A lawmaker from northeast Wisconsin is trying to remove federal court protections for the Great Lakes gray wolves. A recent court decision put wolves back on the endangered species list, in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming. Representative Reid Ribble said there are healthy wolf populations in those states.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took wolves off of the endangered list in the region in 2012, but a federal judge in Michigan reinstated protections for the animals last month, after all three Great Lakes states had held hunting seasons.
“What my bill will do is to require the Fish and Wildlife Service to reissue their original de-list determination,” said Ribble. “This does not affect any Fish and Wildlife policy or procedures, it just circumvents the court from doing something that we believe was not he intent of the agency.
The Sherwood Republican said he’s hearing complaints about wolves from many constituents.
“I hear about wolves in the district on a fairly regular basis. The population is large in Wisconsin . . . and there are problems with domestic animals now in Wisconsin’s north woods as well as Michigan and Minnesota. So this is in response to that.”
Wisconsin held wolf hunts the past three years, and the population remains well above the DNR’s long-term goal for the animal.