are out of the woods in the northern Rocky Mountains, if you believe the Fish & Wildlife Service, which today published a proposed rule that would establish wolves in that area as a distinct population segment (any splitters out there want to claim they're a separate species?) and remove them from the endangered species list.
The population in 2004 had apparently reached 800-plus wolves in the region...
On a side note, the service wants to delist even though Wyoming, a recalcitrant jerkwater if ever there was one, hasn't coughed up an acceptable state law that the service says is needed to make the delisting a reality. The upshot is that the federal action would be contingent on state action. The service is more diplomatic than I am:
"However, we have determined that Wyoming State law and its wolf management plan do not provide the necessary regulatory mechanism to assure that Wyoming's share of a recovered NRM wolf population will be conserved if the ESA's protections were removed."
aka Wyoming is full of the same fuckups who shoot coyotes in southeast Washington, but in Wyoming, they put those fuckups in the Legislature.