The agency claims that the Gray Wolf’s population has been “restored” to its historic range and no longer needs federal protection despite their continued absence from the Northeast and the Adirondacks, along with parts of the Pacific Northwest and other areas of the Mountain West, which are parts of the wolf’s historic range. The Endangered Species Act says that the Gray Wolf must be protected throughout its historic range.
The delisting would leave wolves that might naturally return to the Adirondacks without any significant federal protection and susceptible to new hunting and trapping regulations. The wolf is considered a missing critical component of the regional ecology of the Adirondack Park and one of the key apex predators that once called the Adirondacks home.
Comments on the plan to delist the wolf are being accepted by the Fish and Wildlife Service until December 17, 2013. Comments can be submitted here.
Photo of a captive wolf by Larry Master.