[Federal Register: June 4, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 106)]
[Page 30819-30820]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Post-
Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Western Great Lakes Distinct 
Population Segment of the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of post-delisting monitoring plan; 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the Draft Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan (PDM Plan) for 
the Western Great Lakes (WGL) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the 
Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). Under the Draft PDM Plan, we would monitor the 
status of the gray wolves in the WGL DPS over a 5-year period. Our 
monitoring would include population estimates, health data from 
individual wolves, and review of changes in State and tribal management 
and legal protections that might impact the WGL DPS's status. During 
the PDM period, we and the Eastern Timber Wolf Recovery Team would 
annually conduct a review of the monitoring data and monitoring 
program. We solicit review and comment on this Draft Monitoring Plan 
from local, tribal, State, and Federal agencies and the public.

DATES: We must receive any written comments on or before July 5, 2007.

ADDRESSES: To request a copy of the 11-page PDM Plan, write to our 
Midwest Regional Office: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal 
Building, 1 Federal Drive, Ft. Snelling, MN 55111-4056, or call 612-
713-5350. Copies also may be requested by fax at 612-713-5292 or by 
sending a request to graywolfPDM@fws.gov. Specify whether you want to 
receive a hard copy by U.S. mail or an electronic copy by e-mail or 
fax. The PDM Plan may also be downloaded from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/

    Send your comments by any of the following methods. You may also 
drop off comments in person. See ``Viewing Documents'' and ``Public 
Comments Solicited'' under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for important 
     E-mail: graywolfPDM@fws.gov. Include ``Wolf PDM Plan 
Comments'' in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: 612-713-5292. Include ``Wolf PDM Plan Comments'' in 
the subject line.
     U.S. Mail: Wolf PDM Plan Comments, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Ft. Snelling, MN 55111-
     In-Person Drop-off: Room 646 at the above address during 
regular business hours.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Direct all questions or requests for 
additional information to Ron Refsnider, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Ft. Snelling, MN 55111-4056 
or 612-713-5350. Additional information is also available on our World 
Wide Web site at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/. Individuals who are 

hearing-impaired or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay Service 
at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance.



    We published our decision to remove the Western Great Lakes 
Distinct Population Segment of the gray wolf from the Federal List of 
Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants on

[[Page 30820]]

February 8, 2007 (72 FR 6052), and it became effective March 12, 2007. 
We determined this DPS to be recovered as a result of its primary 
threats being reduced or eliminated and because wolf populations in 
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan have greatly exceeded the numerical 
recovery criteria established in the Federal recovery plan. Section 
4(g)(1) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 
requires that we implement a system, in cooperation with the States, to 
monitor for no fewer than 5 years the status of all species that have 
recovered and no longer need the protection of the Act. We began 
developing the PDM Plan in advance of making a final decision on the 
delisting proposal in order to be able to implement the PDM activities 
in a timely manner in the event that we determined that delisting the 
WGL DPS is appropriate. Now that we have made the delisting 
determination for the WGL DPS, we are implementing the PDM as described 
in the Draft PDM Plan, although we recognize that the PDM Plan may be 
modified as a result of this review. We have used the expertise of the 
Recovery Team during the drafting of the PDM Plan.
    The WGL DPS includes all of Minnesota; Wisconsin; Michigan; the 
part of North Dakota that is north and east of the Missouri River, 
upstream as far as Lake Sakakawea, and east of Highway 83, from Lake 
Sakakawea to the Canadian border; the part of South Dakota that is 
north and east of the Missouri River; the parts of Iowa, Illinois, and 
Indiana that are north of Interstate Highway 80; and the part of Ohio 
north of Interstate Highway 80 and west of the Maumee River (at 
Toledo). This includes the area currently occupied by wolf packs in 
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; the nearby areas in these States, 
including the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, in which wolf packs 
may become established in the foreseeable future; and a surrounding 
area into which Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan wolves may disperse, 
but where we do not expect packs to persist. The area surrounding the 
core wolf populations includes the locations of most known dispersers 
from the core populations, especially the shorter- and medium-distance 
dispersers that are most likely to survive and potentially return to 
the core areas.
    We propose to monitor the status of the gray wolf WGL DPS over a 5-
year period following delisting. The PDM program primarily would be a 
continuation of State monitoring activities similar to those which have 
been conducted by the Departments of Natural Resources in Minnesota, 
Wisconsin, and Michigan over several decades. These activities would 
include both population monitoring and health monitoring of individual 
wolves, as well as Service review of changes to State and tribal wolf 
management and protection. Additionally, the PDM would review evidence 
of increased post-delisting threats, especially human-caused mortality 
and disease. During the PDM period, we and the Recovery Team would 
annually conduct a review of the monitoring data and monitoring 
program. We would consider various relevant factors (including but not 
limited to mortality rates, population changes and rates of change, 
disease occurrence, and range expansion or contraction) to determine if 
the population of gray wolves within the WGL DPS warrants expanded 
monitoring, additional research, and/or resumption of Federal 
protection. At the end of the 5-year PDM program, we would conduct a 
final review.

Viewing Documents

    The complete file for the monitoring plan is available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at our Ft. 
Snelling, Minnesota, Regional Office. Call 612-713-5350 to make 
arrangements. The comments and materials we receive on the monitoring 
plan during the comment period also will be available for public 
inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the Ft. 
Snelling office and also at our Ecological Services Field Offices in 
Bloomington, Minnesota (612-725-3548); New Frankin, Wisconsin (920-866-
1717); East Lansing, Michigan (517-351-2555), and Marquette, Michigan 
(906-226-6571). Call those offices to make arrangements.

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend for the PDM Plan to effectively monitor the status of the 
delisted gray wolf WGL DPS as required by section 4(g)(1) of the Act. 
Therefore, we hereby solicit comments, new information, or suggestions 
from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, industry, or any other interested party concerning our draft 
PDM Plan. We will consider all comments and information we receive 
during the comment period on this draft PDM during our preparation of a 
final PDM.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.


    The primary author of this document is Ron Refsnider (see 


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: April 27, 2007.
Wendi Weber,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Region 3, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
 [FR Doc. E7-10673 Filed 6-1-07; 8:45 am]