Wolf Decision Appealed To The Ninth Circuit By Conservation Groups….

For Immediate Release – Aug 8, 2011

Conservation Groups Appeal Federal District Court wolf decision

CONTACT:  Mike Garrity, Executive Director, Alliance for the Wild Rockies 406-459-5936

“We still believe that Congress violated the U.S. Constitution when Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) used a rider to overturn the Federal Court’s decision,” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.   “We will not allow the fate of endangered species to be determined by politicians serving special interests. These decisions must be based on science, not politics, and Congress has never before removed species from the Endangered Species list by political fiat.”

Citing the wording from Federal Judge Donald Molloy’s recent ruling, Garrity said the Alliance and it’s co-Plaintiffs, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians, have filed an Appeal to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “to preserve both wolves and the rule of law in the Northern Rockies.”

“Although ruling that he was bound by previous decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court, Judge Molloy was very direct in his opinions on the use of non-related riders on appropriation bills such as used by Senator Tester,” Garrity continued.  “Take, for example, these quotes directly from Molloy’s opinion.”

    •    “The way in which Congress acted in trying to achieve a debatable policy change by attaching a rider to the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 is a tearing away, an undermining, and a disrespect for the fundamental idea of the rule of law.”

•    “Political decisions derive their legitimacy from the proper function of the political process within the constraints of limited government, guided by a constitutional structure that acknowledges the importance of the doctrine of Separation of Powers. That legitimacy is enhanced by a meaningful, predictable, and transparent process.”

•    “Inserting environmental policy changes into appropriations bills may be politically expedient, but it transgresses the process envisioned by the Constitution by avoiding the very debate on issues of political importance said to provide legitimacy. Policy changes of questionable political viability, such as occurred here, can be forced using insider tactics without debate by attaching riders to legislation that must be passed.“

“We’re continuing this battle because Judge Molloy’s ruling fully supports our contention that there is a well-established legal process that applies to every other species and that 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,” Garrity explained.

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 and then exempts it from judicial review.

“While Congress absolutely 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,” Garrity continued.  “Moreover, by exempting it from judicial review it basically nullifies the Constitutional checks and balances between Congress and the Judicial Branch of government.”

“There’s little doubt that wolves are now facing drastic policies at the state level,’ Garrity said. “Wyoming has a ‘shoot on sight’ policy, Idaho just enacted a massive “open season’ that will kill hundreds of wolves and Montana announced it will allow up to 220 of the 566 wolves in the state to be killed this year – nearly half of the wolves to be shot by hunters and an unlimited amount to be killed by government trappers.”

“We are doing all we can to hold back the tide of wolf-killing in Montana, Idaho, and elsewhere in the Northern Rockies,” explained Garrity.  “This ecologically important species is being unfairly targeted out of ignorance and intolerance and now lack a federal shield from being killed.”

“But in the end, this is not just about wolves, it’s about the rule of law.  If Congress can exempt this decision from judicial review, it can likewise exempt anything it does.  That not only spells disaster for endangered species, but for our entire form of government.  Judge Molloy hit the nail on the head when he said Tester’s rider is “a talisman that ipso facto sweeps aside Separation of Powers concerns.”

“We agree with him,” concluded Garrity, pointing to Molloy’s conclusion that reads: “If I were not constrained by what I believe is binding precedent from the Ninth Circuit, and on-point precedent from other circuits, I would hold Section 1713 [Tester’s rider] is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers doctrine articulated by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Klein.”

“We think, given the circumstances and the gravity of the Separation of Powers issue, that the Ninth Circuit will want to take a close look at the consequences of allowing Senator Tester’s unprecedented wolf rider to stand.  And we intend to give them that opportunity with our Appeal.”

Notice to file appeal: Click Here


Groups ask appeals court to restore wolf protections

Conservation groups asked an appeals court on Monday to strike down a move by Congress to strip more than 1,500 wolves in Idaho and Montana of federal endangered species protections.

 | August 8, 2011


By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – Conservation groups asked an appeals court on Monday to strike down a move by Congress to strip more than 1,500 wolves in Idaho and Montana of federal endangered species protections.

