The Department of Interior recently announced intentions to delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species List in the continental United States. Kelly Susewind, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), agrees with that action.
According to the latest WDFW report, there are a minimum of 126 wolves, 27 packs and 15 successful breeding pairs in Washington which is above objective.
“The Department finds the USFWS proposal to remove gray wolves from the federal List of endangered and Threatened Wildlife and return management authority in the western two-thirds of Washington to the Department appropriate and timely,” Susewind wrote in his letter as reported by the Spokesman Review. “The state of Washington is well prepared to be the management authority for wolves statewide and would be pleased to see limited federal resources directed to other species still critically in need.”
Susewind also wrote the goal of the Endangered Species Act is to assist species on the verge of extinction of which wolves in Washington are not.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation agrees with Susewind and maintains that wolves should be managed by state wildlife agencies just as they manage elk, mountain lions, deer, bears and other species.
(Photo source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)