HSUS Sues USFWS & Salazar Over Great Lakes Wolves Delisting!

gray wolf tumblr the champion

The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA, Friends of Animals, Help Our Wolves Live (HOWL) and Their Environment are suing the USFWS and Ken Salazar over the delisting of  gray wolves in the Great Lakes, which includes Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.  They are demanding the wolves be placed back on the Endangered Species List.

We’ve all been waiting for this news.  HSUS filed an intent to sue back in October 2012 but we haven’t heard much about the lawsuit since then. This is very welcome news!

“The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to restore federal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region that were lifted last year.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, said the decision to take wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan off the endangered list threatens the animals’ recovery throughout most of their historic range. At one time, the animals roamed nearly all of North America”.…nbcnewsonlinedotcom

Minnesota and Wisconsin rushed to hold wolf hunts soon after the USFWS delisted them.  Minnesota’s actions were particularly egregious since their state plan previously included  a five-year moratorium on wolf hunts if wolves were ever delisted. But in an underhanded move, the Minnesota state legislature went to work and trashed the 5 year moratorium, paving the way for almost instant wolf hunts. Adding insult to injury both states ignored the pleas from Native Americans, namely the Ojibwe people, to stop the wolf hunts. A few tribes closed their reservations to wolf hunters but because many of their reservations are fragmented the majority of the tribes weren’t able to do this and so had to watch helplessly as their brother wolf was slaughtered.

Wisconsin’s bear hounders were chomping at the bit to hunt wolves with dogs and the state’s DNR went along with it. Thankfully it was challenged in court and an injunction was issued to stop the hunting of wolves with up to six dogs per hunter. Recently that injunction was lifted paving the way for the horrible practice to be carried out by 2014.

I applaud HSUS and the other environmental groups. Wolf advocates  have watched in horror as over 1000 wolves have been tortured, brutalized and killed in five state wolf hunts,  since August 30, 2012.   Minnesota’s  hunt killed 413 wolves quickly. Wisconsin slaughtered 117 of the iconic predators and Michigan is moving with lightning speed to establish a wolf hunt.

Relisting wolves is the only way to stop this madness. Hunters have been whipped to near frenzy by right-wing crazies, who’ve demonized wolves, blaming  them for everything under the sun, including eating children at bus stops. The irony is wolves are the least dangerous of the large carnivores that inhabit North America, with just two controversial fatalities in the last 100 years.  Hunters OTOH kill almost a hundred people a year in hunting accidents and wound another 1000.  An 11 year old  boy in Oregon was wounded at a bus stop but it wasn’t by a wolf,  a hunter accidentally shot him in the leg while he waited for the school bus.

I can only hope this lawsuit will be successful and wolves in the Upper Peninsula will once again be placed back on the Endangered Species list where they belong.  They should stay there until the climate of hate and persecution is stamped out and the yahoos who want to inflict pain and suffering on these vital apex predators have died out. I would give that about another fifty years!

===

February 12, 2013

Wildlife Protection Groups File Suit to Restore Federal Protection for Great Lakes Wolves

A coalition of wildlife protection groups, including The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA, Help Our Wolves Live and Friends of Animals and Their Environment, filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to remove the protections of the Endangered Species Act from gray wolves living in the western Great Lakes region.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s most recent decision to delist wolves became effective last year, after multiple previous attempts to delist wolves were struck down by the courts over the course of the last decade. The decision threatens the fragile remnants of the gray wolf population by confining wolves to a small area in the Great Lakes region – where state wildlife managers have rushed forward with reckless killing programs that threaten wolves with the very same practices that pushed them to the brink of extinction in the first place.

“In the short time since federal protections have been removed, trophy hunters and trappers have killed hundreds of Great Lakes wolves under hostile state management programs that encourage dramatic reductions in wolf populations,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS.  “This decision rolls back the only line of defense for wolf populations, and paves the way for the same state-sponsored eradication policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place.”

“The Endangered Species Act is popularly considered one of the most powerful conservation laws on the books, but it is rendered impotent if species are not allowed to recover fully across the breadth of their range before delisting,” said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA. “Simply put, the gray wolf still requires protection under the Act.”

“Wolf populations are just at the threshold of rebounding in many areas across the Great Lakes Region,” said Linda Hatfield, executive director of Help Our Wolves Live. “The recent delisting has taken the wolf back to the old days, days before the ESA, the days of state-sponsored bounty payments to hunters and trappers that were intended to eliminate wolves from the landscape.”

