Molloy denies wolf settlement

Says that the agreement is illegal

Today Montana District Court Judge Donald Molloy denied the settlement agreement put forth by 10 of the 14 environmental groups who sued to keep wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act.  The settling parties had asked the judge to set aside his previous ruling which found that the USFWS 2009 delisting rule was illegal because it split the distinct population segment (DPS) of wolves in the Northern Rockies and left them listed in Wyoming.  The Endangered Species Act does not allow the USFWS to partially delist a DPS.

“[The] District Court is still constrained by the “rule of law.” No matter how useful a course of conduct might be to achieve a certain end, no matter how beneficial or noble the end, the limit of power granted to the District Court must abide by the responsibilities that flow from past political decisions made by the Congress. The law cannot be ignored to accommodate a partial settlement. The rule of law does not afford the District Court the power to decide a legal issue but then at the behest of some of the litigants to reverse course and permit what the Congress has forbidden because some of those interested have sensibly, or for other reasons, decided to lay a dispute to rest.”

Order Denying Indicative Relief Motion

Feds, States and others file appeal on wolf ruling

Federal Government appeals the wolf ruling-

I missed this one but it is important. Everyone knew that the states and many other groups would appeal Judge Molloy’s ruling on wolves but no one was sure whether the Federal Government would appeal the ruling too. Now that question has been answered.

State and others file appeal on wolf ruling.
By Eve Byron – Helena Independent Record

Wolf delisting hearing stalled after attorney faints in courtroom

85 protesters show up at courthouse-

Wolf delisting hearing stalled after attorney faints in courtroom. KBZK.com

Posted in Delisting, Lawsuit, Wolves. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Wolf delisting hearing stalled after attorney faints in courtroom

Various stories on the big wolf lawsuit injunction

Of course, media coverage has been intense. Here are a number of stories that hopefully provide a variety of viewpoints.

Regional stories and editorials-

Wyoming-

Judge orders wolf relisting. Casper Star Tribune.
Judge restores wolf protection. Jackson Hole News and Guide

Idaho-

Wolves again have federal protection. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.
Back to square one with wolves. By Nate Poppino. Times-News

Montana-

Molloy restores ESA protection for wolves. By Matthew Brown, Associated Press and the Missoulian
Wolf Protections Restored in Northern Rockies, Hunting Halted. By Peter Metcalf. New West.

National-

Judge Returns Gray Wolves to Endangered List. By Felicity Barringer. New York Times.
Gray wolves get back their endangered species status, for now. Los Angeles Times.

Other-

Federal Judge Orders Endangered Species Act Protections Reinstated for Grey Wolves – At Least For Now. The Questionable Authority. By Mike Dunford.

District Judge Reverses Gray Wolf Delisting Throughout Northern Rockies. News release from Defenders of Wildlife.
The long road to victory for wolves.
By Louisa Willcox. NRDC

Barker says, “I blew it.”

Rocky Barker had predicted a day earlier that the plaintiffs in the case were not likely to get an injuction.

Molloy puts wolves back on the endangered species list. Rocky Barker. Letters from the West. Idaho Statesman.

News From Judge Molloy’s Court on Wolf Litigation – 5/7

Two decisions from Judge Molloy today on the litigation brought by the coalition of conservation and animal rights groups against the federal government’s decision to delist the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf.

The first is Judge Molloy’s decision on a motion made by the federal government requesting an extension of two weeks to respond to wolf advocates’ request for an injunction :

Update 5/8:
Montana judge rejects bid to delay wolf lawsuit

Matthew Brown – AP
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WildEarth Guardians and The Rewilding Institute sue on the failing Mexican wolf program

Delisting lawsuit is filed. Injunction asked

The lawsuit has been filed with a request for an immediate injunction to suspend state management. The suit was filed in the Montana federal district court in Missoula.

Conservation Groups Sue Over Wolf Delisting. Backpacker Magazine.

Environmental, conservation groups challenge wolf delisting. By Matthew Brown, Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman.

At least 37 wolves have been killed in the first month of state management (from Brown’s story above).

– – – –

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2008

CONTACT:

Suzanne Asha Stone, Defenders of Wildlife, 208-424-0932
Louisa Willcox, Natural Resources Defense Council, (406) 222-9561
Franz Camenzind, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, (307) 733-9417
Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club, (415) 977-5619
Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity, (575) 534-0360

TWELVE CONSERVATION GROUPS CHALLENGE FEDERAL WOLF DELISTING

Missoula, MT. Twelve conservation groups are fighting for the survival of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. The groups today filed a federal court lawsuit challenging the federal government’s decision to remove the northern Rockies gray wolf population from the list of endangered species. Wolves should not

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Some new wolf photos from Wyoming for lawsuit day

Today, Monday April 28, EarthJustice is expected to file a lawsuit trying to overturn the delisting of wolves one month ago — the handover to virtually unrestricted state management. Wyoming management has resulted already in at least ten, and probably many more, dead wolves from what was the state’s population of 188 wolves. The photos below appear to be 4 of them.

Warning if you click on this article, the photos might disturb you. They have been all over the place on email.

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Lawsuit on wolf delisting to be filed Monday

Wolf lawsuit on Monday. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Eric Keszler, who speaks for Wyoming Game and Fish, says the following in the article above: “Keszler said the current [Wyoming] population can withstand the recent wolf shootings in Sublette County. He pointed out that roughly 90 percent of Wyoming’s wolves live in the trophy game area, and that Wyoming’s wolf population has continued to grow despite losing between 60 and 80 wolves per year due in control actions resulting from livestock depredations.”

Kesler’s remarks are not true when we consider last year. In the past Wyoming’s wolf population outside Yellowstone Park grew despite fairly heavy “control” killings. Last year, however, the wolf population in Wyoming barely grew, just 7%, because official and other killings were so high.

The non-national Park Wyoming wolf population (official count) follows.

2003 82 wolves
2004 101 wolves
2005 134 wolves
2006 175 wolves
2007 188 wolves

Eleven Conservation Groups Challenge Federal Wolf Delisting (news release)

For release. February 27, 2008

Contact:
Suzanne Asha Stone, Defenders of Wildlife, (208) 424-0932
Louisa Willcox, Natural Resources Defense Council, (406) 222-9561
Franz Camenzind, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, (307) 733-9417
Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club, (415) 977-5619
Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity, (575) 534-0360
Jon Marvel, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 788-2290

Eleven Conservation Groups Challenge Federal Wolf Delisting.

Washington, D.C.— Eleven conservation groups are fighting to protect wolves in the northern Rockies. The groups notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today that it violated the Endangered Species Act by removing the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population from the list of endangered species despite the genetic inadequacy of the present population and the refusal of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana to make meaningful commitments to wolf conservation. The groups intend to challenge the Service’s decision in federal court. In an effort to overturn the Service’s delisting rule before hundreds of wolves can be killed in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, the conservation groups served their letter within hours of the publication of the delisting rule in the Federal Register. Under the delisting rule, states will assume legal management authority of wolves in the northern Rockies on March 28, 2008.

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Groups file lawsuit against the new 10j rule

As expected, a number of conservation groups have filed a lawsuit in the Montana federal district court to set aside the new 10j rule on wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming that was just published.

They are Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council,  Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the United States, and Friends of the Clearwater. They are represented by Earthjustice, a conservation law firm.

Story in the Missoulian. By John Cramer.

This rule states how the federal government will let the states manage wolves prior to delisting. The delisting statement is expected very soon, but most of us see the 10j rule as a backstop by the USFWS to make sure the states have authority to kill a lot of wolves even if delisting is overturned in a yet-to-be filed lawsuit.