Conservation Leaders Move to Defend U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Decision on Gray Wolves

Safari Club International (SCI), Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation moved to intervene in two cases where anti-hunting groups are challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision to deny petitions to return gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains States to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) lists.

The Northern Rocky Mountains States, encompassing Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and parts of Oregon, Washington, and Utah, were the focus of gray wolf recovery efforts when the FWS reintroduced wolves into Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho in 1995 and 1996.

In the immediate aftermath Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population numbers took off and have exceeded recovery metrics since 2001. These populations were then removed from the ESA lists in those states by 2012.  Nevertheless, petitions and litigation from animal rights groups that fundraise off these wolf-related cases persist.  These petitioners threaten to reverse the progress FWS has made on moving recovered species off the ESA lists of threatened and endangered species, despite repeated findings from FWS that wolf populations are not at risk of extinction.

If these groups succeed, gray wolves in these states will return to federal control. Legal, regulated hunting will be shut down and wolf populations will be allowed to increase and expand their range unchecked. Such expansion will decimate elk, deer, and what little moose populations remain in these areas.

SCI, Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are committed to defending the FWS’ decision on behalf of their members and hunters in multiple states.

Much to the ire of green groups and anti-hunting zealots, SCI has a history of defending FWS decisions in support of delisting and state management of wolves, with involvement in ten prior lawsuits that include an ongoing appeal related to the 2020 delisting rule across the lower 48 States.

We look forward to a swift victory against these petitioners as well.

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