SCI Files an Appeal in the Wyoming Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

wolfinwoodsfirstforhunters012914In October, a federal court in D.C. returned Wyoming’s wolves to the endangered species list. The court rejected the delisting of Wyoming’s wolves based on the fact that Wyoming’s commitment to manage wolves above minimum population levels was not part of a legally binding regulation or statute. Considering Wyoming’s plans to be merely “voluntary,” and therefore not sufficient to meet Endangered Species Act delisting requirements, the court sent the delisting decision back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Wyoming attempted to prevent the return of its wolves to endangered status by promptly addressing the court’s concerns and immediately adopting the population commitment as a state regulation. The FWS, Wyoming, and SCI, together with the NRA and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), all filed motions with the court, asking that the ruling be amended to recognize Wyoming’s efforts. The court denied all motions, insisting that the FWS initiate a new delisting process.

On December 1, 2014, the FWS filed an appeal of the District Court’s decision, prompting all parties to do the same. In addition to the appeal filed by SCI and the NRA, appeals have been filed by the State of Wyoming, RMEF, and the two sets of plaintiff groups that filed the original challenge to the delisting.

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