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Press Release

Northern Minnesota Field Hearing Highlights Need for Wolf Delisting

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Today, Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Chairman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) hosted an oversight field hearing on the gray wolf population, the species' successful recovery and the need for its removal from the endangered species list.

"A wolf is not a pet dog. It is not a schnauzer or golden retriever. It is a natural-born killer that wreaks havoc upon wildlife, preys on livestock, and damages the ability of fish and wildlife agencies to do their jobs. On top of all this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has admitted that for the gray wolf, 'there is no risk of quasi extinction in the next 100 years.' So, we must ask ourselves, how many wolves is enough? This hearing provided a platform for experts to testify on the implications of the gray wolf population surge, its ramifications, and what the federal government must do about it." – Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Chairman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.)

"The gray wolf is fully recovered, and if anyone needs proof of this fact, look no further than Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. The dramatic rise of the gray wolf in northern Minnesota has led to a diminished deer population, increased predation on livestock, and resulted in the tragic loss of countless family pets. I am glad to have my House Natural Resources colleagues here in Minnesota, where we heard firsthand from a number of my constituents who have been negatively impacted by the state’s rapidly rising gray wolf population. Their message to us was clear: we must remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list and return management to the states. I am thankful for their testimonies, and glad for the chance to discuss our collective efforts to achieve responsible wolf management, including the recent House passage of the Trust the Science Act." – U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.)


The Great Lakes region has the largest concentration of gray wolves in the lower 48 states, with approximately 4,200 wolves that inhabit the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Under the current management framework, wolves in Minnesota are listed as threatened, whereas wolves in Michigan and Wisconsin are listed as endangered. The recovery plan for the gray wolf in the Great Lakes is clear when it comes to criteria for delisting, a stable or increasing population of wolves in Minnesota and at least 200 wolves outside of the Minnesota population.

The Obama, Trump and Biden administrations have all agreed that the gray wolf species is recovered and should be delisted, but extreme environmental groups and activist judges have stopped the delisting attempts by multiple administrations. The gray wolf should be celebrated as an Endangered Species Act success story. Recent scientific analysis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the gray wolf population is healthy and can sustain itself. The case for delisting is clear, and on April 30, 2024, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 764, the Trust the Science Act, which would remove the recovered gray wolf from the endangered species list. 

Today's hearing in Sandstone, Minn. was a chance for members to hear from local elected officials and wildlife experts to learn more about the gray wolf population and its impact on rural communities. To learn more, click here