The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a petition that would reclassify most gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act as “threatened” throughout the contiguous United States. The proposal, which was filed by The Humane Society of the United States and 21 other conservation and wolf protection organizations in January 2015, offered a pathway for a reasonable compromise between the current more restrictive “endangered” listing for wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming, and the efforts by some anti-wolf politicians in Congress to strip wolves of all protections entirely. A “threatened” listing would have continued federal oversight and funding of wolf recovery efforts, but also would have given federal, state and local wildlife managers more flexibility to address specific wolf conflicts such as livestock depredation. Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer of The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement:

"We are disappointed in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision not to consider this middle-ground approach to wolf management. A threatened listing is a reasonable compromise to this contentious issue, and it retains some federal protection for wolves, while providing more flexibility to the states in dealing with the occasional problem wolf. We need practical solutions, not to turn back the clock to the days of widespread hound hunting, baiting and trapping of hundreds of wolves in states with hostile and reckless wolf management policies.”

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