Reaction to the removal of the gray wolf from the list of threatened species

Last week, a federal judge overturned the Trump administration’s removal of the gray wolf from the endangered and threatened species list.

U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California Jeffrey White concluded that “the deficiencies in the final rule are serious and weigh in favor of vacatur.”

White wrote that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service analysis “relyed on two major wolf populations to remove wolves from the national list and did not provide a reasonable interpretation of the ‘significant part of the population’ standard. its range “.”

The judge’s ruling means it’s once again illegal to kill wolves for sport in all states except the Northern Rockies, where the federal government has transferred control of wolf populations to Montana and the United States. ‘Idaho into another set of rules several years ago, Animal Wellness Action noted. in a press release.

“Federal courts have again demonstrated that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service misinterpreted science and law and prematurely delisted wolves,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for Health. Humane Economy.

“This restoration of federal protections restores critical protections for wolves, especially in the Great Lakes region, and now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should reevaluate its misinterpretation of the ongoing assault on wolves by the Rocky Mountain states. North.”


“This is a huge win for gray wolves and the many people across the country who care so deeply about them,” said Collette Adkins, director of carnivore conservation at the Center for Biological Diversity.

“I hope this decision finally convinces the Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon its longstanding and misguided efforts to remove federal wolf protections. Instead, the agency should work to restore these large, ecologically important carnivores to places like the southern Rockies and the northeastern United States.

Earthjustice had filed a lawsuit against the decision on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association and Oregon Wild.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said the Farm Bureau “is extremely disappointed with the decision to return the gray wolf to the endangered species list.”

“The gray wolf exceeded recovery targets and should be celebrated as an Endangered Species Act success story,” Duvall said. “The ESA aims to promote the recovery and removal of species, not to impose permanent protected status on animals that are currently thriving. Today’s decision ignored ESA’s objectives and threatens the efforts of recovery of other animals.

“Farmers and ranchers share the goal of a healthy and thriving ecosystem. Management of the fully recovered gray wolf should be overseen by states, which can best determine the most appropriate course of action for each region,” Duvall said.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council expressed disappointment with the decision.

“It is disappointing that environmental activism carried more weight than science in this case. Rather than rule on due process and meeting recovery criteria, Judge White chose to overturn the rule and undermine one of the most successful ESA recovery stories in US history. said Kaitlynn Glover, executive director of the NCBA’s Natural Resources and Public Lands Council. .

“This is just another attempt by activist groups to ignore the facts and rewrite the history of gray wolf recovery in the United States”

NCBA and PLC said they believe the data shows the gray wolf population has recovered and no longer meets the requirements for a listing. “Since being listed under the ESA in 1974, the gray wolf population has experienced a dramatic recovery, exceeding recovery goals by 300%,” the groups said.

“ESA should not be used as a permanent management tool. Today’s decision conflicts with the intended purpose of the law and removes essential management tools for wolves who pose a huge threat to farmers and ranchers, rural economies and vital conservation of land and natural resources,” Glover said.

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