Lawrence Wasden (R)
Ken Salazar (D)
BOISE, Idaho (Legal Newsline)-U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to immediately remove wolves in Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list drew praise Friday from the Idaho attorney general.
Salazar removing the wolf from the endangered species list was justified by its strong comeback in the Northern Rockies and the western Great Lakes regions. Wolves elsewhere in the Lower 48 states remain on the endangered list.
"The recovery of the gray wolf throughout significant portions of its historic range is one of the great success stories of the Endangered Species Act," Salazar told reporters.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who met this week in Washington with Salazar, said the secretary's decision was the right one for wildlife.
"Our meeting provided an opportunity to fully explain to the secretary Idaho's views that immediate delisting was the appropriate course to follow," Wasden said. "I appreciate Secretary Salazar's willingness to listen to Idaho, and I commend his subsequent decision to delist wolves without further delay."
The Republican attorney general said the delisting allows the state to move forward with implementation of the state's Wolf Population Management Plan.
"The state of Idaho has fully met the federal government's requirements to delist wolves and restore state management," Wasden said. "We have provided sound science demonstrating that the goals have been fulfilled. Secretary Salazar's decision today means that Idaho can now manage wolves in a way that maintains populations of wolves and other wildlife and protects our citizens and their livestock."
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.