The day is finally here wolf advocates. Judge Molloy will hear from both sides of the wolf delisting lawsuit on Tuesday, June 15, at the federal courthouse in Missoula, Montana. Earthjustice will be representing wolves and the thirteen environmental groups who sued the USFWS for removing gray wolves protections.
The outcome of this litigation will literally determine the course of wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies. Wolves have been under assault in Idaho and Montana since they were delisted in the Spring of 2009. Wolf adovcates have endured a year of unspeakable sadness as we watched wolves slaughtered in two wolf hunts, while they continued to be killed by Wildlife Services, for agribusiness.
It has been worse then I ever imagined it would be. What is VERY worrisome is Montana FWP recently declared they still want to hold a wolf hunt, even if Judge Molloy relists wolves. They are trying to find a way to circumvent ESA, in my opinion. Their plan is to allow private hunters to kill wolves for agribusiness, instead of Wildlife Services agents. This is completely wrong and should be addressed immediately. Why would they do this? Apparently there are people who do not want to be denied a chance to kill a wolf and the state wants to accomodate them. It turns out this is really all about trophy hunting. Not livestock or tapeworms or Canadian wolves but blood sport.
I hope it won’t be a circus at the federal courthouse on Tuesday, with the anti-wolf crowd spouting off stupidisms (to borrow one of my friend’s words). It would be great if wolf advocates were there to show support for wolves. If you can’t make it then you’ll be there in spirit.
Here’s to restoring ESA protections for the Northern Rockies gray wolf. May they have a little peace in 2010 and beyond.
I don’t think Judge Molloy will rule from the bench, so his decision will probably come some time in late summer.