Feds, environmental groups file arguments on wolf recovery with Molloy

Molloy asked whether the 10(j) rule is even applicable

Parties to the lawsuit challenging the changes made to the 10(j) rule for the experimental, non-essential populations of wolves in Central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone filed their arguments yesterday. At issue now are not the changes made to the 10(j) rule in 2008 which ease restrictions for killing wolves, but whether or not the 10(j) rule even applies anymore. Judge Molloy questioned the litigants about whether a 10(j) rule was justified because wolves from both the Central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone populations have essentially become one population with those of Northwest Montana and Northern Idaho north of I-90 which are nonexperimental.

The ESA makes it clear that the 10(j) provisions only apply to populations that are “wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species”.

(j) EXPERIMENTAL POPULATIONS.—(1) For purposes of this subsection, the term “experimental population” means any population (including any offspring arising solely therefrom) authorized by the Secretary for release under paragraph (2), but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.

Feds, environmental groups file arguments on wolf recovery with Molloy.
By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian

Added – Copies of the Briefs ~ be :

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WWP Sues to Stop Fast Tracked Ivanpah Power Plant in California

Endangered Desert Tortoise Further Imperiled by Remote Solar Plant

Female desert tortoise resting on the apron of her burrow about to get a power plant built on her doorstep. (2010) © Michael J. Connor

Female desert tortoise resting on the apron of her burrow about to get a power plant built on her doorstep. (2010) © Michael J. Connor

For several months we’ve been covering the progress of the, now approved, solar power plant at Ivanpah near Las Vegas on the California side of the Nevada/California border. Initial construction has begun and biologists have rounded up as many desert tortoises as they can to prepare the site for what essentially amounts to sterilization. In past studies where desert tortoises had been moved, half of them died while an equal number of tortoises at the site where they were moved to were subsequently displaced and died.

The energy company BrightSource Energy says that they want to mitigate the loss of the desert tortoise by restoring Castle Mountain Venture land and mining claims in an area to the north and add them to the Mojave National Preserve. This is all well and good but the lands are very poor desert tortoise habitat and would not compensate for the habitat lost due to the destruction that the new solar plant will cause.

It’s hard to call a project like this “green” when there is no corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emitting coal or natural gas power plants and when the habitat destruction being caused further imperils the endangered desert tortoise and other species. This project keeps power generation in the hands of big corporations at the expense of taxpayers who would benefit more from subsidized use of less environmentally damaging rooftop solar.

One article, by the solar industry news site Solar Novus Today, about the lawsuit editorializes about the solar plant this way:

“One begins to wonder, aren’t we all on the same side? One of the main purposes of renewable energy is to protect the environment and help halt global warming. True, making money is a prime desire as well but if it wipes out the environmental concerns, we have, so to speak, thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Do we really need to put solar plants on pristine desert landscapes or on Native American sacred sites? It may take more time, effort and a little more money to research other less obvious sites, such as brownfields, but solar plants in these locations will accomplish both goals: keeping the environment safe and making money.”

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Conservationists seek to expand wolf range across U.S.

Center for Biological Diversity seeks to return wolves to West Coast, New England, Southern Rockies and Great Plains

The Center for Biological Diversity has filed litigation in response to the lack of response to their petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expand protections for wolves across a significant portion of their historical range.

Conservationists seek to expand wolf range across U.S..
Laura Zuckerman – Reuters

Lawsuit Launched to Recover Wolves Across Country
Center for Biological Diversity Press Release.

Man threatens to sue FWP over wolf-ruling coalition

Tired of one-sided wolf management

Jerry Black, a frequent commentator on this site, is challenging Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks for its attempt at building a coalition with hunters, outfitters, and livestock interests for the purposes of overturning Malloy’s wolf decision.

He’s tired of the one-sided state management which benefits only those special interests who want wolf management to have a heavy handed approach. It also looks like the FWP’s meeting violated state’s open meeting laws because it did not invite everyone in a timely manner.

Man threatens to sue FWP over wolf-ruling coalition.
Great Falls Tribune

Alaska judge upholds aerial gunning of wolves, but reduces the area substantially

Alaska Judge Upholds Aerial Wolf Killing But Limits Extent. Environment News Service.

The issue may be settled this August by Alaska voters or by Congress with the proposed PAW Act.*

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* “The Protect America’s Wildlife Act, or PAW Act, was introduced by California Congressman George Miller along with Congressman John Dingell of Michigan, the floor manager of the debate on the original Airborne Hunting Act; and Congressman Norm Dicks of Washington state, chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.

Now before the Committee on Natural Resources, the bill, H.R. 3663, would close a loophole in federal law that Alaska officials have used to permit hunters to shoot wolves from aircraft”

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Related story: Lack of snow hampers Alaska predator control program. NewMiner.com. They’ve only killed about 1/6 as many wolves as they wanted tol

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