Following federal delisting, Wisconsin and Minnesota rushed to enact emergency regulations to allow the first public hunting and trapping seasons in the Great Lakes region in more than 40 years. The states authorized some of the most abusive and unsporting practices, including hound hunting, snares, baiting, night hunting and the use of steel-jawed leg hold traps. Together, hunters and trappers killed more than 500 wolves in these two states in less than four months.  These losses are in addition to natural limiting factors and a wide range of other human-caused impacts, such as the killing of wolves by damage control agents, poachers, and, inadvertently, by automobile drivers.

The Michigan legislature recently amended state law to designate wolves as a game species, which would allow the state to authorize a trophy hunting and trapping season for wolves. There is a referendum campaign, launched by animal welfare and conservation groups and Native American tribes, in progress to place the measure on the ballot and nullify the action of the legislature.

The plaintiffs are represented in the case by Schiff Hardin, LLP and attorneys within The HSUS’ Animal Protection Litigation section. The complaint was filed in the federal district court for the District of Columbia.

Timeline

October 2012 – January 2013 – More than 500 wolves killed by hunters and trappers in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Nov. 3, 2012 – Minnesota’s hunting and trapping season begins.

Oct. 15, 2012 – Wisconsin’s wolf hunting and trapping season begins, marking the first public hunting and trapping season in the Great Lakes region in nearly 40 years. The HSUS and others send notice of their intent to sue the USFWS over its unlawful decision to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region.

December 2012 – Michigan enacts legislation declaring the gray wolf a game animal to allow a trophy hunting season.

April 2012 – July 2012 – Wisconsin enacts legislation mandating a wolf hunting and trapping season, requiring that the state wildlife agency authorize the use of dogs, night hunting and snare and leg-hold traps. The state wildlife agency adopts regulations for the hunting and trapping of wolves in 2012-2013 via emergency rules.

July 2011 – August 2012 – Minnesota enacts legislation allowing a wolf hunting and trapping season once wolves are delisted. The state wildlife agency adopts regulations for the hunting and trapping of wolves in 2012-2013 via emergency rules.

December 2011 – The USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes.

September 2010 – The USFWS issues a finding that petitions to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region “may be warranted.”

July 2009 – The HSUS enters into a court-approved settlement agreement with the USFWS that reinstated federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes region.

June 2009 – The HSUS files suit in federal court to block the delisting decision

April 2009 – The USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes.

September 2008 – In response to litigation filed by The HSUS and other organizations, a federal court overturned the USFWS’ Great Lakes delisting decision, thereby reinstating federal protections for gray wolves in the region.

February 2007 – The USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes.

2005 – 2006 – The USFWS tries to strip wolves of protection by issuing blanket permits to the state of Wisconsin that authorize state officials to kill dozens of wolves. These permits are thrown out by a federal court in response to a lawsuit by The HSUS.

January 2005 – A federal court rules that the 2003 downlisting was arbitrary and capricious, returning the wolf to endangered status.

2003 – The USFWS issues a final rule downgrading most of the gray wolves living in the lower 48 states from endangered to threatened, making it easier for people to lethally take wolves.

1978 – Gray wolf listed at the species level under the Endangered Species Act as endangered throughout the coterminous United States and Mexico, except in Minnesota, where gray wolves were listed as threatened.

1974 – Various subspecies of wolves listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

1967 – Wolves listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 – the precursor to the Endangered Species Act.

===

Lawsuit: Put gray wolves back on endangered species list in upper Midwest

By Steve Karnowski, AP

Hunters and trappers in Minnesota and Wisconsin killed 530 wolves combined during those states’ recently concluded seasons — 413 in Minnesota and 117 in Wisconsin. The Michigan Legislature voted in December to authorize wolf hunting, which could resume as early as this fall if the state’s Natural Resources Commission approves.

“In the short time since federal protections have been removed, trophy hunters and trappers have killed hundreds of Great Lakes wolves under hostile state management programs that encourage dramatic reductions in wolf populations,” Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel for animal protection litigation at the HSUS, said in a statement. “This decision rolls back the only line of defense for wolf populations, and paves the way for the same state-sponsored eradication policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place.”

