Earlier we learned why Western Watersheds Project stands firm. Does not join wolf settlement. Now initial briefs have been filed before the Court, with the Settling Parties filing a motion for an indicative ruling, essentially asking the judge whether he would partially stay the August 2010 order vacating and setting aside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 Delisting Rule in the states of Idaho and Montana only.
I have attached links to several of the briefs, including Western Watersheds Project’s brief opposing the settlement, below the fold:
Pursuant to the Court’s March 21, 2011 Order, Dkt. 193, Western Watersheds Project hereby objects to and opposes the Motion for Indicative Ruling filed jointly by several plaintiffs and defendants (collectively the “Settling Parties”) who attempt to settle the present case and a related case (No. cv-08-14-M-DWM). Dkt. 187.
The Settling Parties seek to strip Western Watersheds Project (“WWP”) and other non-settling plaintiffs of the legal ruling already rendered in their favor by this Court, without intervening or overriding legal authority, without all parties agreeing to the proposed settlement, and without ensuring adequate protection for wolves. The Court already held it improper for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) to base its Northern Rocky Mountain (“NRM”) wolves delisting decision on politics. Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar, 729 F. Supp. 2d 1207, 1228 (D. Mont. 2010)(“Even if the Service’s solution is pragmatic, or even practical, it is at its heart a political solution that does not comply with the ESA.”) Yet the Settling Parties now seek the Court’s blessing for the politically motivated decision to be reinstated, and they provide no basis for the ruling they seek and settlement they propose, other than altered political postures.
Settling Parties’ Filings:
Court Order Scheduling Consideration of Motion to Settle: