Lawsuit filed to keep Great Lakes wolves listed
by Cat Urbigkit
December 18, 2007
On December 4, a U.S. district court granted the Center for Biological Diversity “friend of the court” status in a case seeking to retain protection for gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit challenges the Bush administration’s most recent attempt to weaken and remove protection for the wolf.
“The gray wolf is gone from 95 percent of its range in the lower 48 states,” said Amy Atwood, staff attorney with the Center. “Although wolf numbers have increased in a few states, it is too soon to abandon their recovery in the many states that have habitat where wolves could thrive once again.”
Rather than retaining Endangered Species Act protections, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has simultaneously created and delisted a “distinct population segment” of gray wolf that resides in the western Great Lakes region. The agency has similarly proposed to draw a circle around wolves in the northern Rockies and remove their protection. The Center alleges, "Such actions on behalf of the Service effectively abandon all protections for the species and undermine wolf recovery throughout the majority of its range in the contiguous United States."