Premature Gray Wolf Delisting

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2002



On November 3, 2020 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("FWS") issued "Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife" ("Final Rule") delisting the gray wolf in forty-eight states, except for the Mexican gray wolf in the Southwest.2 This Final Rule returned gray wolf management to the states. Wolf delisting was a last-minute gift from the Trump administration to conservative voters, particularly hunters, trappers, and livestock owners right before the November 2020 presidential election. Hunters and trappers view the wolf as a competitor for the game that they want to kill, while livestock owners fear wolf depredation of their stock. It was also the culmination of a twenty-year effort by the FWS to delist the gray wolf.

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