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/12/16939774-lawsuit-put-gray-wolves-back-on-endangered-species-list-in-upper-midwest

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Animal welfare groups want gray wolves protected, hunting to end

By Steve Karnowski
Associated Press
February 12, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to restore federal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region that were lifted last year.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, said the decision to take wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan off the endangered list threatens the animals’ recovery throughout most of their historic range. At one time, the animals roamed nearly all of North America.

The Humane Society of the United States provided a copy of the lawsuit to The Associated Press before its public announcement in the afternoon. The other plaintiffs include Born Free USA, Help Our Wolves Live and Friends of Animals and Their Environment.

Gray Wolf Historic Range

Gray Wolf Historic Range

Top Photo: Courtesy Tumblr
Posted in: Wolf Wars, Minnesota wolves, Wisconsin wolves, Michigan wolves
Tags: HSUS, Friends of Animals, Born Free USA, Help Our Wolves Live, Their Environment, USFWS, Department of the Interior, delisting challenge, wolf persecution, Great Lakes, gray wolves, Native Americans, Ojibwe people
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35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is really good news. I sincerely hope that the outcome of this lawsuit will be in absolute favor of the beautiful wolves. They MUST be relisted at all cost! Thank you for sharing this news with us, my dearest sis Nabeki. PS: I am really looking forward to the filming of our cooperative project this weekend and I will keep you up to date with our progress. Sending you my love! Louise

    • Yes, this is the best news Louise! Now we will see the tide turn in the wolves favor and their protections restored. Thank you so much for all you are doing to help the wolves and I’m looking forward to your updates on our project dear sis! Sending much love and light your way!

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

      • Oh my Gods – will it finally happen? I am so proud of having supported several of those Wildlife Groups – but this is the best news yet –

        I just hope they will win this Lawsuit – I am starting to think the Judges are on someone’s payroll too – because they have consistently turned down petitions and injunctions and done nothing and decided it was all legal even when it wasn’t –

        If they don’t succeed – what is left? Good news – for once – so let’s hope it will finally stop all that blood lust and those murderers.

  2. WOW I Love Love Love this Great news!! I will Pray very hard that these wonderful Groups succeed to bring our beautiful Wolves back on the Endangered Species list.

    • Awesome news Karin and we sure can use it!

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

    • This is good news. We really need the money and membership of big organizations behind us. The one warning I would have is that many hunting groups, big agricultural corporations, and other organizations, namely, those anti-animal groups who hate the HSUS and PETA, have also banded together to promote just the kind of abuses that are occuring, such as the wolf hunts, the coyote hunts, the proposed ag-gag rules, the overturning of laws to protect dogs in puppy mills. We will have to wait and see and hope for the best. At least the participation of the big animal welfare/rights groups will get more attention than we as individual can get.

  3. Thank you united states humane society thank you god… best news ever prayers being answered yes.

  4. Thank God that these folks are filing this most needed lawsuit–I will donate now to the HSUS and try to spread the word to all I know—-

    • I suggest going online to the Minneapolis Star Tribune to read the article about the HSUS lawsuit and also read the comments. They (the comments) are a microcosm of pro- and anti-wolf sentiments and their consequences.

  5. Hopefully it works out, or I would of gotten arrested for nothing back in October.

    • Getting arrested or punished in any way for helping the powerless who are being abused is never for nothing.

  6. I’m ashamed to see that this country is doing all it can to eradicate the gray wolf.All at the behest of special interests .it a dam crime.Why more Americans can’t voice outrage on a icon that is being stolen from their grandchildren leads me to believe they are to lazy or just as corrupt.Teddy is turning over in his grave.

    Sent from my iPad

  7. very pleased to hear this – all environmental groups should get together and back them up.

  8. Great news. I wish Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, and any other states that have open season on wolves would take heed to this action and do the same. Media attention is the key.

  9. Reblogged this on bearspawprint.

  10. Wonderful news, about time too, that they are being heard by the courts..I have been noticing here locally that the HSUS is taking a hard stand against hunting, this is further proof to be very hopeful, the Fish and Game/Wildlife will be overhauled to manage our wildlife with respect and compassion in the near future, praying to all the positive energy we will continue to be victorious for the animals.

