. Department of Interior Acting Secretary David Bernhardt announced plans to publish a proposed rule removing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves and return management of the species to individual states.

In the statement released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency cited the tremendous success in the recovery of gray wolves.

"Recovery of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act is one of our nation's great conservation success, with the wolf joining other cherished species, such as the bald eagle, that have been brought back from the brink with the help of the ESA," the agency reported.

This action follows similar findings from past administrations, as the Obama administration was blocked from delisting the species in a 2011 rulemaking for the Wyoming population, and a 2012 rulemaking to delist the Great Lakes population.

"America's sheep producers are grateful to Secretary Bernhardt and the agency for their efforts," said American Sheep Industry Association President Benny Cox of Texas. "We agree with the secretary's claim that this is an ESA success story, and now is the time to move control of gray wolves back to the state level."