Public hearing June 8 on gray wolf

Posted May 12, 2011, at 9:01 a.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold an information meeting and public hearing on its recent proposal concerning the federally listed gray wolf on June 8, 2011, at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Maine.

In addition to proposing to delist the Western Great Lakes population of the gray wolf, the Service proposes to recognize the eastern wolf, formerly a subspecies of the gray wolf, as a full species. Current science indicates that the eastern wolf, rather than the gray wolf, historically inhabited the Northeast.

The Service is also initiating a review of the eastern wolf throughout its range in the U.S. and Canada. The eastern wolf is known to exist in eastern Canada and the Western Great Lakes region of the U.S. Though the Service has confirmed occasional dispersing wolves from Canada, the Service has no evidence indicating the presence of a wolf population in the Northeast.

The Service seeks information from governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, and other interested parties on threats, population size and trends, and other factors that could affect the long-term survival of the Western Great Lakes population of the gray wolf. The Service also seeks information on the status of the eastern wolf.

The information meeting will be held at the Augusta Civic Center at 16 Cony St. The Service will explain its proposal and answer questions during an informational meeting from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Oral comments will be accepted during the public hearing from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Written comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029], or

(2) U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn:  Docket No. [FWS-R3-ES-2011-0029]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, Va. 22203.

For more information, contact Mark McCollough in the Service’s Maine Field Office at 207-866-3344. Additional information is also available at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf.

The Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are a leader and a trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. Learn more about our work and the people who make it happen at http://www.fws.gov.

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