Home
Donate Sign up for e-network
CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good
ABOUT ACTION PROGRAMS SPECIES NEWSROOM PUBLICATIONS SUPPORT

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Action timeline

January 4, 1974 – The gray wolf was listed as endangered in the lower 48 states and Mexico.

March 9, 1978 – The Service issued a final rule reclassifying the gray wolf as endangered in Minnesota and threatened across the rest of the lower 48 states.

April 1, 2003 – The Service issued a final rule designating three large “distinct population segments” and downlisting wolves to threatened status in the Great Lakes region.

January 31, 2005 – In response to a lawsuit brought by the Center and allies, a federal judge in Oregon overturned the Service’s 2003 downlisting of the wolves.

August 9, 2006 – A federal judge in D.C. issued an order invalidating permits issued by the Service to Michigan and Wisconsin for use of lethal measures to control wolf depredations.

February 8, 2007 – The Service issued a final rule delisting wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment.

September 29, 2008 – In response to a lawsuit in which the Center participated, a federal judge in D.C. ordered the Service to place the wolves back under Endangered Species Act protection.

April 2, 2009 – The Service again issued a final rule delisting wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment.

July 1, 2009 – The Center and our allies entered into a court-approved settlement agreement with the Service that reinstated protections for wolves in the Great Lakes region.

May 20, 2010 – The Center and our allies issued comments on applications by state agencies in Michigan and Wisconsin to kill depredating wolves in Michigan and Wisconsin.

July 20, 2010 – The Center petitioned the Obama administration for a national recovery plan to establish wolf populations in suitable habitat in the Pacific Northwest, California, Great Basin, southern Rocky Mountains, Great Plains and New England.

September 14, 2010 – The Service issued a finding that petitions to delist wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and the Great Lakes states “may be warranted.”

October 26, 2010 – The Center filed comments urging the Service to retain protections for wolves in the Great Lakes states.

December 21, 2010 – With no response to our July 20 petition, we filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a national recovery plan for gray wolves.

March 9, 2011 – The Center and 47 other conservation organizations, representing millions of Americans, called on Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) to use her power as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to put a stop to legislation removing Endangered Species Act protection for gray wolves.

May 4, 2011 – The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a rule proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in the Great Lakes region.

December 21, 2011 – The Service issued a rule prematurely removing Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in the Great Lakes region.

September 18, 2012 – The Center and Howling for Wolves filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources challenging the agency’s failure to provide a formal opportunity for public comment on recently approved rules establishing wolf hunting and trapping. The conservation groups were seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the opening of hunting and trapping seasons that fall.

October 10, 2012 – The Minnesota Court of Appeals denied our September motion for a preliminary injunction.

October 15, 2012 – The Center and Howling for Wolves asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop fall wolf hunting and trapping. The groups sought review of a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision, issued the previous week.

May 21, 2013 – In two sharply worded letters sent to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, prominent scientists argued for continued protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states and criticized a draft federal proposal to remove those protections for being premature and failing to follow the best available science. One of the letters came from the American Society of Mammalogists, the other from 16 prominent biologists.

July 9, 2013 – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released a survey showing Minnesota has lost approximately a quarter of its wolf population, down more than 700 wolves from the survey five years before. Despite this large decline, the agency announced, there will be another hunt next year. 

November 20, 2013 – Local activists from the Center and allies will rally in Sacramento to voice their opposition to a Service proposal to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states. The proposal to delist wolves would strike a serious blow to wolf recovery across the country, including in California and other West Coast states where wolves are just beginning to make a comeback.

November 20, 2013 – Hundreds of people from all walks of life will testify at a hearing being held tonight in Albuquerque by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take public testimony on management of wolves. The agency has proposed to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across much of the lower 48 states, but to retain protections for Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

November 22, 2013 – Hundreds of wolf supporters are expected to show up in force in Sacramento at a hearing — one of only five scheduled nationwide — held by the Obama administration to take public comments on its proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states.

Great Lakes gray wolf photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/Sakarri