Federal agency debates removing gray wolves from endangered species list

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 20:11:27-04

(WXYZ) — According to the federal government, right now there are 4,400 wolves in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. However, animal advocates say they all need protecting.

"Wolves are a fantastic and majestic predator," said Bee Friedlander, with Attorneys for Animals. "They're an important part of nature."

Attorneys for Animals is a nonprofit made up of lawyers and animal advocates. Friedlander says it's important to try and save gray wolves across the country and here in Michigan.

They're on the endangered species list, however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has again proposed it be taken off that list.

"We have read the science and it's conflicting," Friedlander said. "We believe that the population of wolves now is fragile; on brink of extinction."

Friedlander says if the gray wolves are de-listed, then they would be under state management and she worries that could lead to hunting and poaching. The U.S. Fish and wildlife sercive says gray wolves in the western Great Lakes have reached and exceeded recovery goals for a number of years.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is calling on the service to abandon what she calls "a flawed proposal on gray wolves."

Saying this is the 10th attempt to remove them from the list in less than 20 years. Friedlander says she just wants this fragile population to flourish.

"They unfortunately have become very politicized," Friedlander said. "We feel we have to speak up."

U.S. Fish and Wildlife service says it has taken public comment, which it will analyze. It has until next March to make a decision.