Federal officials reject threatened status for wolves


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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