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It’s Time to Delist Gray Wolves, Says Expert



Wolves are no longer endangered, so why are they still protected?

Nathan M. Roberts, PHD, considered an expert on the scientific research and data on furbearers and carnivores, testified on his own behalf, not representing any organization or entity but science, before Congress to the Members of the Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries regarding the delisting of the Grey Wolf from the ESA Act. “The gray wolf in the United States is recovered, no longer in danger of extinction, and should be removed from the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA),” was Dr. Roberts’ opening statement.

He then continued, “There is no doubt that the wolf is recovered in the United States. In the Great Lakes region alone, the wolf population was estimated at over 4200 individuals. The established recovery plan for this region set clear numeric goals to serve as criteria for determining successful recovery. These goals have been exceeded every year since 1994. In addition to meeting the threshold over three decades ago, the regional population is now estimated to be at least ten times the established delisting threshold.

“Failing to recognize that wolves are recovered and taking appropriate action to reflect this reality via delisting undermines the intention of the ESA. The act was intended to provide temporary protection and funding until a species met established recovery goals. Then after these recovery goals are met, the states are to regain management authority following delisting. By not delisting the wolves, even after they have far exceeded recovery goals, the integrity of the ESA is compromised.

“Additionally, funding and other resources are encumbered for wolves, a recovered species, that could otherwise be dedicated to species that are truly in need of assistance. Furthermore, the endless litigation cycle, that disregards scientifically-based recovery goals, disincentivize jurisdictions from pursuing endangered species recovery or embarking on partnerships to restore species that are actually imperiled,” Roberts clarifies.

In portions of his conclusion Dr. Roberts states, “It is unfortunate that litigious entities continue to abuse the ESA and blatantly ignore science. As a result, we have a population that has been recovered for almost three decades and is at least an order of magnitude above standard and agreed recovery goals yet it is still listed. Sadly, the result is that science is devalued, partnerships are avoided, the public is disenchanted, and conservation suffers.”

“QUWF absolutely supports the science based data and recommendations of Dr. Roberts though he is not representing us in his scientific and research opinion,” explains Craig Alderman of QUWF. “His experience and research are exceptional for the entire conservation community and should be heeded for the future of wildlife and their habitat we all work to preserve” Alderman states.

What do you think? Are gray wolves out of the woods … or are they out of the woods and at your door?



  1. L Lee

    April 9, 2023 at 8:45 pm

    Delist the wolf at the same time we eliminate ranchers cattle off public lands. Every time a suggestion like this occurs, you can bet the author has ties to the free loaders that refuse to pay the going livestock grazing rate leaving you and I to supplement their business.

  2. Jerry C

    March 30, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    I live, hunt, & fish in Michigan. I have yet to encounter a single wolf in the wild. I have seen one wolf/coyote hybrid here in my 58 years. Delisting is premature.

    • Patrick Krussman

      March 30, 2023 at 2:40 pm

      So because you havnt seen one delisting is premature? Doesnt sound scientific at all. Money needs to go to other listed animals wolves are as integral.

      • Patrick Krussman

        March 30, 2023 at 2:40 pm

        Are not*

    • ed shalda

      March 30, 2023 at 3:02 pm

      wolves dont like humans and shy away to delist would create a mass killing like the one in wisconsin!!!

      • john

        April 7, 2023 at 12:22 pm

        Hunt the Hunter, not the animals


        April 9, 2023 at 9:03 am

        “mass killing”?? Let me set the record straight: they harvested 219 wolves with the quota being 200 from a population of one thousand! The population goal is set @ 350 …..on that basis they should have killed 600….now protected and proliferating to numbers beyond what you & the protectionists will not acknowledge and the scourge on pets, livestock,& wildlife is horrific.

    • Patrick

      April 7, 2023 at 9:59 am

      Just because you haven’t seen any doesn’t mean they’re not around I grew up in Lansing on the west side the Lansing State Journal about 15 years ago had a photo a woman took from her backyard in this photo was a mama wolf with her pups out in the field in her backyard well that field behind her backyard was also behind an elementary school so don’t tell me that these wolves aren’t around just because you don’t see one when this photo was published about 15 years ago that shit I opened your eyes are opened people’s eyes that the wolves are close, and the population is expanding ..

    • George McBride

      April 7, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Humans are the problem – not wolves – delisting just to kill them is morally wrong

  3. William Cherry

    March 30, 2023 at 11:38 am

    I live in AZ and have been surrounded in the forest by wolves that seemed to challenge me for the area I was hunting. They are definitely not endangered in AZ. It’s ironic that the Government has a need to put an apex predator back into the mix so I have to compete for the meat I need to feed my family. As usual the policy makers have no skin in the game. There is a reason the wolves were hunted to the point of extinction. Do you the Joe America and his family are going to go camping with little Johnny and little sister
    so they can enjoy a pack of wolves dragging down an Elk or Deer??

    • Big Al 45

      March 30, 2023 at 11:50 am

      They should ‘enjoy’ it, for what it’s worth as a learning experience as the real nature of ‘Nature’.
      But that does NOT mean they should continue to be protected, in fact they should be added to the hunting list, for population control, just as Deer and Bear and other species are.

