The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday opened a 60-day comment period on its proposal to take gray wolves off the endangered species list in the northern Rocky Mountains.
The proposal lays the groundwork for state-managed hunting of wolves in Idaho, Montana and possibly Wyoming if that state can resolve a dispute with federal officials over its wolf management plan.
Comments can be submitted through April 9 to NRMGrayWolffws.gov, or by mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wolf Delisting, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, MT 59601.
Public hearings on the proposal are scheduled Feb. 27 in Cheyenne, Wyo.; Feb. 28 in Salt Lake City; March 1 in Helena, Mont.; March 6 in Boise, Idaho; March 7 in Pendleton, Ore.; and March 8 in Spokane, Wash.
In a letter to Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall, U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., asked that a meeting be added in northwestern Wyoming, saying Cheyenne is too far away from the people who are directly affected by wolf management decisions and would "require significant and inconvenient travel for those residents of northwest Wyoming most directly affected by the gray wolf population."
"For that reason, I also request that any additional meetings scheduled be held in either Cody, Pinedale or another surrounding northwest Wyoming town," Cubin wrote.