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Natural Resources & Energy

Wyoming Is Confident Its Wolf Management Plan Will Stand Up To Scrutiny

A gray wolf is captured by a remote camera on U.S. Forest Service land in Oregon in 2017.
U.S. Forest Service
A gray wolf is captured by a remote camera on U.S. Forest Service land in Oregon in 2017.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service said on Thursday it is initiating a comprehensive status review of the gray wolf to determine if federal protections need to be reinstated. Conservation groups petitioned the service because of aggressive wolf hunting campaigns in Montana and Idaho.

John Horning of WildEarth Guardians is hoping the service takes swift action. He said wolves are important for the ecosystem and the hunts by Mountain West states are not useful.

"Wyoming, Idaho and Montana should take a more expansive and inclusive view and not adopt regulations and rules, and in the case of legislature's, laws that seem like they are just out for blood," Horning said.

However, Wyoming officials say their management plan is working. Gov. Mark Gordon said the state's wolf population is thriving.

"Wyoming's management strategies have established predictability and stability within the wolf population," said Gordon. "And that lends credence to our balanced approach which conserves wolves and gives flexibility to landowners."

Gordon added he's confident the review will find that Wyoming's wolf management program is successful in maintaining healthy populations.

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