Federal Court Ruling Supports State Management of Wyoming Wolves

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a unanimous, 3-0 decision to remove Wyoming’s wolf population from the Endangered Species List, effectively recognizing the authority of the state to manage the species within its borders. The ruling affirms the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 de-listing rule that found Wyoming wolves recovered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and reverses a lower court decision that required continued (ESA) protections despite the federal government’s findings.

The Appellate Court’s decision also affirmed that the Fish and Wildlife Service did not act arbitrarily when it found that Wyoming’s wolf management plan met the standards necessary to ensure a sustainable and recovered population.

Upon hearing news of the Appeals Court ruling, Wyoming Governor and Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Vice Chair Matt Mead issued the statement: “I am pleased with today’s ruling. The Court recognized Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan was appropriate. We look forward to state management once the 2012 delisting rule is formally reinstated. I thank everyone who has worked so hard for the recovery and delisting of wolves. This is the right decision for wolves and Wyoming.”

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