DENVER — The Trump administration on Thursday ended endangered species protection for gray wolves nationwide, rankling conservationists who contend wolves still are vulnerable — and raising the stakes in Colorado’s wolf reintroduction ballot battle in next week’s election.
U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt declared wolves recovered after 45 years under federal protection, and federal wildlife officials hailed wolves as an Endangered Species Act success along with the bald eagle.
“Today’s action reflects the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to species conservation,” Bernhardt said in a statement.
This removal of wolves from the nation’s list of species facing extinction, long-fought in courts, was announced at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge five days before Colorado voters decide whether to direct state officials to reintroduce wolves on former habitat west of the Continental Divide.
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