One of Minnesota’s Vital Natural Resources

The gray wolf or canis lupus, also called the timber wolf is considered a pure wolf as distinct from wolf-coyote hybrids or canis latrans.  Gray wolves once roamed the United States from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, wolves were intensively trapped and shot and eradicated from all of the lower 48 states except in Minnesota where a sustainable but once threatened population still exists today. The last actual count of wolves in MN was in the winter of 2007-2008, which occurred at a time when the moose population was twice what it is today. The estimated wolf population in 2008 was 2921 and the average pack size was 4.9 wolves per pack.

Gray wolves in Minnesota are considered part of the contiguous group the Great Lakes wolf population, ranging in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.  Minnesota's wolves were the only sustainable population at the time that they were listed as threatened and put on the ESA in 1974 with the goal of enhancing the Minnesota population.  Michigan and Wisconsin wolves were considered endangered and the Minnesota wolves are credited with providing the genetic diversity that brought back those populations, though at much lower numbers.  The problem with actually surveying for numbers of gray wolves is that surveying is in part dependent on using snow tracking for wolf paw prints. The separation of these two species is difficult if not impossible.

Listen to a gray wolf howling (MP3)

Wolf Myths and Facts (PDF)
Download our Fact Sheet (PDF)
Download our MN Wolf Brief (PDF)
Download our original Minnesota Gray Wolves eBooklet (PDF)

Wolves are known to keep wilderness habitat healthy for the forest ecosystem.  The wolf is the keystone species because they cull out weakened prey species and maintain the deer and elk populations that forage on the understory vegetation of the forest. Along rivers and streams, ungulates such as deer and elk do not graze as long due to the presence of wolves.  This "ecology of fear" improves the health of the water systems in the forests and meadows.

Studies in Yellowstone National Park have demonstrated just how valuable a healthy wolf population is to having young trees to grow to middle age. Wolves were absent from Yellowstone National Park since 1927 when the last wolf was killed by bounty hunting.  After wolves were re-introduced in 1995 (with much public controversy) the Yellowstone river was brought back to a healthier state. The river bank has less erosion and supports more wildlife. More vegetation supports more beaver that have now damned up more streams and parts of the river. This results in cooler river temperatures and healthier fish. The increased vegetation also provides for a healthier bird and small animal habitat.

About the Gray Wolf

Wolves are pack animals that live in small groupings formed mostly by family members.  The alpha male and alpha female are the only members to have pups and the entire pack raises the pups. Occasionally, a second female will have a litter "with permission" of the alpha female. More than half of newborn wolf pups will die by 6 months of age.

If a litter of pups is orphaned by its pack due to their death, then another pack will raise them.  Wolves do not kill wolf pups; they adopt them. The pack size is dependent on the amount of food and the size of its territory.  Wolves control their own numbers in that they protect their territories and will kill non-pack members that threaten the pack or move into the territory.  This means that when wolf numbers increase beyond their habitat, the population is maintained by an increase in wolf-on-wolf kills.

As hunters, wolves select out the least productive animal of a group; very young and very old or sick.  The lead hunter (usually alphas) selects the animal and starts the pursuit and the remaining pack will pile on until it is brought down. Once an animal is selected and the chase ensues the pack does not waiver or move to a different animal.  If they are unsuccessful, the pursuit stops.

Because wolves die mostly by starvation and they control their own numbers due to their limited natural habitat, a wolf hunt is not necessary to keep their numbers in check. A hunt by humans will likely cause a domino effect and result in a higher fatality rate among packs due to the already fragile state of Minnesota's wolf packs (many of which are composed of 5 or less wolves). If the wolf that is trapped or killed is the hunter-leader of the pack, then the pack's ability to hunt is significantly decreased. Wolves will eat anything to survive including decomposed animals killed by cars. Wolves predate or kill livestock and even pet animals if the livestock is readily available or they cannot hunt successfully.  Thus, if wolves are randomly trapped for fur, the remaining weaker pack members are likely to go for livestock . The risk of a hunt for wolves is actually more livestock predation at least until they are nearly wiped out from the farm areas.

In Northern Minnesota where there are 165,000 cattle, only 91 confirmed wolf kills on livestock were verified in the year 2011.

Unknown numbers of illegal wolf killing occurs along with kills by motor vehicles and diseases such as distemper and mange are potentially lethal as seen in Yellowstone in 2010 when the number of wolves dropped from 180 wolves to 100 in a two year period.

