Exposing the Big Game

Three wolf researchers were removed from a review panel based on their public criticism of a federal plan to turn management of the wolf over to states.

Federal officials apparently ordered a purge of an independent science panel tasked with reviewing whether gray wolves should come off the Endangered Species List, a move the federal government supports.

Three prominent independent wolf researchers — Roland Kays, John Vucetich and Robert Wayne — were removed from the review team based on their public criticism of the federal plan. They specialize in different areas of wildlife research, but they have one thing in common: In a May 21 letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, they questioned the scientific basis for a plan to turn wolf management over to states.

Related: Majority of Minnesotans mad over state allowing wolf hunting

Shortly after being picked for the review team, the private contractor amec, which is…

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