Environmental Groups Fight to Put Gray Wolf Back on Endangered Species List

Categories: Animals, Politics
Gary Kramer, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Environmental groups appealed to the Ninth Circuit to reinstate the northern rocky mountain gray wolf on the Endangered Species List, after Montana judge Donald Molley reluctantly upheld Congress' move directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the furry predators.

Congress signed off on this in April, making it the first instance that lawmakers, rather than scientists, have removed a plant or animal from the endangered species list. Environmental groups are charging that the gray wolf has become a victim of politics, saying the delisting was done with no regard for the actual status of the animal.

Judge Molley was clearly unhappy with the decision, accusing Congress of "using insider tactics without debate" and calling the move, which was part of a budget rider, a" tearing away, an undermining, and a disrespect for the fundamental idea of the rule of law." In his strongly worded ruling, he adds, "Fairness is dethroned and confusion is crowned queen when the laws enacted pursuant to established public policy are inapplicable on an ad hoc basis."

However, despite his angry statements, Molley was bound by the rider's wording and court precedent to declare it constitutional. "If I were not constrained by what I believe is binding precedent from the Ninth Circuit, and on-point precedent from other circuits, I would hold [the rider] is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers doctrine," he writes.

Since the delisting was passed, various states have changed their hunting quotas in a way that will drastically threaten the wolf population, the Center for Biological Diversity reports. Idaho has authorized a hunting and trapping season with no limit on how many wolves can be killed, only committing to maintain 150 wolves out of an estimated population of at least 1,000. Montana has set a goal of reducing the population from an estimated 566 wolves to 425 wolves -- a 25 percent decline.

"People have bought into the notion that you manage wolf populations by hunting," Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center of Biological Diversity explains to SF Weekly. "But wolves aren't like deer: They're complex family groups. If you kill the alpha male or female you can disrupt pack dynamics, create more dispersing, and you'll [end up with] individuals no longer part of a pack which are more desperate and going after livestock or pets."

Greenwald acknowledges that gray wolves do attack livestock and pets, but says, "When you actually look at the numbers it's pretty small. Livestock die for many reasons, and dogs kill a lot more than wolves do. In most states there's also a compensation problem. Unlike if coyotes kill your cow , you'll get compensated if a gray wolf kills your livestock." Greenwald adds that ranchers can adopt different techniques to protect their livestock without having to hunt the gray wolf.

Meanwhile, Oakland's "wolf man," Tras Gustav Karlsson Berg, is serving four months in jail for sending threatening e-mails to a California senator, saying he would kill her if she didn't oppose legislation that would scrap environmental protections for wolves.

Now that's what you call animal activism.

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estimated 566 wolves? Am i the only one to think this is way,way,WAY too low?we've already proven Dolphins are basically Non-Human persons, IE they are just as smart as us...Wolves hunt with Pack dynamics, understand Hierarchy, have an advanced form of Communication..the list goes on and on. More research into their intelligence seems in order.

If Flipper wasn't so cute, would he meet the same fate as the wolf?For pity's sake, these are the ancestors of little Fido sitting at your feet!

No,wait, nevermind; he's wild, of course we can shoot him!

I guess it's just Human nature, hunt whatever Predator you see. In society, you can just go and get some Steak at the Butcher shop, you don't have to hunt whatever comes by to survive.And some fools say we, as humans, are an Elevated form of life.Yeah right.we're just as bad as whatever it is you see in this creatures.

Has anyone even checked the environmental repercussions if these animals were too few in the Ecosystem?

Christopher Wilmers and Wayne Getz show that the impact of climate change on many different species in Yellowstone Park can be buffered by a top predator - the reintroduced gray wolf.

They're Useful to us.

If a creature is of no positive use to human, then kill it.There are no such species that i know of.Even Mosquitoes, like it or not, are a good species to have around. They are pollenators. Their larvae are food for many species of fish and amphibians. In addition to being eaten by bats, mosquitoes are also a food source of many birds, such as purple martins.

All these creatures are here for a reason, to keep the Ecosystem and Food chain balanced. By what right can we alter or plain old destroy this delicate Equilibrium?


lady forest of the witches cauldron in amesbury, ma vows to pray and call those states to stop the slaughter of the scared wolves 

Reduce FOG
Reduce FOG

Thanks for the blog. We need much more citizen activism to help the environment. 



Malloy need to hit the bricks. I'm tired of hearing about that clown and seeing his ugly mug. Idaho, Montana and Wyoming need to have a minimum number of wolves and it is perfectly clear. Hunt the wolves, kill em down to the recovery goals, end of story! Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota need to takes some F n action as well!!!


Wolves are a vital part of the ecosystem. They are not yours to maintain. But then, judging by your username, I'd say you're beyond reasoning with.

Emily Patterson-Kane
Emily Patterson-Kane

It is not "perfectly clear" to me. 1500 wolves is already less than the minimum number as scientifically determined.  That is why they were on the endangered species list until Congress forced them off in an unprecedented politically-based interference with what is meant to be a scientifically-based policy.


Great post somsai.The truth is out the wolves are an utter complete disaster for wildlife and the people living with them. The fake wolf lovers that don't care about wildlife don't care about people only have one goal worship the wolves and rake in 100's of millions of Dollars from gullible cultist and tax payers.. That right s folks do you think any of the wolf loving groups do this for free??? They collect huge amount of money suing over the wolf.. This is all about greedy fake plastic people that want to live on their welfare dollars..http://wyofile.com/2010/02/green-fees... The Equal Access to Justice ActIn Budd-Falen’s widely reprinted 2009 opinion piece, she began her journey to the “billions” by noting that from 2003 until mid-2007, payments from the federal government’s “Judgment Fund” [1] totaled $4.7 billion. But the attorney fees to environmental groups, which are the target of her campaign, are mainly paid from the Equal Access to Justice Act[2], not the Judgment Fund.  Everything else on the wolf issue is smoke and mirrors this is all about greedy people that hate America.


So a judge who overturned an attempted delisting by our Federal Fish and Wildlife Service is upset that his arbitrary and capricious ruling was overturned in turn by congress? Too bad Malloy.

Hunting alone won't even touch the current wolf populations, you can't eat wolves. Eventually we will all pay for ariel gunning, trapping, and gassing of dens. And all of this would have been avoidable if we'd followed the advice of the scientists at Fish and Wildlife and delisted years ago when there were far fewer wolves.

Why are you quoting from the Center for Biologic Diversity, the only environmental group ever convicted of libel and forced to pay a $600,000 fine? Convicted liars make poor sources.

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