Louisa Willcox of NRDC writes about the Delisting Hearing
Louisa Wilcox, of NRDC, has written a great piece about the hearing and how the arguments by the government were disjointed and more about the politics than the law. She raises some good points and gives more information about the judge’s questions of the government’s conflicting arguments.
“Is it rational for the states to manage wolves when their plans are not legally binding or enforceable? When their primary defense is a “trust us” argument? Was not the failure of the states to recover wolves a major reason that wolves got listed in the first place? Given the states’ track record, what rational person would be satisfied with a “trust us” defense?”
I find particularly interesting the conflict between classifying Wyoming’s population as an experimental, non-essential population while the government is arguing that they are mingling with wolves from other states and populations. The 10(j) rule cannot be used in this way because it only allows populations that are not connected to other populations to be given this status. While wolf advocates are arguing that the three populations don’t have enough connectivity it cannot be said that Wyoming wolves are not interacting with wolves in southwest Montana and eastern Idaho since they are considered one metapopulation. It’s an arbitrary decision to delist a portion of a single population while the population in Wyoming is still listed.
Reading from the statute, Molloy said “10(j) only applies when populations are separated from other populations… It seems like you can’t designate wolves as a 10(j) population in Wyoming, because they’re mingling with non-protected wolves. Don’t they stop being experimental/non-essential when they co-mingle with other non-protected populations? “
That argument aside, there are plenty of other inconsistencies in the government’s arguments.
Wolf Delisting Court Hearing: Sense and Nonsense
Louisa Willcox’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC