Feds restore protected status for Great Lakes wolves
Traverse City — Gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region are protected by federal law once more.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a rule Friday designating wolves in Michigan and Wisconsin as “endangered” and those in Minnesota as “threatened.”
The rule complies with a federal judge’s order in December that overruled the agency’s earlier decision to revoke wolves’ protected status and hand management authority to the states.
It means sport hunting and trapping of Great Lakes wolves is no longer permissible.
A spokesman says the agency hasn’t decided whether to appeal the court ruling. Legislation to overturn it has been introduced in Congress.
More than 50 scientists this week signed a letter to Congress saying wolves occupy a small fraction of their former range and still need legal protection.