House Takes Step to End Protection for Gray Wolves

The House of Representatives voted Friday, Nov. 16, to end more than 40 years of legal protections for gray wolves in the continental United States.

The action comes as the US Fish and Wildlife Service is studying the wolves’ status and is expected to say that they no longer need protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The Republican-controlled House bill, approved 196-180, goes to the Senate.

Although the Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to remove gray wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act, the House bill would make that policy law and restrict judicial review of listings under the act.

Since the wolves gained protection in 1974, their numbers have increased in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the northern Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest. An estimated 5,000 wolves roam the lower 48 states.

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