Wolf Protections in Wyoming Upheld Again; Appeals Court Dismisses Lawsuit
April 3, 2006
Unsatisfied with a District Court ruling from last March that threw out plans to remove protections from endangered gray wolves, the State of Wyoming appealed the decision and asked the court to rule in its favor. Now, in a recent decision, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the state's arguments for a second time. At issue in the case is Wyoming's proposed wolf management plan, which would threaten the animals through various clauses including one that would allow wolves to be shot on sight. Ultimately, the plan would have threatened the state's entire wolf population through unregulated killing. The Department of Interior originally rejected the management plan when it was first proposed, and rather than correct the problems Wyoming filed suit. The recent court decision sends the state back to the drawing board again and ensures that wolves in the state will be protected—for now.
March 3, 2005
Gray wolves living in Wyoming will benefit from a court decision handed down on March 18, 2005. In the case State of Wyoming v. U.S. Department of Interior, the state challenged the Department of Interior's criticisms of a wolf management plan that, among other things, would classify rare wolves as "predatory" animals that can be shot on sight. The State also claimed that the Department's efforts to protect the wolf somehow violated the U.S. Constitution. The Sierra Club and other conservation groups intervened in the case to argue how important it was not to approve the state's plan for wolves until it genuinely protects these magnificent animals from being driven back toward extinction. The court rejected the state's attack, emphasizing the vulnerable status of the wolf and finding the state's challenge at odds with the Constitution as well as premature.
Details and Documents:
Federal court upholds dismissal of Wyoming wolf lawsuit
April 4, 2006, by Mead Gruver, Associated Press, in Billings Gazette
Memorandum Opinion and Order (1.8Mb PDF)
by U.S. District Court, District of Wyoming
March 18th, 2005
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