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US wildlife officials aim to remove wolf protections in 2020

US wildlife officials aim to remove wolf protections in 2020
Posted at 11:24 AM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 13:24:44-04

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Trump administration plans to lift endangered species protections for gray wolves across most of the nation by the end of the year.

“We’re working hard to have this done by the end of the year and I’d say it’s very imminent,” Aurelia Skipwith, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday.

More than 6,000 wolves now roam portions of the western Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains.

The Fish and Wildlife Service last year proposed dropping the wolf from the endangered list in the lower 48 states, exempting a small population of Mexican wolves in the Southwest.

It was the latest of numerous attempts to return management authority to the states — moves that courts have repeatedly rejected after opponents filed lawsuits.

Director Skipwith told The Associated Press in a phone interview that the administration also is pushing ahead with a rollback of protections for migratory birds despite a recent setback in federal court.