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Minnesota’s wolves have returned to the federal threatened species list following a federal judge’s ruling Monday that rescinded a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2007 decision to delist the western Great Lakes population of gray wolves.

The gray wolf, commonly referred to as the timber wolf, was removed from the threatened species list in March 2007 and management of the wolf population became a state responsibility. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) managed wolves under the terms of a federally approved state wolf management plan.

The judge’s Sept. 29 ruling places wolves back under federal protection and management.

“As a result of this ruling, Minnesotans need to know there is no legal way for an individual to kill a wolf except in the defense of human life,” said Dan Stark, DNR wolf management specialist. “Taking wolves to protect domestic animals may only be done by agents of the government.

“This was a technical legal decision that focused on federal rule-making procedures and will require the federal government to revisit its processes,” Stark said. “The ruling had nothing to do with the status of Minnesota’s wolf population or the adequacy of state management.”

A survey last winter showed that an estimated 2,921 gray wolves live in Minnesota, which continues to rank second only to Alaska in wolf population among U. S. states. Minnesota’s wolf population surpasses the federal delisting goal of 1,251-1,400 wolves. The state has one of the highest wolf densities recorded anywhere, indicating that Minnesota’s wolf population is fully recovered, according to the DNR.

All wolf damage complaints should be reported to a local conservation officer, who will make appropriate contact with federal authorities. Only an authorized agent of the government is authorized to take wolves that cause damage.

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It doesn't in my mind make any sense... We have a big population and the population needs to be controlled..

Is it any different than Elk hunting out west, mountain lion hunting, bear, deer, or any other big game that needs to be controlled.

The wolf population is at a level that should be controlled and a season with zones/lottery needs to be implemented.

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Agreed PRFISHER, but the animal rights activists have found this to be an easy target. It also gives them an easier victory to brag about. Just find the right judge and they have a chance.

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I have seen wolf tracks in Carlos Avery before, that was a couple years ago. I think it is time the feds revise the ESA, the Bald Eagles have been removed but some peolpe still can't build on there land.

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This recent ruling on wolves is pure nonsense, as was the Linx ruling a month or two back. There are all kinds of examples where the Endangered Species Act (well intended and useful when originally passed)has been manipulated for anti-hunting, anti-trapping, animal rights objectives.

The ESA has been successful in protecting and bringing species back from pecariously low levels. If these advocates were really concerned about these populations they would be celebrating the recovery of populations and happy when they could be removed from the list. It really exposes their true motives.

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not that I dont' think we have too many wolves,

but to state " I saw wolf tracks" is dumb without any other verification of it being a wolf such as:

common range

hair/bones in scat

deer kill

etc

I do remember a Biology Professor who taught a Mammology class I took during Wildlife Management classes in college answering my question, "Can you tell the difference between wolf tracks and tracks of a similar sized dog/canine?"

He said, "Absolutely not, you need some other kind of clue."

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The key point in the article posted is that wolf density has not just surpassed the delisting goal, it has more than doubled the delisting goal. If you understand how population estimates are generated you know there is a wide range of confidence intervals around the estimate. So the actual population, if it is at the lower end of the range, most likely still exceeds the delisting goal. If it is near the upper end of the range may be three or more times the delisting goal.

So I ask again, how many is enough?

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My other clues were these. Wild k9's generaly travel in straight lines were as domestics tend to go in circles or zig zag. Domestics usualy are accompamied with there owners, this was with snow on the ground and there were only wolf tracks, a pair of wolf tracks. I know how big coyote tracks are and these were much bigger. Have you ever been in the north woods and come upon wolf tracks? I have many times. Also wild k9's put one foot in front of another, so the straddle is a few inches, dogs have a much wider straddle. Common range means nothing with an expanding population, ther is no dought in my mind that the wolf population is expanding. Chisago Co. is right on the edge of the wolves common range. At the time the DNR was asking people to report wolf sitings and tracks to update there "common range".

Good Luck,

Dave

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The range has definitely expanded! Several years back I saw a wolf just south of Highway 50 SSE of Forest Lake. Had him in the binocs for about 10 minutes as he cruised a field edge.

Putting wolves back on the list here in Minnesota is yet another example of the ESA run amok, and Exhibit A in why the ESA should see some serious reform, if not outright repeal.

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PRFISHER, do you know what specifically led to the re-listing, I mean what justification was used? It sounds a bit like the judge felt the feds didn't use the right procedure from what you posted, but by saying that I'm inferring a lot from a little.