Wolves and Mankind

Mankind has always displayed a variety of  deep emotional responses to wolves.  These range from reverence to fascination, to fear and even loathing of wolves.  Fairy tales and folklore such as the big bad wolf of Little Red Riding Hood and Werewolves are examples of tales which originated from European.  European  wolves, which were eradicated centuries ago, were more predisposed to Rabies near the end of their existence. This may be the source of the fearful reactions toward wolves. In North American, there have been no known wolf on human attacks except for one bizarre circumstance in Alaska within the last five years where a wolf may have been encouraged to and taunted with food. 

Wolves hold a special place in some indigenous people's culture including American Indian tribes in North America. The wolf is revered and respected as a brother by some American Indians who see the wolf as a partner in keeping mother earth a sustainable home. In the Creation story of the Anishinabe (Chippewa) American Indians man and wolf walked the Earth and named all living beings and then parted ways to live separately but in peace as brothers. So in Minnesota all the American Indian tribes banned the hunting and trapping of wolves on tribal lands.  The Anishinaabe believe that their fate is directly related to that of the wolf.

A Species in Danger

The Endangered Species Act ( ESA) was instrumental in bringing back the wolf populations in the Northern Rockies to a total of about 1700 wolves in the states: Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and eastern Oregon and Washington. As soon as these wolves were de-listed from the ESA, the states tasked with their management began killing wolves in large numbers.  A federal judge then put the wolves back on the ESA.  In response to this legal action, Senator Tester of Montana sponsored a bill that exempted the Montana and Idaho wolves from the Endangered Species Act which was then passed into law.  Currently, a proposal is in the works to delist the wolves in Wyoming.  Now the numbers of wolves in the Northern Rockies is much lower than when they were officially de-listed and before they were exempted from the ESA. Never before was the scientifically based ESA trumped by congress to keep a species from federal protection.

The Gray Wolf Timeline Highlights at Minnesota and Federal Levels

"Wildlands need their full complement of species to maintain their ecological integrity. Thus it has been heartening to see the gray wolf repopulate the rugged northern Rockies and expansive western Great Lakes in recent years. But postage-stamp populations of wolves on the American landscape is not comprehensive recovery, and this underscores as misguided and premature the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to strip critical protections for wolves in nearly all of the lower 48 states."
-- Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face, and Peter Metcalf, CEO and lead founder, Black Diamond Equipment, The Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed, Sept. 7, 2013



