Ed Bangs, 406-449-5225, ext. 204
Joan Jewett, 503-231-6211
Upcoming Public Meetings and Hearings to Discuss
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?s Proposal to Delist the Gray Wolf
in the Northern Rocky Mountain States
Today in the Federal Register, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published its proposal to delist the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains. It can be viewed at www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/ . Comments from the public are encouraged on this proposal. They can be electronically mailed to NRMGrayWolf@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. All comments must be submitted by the close of business on April 9, 2007.
To provide information about the proposal, answer questions, and receive formal testimony for the record, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a series of public meetings and hearings in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington regarding its proposal to delist the northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of gray wolves.
In each location, the public meetings will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the public hearings will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A brief presentation on the Service?s proposal will be given during the public meetings at 3 p.m. and 4 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.
The schedule for the meetings and hearings is:
February 27, 2007, at Holiday Inn Cheyenne,
204 West Fox Farm Road, Cheyenne, WY
February 28, 2007, at Plaza Hotel,
122 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT
March 1, 2007, at Jorgenson?s Inn & Suites,
17111the Avenue, Helena, MT
March 6, 2007, at Boise Convention Center on the Grove,
850 W. Front Street, Boise, ID
March 7, 2007, at Pendleton Red Lion Inn,
304 S.E. Nye Street, Pendleton, OR
March 8, 2007, at Oxford Inns and Suites,
15015 East Indiana Avenue, Spokane Valley, WA
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 and Idaho, threats to the wolf population will have been reduced or eliminated in those states. At this time, Wyoming does not have an approved state management plan for wolves. However, threats to those wolves will be reduced or eliminated by continued federal protection if Wyoming does not have an approved plan by the time the delisting proposal is finalized. 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.
For more information on the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves, visit www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/ .
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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 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.