Wolf lawsuit details
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
April 29, 2008
Twelve groups signed on to have Earthjustice file a lawsuit challenging the removal of federal protections for wolves in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
The case was filed in federal court in Missoula, Montana, which is part of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California. In contrast, federal court in Wyoming is part of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Here's the groups involved in the case who are seeking to eliminate state management of wolves:
DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES
CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
JACKSON HOLE CONSERVATION ALLIANCE
FRIENDS OF THE CLEARWATER
ALLIANCE FOR THE WILD ROCKIES
CASCADIA WILDLANDS PROJECT
WESTERN WATERSHED PROJECT
The complaint filed in federal court seeks to have federal protection for wolves restored and state management of wolves eliminated unless/until state plans are changed to provide more protection for wolves across a broader range of the region, with the result being even more wolves than we have now.
The complaint noted: “At 1,500 wolves, the population still has not achieved the size or connectivity between the region's core recovery populations that independent scientists have determined essential to wolves' long-term survival.”
According to the complaint, “Without ESA protections, the gray wolf population will never reach sustainable levels and is likely to enter a long-term decline. The states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming have each committed to maintain only 100-150 wolves.”
The complaint added, “Numerous scientists have informed FWS that a connected population of 2,000-5,000 wolves is necessary to ensure a genetically viable northern Rockies wolf population over the long term.”