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Although U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe declared victory by stating "Wolves are recovered and they are now in good hands," I share serious concerns with the 16 scientists with expertise in carnivore taxonomy and conservation biology who believe delisting is terribly premature.

The feds are gauging gray wolf recovery solely on the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes wolf populations. Under the Endangered Species Act, it is obligated to recover an endangered species across a "significant portion" of its historic range.

In recent years, wolves from Canada have crossed into Maine and traveled miles south into the southern Rocky Mountain states of Utah and Colorado. Wolf OR-7 became a media sensation when he became the first wild wolf to enter California in more than 80 years.

By stripping federal protections from wolves nationwide, these pioneers in historically occupied areas may never be able to establish viable populations despite suitable habitat and availability of prey.

Through the Endangered Species Act, our country gave wolves a second chance. Second chances are rare. Should we be willing to throw them away?

Maggie Howell

Danbury , Conn.