Friday, November 16, 2012

Group sues to guard Wyoming wolves

Governor says wolf management is ‘working well’

Express Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Idaho Fish & Game Two Rocky Mountain gray wolves rest in the snow.

Wildlife advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife sued the U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday to restore federal protections for Wyoming’s gray wolves.

Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark said in a newsletter Tuesday that the lawsuit was prompted by the state of Wyoming’s adoption of a wolf management plan that allows wolves in much of the state to be shot, gassed or trapped at any time without a license.

“This horrendous decision cannot stand,” she wrote in the newsletter.

Defenders of Wildlife is being joined by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity in the suit.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he worked with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to develop the plan for delisting wolves in the state, and that Wyoming is committed to making sure that it maintains the wolf population and doesn't risk having the federal government take over management again. 

"Rather than looking at Wyoming's successful efforts, these groups are suing based on what they wanted," Mead said. "Wyoming's wolf management plan is working well." 

Wyoming has committed to maintaining 10 breeding pairs and 100 individuals outside Yellowstone National Park—where no hunting is allowed. Wildlife managers stated that Wyoming had nearly 300 wolves when the state took over management on Oct. 1

Kate Wutz:

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