June 12, 2009
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the removal of gray wolves from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection in Idaho and Montana. The lawsuit, filed in Montana, is separate from a suit Earthjustice attorneys filed earlier this month for 12 groups.
While GYC officials say they support eventual state management of wolves once adequate standards and safeguards are in place, they say the delisting fails to ensure thriving populations in the northern Rockies and undermines efforts to find sound, science-based solutions to wolf-management issues. Further, the group says delisting lifts wolf protection before achieving the necessary level of connectivity between populations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and central Idaho. The group also faults Idaho's aggressive plans to reduce its wolf population.
Delisting of wolves in Idaho and Montana became official May 4. Wolves remain protected under the ESA in Wyoming because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not accepted the state's management plan.
Reprinted in part from the Jackson Hole Daily