State officials praise federal wolf ruling

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Officials in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin say they’re ready to manage their wolf populations in their states following the Obama administration’s decision to drop gray wolves in the Great Lakes region from the federal endangered species list.

The U.S. Interior Department announced Wednesday the wolves have recovered from near-extinction and will lose their federal protection as of Jan. 27. Gray wolf population numbers more than 4,000.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes says the change will give state officials more flexibility to deal with problem wolves and make people more supportive of having the predators in their midst.

Wisconsin says after the federal order takes effect, it will issue permits allowing landowners to control wolves on their property where there are documented cases of depredation or harassment.