Author: Damien M. Schiff
Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that it was filing a petition to delist the Wisconsin subpopulation of the Western Great Lakes distinct population segment (DPS) of gray wolf from the protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The petition argues that the wolf has recovered to sustainable populations, and that Wisconsin has adequate management measures in place. (Interestingly, the wolf was originally protected only in Minnesota, but over the years the Minnesota wolves have wandered over to Wisconsin and Michigan, and apparently like it enough to stay).
Wisconsin's petition is just the latest in a long line of legal and regulatory actions concerning this species, some of which we've covered on The Liberty Blog (see, e.g., here and here). The Service attempted to delist the DPS several years ago, was stopped by an environmentalist lawsuit that resulted in a remand, attempted again to delist, was stopped again by an environmentalist lawsuit that resulted in the wolf's relisting. In March, Minnesota petitioned to delist the wolf in that state, where it is listed as threatened (it's listed as endangered in Wisconsin). The Wisconsin petition joins in the Minnesota petition.