JACKSON, Wyo., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Wolves still generate controversy and litigation 13 years after being reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, U.S. wildlife officials say.
Environmentalists were outraged Friday by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service move to revive a 2007 plan to remove the gray wolf of the northern Rockies from the Endangered Species List.
More litigation is certain as the Wildlife Service presses forward with its belief that wolf numbers have recovered enough to let states take over their management, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
"All wolf stuff will always be in court. Wolf stuff has nothing to do with reality; it's all about symbolism." said Ed Bangs, the Service's wolf coordinator, noting wolves have been romanticized and demonized for thousands of years.
Last winter's population of 1,513 wolves in the northern Rockies has dropped and no one is sure why, Bangs said, predicting a population of about 1,450 wolves this winter, which many hunters and ranchers say is still too many, the Post reported.
In September, the gray wolf was returned to the endangered list in Minnesota after having been removed in 2007.