Press Release: Conservation Groups Challenge Wolf Delisting Rider…

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 5, 2011


Michael Garrity, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, 406-459-5936 or

Gary MacFarlane, Friends of the Clearwater, 208-882-9755,

Nicole Rosmarino, WildEarth Guardians, 505-699-7404 or

Conservation Groups Challenge Wolf Delisting Rider

Lawsuit Seeks to Restore Federal Protection to Gray Wolves in Northern Rockies

 Missoula, MT—May 5. Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians today filed suit in federal court in Montana against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for delisting wolves in Montana, Idaho, and portions of Utah, Washington, and Oregon. The Service published the delisting rule today in compliance with a Congressional budget rider passed on April 15.

 “We will not allow the fate of endangered species to be determined by politicians serving special interests,” stated Michael Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  “These decisions must be based on science, not politics, and Congress has never before removed species from the Endangered Species list by political fiat.  There is a well-established legal process that applies to every other species and pure political expediency should not be the driving force over which of our nation’s imperiled animals and plants will or will not be protected for future generations.”

 The groups charge in their complaint that the delisting rider, which was sponsored by Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Idaho Representative Mike Simpson, violates the U.S. Constitution because it specifically repeals a judicial decision. While Congress has the right to make and amend laws, the wolf delisting rider (Section 1713 of the budget law, PL 112-10) does not amend the Endangered Species Act — it circumvents the judicial process by ordering the reinstatement of the 2009 rule that delisted wolves.

“The rider goes against a bedrock principle of our democracy: checks and balances between branches of government,” said Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians.  “Legislators can’t pick off specific court decisions they don’t like.  That’s not fair for the wolf, and it’s certainly not good for our democracy.”

 The 2009 rule that delisted wolves was challenged by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and 12 other organizations on the basis that it violated the Endangered Species Act by revoking protection for wolves based on the political boundaries of state lines.  Montana Federal Judge Donald Molloy agreed with the conservation groups and determined last August that the 2009 rule was illegal and struck down the 2007 Interior Solicitor’s legal memo on which it was based.

 The current Interior Solicitor, Hilary Tompkins, revoked the illegal 2007 memo yesterday,  but the withdrawal of the illegal memo came too late for wolves in the Northern Rockies.  Those wolves are now facing drastic policies at the state level. Montana announced earlier this week that it will likely allow up to 220 of the 566 wolves in the state to be killed this year. In late April, Idaho passed a law declaring a gray wolf “disaster emergency” that gives the governor broad discretion to allow wolf killing statewide.

 Killing proposals at the local level – the Lolo Elk Management Zone in Idaho and the West Fork of the Bitterroot in Montana – would permit over half of the resident wolves to be killed. The conservation groups filing today’s lawsuit against the delisting rider are also challenging those local wolf-killing plans.

 “We are doing all we can to hold back the tide of wolf-killing in Montana, Idaho, and elsewhere in the Northern Rockies,” said Gary Macfarlane of Friends of the Clearwater, who explained that Idaho’s Fish and Game Department are planning on using aerial gunning to immediately begin killing wolves in the Clearwater basin.  “This ecologically important species is being unfairly targeted out of ignorance and intolerance and now lack a federal shield from being killed.”

 There has been widespread concern over tacking policy riders on the budget bill.  Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber sent a letter to President Obama in late April stating: “A six-month budget resolution negotiated through backroom discussions is clearly the wrong vehicle to make permanent changes to significant public policy. For nearly 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has assured decisions about our nation’s natural heritage are driven by science, fish and wildlife professionals, and public input. Removing protection for an endangered species by congressional mandate, much less through a budget bill, stands in unprecedented contrast to this history. This action erodes the integrity of the ESA, excludes important public involvement, and usurps the agency structure, based on a balancing of executive and legislative branch power, that exists to undertake important decisions affecting America’s wildlife.”

 “We’re back in court for two reasons,” concluded Garrity.  “First and foremost, it’s to continue to protect wolves from indiscriminate slaughter.  Second, someone has to stand up when the basic tenets of our government are under attack by unscrupulous politicians and that would be the Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.”


Environmental groups sue government over wolf delisting|newswell|text|Frontpage|s


Photo: Courtesy Wolfgang Art Gallery free wolf photos

Posted in: Action Alerts, gray wolf

Tags: challenging wolf delisting rider, wolves going back to court, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians

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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have contributed to all before, but I am going to make another contribution right now!! I am glad there are some that still have a backbone and are willing to stand up for our wolves.


    • Rhonda…It’s so refreshing to hear these groups speak out about the outrage that occurred in Congress and the unjustness of it all. I’m so sick of the reporting that we have to endure daily which includes seven paragraphs describing how hunters can’t wait to kill wolves and the ranchers boo hoo sob stories about losing one or two cows when they lose thousands and thousands to non predation. Then there is usually one line from a conservationist. It’s so typical I could write it up myself and just change the names around.



  2. It felt so good to hear their words , their commitment to protect our wolves, who rely on us to give them a voice! The whole ESA, our wildlife and endangered species, depend on the strength of these groups to protect them. God Bless them!


  3. Nabeki,
    Does the filing of the suit put on hold any hunting plans until the case is settled or can they hunt until it’s settled?


