Agency attempts to remove Great Lakes gray wolf from endangered species list
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The federal government is planning another attempt to remove gray wolves in the Great Lakes region from the endangered-species list.
An assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Thomas Strickland, says the department will release a proposal by April and hopes to make a final decision by the end of 2011.
Biologists say the wolf has made a strong comeback from near-extinction in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The government has tried three times in the last seven years to remove federal protections and return management of the region’s wolves to the states -- most recently in 2009. But federal courts have overruled the decisions in response to lawsuits by environmentalists and animal-rights groups.
Officials say they believe the new plan will withstand court challenges.
RELATED WOLF NEWS:
• Montana governor says negotiations over gray wolf’s endangered status have hit impasse
• Wolf-hunting proponents consider a new tactic: Killing gray wolves in the name of research
-- Associated Press