May 16, 2008
May 16, 2008 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS), along with Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, will be returning to court on May 29 in Missoula, Mont., to defend their ability to manage the recovery of the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies.
Anti-livestock groups on April 28 filed a lawsuit in front of a federal judge in Montana seeking an emergency injunction to block state management authority and to place the wolves in this region back under the protections of the Endangered Species Act. They also asked for a court injunction to restore federal control over wolves while the case is pending.
These groups contend that the 39 wolves killed since they lost federal protection in March threatens wolf recovery. However, the FWS has repeatedly said it will put wolves back on the endangered list if the population dips below 300 animals. The wolf population is currently at three times the recovery goal needed for delisting with an estimated 1,500 wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
The FWS oversaw wolf recovery efforts over the last two decades.