Minnesota Wolf Hunting Ban, Despite Endangered Listing, Won't Reach Governor's Desk

We won't see a wolf hunting ban in Minnesota, due to the exclusion of the measure in the final version of an environmental bill.

An attempt to fully ban the hunting of wolves in Minnesota, before they've even been taken off the Endangered Species List, has failed to reach the desk of Gov. Tim Walz, who reportedly would have signed it into law if given the chance.

The measure to preemptively ban wolf hunting in the state appeared inevitable, as it was part of the bill passed by the Minnesota House by one vote last month. It was excluded from the final bill that "a compromise agreement on natural resources and environmental policy," according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Federal protections have prevented hunting Minnesota's wolf population, or any state's, for recent years thanks to the Endangered Species Act.

But the Trump administration has suggested it will remove those protections from the federal government, and allow states to make their own decisions regarding the recreational hunting seasons, harvest quota limits, and overall management of their own wolf packs.

It's now uncertain how Minnesota, and its lawmakers, will approach wolf hunting as the fate of the wild species continues to play out. Walz had said after the House vote that he'd sign the bill with the ban measure included, seemingly turning a 180-degree spin from what has been the state's typical stance.

But the Minnesota Senate never voted on the measure, and Walz backs the current agreement.

In Minnesota, there are an estimated 2,655 gray wolves, mostly in the northern regions of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says.

Wolf seasons were held in Minnesota from 2012 to 2014, when it was legal to do so.