Oregon wildlife head backs delisting of wolves as endangered

FILE - This March 13, 2014 file photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after it was fitted with a tracking collar. The director of Oregon's wildlife department has told the federal government the state agency supports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list, drawing fire from conservation groups and an Oregon congressman.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal proposal to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list has divided states in the West, and has even exposed conflicting views among top officials in Oregon.

The governor, after slapping down a stance taken by the state's top wildlife official supporting delisting the wolf, said Thursday it's critically important that range-wide recovery efforts for wolves across the West be maintained.

California has formally opposed the Trump administration's proposal to end federal wolf protection across the country. Washington state recently supported it.

Collette Adkins of the Center for Biological Diversity, which opposes delisting, noted that some states have their own wolf protections. But she said some lack any, including Massachusetts and Missouri where they've dispersed. The center says wolves desperately need their federal protections.

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