On Monday, April 11, Safari Club International and the NRA filed a notice of appeal of a federal district court judge’s decision to overturn a 2020 delisting rule that had removed federal protections for many wolves in the Lower 48 states, including in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Gray wolf populations have met recovery criteria for over 20 years and are an Endangered Species Act success story. Nevertheless, a federal judge in California held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2020 rule that delisted the wolves was illegal, which prevents the Service from turning over wolf management to the States or allocating critical funding towards conservation programs for species that need federal protections. The best available science supports the delisting of the gray wolf and returning their management to state wildlife management agencies, which have proved time and again that they are fully capable of conserving stable and robust wolf populations.
SCI also recently sent a letter with 23 other hunting and conservation organizations to Interior Secretary Haaland requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appeal the district court’s decision.
The judge misinterpreted the Endangered Species Act and made it nearly impossible for a recovered species to ever be delisted. The appeal, which will head to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, is just one step SCI and the NRA are taking as they pursue every avenue of overturning the district court’s erroneous decision.