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April 29, 2008

Fingers Crossed...

Yesterday we - along with 11 other conservation groups -  filed a federal court lawsuit challenging the federal government’s decision to remove the northern Rockies gray wolf population from the list of endangered species. We also filed a  request for a preliminary injunction in order to reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves until the  court issues a final decision on the merits of this case.

We maintain that wolves should not have been stripped of federal protections so soon because they are not yet recovered in the Northern Rockies region and the state management plans currently in place are woefully inadequate, not based on current science, and do not ensure the long term survival of the Northern Rockies gray wolf.

This is evident by the recent rash of indiscriminate killings that have gone on - most notably in Wyoming's shoot-on-site zone - in the short amount of time that wolves have been without protection. To quote from our injunction papers: "Since delisting, a spate of wolf killings by a variety of methods—pursuing wolves long distances with snowmobiles, shooting wolves from the roadside, and lying in wait for wolves at state-run elk feedgrounds—demonstrates the need now, as much as ever, to protect wolves under the Endangered Species Act."

Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have all refused to make enforceable commitments to maintain viable  and sustainable wolf populations within their borders. The states have neglected to secure funding for essential monitoring and conservation efforts.

We will keep you updated with any and all developments in this case, and we appreciate all the support that so many people have given during this important case that will decide the future of this iconic species. 

Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, and Wildlands Project.


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