WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- The gray wolf will be removed from the Endangered Species Act in most of its range, the U.S. Interior Department said Wednesday.
Saying the canines have increased and are no longer at risk, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule to delist the wolves in the Western Great Lakes region -- mainly Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin -- and a final rule delisting them in the Northern Rockies -- Idaho, Montana and parts of Oregon, Washington and Utah. Gray wolves will remain listed in Wyoming for the time being.
A hearing on delisting the wolves in the Western Great Lakes is set for May 18 in Ashland, Wis.
On June 8, a hearing is planned in Augusta, Maine, on removing gray wolves from the list in 29 Eastern states, based on information that they were not historically native there. A newly recognized eastern wolf species will be studied.
"The recovery of the gray wolf is another success story of the Endangered Species Act," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.
"We will be applying the Endangered Species Act's post-delisting monitoring requirements to ensure that wolf populations remain robust while under state wildlife management," Deputy Secretary David Hayes said.