August 27, 2011

Courts Deny Request To Block Wolf Hunts


On Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled against blocking planned wolf hunts in the states of Idaho and Montana scheduled to begin within the next week, various media outlets are reporting.

According to Reuters reporter Laura Zuckerman, more than 1,500 wolves in those two states were removed from the Endangered Species List thanks to a rider attached to a Congressional budget bill passed back in April. Following that delisting, officials in both Idaho and Montana were given "largely unfettered control over the animals," Zuckerman reports.

"Environmental groups sought to overturn the congressional action, which marked the first time an animal has been delisted through legislation rather than a process of scientific review established under the Endangered Species Act," she added. Those groups argued that Congress "overstepped its authority" by delisting the wolves, but earlier this month a federal judge ruled that the legislative body "had the authority to carve out an exception to the Endangered Species Act for a particular animal."

In this latest ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion filed by WildEarth Guardians, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and other groups seeking to cancel the hunts while they considered an appeal of that earlier ruling. Thus, the hunting seasons, will begin as scheduled--on August 30 in Idaho and September 3 in Montana.

"We lost the injunction, we have not lost the case," Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, told the Associated Press. "We will continue to fight to protect the wolves and enforce the separation of powers doctrine in the U.S. Constitution."

"We are discouraged we didn't win a stay of execution for wolves, but we are cautiously optimistic that we will win our lawsuit to protect wolves from future persecution," added John Horning, executive director for WildEarth Guardians.


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