Restored Federal Protection for Gray Wolves


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Emily Conway, staff writer

Across the US, federal protection taken away by the Trump administration was recently restored to gray wolves after many environmental groups argued that the continued loss of protections would severely harm the wolf population. Gray wolves were first given federal protections which limited the hunting and trapping of gray wolves in 1974 after they were put on the endangered species list. They were removed from the list in 2020 under the Trump administration, which led to increased hunting that would severely harm the species’ population. 


The removal of gray wolves was overruled on February 10th, by the U.S. District Judge Jeremey White. Many environmental groups support the decision of Judge White, which occurred less than a year after Wisconsin hunters killed over 200 wolves in three days, vastly exceeding the state-wide hunting limit. Hunts like these that kill large amounts of wolves are very threatening to the rebound wolves have made since their widespread extermination in the early 20th century when decades of overhunting and federal extermination programs drastically reduced their numbers across the U.S. The court ruling will block hunting and trapping of gray wolves in most states, excluding state-managed hunts in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.