The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation strongly agrees with a recent decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that gray wolves will remain off the federal Endangered Species List. The Biden administration filed on August 20, 2021, in favor of the final rule delisting all gray wolves in the Lower 48. Director of Communications at RMEF Mark Holyoak explains.

“When it comes to wildlife management, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has always strongly supported state management of wolves, bears, mountain lions, and prey alike, elk, deer, antelope, etcetera,” Holyoak said. “We believe this is a good ruling and it fits best for what is happening on the landscape.”

According to Holyoak, scientists have said for several decades that wolves are biologically recovered.

“The Biden administration, the scientists and biologists there, said it was the case,” Holyoak said. “Before that, the Trump administration did and before that, the Obama administration did. Wolves have met the delisting criteria, they are recovered, and it is time to let the state agencies manage them like they manage all other wildlife.”

Holyoak said there are folks out there that believe wolves should be returned to their entire historic range.

“That’s not what the endangered species is about,” Holyoak said. “The endangered species act is about bringing a species back to a point where it is considered recovered. We saw this with bald eagles. Once they get to that point, they are removed from the ESA and they are no longer subject to stringent regulations there. It is up to the state agencies to take over. That has worked out great with the bald eagles and we believe the same holds true with wolves.”

According to RMEF, wolf populations are well above state and federal management goals in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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