Klobuchar wants to speed delisting of gray wolf in Minnesota
December 7, 2010 — 5:15pm
Citing wolf predation in Minnesota, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling on the federal government to expedite the delisting of the Great Lakes gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act.
Recent estimates indicate Minnesota’s wolf population is nearly 3,000 strong – nearly double the 1,600 minimum the ESA requires to ensure long-term survival. She says the increased numbers have the potential to threaten people, livestock, and the state’s hunting industry, which contributes over $600 million a year to Minnesota’s economy.
“Like the bald eagle, the gray wolf has made a comeback in our state,” the Minnesota Democrat said Tuesday in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “But now these wolves are hurting our farms, families and businesses, and our hunting industry. It is time for a plan that ensures we restore balance to our natural habitats.”
The U.S. Department of the Interior announced its support for delisting the gray wolf in western states. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources currently has a management plan ready to go if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists the gray wolf.
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State Auditor Rebecca Otto, whose office audits 59 of 87 Minnesota counties among other responsibilities, said a technical glitch in the state government finance bill that passed in the final hours of the legislative session could leave those counties without any auditing.