Brainerd playing host to USFWS public hearing on proposed wolf delisting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting a public hearing to take comments on the agency’s proposal to remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife on June 25 in Brainerd, Minn. And as more than a million public comments have already come in, the 480-seat Franklin Arts Center auditorium in Brainerd, in north-central Minnesota, is expected to be jam-packed.

The hearing will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the auditorium, 1001 Kingwood Street, Brainerd. The hearing will begin with a presentation and question-and-answer session at 6:30 p.m., with the formal public hearing following at 7 p.m. Prior to the hearing, the public is invited to an open house beginning at 5 p.m., where USFWS staff will be available to discuss the proposal and answer questions. Written comments will also be accepted. Those unable to attend the hearing may submit comments electronically or by mail.

The Federal Register notice provides additional detailed information on how the public can submit written comments and information. Comments already submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule, the USFWS said in a news release. Instructions on how to submit comments are provided here (Docket Number: FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0097). More information is available here.

On March 15, the USFWS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to remove all gray wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and announced the opening of a 60-day public comment period on the proposed action, ending May 14. In response to requests, the USFWS extended the comment period until July 15 to allow interested parties additional time to comment on the proposal and to allow for a public hearing.

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