  • Indigenous, pre-European settlement period: The Gray Wolf - or "Ma'iingan" - is recognized by Anishinaabe, or Ojibwe (Chippewa) Tribes of Native Americans, as educators of the Anishinaabeg. The wolf teaches original man about living together as a family unit, and is a key figure in the tribes' creation story as a brother to original man.
  • The Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries: As early as the 1930s, the gray wolf was hunted, trapped - and poisoned - almost to extinction in the lower 48 states. The last wild wolf population in the lower 48 states was in Northern Minnesota in the late 1950s.
  • 1974: Its survival in question, the gray wolf is listed on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. Its estimated that Minnesota had only 300-750 wolves.
  • 1978: The Minnesota Gray Wolf is now listed as being "threatened" but not "endangered" on the Endangered Species List.
  • 1978 - 1998: Minnesota wolf population numbers for the period from 1978 through 1998 are estimated between 1,235 and 2,445, with average pack sizes from 5.55 to 5.40.
  • 1998- 2008: Minnesota's gray wolf population remains the only original population in the lower 48 states. While the state's estimated wolf population was predicted to increase in number and range due to white-tail deer availability, the wolf numbers remain stable with no hunting or trapping. The DNR estimated 2,445 (+/- 500) wolves in 1998.
  • 2000: The first Minnesota Wolf Management Plan is developed by the Minnesota DNR. The goal of the DNR’s wolf management is to ensure the long-term survival of Minnesota wolves and to resolve wolf-human conflicts. Consensus was reached with more than 25 stakeholders. The plan directs that wolves will be allowed to naturally expand their range in the state. To assure the continued survival of the wolf in Minnesota, the minimum statewide winter population goal is 1,600 wolves. The DNR estimates that 35% of adult wolves die annually from starvation, wolf territory disputes, human poaching, and car collisions. The mortality rate of wolf pups is 50-60%.
  • February 2001: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) releases “The Minnesota Wolf Management Plan” providing a 5-year moratorium on wolf hunting and trapping should they be delisted from the Endangered Species List (ESL) and a roadmap for reducing wolf/livestock conflicts in Minnesota. “Population management measures, including public taking (i.e., hunting and trapping season) or other options, will be considered by the DNR in the future, but not sooner than 5 years after federal delisting by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). If in the future, public taking is proposed by DNR, there will be opportunity for full public comment. Decisions on public taking will be based on sound biological data, including comprehensive population surveys.” The 5-year moratorium was to allow for the state management plan to be in effect before consideration for population management needs.There is no mention of a recreational wolf hunt in the management plan. Included in the plan is a reference regarding the need for research into non-lethal methods - Best Management Practices - to reduce wolf depredation to livestock, guard animals, and dogs. (See more on HFW's plans for Non-Lethal BPMs Backgrounder)
  • Winter 2007- 2008: An estimated 2,921 ( +/- 650) wolves are reported in the DNR survey, indicating a stable and not expanding population dating back to 1998 despite predictions that the wolf population would increase. The average wolf pack size dropped to below 5 wolves per pack for the first time ever, to 4.90.
  • 2010: The Red Lake Band of Ojibwe establishes their reservation lands as a wolf sanctuary where no wolf hunting and trapping will occur.
  • 2011: 109 officially verified wolf-livestock conflicts are reported at 96 sites, including 91 calves/cattle killed on Minnesota farms, less than 2% of all Minnesota beef-producing lands in wolf territory. 202 wolves are killed in response.
  • May 2011: The gray wolf in the Rocky Mountain region is exempted by congress (Federal law) from the Federal Endangered Species List and is to be managed by the states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
  • July 21, 2011: During a hurried Special Session of the Minnesota Legislature, the legislature approves - behind closed doors and without public input - a 101-page budget bill that contained four obscure lines repealing the 5-year wolf hunting and trapping moratorium that was to occur when the wolf was federally removed from the Endangered Species List.
  • January 2012: Led in part by Democratic efforts in the U.S. Senate to delist Minnesota's wolves, the gray wolf is removed from the federal Endangered Species List by the U.S. Interior Department, opening the door to recreational wolf trophy hunting and trapping in Minnesota.
  • April 23, 2012: Dennis Simon, MN DNR Chief, Wildlife Management Section, in a forwarded email to fellow MN DNR officials titled, "Wolf Season W/out Legislation," writes that "All things being equal I would prefer that we delay the season until we can establish a license, complete the population survey, and draft a population model even if we have to estimate harvest effort and success initially."  Then in the next paragraph, Simon does an about face, writing, "However, after giving it considerable thought over the weekend, I have come to the conclusion that we owe it to our primary clients, hunters and trappers, and to livestock producers as secondary clients, to do what we can to establish a legitimate harvest opportunity now that the wolf is under our management authority."*
  • April 25, 2012: A meeting with Governor Mark Dayton’s staff to stop the inaugural wolf hunt for recreational purposes takes place and includes Howling For Wolves, the Humane Society of the United States, Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, Center for Biological Diversity, and Audubon Minnesota.
