National Park Service's plan calls for the introduction of 20-30 wolves over a three to five-year period.
BACKGROUND: Today, the National Park Service signed the Record of Decision to finalize the long-awaited wolf management plan for Isle Royale National Park. The plan calls for the introduction of 20-30 wolves over a three to five-year period, beginning as soon as late September. Without wolves, the island’s moose population will grow quickly, taxing the park’s natural health and threatening the long-term survival of moose and wolves. The National Park Service completed an extensive environmental analysis and consulted subject-matter experts to determine the best approach to address the imbalance between the park’s growing moose and dwindling wolf population.
Statement by Lynn McClure, Senior Regional Director for National Parks Conservation Association
“NPCA has long-believed that wolves are critical to maintaining a healthy landscape at Isle Royale National Park. We have supported the National Park Service’s process based in sound science. Today’s actions will help ensure this iconic species won’t disappear from the park.
“This tremendous outcome has been thoroughly researched and we appreciate the Park Service’s leadership, commitment to protecting park resources, transparent public process and in-depth scientific analysis to bring wolves back to the park.
“The wolf introduction plan comes at a critical time. This year’s winter study, led by researchers from Michigan Technological University, confirmed that just two wolves remain on the island and there’s no hope that this pair will successfully breed. The nearly 1,500 moose at Isle Royale may double their population over the next several years, throwing the health of the park out of balance, devastating the island’s vegetation. Now is the time to restore wolves and bring balance back to Isle Royale National Park.
“We commend the National Park Service for acting quickly to bring more wolves to Isle Royale National Park so we might once again hear their unmistakable howls.”
About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.