Twelve conservation groups are fighting for the survival of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. The groups today 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. Wolves should not have been delisted, the groups argue, because they remain threatened by biased, inadequate state management plans, as well as by the lack of connections between largely isolated state wolf populations.
The Fish and Wildlife Service’s premature decision to strip the protections of the Endangered Species Act from the northern Rocky Mountains’ wolves promises to undo the hard-earned progress toward wolf recovery of recent years. State laws that guide wolf management in the wake of delisting betray the states’ continued hostility toward the presence of wolves in the region. While ensuring that wolves can and will be killed in defense of property or recreation, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have refused to make enforceable commitments to maintaining viable wolf populations within their borders. The states have failed to keep track of recent wolf killings and also neglected to secure funding for essential monitoring and conservation efforts.
Photo by Dobak