October 3, 2008
A federal court on Monday overturned the decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list. <
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington sided with environmental groups when it accused the government of misreading the law last year when it lifted protections for more than 4,000 wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Friedman ruling nullifies newly established state policies allowing people in the Great Lakes area to kill wolves attacking livestock or pets. It also challenges the decision to designate Great Lakes wolves as a "distinct population segment" that could be bumped from the endangered list without regard to the species' nationwide standing.
In related news, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on Sept. 23, asked a judge in Montana to return the gray wolves in the Northern Rockies to the endangered list, reversing a proposal to drop them earlier this year. This decision is still pending.