In a move cheered by ranchers and bemoaned by environmentalists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday it was removing gray wolves from Endangered Species Act protection across the Lower 48 states.
In an announcement attended by several dozen people at a national wildlife refuge overlooking the Minnesota River in a rural area outside Minneapolis, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt declared the gray wolf's recovery “a milestone of success."
“In the early part of the 20th century the gray wolf had essentially become a ghost throughout the United States," Bernhardt said. “That is not the case today."
The decision, first proposed by the Trump Administration in June of 2018 and formally announced March of 2019, will largely allow states to decide how to handle a predator that's become as controversial as spotted owls in Oregon. In this state, however, not much will change in terms of protections for wolves.
For more on how the move will impact wolves in Oregon, click here.