by: Steve Waters
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in March affirmed the constitutionality of Congress’ removal of wolves from the federal endangered species list. The deadline to appeal that decision passed quietly this week with no action from animal rights and anti-hunting groups.
Attorneys representing the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation said that means the case will not advance to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that the litigation has ended in favor of science-based, state-regulated management and control of wolves.
“A lawsuit that began in 2011 in Judge Donald Molloy’s courtroom in Missoula, Mont., following the Congressional delisting is finally over — and conservation has prevailed,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “No appeals paperwork had been filed by end of the day on June 12, so the Ninth Circuit’s decision is absolutely final.”
Allen said RMEF applauds the development because it helps clear the way for continued work to balance wolf populations with other wildlife and human needs.
Attorneys representing RMEF and other conservation groups in the Ninth Circuit hearing had presented oral arguments supporting the Congressional action.
RMEF has pledged to continue to fight wolf lawsuits and support delisting legislation at both federal and state levels.