Saturday, July 19, 2008

Judge keeps northern gray wolf on endangered list

A federal judge in Montana ordered yesterday that gray wolves in that state, Idaho and Wyoming remain on the endangered-species list until he can rule on a lawsuit by environmentalists to block federal officials' de-listing of the species "after what they termed a successful 20-year effort to reestablish the wolves," Tami Abdollah of the Los Angeles Times reports.

District Judge Donald W. Molloy of Missoula said his injunction will "ensure the species is not imperiled," and that the Fish and Wildlife Service "provides no new evidence or research to support its change of course. Congress does not intend agency decision-making to be fickle. When it is, the line separating rationality from arbitrariness and capriciousness is crossed." For example, he said there was no proof of genetic exchange among groups of wolves, which would enhance the species' viability.

Molloy's order "also will trigger a federal rule that was modified in January to allow the wolves to be killed if they threaten 'property.' That allows ranchers to shoot wolves when they believe their livestock are at risk," Abdollah reports. "Wildlife officials said the rule was revised so that states or ranchers could deal with wolves that were affecting livestock if delisting was tied up in court. That rule is also being challenged in Molloy's court. . . . Since delisting went into effect at the end of March, ranchers, state officials and others have killed more than 100 wolves." (Read more) The region is estimated to have 2,000, reports The Missoulian, quoting Earthjustice attorney Doug Honnold: “There were fall hunts scheduled that would call for perhaps as many as 500 wolves to be killed.” (Read more)


john tyler said...

Judge Molloy is my newly found superhero. I want to send him my thanks and kudos, (not on email) but I need to know his mailing address. Please inform me.
He's grrreat!!
John Tyler, Half Moon Bay, CA

Al Cross said...

I'd guess that a letter addressed to Judge Molloy, U.S. District Court, Federal Courthouse, Missoula MT would find its way to him eventually.