|A gray wolf and pups in California's Lassen National Forest (U.S. Forest Service trail camera photo via Washington Post)|
“After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in announcing the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Fears reports, "The population is up from 1,000 when gray wolves were listed as endangered starting in 1967, officials said. But their population is still so depleted that thousands of acres of historical wolf habitat in Utah, Colorado and Maine is uninhabited by any wolves, conservationists said."
This is "the second time in the last decade that federal wildlife officials have tried to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list, where they say the animals no longer belong now that they’re thriving in the wild," notes Anna Phillips of the Los Angeles Times. "Like the previous attempt, which took place under the Obama administration, this latest effort is expected to face legal challenges."