Yesterday, just after he became President, Barack Obama ordered all federal agencies to withdraw any regulations proposed by the Bush Administration that had not yet been officially published or gone into effect. President Obama's order is similar to one issued by President Bush when he entered the White House.
So far as wolves are concerned, this is a stay of execution. The Bush Administration's plan to strip wolves of Endangered Species Act protections has not yet been published. But it is only a temporary reprieve. The Obama Administration will be conducting a "legal and policy review" of all the frozen regulations. It thus falls to conservationists to convince the President that wolves still need protection. I'm confident that this is an argument we can win. The new Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, has already publicly committed that the Administration will rely on sound science when managing wildlife and, in this case, both the legal and the scientific evidence is clear: gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains are not yet recovered.