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Judge Rules Gray Wolves Be Returned to Federal Protection

July 18, 2008 | Wolves
The Lewiston Tribune Online

A federal judge in Montana has ruled that gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming be returned to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Judge Donald Molloy of Montana ruled Friday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when it removed wolves in the Northern Rockies Region from the endangered species list in March.

He agreed with arguments made by environmental and animal rights groups that wolf populations in Yellowstone National Park do not yet interbreed with wolves in Idaho and western Montana to an extent that ensures genetic diversity. He also ruled the agency approved Wyoming's state wolf management plan last year despite previously saying the basic tenants of that plan that allow wolves to be killed without regulation in 90 percent of the state, was inadequate to protect wolves. Lastly, Molloy ruled the groups proved that wolves were likely to be harmed by public hunting seasons planned in each state this fall.

Molloy granted a preliminary injunction reversing the delisting of wolves while the entire case is being heard and also said the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in a majority of their claims.

The ruling is a set back for the Fish and Wildlife Service that has said wolves are biologically recovered and decided earlier this year that adequate state regulations were in place to keep the wolves from becoming imperilled. There are estimated to be about 2,000 wolves in the three states and about 800 in Idaho.


Excellent! They should never have been taken off the list in the first place! Gene diversity is paramount to the total Grey Wolf species survival.

It's good to hear news of this matter that all wildlife be carefully studied and be given the right to live under their natural habitat, and to roam free in a safe enviroment. All judges should judge with the right that all life on this world has the right to live. And all the neccesary actions to protect us against harm by wildlife or us to wildfire be in place.

It is a sad day for we humans if the ruling goes through to kill these magnificient horses. I would call this genocide. We were angry with the Germans for killing Jews, and now we are doing this to our wildlife here in America. The genocide of wild horses, the Mustangs of the open plains. What harm could they do? How can they protect themselves? Please. Please reconsider this travesty and protect all species. They have every right to remain on this planet-alive, and well. I look forward to the time when I can travel with my grandchildren to view the wild horses galloping through the mountains and valleys. I can smell their warm breath and soft fur. You kill a little of us off each time you lift the protection of these wonderous creatures. And Bravo to Judge Molloy for standing up for these wonderful creatures, the wolves.

thank GOD !!! they may be safe for now..but i gotta wonder what is this world coming to? it's insane.and what about the wild Mustangs.? who decides what happens to them now????

It's great that it will now be unlawful for hunters to kill wolves. I'm sure there will be those who will still try, but the fight to save animals is a slow process and will eventually changed the minds of all those who inhabit the earth.

God put us on this earth to portect his creation not distroy it.dooesn't man still have a brain ?


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