While I very much want wolves to be a part of the world up in this part of Minnesota, I think de-listing was the right thing to do, and I still think that. There are plenty of wolves. My philosophy is that they don't belong in urban and farm country. Leave them alone up here, hunt or otherwise remove them from livestock/farm country and urban areas.

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stfcatfish,

The re-listing, or actually Un-de-listing, is a classic example of a moving target. The judge ruled that simply meeting population recovery goals in MN (and Wis and Mich I believe?) is not adequate. Those who brought the suit argued that the species is still threatend unless they are recovered across their historic range. Of course that is impossible and not even desirable given the changes in landscape and human habitation, but that is exactly their objective. Those recovery goals will never be met thus the wolf will never be delisted. These people have no interest or desire for ever delisting. Recovery is not the objective, infinite protection is the objective.

This is why some of us lean a bit conservative, since the folks that orchestrate this type of [PoorWordUsage] tend to reside pretty far on the left end of the spectrum.

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Thanks. I lean liberal on some things, conservative on others. If I thought the wolf was still truly threatened, I'd fight tooth and nail to keep it on the list. Since it's not threatened at all in any meaningful sense, it's stupid to put it back on the list.

I oppose extremists, whether they dress to the left or to the right. All those people hear are their own voices.

Sounds to me like the Sierra Club (or whoever decided to file the suit) picked the right judge. It'll be interesting to see where it goes on appeal. Since lawyers are involved, I'm assuming there WILL be an appeal and all those nice fat billable hours.

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I'd be right next to you in protecting wolves if they needed it. The Endangered species act was a good thing. Too bad it has been used for furthering misguided agendas.

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Back off the list

http://www.bwcaboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=28#p2438

Re: Grey Wolf to be Taken Off Minnesota Endangered List

by PaddlerJimmy on Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:37 pm

Court gives wolf control back to feds

John Myers

Duluth News Tribune - 09/29/2008

Management of timber wolves in the Great Lakes region has been handed back to the federal government under a federal court decision released today in Washington.

The ruling means that killing a wolf for nearly any reason in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin immediately becomes illegal under federal law once again. The states had set up exceptions allowing some wolf killing by landowners, farmers and others.

Environmental and animal rights groups that had opposed taking wolves off the endangered species list claimed victory on Monday.

The decision by Judge Paul Friedman ruled that the federal government’s effort to remove only Great Lakes region wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act, as a distinct population segment, was not supported by biology or law.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moved in 2006 to remove wolves from the endangered species list and give control to state Departments of Natural Resources in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The agency concluded that wolves had recovered from near-extinction in the 1960s and 1970s and had met the goals to restore their population in the region.

For the past two years, wolves have been under state management in those states. In addition to government trapping, all three states had allowed slightly more liberal wolf killing by livestock farmers, pet owners and landowners. Wisconsin officials also were mulling a wolf hunt at some point, while Minnesota had put that issue off until at least 2011.

But all those state plans now are on hold.

Filing suit against the de-listing effort were the Humane Society of the United States, Help Our Wolves Live, Born Free USA and Friends of Animals and Their Environment, who said wolves should be handled as a contiguous population. They argued that, because wolves still haven’t been restored to most of their historic range, the animal should keep its federal protection.

The groups oppose efforts by some states to move toward hunting and trapping seasons.

“Even across the three Great Lakes states, wolves aren’t recovered in all areas. And then there are all the other states that had wolf populations but no longer do,’’ Brian O’Neill, lead attorney for the Twin Cities-based Faegre & Benson law firm that handled the case for the groups, told the News Tribune. “If you ask me, 4,000 wolves are not that many across such a large area. ... And we see all three states with (wolf management plans) that could essentially cut the number of wolves in half. That’s not an acceptable situation.’’

Minnesota has about 3,000 wolves while Wisconsin and Michigan each have about 500 or more. But Minnesota’s wolf population has stopped growing and has even shrunk in recent years, a state survey found last winter, and has not grown in geographic area over the past decade as some wolf experts had predicted.

In July, a federal judge in Montana overturned a similar decision stripping wolves of all federal protection in the Rocky Mountain region, thus preventing Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from implementing wolf hunts as well.

This is good news folks.

Good Luck,

Dave

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Back off the list

http://www.bwcaboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=28#p2438

Re: Grey Wolf to be Taken Off Minnesota Endangered List

by PaddlerJimmy on Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:37 pm

Court gives wolf control back to feds

John Myers

Duluth News Tribune - 09/29/2008

Management of timber wolves in the Great Lakes region has been handed back to the federal government under a federal court decision released today in Washington.

