FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Rob Edward 303.817.4482
Federal Court Strikes-Down National Wolf Reclassification Rule
Conservationists Hail Decision
Federal District Court Judge Robert E. Jones (District Court of Oregon) yesterday issued a motion for summary judgment vacating the April 1, 2003 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision to downgrade the legal status of wolves in the lower 48 states from “endangered” to “threatened”. Sinapu, Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club and several other national conservation organizations challenged the federal reclassification policy, arguing that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had inappropriately rushed to strip wolves of their legal protections.
“This decision makes clear that the federal government has much more to do on behalf of wolves,” said Rob Edward of Sinapu. “Wolves only occupy a small fraction of their former range, and the court agreed with us that the job of restoring this most important carnivore is far from over.”
With the judge’s order, wolves throughout the lower forty-eight states are once again listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Further, the decision strikes-down the Fish & Wildlife Service’s “distinct population segment” scheme, which divided wolf populations into four segments that conservationists argued were arbitrary.
“We hope that the government will now turn their attention to repatriating wolves to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and other places that desperately need wolves once again working their magic,” said Edward.
Copies of the judge’s order can be downloaded from the following link: