The federal government is reopening a comment period for its plan to take the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.
The comment period is reopening not so much because of the status of the gray wolf in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan — but because in its plan to de-list, announced in May, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to define the eastern wolf as a separate species from the gray wolf.
The agency says the eastern wolf's historic range covers parts of 12 northeast and mid-Atlantic states, and it is reviewing the status of the eastern wolf to determine whether it should be placed on the Endangered Species List.
The two types of wolves cannot be distinguished without DNA tests, and wildlife managers say it will be difficult to protect one as endangered while dropping protections for the other.
Deadline for the new comment period is September 26.