  • April-May 2012: The state's Game and Fish Bill narrowly passes the legislature and includes wolf hunting and trapping with the use of wire neck snares that cause painful brain bleeds. Without consulting any of Minnesota's native tribes, the MN DNR, state legislature, and Governor Dayton move forward with its plan to kill 400 wolves by issuing licenses for trapping and hunting.
  • June 2012: A DNR public survey (online) shows that 79% of Minnesotans oppose the shooting, trapping, and snaring of wolves: of 7,351 responses, 5,809 people opposed it.
  • August 9, 2012: HFW presents the MN DNR with a petition for rulemaking change requesting the five-year moratorium on wolf hunting be reinstated.
  • August 20, 2012: The White Earth Band of Ojibwe Tribal Council designates the White Earth Reservation as a Ma'iingan, or Wolf Sanctuary.
  • August 2012: MN DNR petitions to remove the wolf from the state’s list of species of special concern - even before a long-awaited population survey was done, before the first wolf hunting season, and before the wolf is managed under new, lightened state laws regarding poaching.
  • September 2012: The state plans to issue 6,000 total licenses for hunting and trapping, with a quota of 400 wolves to be killed.
  • September 18, 2012: The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling For Wolves file a lawsuit to suspend the wolf hunt based on the MN DNR's failure to allow for adequate public comment per its own rule-making process.
  • October 3, 2012: MN DNR issues its 12-page response to the Howling For Wolves petition for Rulemaking change that requests restoring the five-year moratorium on wolf hunting making it clear that the wolf hunt is for recreational purposes only and not to control the wolf population.*
  • Summer-Fall 2012: 299 wolves were killed by licensed trappers and private landowners due to perceived conflicts. (It was reported 81 calves and cows were killed all that year by suspected wolves.)
  • Fall 2012: In total, Minnesota's first recreational hunting and trapping season kills 413 wolves, driving the population down 25% to near 1988 levels - with pack sizes showing a steady decline to their smallest size ever of 4.3 wolves/pack.
  • Winter 2012-2013: The next MN DNR population survey estimates approximately 2,211 wolves (plus or minus 500 wolves) and average pack sizes of 4.30. All wolf surveys take place before pups are born each spring but the DNR claims that these pup births will make a difference even though they are known to have high mortality rates.
  • 2013 Legislative Session: Senate File 666 introduced during the legislative session to re-instate a 5-year moratorium on recreational wolf hunting is passed out of the state Senate Environment Policy Committee and referred to the Environment, Economic Development and Agricultural Committee. The House companion bill, 1163, awaits a hearing in the 2014 legislative session.
  • February 12, 2013: The Humane Society, Born Free, and two Minnesota organizations, HOWL and FATE, sue in federal court regarding the federal delisting of the Great Lakes wolf population as a distinct population segment. 
  • May 25, 2013: The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismisses the earlier lawsuit by Howling For Wolves and The Center for Biological Diversity to ban the hunt, saying that "it lacks standing" - a legal judgment that one news source, MinnPost, calls "a mockery of public participation." The result is that the MN DNR does not have to answer to the public although it is a public entity and operates according to its own internal rules. 200 of the last 202 hunting rulemaking processes since 1995 have been done using the expedited emergency rulemaking process avoiding any public comment process.
  • June 2013: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service petitions to remove the entire U.S. lower 48 state's gray wolf population from the List of Endangered and Threatened Species except for the endangered Mexican gray wolf. The USFWS initially disallows three leading wolf biologists to serve on the panel during the public comment period.
  • July 9, 2013: DNR releases the 2013 winter wolf population. It shows the wolf population has decreased 25% below 2008 levels. The DNR admits in the media conference call, that they will not know the effects of the hunting season on Minnesota’s wolf population for at least one or two years (because the packs are affected by a hunt).
  • July 29, 2013: Because of a "smaller Minnesota wolf population," the DNR announces that 220 wolves would be targeted to be killed (harvested) by hunting and trapping in 2013. By law, trapping must be allowed. Wire neck snares will again be used and cause painful brain bleeds and the wolves will have the tell-tale “jelly heads” that trappers call them.
  • August 2013: Minnesota removes the wolf from its list of endangered and threatened species and species of special concern.
  • August 14, 2013: HFW announces a petition with 50,000 signatures to suspend the wolf hunt campaign by collecting Minnesotan names and addresses through events and media ads. HFW gathers momentum both to suspend the 2013 wolf hunting season and to enact legislation in 2014 to suspend future wolf hunts and to pass wolf advocacy legislation.
  • September 26, 2013: Minnesota resident and two-time Academy Award Winner Jessica Lange pens an Open Letter to Governor Dayton asking him to suspend the 2013 wolf hunting season and opposing "the cruel and inhumane methods" used to trap and ensnare wolves.
  • November 9, 2013: The next wolf hunting and trapping season begins.
  • The Rest of 2013: Pressure to suspend future wolf hunts - and to allow for the development of non-lethal depredation strategies - will continue in advance of the upcoming 2014 legislative session.
