Monday, December 22, 2014

Federal judge orders gray wolves around Lake Superior be returned to endangered-species list

Photo by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A federal judge has ordered that gray wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan be returned to the federal endangered-species list.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled Friday that the removal from the list was arbitrary and capricious and thus violated the Endangered Species Act. Howell wrote: "Wolves are the subject of heated disputes, with those on every side of the issue offering heartfelt arguments as to how best to manage this unique species. The last decade of litigation is a testament to those passions."

In 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the protected list, giving states control over their populations, Lee Bergquist and Paul A. Smith report for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But the Humane Society of the United States sued to get the wolves put back on the endangered list. Jonathan Lovvorn, the group's senior vice president and chief counsel, told the Sentinel, "It's a great victory for wolves and wolf conservation. We felt all along that federal protection should never have been removed." (Read more)

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