The most important court case in the history of wildlife management in the United States is about to unfold.
Based on a scientific assessment of the true biological status of gray wolves, the Trump administration is making moves to delist the species throughout the entire U.S. and simultaneously turn over all management responsibilities to the states.
To counter this move, the Center for Biological Diversity is preparing yet another lawsuit against the Trump administration. This latest lawsuit alleges that USFWS has not complied with the Endangered Species Act by creating a “NATIONAL RECOVERY PLAN” for the gray wolf.
Background: Gray wolves currently enjoy the widest circum-polar range of any large terrestrial predator on the planet. Wolves have never been in danger of extinction and are currently listed by the IUCN as a “Species of Least Concern”. However they remain listed as an “endangered” species in some 33 states because, despite their current population levels, which are off the charts, and their huge global range, which exceeds any other large predator on earth, gray wolves were once even more numerous and had, in the not too distant past, enjoyed an even more expansive range.
Based on precedent set in previous court cases, I believe this latest lawsuit has a better than 50/50 chance of succeeding. I urge support for the Trump administration as they attempt to navigate the legal mine field on this issue. Legislation is also being proposed in Congress to de-list gray wolves permanently, but no action is likely to occur until well after the mid-term elections and may, in fact, be wholly dependent on the outcome of those elections.
The “Manage our Wolves Act”, HR 6784 introduced Sept. 12, would delist wolves by the end of fiscal year 2019 and would return their management to state control within the contiguous 48 states. However, there is no guarantee this bill will ever make it through the process and reach the President’s desk. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers, R-Wash., Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
Absent any legislative fixes, the CBD’s latest lawsuit has the potential to be the most important court case in the history of wildlife management in the United States. They are going “ALL IN” to keep wolves on the Endangered Species List.
THIS JUST IN:
CBD files lawsuit to keep gray wolves listed “endangered”…
Text of suit: