Michigan Wolf NEPA
Recovery Take Permit Issued for Michigan Wolves
Update: As a result of an injunction by Federal District Court, the Fish and Wildlife Service revoked this subpermit on September 13, 2005.
On April 19, 2005, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a subpermit to the Michigan DNR (DNR) for the lethal take of gray wolves that are attacking domestic animals. The subpermit allows designated employees of the DNR to take up to 20 wolves attacking domestic animals in 2005 under limited conditions. It also allows a small number of wolves which are accidentally severely injured, to be euthanized.
In a letter dated February 22, 2005, the DNR had requested that the Fish and Wildlife Service issue to them a "Recovery Take Permit" allowing for the take of gray wolves that are attacking lawfully present domestic animals. During the past two years, the DNR had conducted these activities and related take under special regulations developed under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A court ruling issued on January 31, 2005, ruled against the Service's 2003 reclassification of gray wolves from endangered to threatened. Section 4(d) rules can only be applied to a threatened species and were therefore eliminated when the court decision was issued.
The subpermit issued on April 19 will allow the DNR to take approximately the same percentage of depredating wolves from the population that they have in the past two years under the section 4(d) rule. During the past two years, the Michigan wolf population has remained healthy and has continued to expand in numbers.
Provided below are copies of the Recovery Take Permit, an evaluation of the permit request, a biological opinion of the impacts upon the wolf population of issuing the permit, and the Service's NEPA determination (categorical exclusion) for issuing the subpermit.