Only six domestic animal species have ever earned their way off the U.S. Endangered Species List. The gray wolf is closing in on becoming the seventh. Although many wolf biologists back the decision, not all wildlife advocates are cheering the pending status change.
In 1974, after a century of aggressive extermination efforts had nearly extinguished gray wolves in the lower 48 states, the Endangered Species Act took effect, and the dwindling species was whisked onto the list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) subsequently initiated recovery programs for the gray wolf in three regions, setting population goals for the West, East and Southwest.
This article was originally published with the title Out of the Woods.