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Pinedale Online > News > November 2009 > Wolf Coalition: FWS flip-flops
Wolf Coalition: FWS flip-flops
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
November 13, 2009

The Wyoming Wolf Coalition also filed an opening brief in the federal court case in Wyoming challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision not to delist wolves in Wyoming.

The brief opens: "The best scientific and commercial data available demonstrate that Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan and underlying statutory scheme support the recovery goals established for the Gray Wolf (Canis Lupis) in Wyoming. The decision of the United States District Court for the District of Montana and the subsequent ‘flip flop’ by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service represent politics at its worst, as well a complete and total rejection of the only valid ‘science’ that has been generated on the subject."

The brief argues that there is nothing in the record "that undermines or otherwise warrants a departure from delisting the gray wolf population in Wyoming, and it is unlawful for the FWS to change its mind based upon political influences rather than scientific evidence."

The brief asserts: "The wolves were brought into Wyoming because of the unique nature of Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding federal lands. The entire purpose of the introduction effort was to ‘return’ wolves to Yellowstone National Park. There is not one document … that disclosed what now appears to be the true agenda of the FWS and the various political organizations that demanded that wolves be introduced into our State: that they would be spread throughout our borders regardless of their impact and regardless of whether the habitat is appropriate or not. …{T}here never has been a ‘Wyoming Recovery Area,’ and to make such a land grab now should be seen for what it is."

The Wyoming Wolf Coalition also took issue with the FWS rule delisting wolves in Montana and Idaho, but not Wyoming, In the rule, FWS stated: "Public hostility toward wolves led to the excessive human-caused mortality that extirpated the species from the … (area) … in the 1930s. Such attitudes toward wolves are deeply ingrained in some individuals and continue to affect human tolerance of wolves. The predatory animal designation in Wyoming underscores this point."

The Wolf Coalition responded: "The above quotation is troubling for many reasons. First is the implication that Wyoming’s predatory status is a reflexive or knee jerk response borne out of hostility towards wolves. In reality, the predatory status is one half of a dual status classification (predatory area v. trophy game area) created to strike an appropriate balance between protecting livestock and wildlife interests on the one hand, and ensuring the protection of wolves on the other. What the above passage elucidates is the FWS’s dislike of the dual status classification - and not because of any scientific or biological reason, but for reasons of public perception."

To learn more about the Wyoming Wolf Coalition’s arguments, click on the link below.

Related Links
  • Wolf Watch - By Cat Urbigkit
  • Pinedale Online > News > November 2009 > Wolf Coalition: FWS flip-flops

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