      • David Kloser

        March 30, 2023 at 6:06 pm

        I totally agree with your comment. As a Wisconsin hunter for 45 years I’ve only seen one pack of 5, and 1 single sighting. But they are definitely around enough causing enough problems to be population-controlled hunting.

      • Ed

        April 7, 2023 at 12:22 pm

        Amen to that DO it the right way.

    • Jim

      March 31, 2023 at 1:51 am

      I’ve lived in AZ most of my life,an avid outdoorsman. I’ve never seen a wolf yet.

  4. Bruce Sorensen

    March 30, 2023 at 11:06 am

    I agree with Dr. Roberts and with Coleman’s comment. The sentiment for keeping them listed (they were here first) stems from an unwillingness to acknowledge the facts of the situation. Wolves are a threat to the livelihoods of ranchers, farmers and people who live in rural and wilderness areas. Why? Because they’re predators by nature. They not only kill for food, but will kill for no apparent reason. Ask anyone who has witnessed this first hand.
    Overpopulation of deer, elk, or other game species in America is regulated for the sake of balance, in part because people live on the North American continent. De-list and regulate wolves for their sake and to protect the rest of us who live on the land as well.

  5. GreatGrandPa

    March 30, 2023 at 10:22 am

    If, you were a vested livestock producer and the wolves were eating your livestock, your money, livelihood, do not say you wouldn’t hunt them. Some Native Americans hunted the wolves, and all animals. Yes, a hunting season, delisting, and tags, just like all managed hunted wildlife. Maybe, a pelt reward for overpopulated areas. Common sense people.

    • Patrick Krussman

      March 30, 2023 at 2:42 pm

      Are not*

      • Greg

        April 7, 2023 at 10:20 am

        An idiot in every bunch

  6. William

    March 30, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Should not be delisted. A lot of $$ spent to get them to this point. Wolves were here before people. Just let them be. Nature will will take care of over population.

    • Bob

      March 30, 2023 at 11:23 am

      The money spent was to get them to the point of delisting, which they have exceeded. Dr. Roberts is absolutely correct in saying that not delisting the wolf, or for that matter, the grizzly bear, is a n abuse of the ESA for nothing but political reasons. It also creates extreme opposition to the ESA from many fronts, and long term will harm, not protect the species in question. The statement that nature will take care of overpopulation is a complete cop- out. In order for that to be true, the wolf must consume prey until there is not enough left to support their population, at which time a portion of the population dies from starvation- not a situation I would wish on them. Also, don’t forget that once that point is reached, they will prey on whatever they need to- be it livestock, pets, etc. Please don’t ignore science in favor of emotion or some sentiment to make yourself feel good, at the long term expense of the wolf and other endangered species.

      • Lee

        April 7, 2023 at 2:35 pm

        Thank you Bob

    • Big Al 45

      March 30, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Your last statement is thoroughly ignorant of REAL natural selection and would result in a disaster for ALL species.
      Your the problem, NOT the solution.
      Let educated, professional State Wildlife Biologists make these decisions, based on science, not your silly feelings.
      Your way would devastate Deer, Coyote, and other species.

  7. Coleman

    March 30, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Spend time hunting in western states, they have definitely recovered and are now a threat to livestock and some people. Delist and offer a hunting season, with revenue going back into wolf projects

    • Raymond jones jr

      March 30, 2023 at 9:36 am

      There are enough wolves. It is time to delist them.

  8. Kerry Griffin

    March 30, 2023 at 9:23 am

    The Wolves should STILL BE Protected!

    • SRQ Shooter

      March 30, 2023 at 11:11 am

      And your scientifically based reasoning would be?

    • Big Al 45

      March 30, 2023 at 11:56 am

      They would be, with regulated seasons and take, just like ANY big game animal that so many Western States have in place for management by State Biologists.

    • Dean

      April 7, 2023 at 2:42 pm

      I have never tasted wolf. I have ate deer and rabbit. If you are going to kill it then you need to eat it – or your just another wasteful human.
      As for beef ranchers – maybe thin your herd to a manageable size.
      I would like to see domesticated cat outlawed. They are dumped outside the city limits and upset the balance of the good things: wild/free range habitat.
      Wolves have a place. They survived covid.
      We need to learn to co-exist.
      I am very sure there are still more humans (educated and uneducated) than there are wolves.

  9. Phillip Brandon Holmes

    March 30, 2023 at 8:49 am

    4200 is not enough, maybe 42,000.

    • Bill

      March 30, 2023 at 8:57 am

      Yes they should be delisted.

    • Big Al 45

      March 30, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      Honestly, the ignorance of some comments here is astounding.
      At 42,000, the environment could not support it.
      Why don’t you wish for the destruction of ALL species? Because that’s what you’re espousing.

      • Patrick Krussman

        March 30, 2023 at 2:44 pm

        Amen Big Al its people like these who dont actually care about the enviornment.

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