Wyoming wolf delisting affirmed
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
March 3, 2017
The United States Court of Appeals issued a ruling this morning that a lower court
was wrong in vacating the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 decision to delist
wolves in Wyoming, and also found that the lower court’s determination that
Wyoming’s wolf plan did not contain "adequate regulatory mechanisms" was also
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the State of Wyoming had appealed the
lower court ruling to the appellant court, winning the ruling Friday. The 30-page
ruling noted: "The Secretary and the State of Wyoming appeal, principally on the
ground that the district court erred by failing to defer to the Service’s reasonable
interpretation of "regulatory mechanisms" to include the State’s management plan
for a wolf population buffer, which although not itself legally binding, is a practical
entailment of the State’s statutory population minima."
Although the appeals court has affirmed the FWS 2012 delisting rule, the next
steps are not yet clear. FWS reports that their solicitors are reviewing the decision
and will release guidance on how wolf delisting in Wyoming, and state
management of wolves, will proceed.
The appeals court decision is linked below.