Elk NetworkFeds Appeal Wolf Relisting

General | May 2, 2022

The federal government filed to appeal a February 2022 order by a federal judge that returned gray wolves to the Endangered Species List. While not a final decision, it leaves the door open for the legal maneuver to become so.

“The U.S. Department of Justice filed a protective notice regarding the recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on federal protections for gray wolves,” according to a statement by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to the Duluth News Tribune. “This action is a procedural step that will provide the federal government the time needed to assess its path forward and does not signal that the federal government has determined that an appeal will be pursued.”

The Biden administration is in line with every administration since Bill Clinton’s presidency to remove wolves from federal protections and place them under state management. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation agrees with scientists, biologists and federal game managers that wolves continue to meet delisting criteria and are successfully recovered.

Wolf populations are well above state and federal management goals in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming. They are at historic modern-day levels in both Oregon and Washington. Additionally, active pup-producing packs are on the ground in California and Colorado with confirmed sightings in other states.

RMEF recently signed on to a letter with 25 conservation, hunting and other wildlife-related groups urging to DOI Secretary Deb Haaland and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to appeal the judge’s ruling.

(Photo credit:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)