  11. Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game and commented:
    Some good news for wolves…

  12. Shared on our facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/TheAnimalSpirits

  13. The province of Alberta has recently announced its plan to continue expanding tar sands into habitat used and needed by threatened caribou. The government’s answer in the past has been to kill hundreds of wolves, and moose as well! Please read the details put forward by the Alberta Wilderness Association at http://albertawilderness.ca/news/2013/2013-02-06-awa-news-release-stop-alberta-energy-leases-in-threatened-little-smoky-caribou-range. Plus………The Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign has less than two months left to collect 225,000 signatures in Michigan. And it’s going to be a challenge. You can help today with just a click of a button. Share our graphic today and let your friends and family know that you think wolves need to be protected from senseless killing.

  14. This is a positive step to protect the few wolves that are left in the Mid-West, but please do not give up the fight to protect the remaining wolves in Montana and Idaho. Every day they are running and hiding and fighting for survival and they desperately need our help.
    Toni Stark
    Truth About Wolves

    • Toni, you are completely right. The wolves of Montana and Idaho must be included in this or a separate legal action to return wolves in those states to the Endangered Species List. That must be our goal!

  15. Its too soon to celebrate.. Lets see what happens with the lawsuit.

  16. I hope the that lawsuit is successful and that the Great Lakes Gray/Timber Wolf is put back on the Threatened Species List!

    However, it is a very sad day indeed when we have to celebrate the (re)listing of a species. Normally, the listing of a species is a bad thing as, although it would be protected, it means that said species is in danger of extinction. Just comes to show how screwed up our current wildlife management (perhaps “game management” is a more accurate term here) practices are, which focus more on providing maximum amounts of game for hunters than conserving entire ecosystems (the latter of which should be the goal of wildlife management).

    Hopefully a National Canid Protection Act will one day be passed, so that gray wolves can be protected from hunting yet can properly be delisted from the ESA for good (when the right time comes, of course – that is, when wolves are restored to more parts of their former range).

    • Good post!

      • Yes – a very good post – it is indeed sad that we have to fight to keep things that belong – animals are not things – but it seems like everything we want or need or like is taken away lately – and if they are killing everything – soon they will pick on people that they don’t like – maybe we will be in the line of fire too one day – it’s a whole new ugly World out there – and it’s scary for me to even try to look to the future.

  17. Reblogged this on Happy Tails and Tales Blog and commented:
    FINALLY!!

  18. I also will cross my fingers and on a wing and a prayer someone upstairs will be listening this was their land before it was ours so they need to take it back. Run free with no fear.

  19. Hooray for real action to protect wolves by the Humane Society, Friends of Animals, Born Free USA and the other groups that have now stepped forward to protect America’s precious wolves! Where is Defenders of Wildlife? The National Wildlife Federation? The Sierra Club? World Wildlife Fund? Audobon? Too busy fundraising while vital and beautiful wolves are tortured and massacred! We are seeing who the true wolf defenders are and who are the useless paper tigers. Let’s build on this positive move, support the groups that are determined to stop the massacre of wolves and do everything to get all of America’s wolves placed back on the Endangered Species List, permanently. Thank you to these wonderful groups for creating real hope of better days ahead for wolves and for those of us who love them so much.

    • I have left Defenders long behind – because I had some info that not many people had – it happened at the last lawsuit – which we sort of lost too –
      This is so hopeful – but I am not holding my breath and shout until they are re-listes – and someone on here said how sad it is to have to go to those steps to keep animals alive – how true that is – oh how true – who ever heard of that?
      Well – lighting candles and what not – hoping – hoping – hoping – it has been going on way too long – and since Obama took them off the endangered list way back when – he has the power to put them back on – but he does not seem to care – and that is very sad – he does not keep his promises anyway – or so it seems – well no politics in here even though they seem to be running our lives now and everything we do.

  20. Does anyone know why the lawsuit doesn’t include the Rocky Mountain states?

  21. [...] HSUS Sues USFWS & Salazar Over Great Lakes Wolves Delisting! (howlingforjustice.wordpress.com) [...]

  22. [...] HSUS Sues USFWS & Salazar Over Great Lakes Wolves Delisting! [...]

  23. [...] HSUS Sues USFWS & Salazar Over Great Lakes Wolves Delisting! [...]

  24. What else can we do as a group? A lawsuit to get wolves listed again is fantastic, but can take a long time. In the meantime wolves are being killed… There must be something we can all do? Drive mass attention on the subject? Anything?

    • You stated the answer Dawn: Drive mass attention on the subject? That is the only thing that will work.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki


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