Big Game Forever wants in wolf lawsuit
by Big Game Forever press release
June 8, 2011
Big Game Forever (BGF) announced it has filed a motion in federal court to defend the recent Congressional Action to remove wolves from the Endangered Species List.
The joint motion filed by attorneys for Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, Wild Sheep Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW), Montana SFW, Idaho SFW, Arizona SFW and Big Game Forever is in response to challenges to the constitutionality of the recent congressional action to allow for wolf management in Idaho and Montana.
With recovery of wolf populations, procedural impediments have been consistently applied in an attempt to prevent state management of wolves.
"It is time for state wildlife agencies to be able to manage wolves, along with other species, in balance and with responsibility," explains Roger Blackner of Idaho SFW. "Montanans strongly feel that a return to common sense conservation is the best way to protect the future of all wildlife species," indicates Bill Merrill of Montana SFW.
"Unmanaged wolves behave differently from managed wolves," suggests Byron Bateman of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. Bateman continues, "recent attacks on horses, dogs and other livestock on people’s property show how important it is to begin to address the unnecessary damage to wildlife and livestock resources by unmanaged wolf populations."
Wolf Over Populations
Ongoing anti-management litigation must be ended to return wolf numbers to agreed upon levels to avoid irreversible damage to big game herds.
The two most recent lawsuits filed by several anti-delisting organizations challenge the constitutionality of recent congressional delisting decisions.
"Overruling the clear intent of Congress places the courts in an untenable position that can only be remedied by more comprehensive Congressional action," explains Ryan Benson from Big Game Forever. Benson continues, "repeated lawsuits to indefinitely prevent needed management of a recovered species creates unintended consequences that ultimately are not good for species that remain endangered."
While Congress continues to explore additional delisting actions, Big Game Forever will continue to work with the other partner groups to support the right of states to take the primary role in managing and protecting increasingly problematic wolf populations in the states of the West and Midwest.