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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 This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.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. 

The Endangered Species Act has done its job for the wolf. It’s time to celebrate this environmental success and focus our work on other species that desperately need our help. 

While we believe that the Wyoming wolf management plan is adequate to sustain the wolf's successful recovery in Wyoming, we will be soliciting public comment and scientific peer review on our proposal before making a final decision. 

Currently, we are seeking scientific information and comments from the public about the proposal. We encourage your participation. You can submit your comments in the following ways: 

        1.        Head to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket Number: [FWS–R6–ES–2011–0039].

        2.        U.S. mail or hand-delivery. Address your comments to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. [FWS–R6–ES–2011–0039]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. 



I am very much opposed to the position with regard to wolves in Wyoming. I have lived in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico as well as California. Upon returning to California it struck me how sad it is that Southern California is slowly becoming all concrete. I have seen the deterioration of States with what was once vast wilderness being eaten away with more and more houses, condos and apartments. Our wildlife is being challenged in such great numbers. 1650 wolves in the wild is not a big number. I have discovered people who want to kill these animals do so more for the trophy than for sound management practices. I was raised on a cattle ranch in NM so I appreciate the position of ranchers protecting their animals, but it is important future generation are able to enjoy all animals, including wolves. I urge you to reconsider your plan regarding Wyoming and its management of the wolf, it will not be the best interest of the animal. Can't we keep just a little of what was once wild.
# Posted By Terri Greer | 10/14/11 5:54 PM

There is no reason to delist and not protect these wolves. This kill at any whim is spreading to MT and to Idaho and to WA state and to Oregon. You people are here to protect and yet, because some people want a wolf head hanging on their garage wall, you allow it. I am stunned, I am disappointed and I have no faith in you or Sec. of the Int. Salazar. And what about the Bison?
# Posted By sally m. | 10/15/11 8:24 PM

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