Feds Plan to Remove Great Lakes Wolf Designation

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- The federal government plans another attempt to remove gray wolves in the Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.

Thomas Strickland, an assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, says the department will release a proposal by April and hopes to make a final decision by the end of 2011.

Biologists say the wolf has made a strong comeback from near-extinction in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The government has tried three times in the past seven years to remove federal protections and return management of the region's wolves to the states -- most recently in 2009. But federal courts have overruled the decisions in response to lawsuits by environmentalists and animal rights groups.

Officials say they believe the new plan will withstand court challenges.


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