WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar affirmed Friday the government's decision to remove gray wolves from special protection in parts of the United States.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced in January that the gray wolf was being removed from threatened and endangered species lists in the western Great Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountain states of Idaho and Montana and parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah. The new Obama administration, however, had agreed to review the decision.
"The recovery of the gray wolf throughout significant portions of its historic range is one of the great success stories of the Endangered Species Act," Salazar said in a statement. "When it was listed as endangered in 1974, the wolf had almost disappeared from the continental United States. Today, we have more than 5,500 wolves, including more than 1,600 in the Rockies."
Gray wolves will remain protected in Wyoming and other parts of the continental United States.
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