BRAINERD, Minn. – Federal officials are weighing testimony from the only public hearing in the country on the government’s latest attempt to take gray wolves off the endangered and threatened species list.
The proposal would return management of the wolves to the states, potentially subjecting them to hunting and trapping. In most states it’s illegal to kill a wolf unless it’s threatening a person.
Officials explained at the hearing Tuesday night in the east-central Minnesota city of Brainerd that they no longer consider gray wolves endangered. They’ve made a dramatic recovery since they were protected in 1974.
But supporters of the protections said removal is premature. While wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and the northern Rockies have rebounded, they haven’t fully recovered across their historic range.