The ruling means that killing a wolf for nearly any reason in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin immediately becomes illegal under federal law once again. The states had set up exceptions allowing some wolf killing by landowners, farmers and others.

Environmental and animal rights groups that had opposed taking wolves off the endangered species list claimed victory on Monday.

The decision by Judge Paul Friedman ruled that the federal government’s effort to remove only Great Lakes region wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act, as a distinct population segment, was not supported by biology or law.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moved in 2006 to remove wolves from the endangered species list and give control to state Departments of Natural Resources in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The agency concluded that wolves had recovered from near-extinction in the 1960s and 1970s and had met the goals to restore their population in the region.

For the past two years, wolves have been under state management in those states. In addition to government trapping, all three states had allowed slightly more liberal wolf killing by livestock farmers, pet owners and landowners. Wisconsin officials also were mulling a wolf hunt at some point, while Minnesota had put that issue off until at least 2011.

But all those state plans now are on hold.

Filing suit against the de-listing effort were the Humane Society of the United States, Help Our Wolves Live, Born Free USA and Friends of Animals and Their Environment, who said wolves should be handled as a contiguous population. They argued that, because wolves still haven’t been restored to most of their historic range, the animal should keep its federal protection.

The groups oppose efforts by some states to move toward hunting and trapping seasons.

“Even across the three Great Lakes states, wolves aren’t recovered in all areas. And then there are all the other states that had wolf populations but no longer do,’’ Brian O’Neill, lead attorney for the Twin Cities-based Faegre & Benson law firm that handled the case for the groups, told the News Tribune. “If you ask me, 4,000 wolves are not that many across such a large area. ... And we see all three states with (wolf management plans) that could essentially cut the number of wolves in half. That’s not an acceptable situation.’’

Minnesota has about 3,000 wolves while Wisconsin and Michigan each have about 500 or more. But Minnesota’s wolf population has stopped growing and has even shrunk in recent years, a state survey found last winter, and has not grown in geographic area over the past decade as some wolf experts had predicted.

In July, a federal judge in Montana overturned a similar decision stripping wolves of all federal protection in the Rocky Mountain region, thus preventing Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from implementing wolf hunts as well.

This is good news folks.

Good Luck,

Dave

Fishermuskie or Dave,

Can you please explain your post. Starts of with

"Back off the list"

and

"Re: Grey Wolf to be Taken Off Minnesota Endangered List"

Then you follow that up with the article describing how the Judge has overturned the delisting.

So are you saying that it is good news that wolves are back under total protection under the Federal Endangered Species list?

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Makes me wonder if possible or proposed hunting seasons were the real impetus for the suit.

Of course it is about the possibility of wolves being hunted again. These groups are far more anti-hunting than they are pro-wolf.

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Sorry I was confused, I thought they were removed from the ESA list but I guess I was wrong.

No problem, I thought maybe you were confused. Actually the one who is wrong here is Judge Paul Friedman. Also, I wish they would print the names of the Environmental and Animal Rights groups who brought this suit. They should at least be held accountable for their tranparent agendas.

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Walleye101, I figured as much about the anti-hunting, especially with the Humane Society of the United States involving itself.

If Friedman's "logic" is extended to its likely result, the wolf will never be taken off the list because it will never occupy all its former range, and so never will be "recovered" enough to de-list. No doubt that's the goal of those groups.

Completely nonsensical. We live in today's world, and so must the wolf. The range once occupied by the wolf is moot.

Anyone hear of any appeal planned?

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I think the State of Minnesota and Wisconsin are looking into an appeal. There rational is that only the State in which they administer is subject to the "range" aspect. Meaning, they can not control if the wolf moves into Iowa, S. Dakota or any other state; they only can control their own state and range thereof.

It would not make sense to have 50,000 wolves in Minnesota and no where else.

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I think the State of Minnesota and Wisconsin are looking into an appeal. There rational is that only the State in which they administer is subject to the "range" aspect. Meaning, they can not control if the wolf moves into Iowa, S. Dakota or any other state; they only can control their own state and range thereof.

It would not make sense to have 50,000 wolves in Minnesota and no where else.

I agree it would make no sense, but when has common sense applied to court rulings.

In this case I am not sure the States can appeal, since the ruling was against the US F&W Service decision to remoeve the Wolf from the ESA listing. Wouldn't the Fed's need to appeal since they were the ones ordered to re-list the wolf?

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