U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar is taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list in Idaho and other Western states.
Wolves have recovered and don’t need ESA protection, Salazar said. Management plans are being turned over to the states everywhere but in Wyoming, where the state’s plan still needs work, he said.
The announcement was met with praise from the Idaho congressional delegation, who, past and present, have been working to remove federal protections for gray wolves.
Gov. Butch Otter sees this as an economic boon. He thinks letting folks hunt wolves, which is part of the state’s management plan, will help the state’s $35 million hunting and fishing industry.
Rep. Walt Minnick called it a good thing, too, saying he’s been talking with the administration and other Westerners in Congress and fellow “Blue Dog Democrats.” Yeah, there’s always been some animosity between dogs and wolves.
One of the Blue Dogs is Rep. John Salazar of Colorado. Yes, he’s related to the secretary; they’re brothers.