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Published March 20, 2010, 07:29 AM

Farm Bureau supports action to remove gray wolf from endangered species list

The Minnesota gray wolf should be removed immediately from the federal government’s endangered and threatened species list and returned to state management, according to a petition filed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press

The Minnesota gray wolf should be removed immediately from the federal government’s endangered and threatened species list and returned to state management, according to a petition filed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

It's an action supported by Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association and Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers.

“Minnesota’s gray wolf population has clearly exceeded the recovery goals established under the federal Endangered Species Act,” said Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Paap. “We have more wolves than every state except Alaska. Once the wolf is delisted, our state has an effective wolf management plan in place to ensure a viable gray wolf population in the future, while providing farmers and ranchers who suffer from wolf depredation more options for protecting their livestock.”

According to the DNR, Minnesota’s wolf population has more than doubled the delisting goal of 1,252-1,400 wolves with an estimated population of approximately 3,000 wolves. Human-wolf conflicts are on the rise. Since 1978, federal officials have removed more than 3,000 wolves from Minnesota in response to depredation of livestock.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson supports the DNRs petition.

“Since 1998, we have received more than 1,000 claims from producers who lost livestock to wolves, and Minnesota taxpayers have spent nearly a million dollars to compensate them for those losses,” said Hugoson.

Several farm groups support this action.

“Minnesota Farmers Union strongly supports the petition request from the DNR to de-list the gray wolf and urges the federal government to support the request,” said Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson,

“Minnesota Cattlemen applaud the petition that DNR filed with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to delist the gray wolf,” said Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association President Ted Reichmann.

“Wolves cause serious economic losses for livestock producers in Minnesota and this is an important step in helping to provide some relief,” said Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association President Don Adelmann.

“Minnesota Farm Bureau will continue to work collaboratively with other farm groups and with our state and federal officials to once again remove the gray wolf from the threatened and endangered species list,” said Paap.

Minnesota Farm Bureau is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureaus across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children.

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