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May 10, 2011

MADISON - Citizens will have an opportunity to testify on the federal government's most recent proposal to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list in the western Great Lakes including Wisconsin.

The U.S. Department of Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on May 4, 2011 the publication of a new proposed rule for delisting wolves. The Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a 60-day public comment period on the new rule from May 5 through July 5, 2011.

A public hearing will also be held on the proposed delisting rule on May 18, 2011 at the Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wisconsin. An informational meeting will be held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. and a public hearing will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Wolves continue to be protected as a federally endangered species until the rule process is played out and that is expected to be sometime in fall or early winter 2011. Once removed from the federal endangered species list, also referred to as delisting, wolves will be managed as a state protected wild animal in Wisconsin, which means they may not be killed unless specially authorized by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

"We thank Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for responding to our petition for delisting and for recognizing that the state of Wisconsin is ready to assume management of gray wolf populations in the state," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "We strongly believe it is time to return management authority to the Great Lakes states and Tribes. Gray wolves have made a terrific recovery within our region, and now need to join the list of species successfully managed by the state. The Wisconsin DNR and our tribal partners are committed to use sound science for managing the state's wolf population."

More information on the proposed wolf delisting rule and submitting comments on the rule people is available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf recovery website, [] (exit DNR). More information about wolves in Wisconsin can be found on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Adrian Wydeven - (715) 762-1363

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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