Wolves Lose Federal Protections Under New Ruling by Interior

Bush Administration Rule Leads to Wolves Removal from Endangered Species List

CHICAGO (March 6, 2009) – The Secretary of the Interior announced today that he will remove the gray wolf from the federal Endangered Species List in Montana and Idaho, as well as the western Great Lakes region. Wolves in the state of Wyoming will remain under Endangered Species Act protection due to federal concern over the inadequacy of the state’s management plan.

The State of Idaho recently proposed killing 200 wolves within their borders.

Following are comments from Andrew Wetzler, Director of NRDC’s Endangered Species Project:

“The Department of Interior's decision affirms a flawed Bush Administration policy that is unsupported by law or science. When the Bush Administration removed protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies last year, it resulted in the death of over 100 wolves. We plan to challenge this issue in court to prevent the same thing from happening again in the region.”

“We urge the new Secretary of Interior to hit the reset button and look at this issue from a sound, national approach for the species. We are close to creating conditions necessary for a real recovery for wolves; but this is a setback for this goal. We will continue to call for a more productive approach by this administration to establish strong protections for wolves in this region and throughout the United States.”

Broadcast quality wolf video is available to members of the media at http://nrdc.mediaseed.tv/