Federal Delistings: A Case Study of the Gray Wolf
Wolves have proven to be one of the devastating classic cases
of human-animal interaction. From fears that originated in medieval times,
people in the United States hunted wolves to the point of near extinction
by the 1930s, with some populations remaining only in the northernmost states.
In the 1960s, however, many people finally became
aware of their unwarranted fear, which in turn helped to establish the of Endangered Species Act (ESA)
of 1973 and thereby the implementation of protection plans for the few remaining wolf populations in
the lower 48 states. Proving to be a true success, in 1978 Minnesota reclassified wolves from endangered
to threatened, and in July of 2000 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to federally reclassify specified gray wolf populations across 30 states.