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Too many wolves to list

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The Endangered Species Act is a very useful political tool. Once a species is listed as being in danger of extinction, its defenders are endowed with enormous leverage to affect public policy, alter state and local governance, even bring down entire industries. No wonder when the law is proven successful, when a species once nearly gone is revived and thrives, there would be a prolonged period of denial.

So it will be for the surprisingly prolific gray wolf, canis lupus, our new neighbors. The gray wolf, the poster child for a generation of environmental fundraisers, should remain listed under federal law as being in imminent danger of extinction, its advoctes say, even if it is not. From this point of view, if it loses this federal distinction, the wolf will be at the mercy of bloodthirsty state wildlife managers and their irrational right-wing rural constituents, who will unleash their fury.

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