|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
January 29, 2007
Ed Bangs, Montana,
406-449-5225, ext 204
PUBLIC MEETINGS, HEARINGS SCHEDULED ON PROPOSED DELISTING OF NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN WOLVES
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a series of public meetings and hearings in six states regarding today’s proposal to delist the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment (NRM DPS) of gray wolves. The meetings and hearings are intended to provide information about the proposal, answer citizens’ questions and receive formal testimony for the record.
The proposal to delist wolves in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and parts of Washington, Idaho and Utah is based on the Service’s determination that the Northern Rocky Mountain population has exceeded recovery goals and all the potential threats to it, except inadequate state regulations in northwestern Wyoming, have been resolved. The proposal was announced by Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett, who also announced that the Service is removing the western Great Lakes population of gray wolves from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The two separate actions are being taken in recognition of the success of nationwide gray wolf recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act.
Public meetings and hearings are scheduled in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington on the proposal to delist the Northern Rocky Mountain population 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:
Comments from the public are encouraged on this proposal to delist the northern Rocky Mountain population of wolves. 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 received within 60 days of the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register. 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.
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