When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the Great Lakes wolves from federal protection, Minnesota wildlife officials pushed forward a plan to control the population with regulated hunting and trapping. It caused an entirely different situation for wildlife officials in North Dakota — two sets of regulations and some confusion about how to go forward managing the wolf population.
According to Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the delisting only includes the portion of North Dakota east of U.S. Highway 83 and the Missouri River. That means the state manages wolves in eastern North Dakota, while wolves west of Highway 83 remain under federal protection because they fall in a gray area between the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountain wolf populations.
Tucker said there are no plans to offer a wolf season because sightings are rare, and the state doesn’t support a wolf population.
It’s just another interesting wrinkle in a very complicated delisting process.
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