Wyoming wolf lawsuit moves forward
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
June 28, 2007
The State of Wyoming recently filed its opening brief in U.S. District Court for Wyoming in its continued battle with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for wolf delisting.
On July 1, 2005, the State of Wyoming filed a petition asking FWS to amend the existing gray wolf management regulations, but the federal agency has failed to make a decision on that petition. Two weeks after that petition was filed, Wyoming filed a second petition, this one asking the Secretary of the Interior to establish a Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment (DPS) for the gray wolf and to delist this DPS. FWS denied the state’s petition to delist on August 1, 2006, so state officials then quickly acted to file the current litigation.
According to the state’s opening brief, by not making a decision on the petition to amend the federal rules for the DPS, the FWS has “unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed agency action.”
Secondly, the state argues that the federal denial of the state’s petition to delist was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, contrary to constitutional right, in excess of statutory authority, unsupported by substantial evidence, and otherwise not in accordance with law.”
To learn more about the case, read the state's opening brief, posted below.