U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
July 9, 2007
Ed Bangs 406-449-5225, x204
Sharon Rose 303-236-4580
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE REOPENS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
ON ITS PROPOSAL TO DELIST THE GRAY WOLF IN THE NORTHERN
ROCKY MOUNTAIN STATES. AN ADDITIONAL OPEN HOUSE
AND PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE HELD IN CODY, WYOMING,
ON JULY 17, 2007
The period for the public to comment on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to delist the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountain states was reopened on July 6, 2007. All comments on the proposed delisting must be received by August 6, 2007. If comments have already been sent to the Service regarding its proposal to delist the northern Rocky Mountain population of wolves, they should not be resubmitted; they are in the process of being reviewed. Please submit comments regarding the option in the proposal to delist the entire Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment in light of the availability of an amended Wyoming State law and tentative Wyoming wolf management plan and the recently approved Wind River Reservation wolf management plan.
An additional open house/public hearing will be held in Cody, Wyoming, on Tuesday, July 17, 2007. The open house will be from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the public hearing will be from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A brief presentation on the Service’s proposal will be given during the public meeting at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question-and-answer period. During the public hearing, formal oral testimony will be accepted. Written comments also will be accepted at the public meeting and the hearing.
All documents are available for review, including those specific to Wyoming, and can be viewed at:
and Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s websites:
New comments concerning this proposal, identified by RIN number 1018-AU53, can be electronically mailed to WesternGrayWolf@fws.gov, hand-delivered to USFWS, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, MT 59601, or mailed to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wolf Delisting, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, MT 59601.
Prior to this public meeting, the Service has hosted seven public meetings and hearings in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington regarding its proposal to delist the northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves. The northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment includes all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and a small part of north-central Utah.
The minimum recovery goal for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains is 30 breeding pairs and at least 300 wolves for three consecutive years, a goal that was attained in 2002 and has been exceeded every year since. The Service believes that with approved state management plans in place in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming threats to the wolf population will have been reduced or eliminated in those states. As the Service has recently stated, a tentative Wyoming state management plan for wolves could be approved once formally adopted by Wyoming. In addition to the reopening of the comment period for 30 days, this open house and public hearing in Cody provide an opportunity for additional public input on the State of Wyoming’s wolf management plan, the Wind River Reservation’s wolf management plan and delisting of the gray wolf in the entire state of Wyoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published its proposal in the Federal Register on February 7, 2007, to delist the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains. Comments from the public are encouraged. All comments must be submitted by the close of business on August 6, 2007.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
For more information on the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves, visit www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/ .