    • Weisy….As g…pointed out, the groups will have to ask for an injunction to stop the hunts until the case is decided. Let’s keep our hopes up they get it. I think the two factors that influence the granting of an injunction are:

      1. There has to be a reasonable chance the lawsuit will be successful.
      2. Irreparable harm will be done if it’s not granted.

      I would think number two would be a given since we know the states are gearing up for serious wolf slaughter.



  4. The judge in the court where case is to be will have to sign an “injunction”, Wiesy.


  5. Wonderful news, like a cool sweet breeze on a sweltering day! It is reassuring to know that there are still dedicated people committed to standing up to the swaggering attitudes of pseudo leadership. It’s time for an infusion of integrity.

    Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians. Thank you so very much for who you are, and all that you do.

    Salute!!! HOWLS!!! Heart Bugs!!!


  6. Right On to the groups who are fighting to overturn this unjust legislation! Sock it to these corrupt, dictating, sociopathic, and sadistic lowlife freaks and politicians!


    • Justin…Finally we have some push back after enduring endless weeks of wolf hating rhetoric and having to watch the outrage in Washington on Cspan when 81 Senators sold wolves down the river. I’m so tired of these wolf hating people. If they don’t like wildlife or the way nature works they should move to the city. And I’m also tired of hearing about elk, as if the world revolves around how many elk there are in Montana and Idaho. Most Americans could care less about elk numbers but they do love wolves. Something the haters seem to have overlooked.



  7. After reading this fabulous article,
    I find that this is a very important morale boost
    for a huge multitude of wildlife like-minds worldwide
    (including myself)who value the importance of
    our precious wild pooches, and I give a lot of credit
    our ecological groups, where credit is due.
    It is with hope, with the help of our glorious
    Great Spirit, that victory is within reach for
    our furry friends, and all those dumb,
    narrow-minded, stuck-up, wolf-hating, redneck
    country-bumpkins and their political henchmen
    can build themselves a time machine,
    leave the 21st Century, and take a trip back to the primitive 1880’s where they would be more adapted
    to that particular era than the modern world of
    2011 A.D….
    After all, wolves and other wildlife have been
    here on Earth long before man even existed.
    And if our furry friends vanish, so will all of mankind, and it’ll come directly from the hand of
    the Almighty.
    Although this is refreshing news,
    the war is far from over and we must
    not let our guard down, as this important mission
    for a noble cause, continues.


  8. Much appreciation for the groups standing up for the wolves and for what is right and just!! Now there is hope that this travesty of justice will not stand. Extremely disturbing that these politicians blatantly circumvented our laws for their personal agenda’s. Way to go Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians for your continued support, dedication and efforts to protect the wolves!!


  9. Reality Check
    No matter what people say and do it is as GOD WILLS IT!!!
    And if GOD does not like something he will make it be known!!
    Remeber we are all living on a melting pot of a planet, the core of the planet is as hot as the sun and who is protecting us, God!!!

    You can do all the wrong you want, but don’t forget that when the time come when you are DYING, you can not ask God to forgive you for all the Cruelty that you have inflicted on his Creation he will NOT listen!


  10. The Idaho Fish and Game will authorize “Wildlife Services” to start killing 50 wolves in the Clearwater River drainage as soon as next week.
    When they do, it should be easy to locate the killers.The helicopter will need a fuel truck and a landing site. Their spotter plane will be circling over the wolves and calling in the helicopters with their gunners.
    Back in the 1960s, someone filmed rabbit drives in Idaho that made the national news. There has not been a rabbit drive since. Someone needs to video this wolf slaughter and get it on the national news.


    • Larry, excellent idea. It’s difficult for my mind to put aside the scenario of the impending wolf slaughter, but we have work to do, so on with my thought… I noticed that you are a photographer, do you have the capabilities to do this, or know someone who does??

      If we could be out there in some capacity and bring awareness to this barbaric practice of aerial gunning as a tool for wolf “management” it would definitely be more difficult to ignore, as in out of sight…out of mind. But we would also need a way to get it on the air. If this is a possibility,we need to find someone we can rely on, no more empty promises…we need action. We should also make copies and send them to each member of Congress and President Obama, with a card saying: “We wanted to share the last few minutes of our lives with you as a reminder, thank you for betraying us.”


  11. The response to an email sent to the Whitehouse contact 24th February expressing concern over the wolf delisting rider Section 1713, recieved four days ago:

    “Dear Friend:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I value your comments and inquiries. I greatly appreciate the outpouring of messages from Americans across the country and around the world. Some comments are supportive, others are critical, but all reflect the desire of Americans to participate in a dialogue about our common concerns and challenges.
    To learn more about my Administration or to contact me in the future, please visit: Thank you, again, for writing.


    Barack Obama”


    • John. that was typical political double speak, saying absolutely nothing about the wolf at all. You deserved a better response then that but he basically can’t defend what happened so he just danced around it.

      Thank you for caring enough to write in the first place.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,


    • I got the exact same response. To paraphrase: ‘Thanks for getting in touch with me. I don’t know or care what you said, but it’s always nice to hear from you.’ I’ve never been so disappointed in a politician in my life.


      • I hate the non-response letters too Mary. They beat around the bush and say nothing. It’s maddening.

        For the wolves, For the wild ones,


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