Saturday, March 19, 2011
Several Wildlife Advocacy Groups File Settlement in Wolf Delisting Case
Yesterday's announcement that a number of plaintiffs are seeking a settlement with the Department of Interior regarding wolf recovery and management in the Northern Rockies comes as a shock to many who have been following the emotional and political roller coaster. Although ten wildlife advocacy groups announced a proposed settlement, three of the plaintiffs (the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds and Friends of the Clearwater) are holding firm. If approved by the court, the agreement would remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Idaho and Montana, while retaining full protection in Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, and Utah. Most surprising about the proposed settlement is that it follows a relatively recent victory for the plaintiffs - an injunction in federal court putting Northern Rocky Mountain wolves back on the Endangered Species List after demonstrating that federal efforts to delist wolves were not based on science. How will this settlement impact wildlife, the ESA, and the organizations proposing to settle? It feels like the political wolf "ride" will not cease to surprise...
To read more about the proposed settlement in the Helena Independent Record, please click here.