A group representing farmers and ranchers is praising a federal agency's proposal to drop protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says wolves have recovered from the brink of extinction and management of the species should return to state wildlife agencies.

Director of Congressional Relations Ryan Yates tells The Associated Press that many of the group's members have lost livestock to wolf kills since the population began to recover.

He says farmers and ranchers obey the law and would respect whatever policies the states establish to protect wolves.

Acting U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced the plan to remove gray wolf protections during a speech on Wednesday.