By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian | Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 4:15 am
If gray wolves need any winter reading material, there’s stacks of it in U.S. District Judge Don Molloy’s office.
Thursday was the last day for filing final briefs in a federal lawsuit over removing wolves from the Endangered Species Act protection. The main contenders, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EarthJustice and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition all delivered their arguments in past weeks. Wildlife managers in Montana and Idaho, as well as the farm bureaus of both states, the Safari Club and the National Rifle Association all sent intervener briefs just before the deadline.
The case looks at whether federal authorities properly took away the wolf’s threatened status in Montana and Idaho, and whether it was legal to do so while keeping the wolf a protected species in Wyoming. Montana and Idaho instituted big-game hunting seasons on the wolf last fall, killing 72 and 145 wolves, respectively.
Molloy may call for oral argument or choose to rule based on the written arguments alone.
Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, endangered species act, howling for justice
Tags: ESA lawsuit wolves, canis lupus, obama administration delisting wolves