How could a person take the magnificent grey wolf off of the endangered species list? The Humane Society and other wildlife organizations filed a lawsuit to rectify that wrong.
While in office, Donald Trump decided to take the grey wolf off the endangered list even though a group of wildlife experts tried to change his mind. They said doing so threatened the animal, perhaps out of existence. Obviously, he did not care. It seems the ex-president does not like animals.
US District Judge Jeffrey White in Northern California ruled in favor of the Humane Society of the United States and the other wildlife groups who sued to reverse Trump’s policy in early 2021, as soon as Trump took them off the list.
White restored the gray wolf population in 45 of the 50 United States. He wrote that Trump’s people:
‘[F]ailed to adequately analyze and consider the impacts of partial delisting and of historical range loss on the already-listed species.’
The plaintiffs in the case argued that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) did not evaluate the situation properly prior to removing the wolves from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection. It simply assumed that the wolf population was sufficiently restored.
Wolves are intelligent and have a vocabulary of about 450 “words.” Should a young wolf goes to another pack, it must learn an entirely new “language.”
President and CEO of the Humane Society, Kitty Block released a statement that read:
‘After having yet another wolf delisting overturned in federal court, the US Fish and Wildlife Service should finally learn, its lesson. Instead of continuing to devise convoluted excuses to strip these beloved animals of legal protections, the agency must develop a plan for meaningful recovery across the species’ range and ensure that states will not decimate their wolf populations.’
Last year there were six Native American Ojibwe tribes who also sued Wisconsin. The state’s hunting policy went directly against their treaty-protected rights.
Wisconsin hunters killed over 215 wolves in three days during a trophy hunting season. However, that was nearly double the state’s quota.
The Humane Society’s statement referred to the lawsuit:
‘Our lawsuit argues that by treating the plight of these fragile populations as insignificant and ignoring the natural and manmade threats that wolves nationwide still face, the government is in violation of the Endangered Species Act and its legal duty of protecting wolves and helping them recover.’
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was not impacted directly by the lawsuit but joined it anyway (amicus brief). She noted that her state only had approximately 700 grey wolves, and released a statement that read:
‘These magnificent animals serve important roles in our Great Lakes ecosystems, and they show us that dedication to family is not unique to humans.’
The Hunter Nation President and CEO Luke Hilgemann released a statement too:
‘We are disappointed that an activist judge from California decided to tell farmers, ranchers, and anyone who supports a balanced ecosystem with common-sense predator management that he knows better than them.’
Hunter, rancher, and farmer advocacy groups argued that the court’s decision would impact their livestock and affect the predator management programs:
‘At Hunter Nation, we prefer to trust local experts and conservation and hunting partners to come up with predator management programs that make sense for them rather than putting our faith in bureaucrats who don’t spend time in the woods or never have to deal with the negative consequences of an uncontrolled wolf population.’
The federal government has 60 days to appeal the court’s decision.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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