  • Throughout 2013: USDA Wildlife Services kills 215 wolves as a response to 60 verified livestock conflicts.
  • January 28, 2014: The MN House Environment and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Wolf Management.
  • February 27, 2014: HFW holds Wolf Day at the Capitol with over 400 in attendance. Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Ph.D. and UN Ambassador for Peace, welcomed wolf advocates with an inspirational video message and memorable howl.
  • April 30, 2014: Howling For Wolves announces it will hold “wolf watch” daily assemblies at the start of each upcoming legislative session at the Minnesota Capitol outside the House and Senate chambers.
  • July 24, 2014: The DNR announced the 2014 wolf hunting and trapping season. Available licenses increased by 500 to a total of 3,800 available starting August 1. The target harvest is 250 wolves, 30 more than in 2013. The early season starts on Nov. 8. This was the third consecutive Minnesota wolf hunt season.
  • November 8, 2014: HFW holds a protest at the state capitol to protest the opening day of the Minnesota recreational wolf hunt. 
  • December 10, 2014: Minnesota's state wolf hunt exceeds quota. Minnesota’s third consecutive wolf hunting and trapping season has ended in all but one zone. The harvest was dramatically over the DNR’s quotas, with the DNR’s website showing 145 wolves shot and trapped, 19 higher than the 126 quota target.
  • December 11, 2014: HFW holds a protest at DNR headquarters and demands immediate close of 2014 wolf hunt and suspension of future wolf hunting and trapping season.
  • December 19, 2014: A federal judge (Beryl Howell) in a United States District Court for the District of Colombia issued a court order, putting Great Lakes gray wolves back on the endangered species list after they were removed in 2012. Minnesota DNR released a statement conforming to the Federal Court order: "Effective immediately, Minnesotans can no longer legally kill a wolf except in the defense of human life."
  • Throughout 2014: USDA Wildlife Services kills 172 wolves as a response to 69 verified livestock conflicts.
  • February 5, 2015: HFW holds Wolf Day at the Capitol and announces the legislative agenda to eliminate snaring, strengthen private property rights for trapping, and support funding for farmers regarding wolf-livestock conflicts.
  • February 18, 2015: 50 scientists write an open letter to members of Congress stating that the best available science indicates that the gray wolf species is not yet recovered and still needs federal protection. In this succinct but clear statement, the scientists express concern that without protection, the few states where wolf populations are potentially secure will continue to use policies of wolf hunting seasons with arbitrary quotas that have already diminished the most secure wolf population in the country; in Minnesota and in Wisconsin, where the populations were decreased by 20% and 15% respectively.
  • February 19, 2015: The Wisconsin DNR and the State of Wisconsin file an appeal to contest Judge Howell’s decision.
  • March 11, 2015: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) seeks additional federal funding for programs that prevent wolf-livestock conflicts.  Sen. Franken’s letter was sent on March 11, 2015 to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Sen. Franken’s letter is cosigned by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
  • June 10, 2015: Congresswoman Betty McCollum speaks out against a new bill rider that will delist wolves by congressional action. McCollum states this bill undermines the entire ESA. She is the ranking democratic member of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. 
  • August 10, 2015: The DNR released its 2014-2015 wolf population survey estimates, reporting there are 374 wolf packs and 2,221 wolves this past winter. These results indicate an elimination of nearly 100 packs of wolves within one year, and show a decrease of 202 wolves from last year’s (2013-14) estimate of 2,423 wolves.
  • September 17, 2015: A proposal to fund scientific research for effective non-lethal methods to prevent wolf-livestock conflicts in Minnesota was not granted a hearing by the state’s commission tasked with awarding over $46 million in grants. Earlier today, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources  (LCCMR) narrowed a list of grant applicants to invite in for presentations and further consideration, but left out the proposal to partner with livestock producers to research the best practices for deterring wolves.
  • November 5, 2015: 25 U.S. Senators urge President Obama to protect the Endangered Species Act.
  • November 7, 2015: On November 7, Minnesota wolf supporters gathered in St. Paul with Howling For Wolves to celebrate No Wolf Hunt 2015.
  • November 30, 2015: 70 scientists submit an open letter to the government in opposition to the delisting of Great Lakes Wolves from the Endangered Species Act.
  • December 16, 2015: Wolf riders dropped from federal spending legislation.
  • Throughout 2015: USDA Wildlife Services kills 213 wolves as a response to 115 verified livestock conflicts.
  • January 20, 2016: U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved an amendment to the “Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2016” which, if enacted and signed into law, would remove the gray wolf from federal Endangered Species List protections in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. The measure would also prohibit courts from intervening in those states.
  • March 23, 2016: HFW holds Wolf Day at the Capitol and announces its 2016 legislative agenda.
