SACRAMENTO – Those who wish to submit comments on the federal government’s proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf face a Dec. 17 deadline.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first proposed lifting most gray wolf protections in June, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts. Federal protections have already been lifted in parts of the West and Midwest, including Idaho and the easternmost portions of Oregon and Washington.
Written comments have been taken as officials have held a series of public hearings on the proposal, including one here Nov. 22. At the hearings, officials said wolf recovery efforts have been a success and the agency no longer needs protection.
The California Cattlemen’s Association and other farm groups have encouraged growers to submit comments individually to try to match vocal opposition from wolf advocacy groups, whose members held rallies, packed the hearings and gave impassioned pleas to keep the protections intact.
To comment online, visit http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073 .