Monday, March 06, 2017

Appeals court says Wyoming wolves should be stripped of endangered status

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo
A federal appeals court on Friday ruled that "wolves in Wyoming should be stripped of Endangered Species Act protections and management given to the state rather than the U.S. government," Laura Zuckerman reports for Reuters. The decision could open the door for hunting of wolves.

"U.S. wildlife managers in 2012 determined that wolves in Wyoming had rebounded from the threat of extinction and that the state plan to oversee the creatures was adequate to ensure their survival," Zuckerman writes. "But conservation groups sued, contending the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had acted in an arbitrary and unlawful fashion in finding Wyoming's plan acceptable. They argued the state would fail to maintain the animals at certain population levels and would subject a portion of them to being shot on sight."

"A U.S. district judge sided with environmentalists in a 2014 decision and the several hundred wolves in Wyoming were once again placed under federal safeguards," Zuckerman writes. "The state, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency and others appealed that ruling and, on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia reversed the lower court, finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had indeed 'exercised its judgment in a reasonable way' in concluding that Wyoming's management plan would provide wolves with sufficient protections."

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