  • March 24, 2016: Minnesota Senate Environment and Energy Committee approved a bipartisan amendment to Senate File 2758 that updates the state’s fish and wildlife regulations to require permission before setting traps or snares on someone else’s property. Current Minnesota law allows trappers to set traps on private property without the landowner’s permission.
  • May 12, 2016: Government trapping of wolves emboldens poachers, a study published in the Royal Society of Publishing finds. Blood does not buy goodwill: allowing culling increases poaching of a large carnivore.
  • May 16, 2016: The "repeal the wolf hunt" amendment failed in the MN house May 16, 2016 with 53 "yeas" to 73 "nays". 
  • June 16, 2016: The Senate Committee voted down U.S. Senator Udall's amendment to remove the anti-Endangered Species Act riders from the senate appropriations bill.
  • August 22, 2016: The MN DNR releases its 2015-2016 wolf population estimates, reporting 439 wolf packs (2+ wolves equal a pack) and 2,278 wolves from the past winter. These results indicate Minnesota’s wolf population has not yet even recovered since the wolf trophy hunts of 2012-2014. The current population is below the 1998 estimates.
  • October 18, 2016: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hears oral arguments in the appeal from Judge Howell’s decision to re-list the Gray Lakes gray wolves. A decision is pending.
  • December 16. 2016: The National Park Service put forward a draft plan to potentially release wolves on Michigan’s Isle Royale in an effort to keep a wolf population on the island. With only two closely related wolves left on the isle, there will be no sustainable wolf population on Isle Royale unless additional wolves are introduced.
  • Throughout 2016: USDA Wildlife Services kills 183 wolves as a response to 92 verified livestock conflicts
  • January 2017: Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced and co-sponsored federal legislation (H.R. 424 and S.R. 164) that removes Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf in the Great Lakes region (which includes Minnesota) and places it under state regulation. This proposed legislation did not allow for legal challenges to the reissued rule.
  • January 17, 2017: United States Senator Amy Klobuchar co-sponsors S.164, which seeks to again de-list the gray wolf in the Great Lakes region and Wyoming. The language is obtuse on judicial review. 
  • March 15, 2017: Two Minnesotans are charged with illegally setting 600+ snares across six counties in Northern MN over a two year period. “It’s the biggest illegal trapping case, with the largest number of traps, that I have ever been a part of,” said Lt. Brent Speldrich, a district enforcement supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the Duluth area. “It’s the biggest we’ve seen in this region.”
  • March 22, 2017: Wolf Day at the Capitol is held with hundreds of wolf supporters in St. Paul. 
  • August 1, 2017: U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed that the gray wolf in the Great Lakes should remain on the federal Endangered Species List. The court said “Because the government failed to reasonably analyze or consider two significant aspects of the rule—the impacts of partial delisting and of historical range loss on the already-listed species—we affirm the judgment of the district court vacating the 2011 Rule.” Essentially, the federal appeals court ruled against the Interior Department’s 2011 decision to delist the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act.
  • September 25, 2017: MN DNR announces the results of its winter wolf population estimate showing a 25% increase from 2016, estimating the population to be 2,856 (+/-500).
  • Throughout 2017: USDA Wildlife Services kills 190 wolves as a response to 89 verified livestock conflicts. “While Minnesota's wolf population is up, there hasn't been a surge in complaints about attacks,” said Gary Nohrenberg, state director for USDA Wildlife Services. 
  • January 10, 2018: A study published in PLOS One finds that non-lethal methods are the most effective for managing predator/livestock conflicts.
  • January 31, 2018: HFW holds its first Wolf Pack meeting for supporters in St. Cloud, MN.
  • February 11, 2018: A wolf, entangled in a snare (which illegally was missing owner identification), was shot and killed in Duluth. HFW renews its call to ban snaring.
  • February 28, 2018: HFW holds first Wolf Pack meeting for supporters in Duluth, MN.
  • March 21, 2018: Congressional negotiators announced an agreement on their “omnibus” appropriations bill for U.S. government funding through September 30, 2018. This compromise did not include the provisions to congressionally delist/remove the gray wolf from Endangered Species Act protections in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan (the Great Lakes region), and Wyoming.
  • April 11, 2018: HFW holds another Wolf Day at the Capitol and announces 2018 legislative agenda with hundreds of supporters.
  • May 1, 2018: Two more trappers were charged with illegally using snares and have illegally killed at least seven gray wolves, two black bears, and other wildlife in Itasca County, Minnesota.
  • May 18, 2018: Dr Maureen Hackett submits testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on the significance of wolves and the need for protection.
  • June 7, 2018: National Park Service announced its plan to release 20-30 wolves on Michigan’s Isle Royale over the next three years in an effort to keep a wolf population on the island. Howling For Wolves again calls on the National Park Service and wildlife leaders to use captive wolves to re-populate Isle Royale.
  • June 29, 2018: The second annual round of applications for Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grants closes.
  • July 7, 2018: Howling For Wolves holds its first Wolf Pack meeting for supporters in Brainerd, MN.

*Documents available for review.