SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – A Washington state official says wolves should be removed from the federal endangered species list in the entirety of the state.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind in April wrote a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in support of the proposal to delist wolves in the Lower 48 states.

Susewind calls the proposal “appropriate and timely” as wolves are recovering.

Wolves in the eastern third of Washington are already delisted.

The Center for Biological Diversity criticized the letter, saying the idea of stripping federal protections from wolves is “appalling.”

The environmental group contends 72 percent of Washington residents want federal protection.

The federal government has already delisted wolves in the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, as well as in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

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