Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Removal will reduce mounting threat they pose to Minnesota farmers' livestock
Friday, April 15, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) backed a proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, saying the population had sufficiently recovered and was now posing a danger to Minnesota livestock and family pets.
"The benefit of removing the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act is two-fold," said Sen. Franken. "It will help reduce the growing threat that the thriving species poses to our farmers' livestock and family pets and it will ensure that government funds are being used to protect the most vulnerable species during a time when the country needs to cut back on spending." Last May,
Sen. Franken wrote a letter to the head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rowan Gould, to remove the animals from the endangered species list because wolves in the Western Great Lakes area have exceeded recovery goals and continue to thrive. The letter was cosigned by Reps. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), and John Kline (R-Minn.)
Wolf numbers total more than 4,000 animals in the three core recovery states. Minnesota's population is estimated at 2,922 wolves; there are an estimated 557 wolves in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and another 690 in Wisconsin. Each state has developed a plan to manage wolves once federal protection is no longer needed.