Congress Removes Endangered Species Protections for Gray Wolves
On April 15, 2011, President Obama signed the Department of Defense and Full-Year Appropriations Act, 2011. This marks the first time that Congress has intervened to remove an animal from the list of threatened and endangered species. A section of the Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to reissue, within 60 days of enactment, the final rule published on April 2, 2009, that identified the Northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolf as a distinct population segment and to revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife by removing most of the gray wolves in the segment. The Secretary acted on that mandate on May 5, 2011. See 76 Fed. Reg. 25590 (Thursday, May 5, 2011). The final rule allows the states, except Wyoming, to manage control of the animals. The Fish and Wildlife Service has also proposed to remove wolves in the Great Lakes region and is accepting comments on that proposal.