WGF Releases Statement on Federal Re-listing of Wolves

WI Green Fire, February 18, 2022

Credits: Crystal SAGNIEZ via Pixabay

On February 10, 2022, a Federal Judge ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s November 2020 rule that de-listed wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act was “vacated and remanded.” This reversal on de-listing is the fifth time since 2007 that gray wolves have been re-listed as federally endangered in Wisconsin. The re-listing has numerous consequences in Wisconsin and surrounding states, including prohibiting public hunting and trapping and limiting lethal control of wolves by government agencies and private landowners in Wisconsin.

Despite this recent re-listing of Wisconsin’s wolves to a federally endangered species, recent history has shown that the legal status of wolves can change again anytime. WGF wildlife experts have developed the following recommendations to promote scientifically sound wolf conservation in Wisconsin:

  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) should continue work without delay to complete the development of an updated wolf conservation plan for Wisconsin.
  • New legislation is needed to restore authority and responsibility to WDNR for managing wolves, consistent with our long-standing and successful model for wildlife management with robust public participation and science-based management tools.
  • WDNR should continue developing a permanent rule for wolf management in Wisconsin.
  • Specifically, a new wolf rule must develop a management structure that addresses the multiple failures of process and outcomes that occurred during the February 2021 wolf hunt.

Read WGF’s full statement here.