Wolf Hunting Moves a Step Closer to Reality for Montana and Idaho

Animal Rights groups and the Obama administration have agreed on a compromise to lift protections for wolves in Montana and Idaho and allow hunting.

Here is some info on the settlement from the Los Angeles Times:

The settlement agreement, opposed by some
environmentalists, is intended to resolve years of litigation that has
kept wolves in the Northern Rockies shielded by the Endangered Species
Act even as the population expanded dramatically.

It also is meant to preempt action by Congress, where Western Republicans are leading efforts to strip wolves of their protections nationwide.

“For too long, wolf management in this country has been caught up in
controversy and litigation instead of rooted in science, where it
belongs. This proposed settlement provides a path forward,” said Deputy
Interior Secretary David Hayes.

Court documents detailing the proposed agreement between the U.S.
Department of Interior and ten conservation groups were filed Friday in
U.S. District Court in Montana.

If approved by a federal judge, the deal would keep the species on
the endangered list at least temporarily in four states where they are
considered most vulnerable: Wyoming, Oregon, Washington and Utah.

Montana Governer Brian Schweitzer said wolf hunting could begin again by the fall if the agreement holds.


A story in the Helena Independent Record has more on the Animal Rights groups that are opposed to the decision:

“The biological situation for wolves in the Northern Rockies is
just as perilous now as when these groups challenged the delisting
in June 2009,” said John Horning of WildEarth Guardians.
“Amazingly, the settlement asks for the judge to approve delisting
on terms that violate his ruling.”

To read more on the wolf hunting debate, read Lance Homman’s story “A Shot at the Top Dog” in the digital version of the Fall 2010 issue of Predator Hunting Magazine.

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