Oops, he did it again

Bush delists the gray wolf on his way out of White House

Photo by Gary Kramer

Conservationists have battled for years to protect the gray wolf, but the Bush administration appears to have unraveled much of that work at the last minute.

Less than a week before Bush exited the White House the Interior Department announced the gray wolf (pictured) of the Midwest and northern Rocky Mountains would be taken off the endangered species list. The federal agency’s decision affects wolves in Idaho, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The species was on the brink of extinction in the 1990s, but was brought back through reintroduction under the Clinton administration. Just how sustainable their populations remain is debated by wildlife advocates and the federal officials who have attempted multiple times during the past eight years to delist them.

Lawsuits by organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council have helped the animals, and conservationists are hoping the Obama camp will reverse the recent decision.