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Feds Reinstate Great Lakes Gray Wolf Protections

WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reinstated Endangered Species Act protections for the western Great Lakes and Wyoming gray wolf populations, in compliance with court orders.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Sept. 23, ordered reinstatement of protections conferred April 2, 2009 for the Wyoming gray wolf as a nonessential experimental population.

Dec. 19, the Court reinstated the March 9, 1978 USFWS listing rule as it relates to gray wolves in the western Great Lakes including endangered status for gray wolves in all of Wisconsin and Michigan, the eastern half of North Dakota and South Dakota, the northern half of Iowa, the northern parts of Illinois and Indiana, and the northwestern part of Ohio, threatened status for gray wolves in Minnesota, critical habitat for gray wolves in Minnesota and Michigan, and the rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA specifically for gray wolves in Minnesota.

The court order regarding wolves in the western Great Lakes had legal effect immediately upon its filing, Dec. 19.

Gray wolves in Montana, Idaho, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and north-central Utah retain their delisted status and are not impacted by this final rule.

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