Late attempt to remove gray wolf from endangered list fails

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Gray wolves in the Great Lakes region will remain on the federal endangered species list for now, after an attempt in Congress to remove them failed.

The Associated Press reports some Midwest lawmakers had attempted to attach a "rider" removing gray wolves from the list to a $1.15 trillion federal funding package that's part of the ongoing budget discussions in the U.S. House and Senate.

However, Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-Minn., told AP the proposal, which would have made it legal to hunt wolves in Minnesota, was left out of the final bill agreed late on Tuesday evening.

The wolves were returned to the endangered list last December, when federal judges overruled orders made in 2011 and 2012 by the Interior Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to de-list them.

The judges' decision made it a federal crime in Minnesota to shoot or trap gray wolves, causing consternation among some members of the farming community whose livestock are at risk from the animals and those who argue wolves populations are at a level where they shouldn't be considered endangered.

In response, Gov. Mark Dayton and the state legislature pledged over $200,000 funding for "wolf damage management" work, and a compensation fund for farmers and ranchers whose livestock is attacked.

The decision by Congress on Tuesday has the approval of St. Paul-based organization Howling for Wolves, which called it a "victory for wolves and their survival for future generations."

"Congress should support ethical, effective, nonlethal preventative strategies so communities and wolves can coexist," Howling for Wolves founder Dr. Maureen Hackett said in a news release. "Minnesota has the largest and only remaining original wolf population in the lower 48 states that never went extinct, and we want to protect them for future generations."

The only way a gray wolf can be killed in Minnesota is in defense of human life and by government agents for preying on livestock.

Howling for Wolves claims that after wolf hunting resumed in Minnesota between 2011-14, the wolf population in the state decreased by 25 percent in the first year alone.

Next Up

vote, vote now

MN Supreme Court dismisses attempt to block election certification

Another legal defeat for Republicans challenging the election.

prison, Rush City cell block

Another Minnesota prison inmate dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The virus has killed at least six Minnesota inmates.

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.

sleeping

Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.

Related

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

Gray wolves in Minnesota are coming off endangered species list

The Obama administration on Wednesday said that more than 4,000 gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have recovered from the threat of extinction and will officially be removed from federal protection. Meanwhile the Minnesota DNR says it is ready to take over managing the animal. And the Associated Press looks into the wolf's still-uncertain future.