FWS formally reinstates protections for grey wolf
73 Fed. Reg. 75356 / Vol. 73, No. 239 / Thursday, December 11, 2008 / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reinstatement of Protections for the Gray Wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Northern Rocky Mountains in Compliance With Court Orders
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are issuing this final rule to comply with three court orders which have the effect of reinstating the regulatory protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the western Great Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountains. This rule corrects the gray wolf listing at 50 CFR 17.11 to reinstate the listing of wolves in all of Wisconsin and Michigan, the eastern half of North Dakota and South Dakota, the northern half of Iowa, the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, the northwestern portion of Ohio, the northern half of Montana, the northern panhandle of Idaho, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and in north-central Utah as endangered, and reinstate the listing of wolves in Minnesota as threatened. This rule also reinstates the former designated critical habitat in 50 CFR 17.95(a) for gray wolves in Minnesota and Michigan, special regulations in 50 CFR 17.40(d) for the gray wolf in Minnesota, and special rules in 50 CFR 17.84 designating the gray wolf in the remainder of Montana and Idaho and all of Wyoming as nonessential experimental populations. This action revises the CFR to comply with three court orders. In addition, this final rule takes additional administrative action that removes archaic provisions from the gray wolf special regulation at 50 CFR 17.84(i) and makes corrections to the gray wolf special regulation at § 17.84(n) by removing language referring to a Western DPS. DATES: This action is effective December 11, 2008. However, the court orders had legal effect immediately upon their filing on July 18, 2008, September 29, 2008, and October 14, 2008.
Wolf photo from FWS.