|Written by Dan Kraker, MPR News,
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on
June 30 rejected a petition to classify the gray wolf as threatened
under the federal Endangered Species Act.
In most states, wolves are listed as
endangered and can only be killed for threatening a human life. But
in Minnesota, where there are about 2,400 wolves, they are listed as
threatened, and federal trappers can kill wolves within a half mile
of a verified attack on pets or livestock.
In 2012, the Fish and Wildlife Service
removed federal protections for the wolf in the Great Lakes region.
But in December a judge reversed that decision.
When proposals emerged in Congress to
remove wolves from endangered species protection altogether, the
Humane Society of the United States asked the federal government to
classify wolves everywhere as threatened.
The group called that a compromise
between the more restrictive endangered listing for wolves and
removing wolves from that list.
"This is something that we think
you could extend throughout the country," said Ralph Henry, a
Humane Society attorney. "It would alleviate a lot of the
pressure that we're seeing, especially in the most populated areas
like Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin."
The Fish and Wildlife Service said the
petitioners didn't demonstrate that reclassifying the wolf was
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