By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says he expects the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes to come off the endangered species list by the end of this year.
About five months ago, fish and wildlife proposed delisting the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The agency later extended the comment period for the proposal. That led to some concern at the Wisconsin DNR, which favors delisting, as it wants more ways to handle problem wolves especially in the northern part of the state. But over the weekend, fish and wildlife director Dan Ashe said he expects the wolf delisting to go ahead within a couple of months.
Ashe says he’s pretty sure the wolf plan could withstand a legal challenge from any wildlife group that says it’s too soon to removed endangered species protection from the gray wolf in the upper Midwest.
Ashe says he thinks wildlife groups may not sue to block delisting again, even though the groups have succeeded doing so before.