Field & Stream: Wolf Delisted: This Time They Got It Right

Effective today, the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes states will be taken off the Endangered Species List and placed under the management of the states like the rest of our valued wildlife.

The wolf issue has been a long struggle, and a wild ride here in the Rocky Mountains. People in the West have been exhausted by what Montana Wildlife Federation’s Ben Lamb once called, “the absolute intransigence of both sides, the wolf huggers over here and the shoot-shovel-shut up crowd over there, leering at each other and making smart remarks while everybody else is left trying to find a solution.” Senator Jon Tester of Montana and Representative Alan Simpson of Idaho have done a tremendous job in walking right into the middle of a blistering debate and creating a solution. It is a solution hated by the most radical environmental groups, and deemed unacceptable by the perpetually furious anti-wolf crowd. So it is probably just about dead-on.

The hunters who come to the Field and Stream website know what a monumental day this is, both for us, for big game, and for the gray wolf. Because wolf re-introduction, however hotly contested it has been, is a remarkable success story of the recovery of a species, and a species that almost no other nation on earth would have tried to recover. Love them or hate them, or just feel, as I do that, as the old saying goes about difficult people, “the world needs a few of them, even if it can’t take a lot of them.”

The solution crafted by Senator Tester and Representative Simpson, and adopted by the Department of Interior, effective May 5th, returns the wolves to state management in Idaho and Montana, and will allow state management in parts of Utah, Oregon, and Washington as the wolves expand their ranges into and within those areas.

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