In a surprise move, the gray

wolf is back at the forefront of what will likely become a

series of legal battles in states across the country with its

upcoming delisting from the Endangered Species Act.

On Oct. 29, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced

its final rule to delist gray wolves, removing federal

protections and imposing state and tribal management


Wyoming’s gray wolves were delisted in 2017 after the

federal agency determined the numbers for recovery of

the reintroduced species had been reached and surpassed.

Wyoming is required to have 100 wolves in the state

and 50 in Yellowstone, along with other recovery criteria.

At the end of 2019, scientists determined at least 311 gray

wolves were living in Wyoming.

Outside of Yellowstone and the Wind River Reservation,

Wyoming Game and Fish is managing the state’s

population in the trophy-game zone and licensed hunt

areas. Outside the trophy-game area in the state’s predator

zone, Game and Fish does not manage gray wolves or

require hunting tags in that zone.

The FWS’ final rule takes effect in 60 days for all other

48 lower states; it does not include Mexican gray wolves

reintroduced in Arizona and New Mexico.

Reactions came swiftly from lawmakers praising the

move and conservationists opposing it.

Thursday, Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso said,

“President Trump’s administration is taking bold action

to help both states and wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service has determined the gray wolf has recovered

enough to be delisted in the lower 48 states. We have

seen firsthand in Wyoming how a state is fully capable

of managing gray wolf populations. Since 2017, the wolf

has been delisted in our state. Wyoming has proven that

states, not Washington, are in the best position to manage

the gray wolf.”

Retiring U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi also lauded the announcement:

“Delisting the gray wolf has been a long and bumpy

road, but I think everyone should take pride in this announcement

today. States like Wyoming have shown they

are able to effectively manage the gray wolf. It is important

to remember that the purpose of the Endangered Species

Act is to get to this point, where a species is fully

recovered. I am hopeful that even more species in the future

will be able to reach this milestone.”

Wildlife advocates were also quick to react Thursday,

with a collective statement condemning gray wolves’ delisting

as a step away from recovery and toward “extinction.”

“The Service made its decision despite the fact that

wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of

their former range across the continental United States,”

said the Center of Biological Diversity in the a statement.

“Again and again the courts have rejected premature

removal of wolf protections,” said CBD’s Collette Adkins.

“But instead of pursuing further wolf recovery, the Fish

and Wildlife Service has just adopted its broadest, most

destructive delisting rule yet. The courts recognize, even

if the feds don’t, that the Endangered Species Act requires

real wolf recovery, including in the southern Rockies and

other places with ideal wolf habitat.”

Others speaking against gray wolves’ delisting represented

the Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association,

Oregon Wild and Defenders of Wildlife.

The next planned step is clear from their comments.

“This delisting decision is what happens when bad sci-

Polls open Tuesday

WYOMING – Wyoming’s 2020 General Election

takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Secretary of State

Ed Buchanan is encouraging all eligible voters to cast

their vote.

“As Wyoming’s Chief Election Official, I’m honored

to help oversee the election process and hope you

take the time to exercise one of your greatest civic duties

as citizens. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov.

3, at polling locations across the state,” said Secretary


“For those who plan to vote on Nov. 3, Wyoming

law requires that employees be given one hour off of

work to vote on Election Day. The law stipulates that

the hour off may not be a meal hour and may be selected

at the employer’s discretion. Please work with

your employer to ensure you have the opportunity to

exercise your right to vote.” said State Election Director

Kai Schon.

The Secretary of State’s Office works side by side

with Wyoming’s 23 county clerks in overseeing and

administering Wyoming’s elections.

ence drives bad policy – and it’s illegal, so we will see

them in court,” said Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles.

For more about delisting final rule, go to https://www.




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