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Washington, D.C. – Today Governor Dave Freudenthal announced that Wyoming will be included in the proposed gray wolf de-listing rule that is scheduled to be published in its final form in late 2007 or January, 2008.

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, who met with the governor and negotiators from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife in Cheyenne in December, said today’s development is a positive development.

Enzi is appreciative state and federal negotiators have listened to his ideas on the wolf issue over the past few months. The following are his comments regarding today’s development.

"I commend Governor Freudenthal and state legislators for their passionate diligence to state interests and also for their good judgment on what is realistic and practical. Negotiators for the Fish and Wildlife Service also should be congratulated. They had to look hard at times to find windows of opportunity that would allow them to continue, but they did.

"We’ve waited a long time, too long. The time to delist the wolf is now. Wolves far exceed recovery goals in all three states. There is definitely something wrong with a system where it’s excruciatingly difficult to successfully delist a species when the recovery goals have been met.

"Delisting would allow for proper management, which will allow for us to protect our ranchers and big game herds. The wolf negotiations are a lot like what must happen when a seemingly unstoppable force meets with an immovable object, but no one has given up. All parties have been steadfast in the protection of the interests they represent, but they've also stepped back and looked very hard for 'third ways' that could accommodate everybody. Giving up would leave Wyoming outside of the process and that is unacceptable. Delisting the wolf in Montana and Idaho, but not Wyoming makes no sense. I hope we can continue to move forward from here."