Wyoming Proposes to Legalize Wolf Hunting—Again
Wolves can’t get a break.
After U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson restored protection of Wyoming’s wolves under the Endangered Species Act on Tuesday, Gov. Matt Mead immediately appealed.
The judge on Friday ordered the federal government and conservative groups to respond to the appeal by Monday, according to The Associated Press.
The Obama administration in 2012 removed federal protection for the species in Wyoming. At the time, 270 wolves lived in the state outside Yellowstone National Park. According to The New York Times, in the year that followed, trophy hunters killed 62 wolves, and an undetermined number were legally shot or trapped.
On Tuesday, Jackson ruled that the state’s management plan—which designated the wolf as a trophy-game species and a predator that could be killed in four-fifths of the state—was ineffective, saying that officials were “arbitrary and capricious” in enforcing it.
In response, Mead the next day issued an emergency rule that would enforce Wyoming’s initial pledge to preserve at least 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside Yellowstone National Park.
“Now that Wyoming has resolved the court’s concern, I hope the court will amend its ruling and allow Wyoming’s continued management of gray wolves,” Mead said in a statement.
Since 2012, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing protection for the wolf everywhere except in New Mexico and Southern Arizona.