“The Impact’: Video
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that gray wolves will be removed from the federal endangered species list in early 2021 and that states and tribes will be responsible for managing the species.
In a document relating to the decision the agency writes “gray wolves are no longer in danger of extinction or at risk of becoming so in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of the species’ range.“
In Washington, the decision impacts wolves in the western two-thirds of the state. Most of the known wolf packs are located in the eastern third of the state where wolves were delisted in 2011.
“The timing is right for that hand off from the feds to the department,” said Donny Martorello, Wolf Policy Leader for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We’re fully confident that this species will continue to recover, will continue to recolonize the western parts of the state.”
A number of environmental and wolf advocacy groups have announced plans to collectively challenge the federal policy change. That includes The Lands Council based in Spokane.
“The states do not have adequate regulatory mechanisms in place,” said Chris Bachman, Wildlife Program Director, The Lands Council. “Within Washington, watching the state management move west, we have only had one pack established west of the Cascade crest, the Diobsud Creek pack, and it’s a question whether that pack even still exists.”
Watch the episode here.
(Photo Credit: WDFW)