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USA TODAY, December 16, 2016

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service today put forward a draft plan to release 20 to 30 new wolves on Michigan's Isle Royale over a three-year period as a way to bolster a population on the remote Lake Superior island that has dwindled to just two and is in danger of becoming extinct.

If the Park Service – which for more than a year has been looking at the fading Isle Royale wolf population and a moose herd that has swelled to 1,300 animals with its main predator in decline – follows through, it could quickly revive a closed ecosystem on the rugged 45-mile-long island protected from hunting and existing largely outside of human interference.

But it could also stir up concerns that the Park Service, in an attempt to address climate change and warmer winters that have in recent years reduced ice bridges to the island – in turn halting natural wolf migration from Canada – is setting a precedent that some environmental groups believe violates the federal Wilderness Act’s requirement that lands remain “untrammeled” by human intervention.

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