This is a very important case
Judge Molloy has issued a order asking the defendants and plaintiffs why the 10(j) lawsuit “should not be dismissed as moot due to the absence of a population meeting the statutory requirements for 10(j) status.”
If the lawsuit is dismissed wolves in all of the Northern Rockies could lose their status as an experimental, non-essential population or 10(j) status and receive full protection under the Endangered Species Act. This would be because wolves from the Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone populations have bred with those in the Northern Idaho/Northwest Montana population which came from Canada on their own and enjoy full protection of the ESA because they are not part of the 10(j) population. To receive 10(j) status, a population must be “wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.”.
This would surely heat up the debate about wolves and would make it much more difficult to kill wolves for protection of ungulates and livestock in all areas where wolves exist in the Northern Rockies. This would also change the whole dynamic at play with Wyoming’s intransigence. If wolves remain listed in Wyoming and this lawsuit is dismissed then wolves there would be much more difficult to kill. This would provide ample motivation for Wyoming to come up with a management plan that is acceptable to the USFWS.
As soon as we get a copy of the order we will post it.
Judge’s ruling could threaten state’s ability to kill wolves
Lewiston Morning Tribune.
Judge’s ruling could put new limits on wolf hunts