Search Our Site

Search form


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.



It’s great that hunters in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming won’t be able to shoot wolves anymore. However, I would raise one small point: The law that is being used to protect the wolves explicitly endorses viewing them instrumentally, rather than recognizing their inherent value as individuals. This is not surprising, but it is unfortunate. The following is from the Endangered Species Act, section 1531 Congressional findings and declaration of purposes and policy: (a) Findings The Congress finds and declares that— … (3) these species of fish, wildlife, and plants are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people; [instrumental value, that is] … (5) encouraging the States and other interested parties… to develop and maintain conservation programs… is a key… to better safeguarding, for the benefit of all citizens, the Nation’s herit­age in fish, wildlife, and plants. [italics are mine] According to the ESA, we’re protecting wolves now so that they will continue to exist for use by humans in the future. I hope that one day we will protect every individual sentient creature because she is valuable as an end in herself, and not merely as a means to human ends.

GREAT! They should've never been been taken off the list in the first place.

and here you go again, editor, on your personal attack on those of us living in alaska. whether you like it or not, we will decide what happens here and your insults only further our alienation from group such as yours. assaults like these weaken your credibility and do nothing but anger people. while most of your posts are based on emotion rather than fact, it is childish at best to resort to assaults on those of differing opinion. I have and will continue to commend FoA for the work they do, although my views differ. again, i would like to thank FoA for allowing that my opinion be read. [Blog editors' note: Not all people in Alaska have been discussed in this thread, Jimmy. Some are respectful of other animals' interests.]

Lets just all be happy for a decision that is just positive all the way around and not attack each other for our opinions on this page... Do the right thing!

I'm really happy about this decision.

you will never understand wildlife mangement because you choose not to greg.

They should never have been delisted in the first place. I don't want wolves to disappear forever.

So....Jason's attempting to say that wolves kill more elk and deer herds than humans, and that wolves destroy so much more livestock than humans that eventually "the only thing left living will be the wolves and then they will die off and then nothing." And I suppose the Native Americans killed more buffalo than white settlers. Jason--I implore you......go back to school. And no matter what your parents say, stay out of your sister's bedroom. Didn't you catch any of the comments regarding the importance of genetic diversity?

Great news!!! Great Victory for animals!!! Thanks Judge Molloy!!


Add new comment