Comment Period on Revising ESA Status for Gray Wolf in Eastern U.S. Reopened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced the
reopening of the comment period on the May 5, 2011, proposed rule
to delist the gray wolf population in the Western Great Lakes and
revise the listing to remove all or parts of 29 eastern states
where the listed species did not historically occur. The action
will allow for additional public review and the inclusion of any
new information.

Gray wolves were originally listed as subspecies or as regional
populations of subspecies in the lower 48 states and Mexico under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its predecessor statutes. In
1978, the Service reclassified the gray wolf as an endangered
species across all of the lower 48 states and Mexico, except in
Minnesota where the gray wolf was classified as threatened.

In the rule issued earlier this year, USFWS proposed to remove
gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes area – which includes
Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, and portions of adjoining states
– from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
because wolves have recovered in this area and no longer require
the protection of the ESA. The Service also proposed to revise the
range of the gray wolf (Canus lupus) in all or parts of 29 eastern
states, which, based in part on recognition of the eastern wolf
(Canus lycaon) as a full species, were not part of the historical
range of the gray wolf.

The comment period for this proposed rule closed on July 5,
2011, and the Service received significant comments from states and
other stakeholders concerning North American wolf taxonomy. The
Service is seeking all information, data, and comments from the
public with respect to any new information relevant to the taxonomy
of wolves in North America.

Written comments on this proposal may be submitted by one of
the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments to Docket No.
[FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029].

U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn:
Docket No. [FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029]; Division of Policy and Directives
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive,
MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

All comments and materials, as well as supporting documentation
used in preparing the proposed rule will be made available for
public inspection.

Comments must be received on or before September 26, 2011. The
Service will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means the
agency will post any personal information provided through the
process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes.

More information is available online at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/.

 

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