From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 41 - January 4, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Delisting may move forward without Wyoming

by Cat Urbigkit

While there is still some discussion of a negotiated compromise that would eventually allow delisting of wolves to move forward in Wyoming, it appears the momentum for such a deal may be slowing.

At least one legislator has been working on a compromise deal that would amend Wyoming’s wolf law to expand the area where wolves would be treated as a trophy game animal, but it appears work has stalled while state officials await a written proposal from federal officials. The Wyoming Legislature will convene Jan. 9 for its general session, so amendments to state law could be debated during the session. Meanwhile, the federal government’s rejection of the state wolf plan remains in the federal court system.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is going to be prepared to move forward with delisting, either with or without Wyoming.

According to a press release from Idaho Governor Jim Risch, FWS Director Dale Hall told him that FWS is preparing a two-pronged approach for delisting wolves in Idaho and Montana. One approach includes Wyoming, if the legislature approves a new management plan in the upcoming session, and the other excludes Wyoming “if no progress is made.”

Idaho and Montana have had management plans in place for wolves in those states that have far exceeded recovery goals. FWS rejected Wyoming’s management plan and the issue is now being litigated.

Hall told Risch that FWS would publish a notice in the Federal Register by the end of January 2007 to begin the process that will remove federal protection for wolves in Idaho and Montana under the Endangered Species Act.

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