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Director's Corner

Dan Ashe served as FWS Director from June 2011 until January 2017. The following is an archive of blogs authored by Director Ashe during that time. This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.

The Recovery of the Wolf and What's Next

With more than 1,650 wolves, 244 packs, and 110 breeding pairs, the gray wolf population in the northern Rocky Mountains has biologically recovered. As a result, we've proposed to remove the gray wolf population in Wyoming from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

The proposal to delist wolves in Wyoming hinges upon the State's commitment to a revised wolf management plan, which now contains sufficient protections and safeguards to ensure that wolves never again end up on the list.  

The road to recovery hasn't been easy. Many people have worked hard to make sure recovery goals have been met, and we've been happy to see those goals exceeded for eleven straight years.  

We understand that there may be an emotional reaction among some wolf advocates to the prospect of wolf hunting under state management. But an examination of this plan, in light of what we know to be true about the wolf population in the Northern Rocky Mountains, supports our conclusion that wolves are no longer threatened or endangered in Wyoming and that management should be returned to the state. 


Flying Over Irene's Aftermath

Tuesday was eventful.

This morning, in the office and meeting with Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles. Then on a late morning flight down to Norfolk, VA, where I made a connection with Region 4's helicopter and pilot Glenn Cullingsford. Glenn took me down to Manteo, NC, where we were joined by Refuge Manager Mike Bryant.

We overflew Pea Island NWR to see the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

I hesitate to say, see the "damage" caused by the storm, because the refuge wasn't "damaged." The human infrastructure was damaged, but the refuge is a barrier island and the hurricane is part of the natural process of ecological change and renewal.

The storm created a new inlet through the middle of the refuge, which you can see in the photo below:


Jackson Hole Wyoming: Dan Stops by National Elk and the Jackson National Fish Hatchery

This week Dan traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to attend a meeting of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Board of Directors, of which he is a member. For those who have been to Jackson Hole, you know that the area is uniquely beautiful. Drinking in the magnificent tableau of the National Elk Refuge in the majestic shadow of the Grand Tetons is more than enough to remind conservationists of the value of our work. 


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