New federal wolf rule in effect
by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service press release
March 8, 2008
The 2008 revised special rule (10j) under the Endangered Species Act governing the management of gray wolves introduced in the Central Idaho and Yellowstone areas of the northern Rocky Mountains is now in effect.
The revision, published in the Federal Register on January 27, 2008, allows the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and all Indian reservations in the experimental population areas within those States more flexibility to manage wolves to ensure the health of wild populations and herds of elk and other ungulates, as well as to protect private property. In addition to the greatly increased management flexibility in the 2005 experimental rule, which has been in effect since 2004 in Idaho and Montana, this new modification also applies to all of Wyoming because they also now have an approved State wolf management plan.
The revision was made to the Service’s 2005 special rule, which governs management of wolves reintroduced in these areas as nonessential experimental populations under section 10(j) of the Act. In general, the revised 10(j) special rule:
(1) Expands the circumstances under which wolf removal is allowed in order to meet established state or tribal population management goals for wild elk and other ungulates.
(2) Enables individuals on private or public land to lethally take a wolf that is in the act of attacking their stock animals or dogs, under certain circumstances.
These modifications do not apply outside the Yellowstone or central Idaho nonessential experimental population areas or in National Parks.
Once the final rule to delist the northern Rocky Mountain population becomes effective, this special rule becomes moot. However, if the delisting rule is enjoined, this special rule will remain in effect.