Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gray wolf no longer endangered

By Mckenna Kohlenberg

Wisconsin federal legislators lobbied Monday to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list after their recent increase in population.
In a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, and the other Wisconsin congressmen said the Wisconsin gray wolf population has returned to an ecologically manageable size and therefore should be removed from the Endangered Species list.
The Wisconsin gray wolf population, which is estimated to be between 782 and 824, now exceeds the federal recovery goal of 100 and the Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan of 350. Legislators argue this population revival more than justifies the wolf's removal from the list of endangered species.
The species has recovered so well that the wolves now struggle with a significant decrease in space.
Lawmakers highlighted the threat gray wolves have posed to local farmers. They said the wolves have impeded on farmers land and were responsible for the deaths of 75 livestock animals from 47 different farms.
Baldwin, the author of the letter, commended the bipartisan effort to "protect Wisconsin's people and property in a vibrant ecosystem."
"The resurgence of the gray wolf in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region is a stunning success story for the Endangered Species Act and a lesson in exceptional wildlife management," Baldwin said in a statement.
Legislators said through careful management, the state of Wisconsin can both protect Wisconsin residents and preserve a once nearly diminished specie.

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