Tuesday, January 20, 2009
President Barack Obama ordered Tuesday that all pending federal regulations be suspended, including one that would de-list two populations of the gray wolf, including those native to the northern Rockies.
The new president acted through a memorandum issued to all federal agencies by his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, shortly after being inaugurated.
The rule de-listing the gray wolf, which had previously been finalized in February 2008, was struck down by a federal judge last summer.
The Bush administration had announced Jan. 14 that it would again de-list the Northern Rockies population of the wolf, as well as a population in the western Great Lakes region, as of Feb. 13.
A previous attempt by the Bush administration to re-classify all populations of the gray wolf, except the population in the southwest, as threatened species was blocked by federal district courts in Oregon and Vermont in 2005.
The gray wolf was originally listed as an endangered species throughout the 48 continental states and in Mexico in 1974.
Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.