Wisconsin has again lost its authority to control grey wolves. The Interior Department restored that power last week. But President Obama has signed an executive order which gives his new administration time to review the last-minute decisions the Bush bureaucrats made just before they left. It means that Washington will control Wisconsin's nearly 600 wolves under the Endangered Species Act.
But Laura Ragan of the US Fish and Wildlife Service says it should only be temporary, while the new administration gets up to speed. The state's management plan, which the federal courts struck down twice in recent years, gives farmers more control in killing wolves that destroy livestock and pets. The most recent lawsuit questioned the Bush administration's decision to remove federal wolf protections in some areas but not others.
Adrian Wydeven of the state DNR says Obama's order should not have an immediate impact. But if it drags on until spring, he says conflicts may crop up again between problem wolves and landowners.