Gray Wolf Put Back On Endangered Species List in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan

Brother Wolf, photo by Jim Brandenburg

In a ruling Monday, a federal court judge overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to take wolves off the endangered species list last year. In what hopefully indicates a trend for gray wolf re-listing, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman contended that the USFWS should not have simultaneously designated a distinct population of wolves and delisted them.

Friedman, who defended his decision to reporters soon after the ruling, said that the USFWS decision last year wasn’t clearly supported by the language or purpose of the Endangered Species Act.

“Little confusion or inefficiency will result from reinstating a regulatory regime that was in place from 1978 to 2007, particularly given the fact that state and federal wolf management authorities have been working in tandem for years,” Friedman wrote.

For almost three decades until their delisting in 2007, gray wolves, or timber wolves, had been listed as threatened in Minnesota and endangered in the other two states- they are now back to that protected status, although there are those who would certainly wish to see them de-listed once again.