In a petition to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the groups sought to overturn a ruling last week by a federal judge that found Congress did not exceed its authority in April when it allowed a measure removing wolves from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana.

That ruling, by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy, came days after Idaho announced plans to cut its wolf population from about 1,000 to no fewer than 150 by extensive hunting and trapping and less than a month after Montana set a wolf hunting quota of 220 out of a population of 566.

“The states want to decimate the wolf population in the Northern Rockies,” said Michael Garrity, executive director of the Montana-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “We want to stop this massive killing that is about to occur.”



Photo:  Courtesy Creative Commons

Posted in: Wolf Delisting Lawsuit, Wolf Wars

Tags: Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WidlEarth Guardians, Judge Molloy, US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. gray wolves, Idaho, Montana

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20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am hopeful, prayerful & keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll do anything it takes to help the wolves ~ That little diddy up above says it all.
    This, now gives me hope!!! Please, oh, PLEASE let this Appeal work itself out.


  2. This is THE best news I’ve heard in a while. The rider is as unconstitutional as it gets & I am thankful for every single person who is standing up & fighting for what is right. The anti-wolf groups have openly admitted that this rider was the ONLY way to get the wolves delisted as legitimate means were not an option for them. This Congress should be taken out of office immediately for all of their ridiculous hijinks.They clearly think that the ends justifies the means & have no regard for the cost of either lives or in taxpayer dollars.


  3. Not a chance in hell. Which is why none of the major environmental groups will touch this lawsuit. The best course of action is for the Garrity’s of the world to run for office and actually try to change things on the ground in the NR states.


    • Greenlaw..There IS a chance. Did you read Molloy’s decision?

      Wolves have lived on a wing and prayer for so long now, thanks to our “I’ll go which way the wind blows” President we have in the Oval Office. Thanks to him we have a fox in the henhouse over at the Interior. Now we have to win this in spite of this President. We live on hope here.



  4. as much as I believe in the fundamental soundness of the legal argument, I honestly have little faith in the 9th Circuit reversing it’s stance on this issue. so, I believe this is headed for the Supreme Ct, and I really wouldn’t want to wager which way they’ll decide either. this is definitely one case that I may travel to D.C. to sit it on the oral arguments – just one of the perks of being a member of the USSC bar. but I will say a prayer that things go in favor for the wolves and the ESA, b/c this is a very dangerous precedent if these anti-envtl psychos win the legal battle


    • We’ll see. mad…..but I de agree it will end up with the Supremes. This is the worst of the worst of Congress. Dismantling the ESA via budget rider. And for what…so the Senate dems can hold onto their precious Senate minority? Tester will lose his seat and we’ll end up with Rehburg in the Senate…so they sold out wolves for nothing. They are beneath contempt.



    • This is indeed wonderful news, and I would hope that the fight is taken as far as possible for the wolves….they deserve nothing less and so much more. I am also saying a prayer and hoping for the best, and I refuse to give up that hope under any circumstance.


      From the very start, the entire wolf delisting tragedy has been an affliction for the spirit. A carefully orchestrated maneuver to ” not relent until final and complete victory is achieved.”….and complete eradication of the wolf at any and all cost is what they want…. cunning, unconscionable and unscrupulous….we all realize this. By contorting the English language to suit their nefarious purposes with terms like “the exact right language” in the budget bill, or as Judge Malloy puts it, ” magic words” they have gotten this far…..suffice to speak, with the assist of soulless leaders in strategic places, like some frenetic chess game run amok. Unfortunately, the reality we all know too well is that our government is in league with the devil whose mantle of lobbies and corporations have become the grandest insult of intent while sacrificing what is left of American liberties and all we hold sacred…..in this tragic instance it is our dear wolves….it’s as if America and her people have been placed on the auction block. These incestuous relationships undermine the integrity of law on every level and at every opportunity. Wolves have been used as political scapegoats, yet they are not alone. This is a not only a grievous injustice, but also a disquieting pattern of behavior and merely the tip of an ice berg. Proof of a pernicious leviathan of corruption that will stop at nothing to obtain its self serving myopic goals. This is my greatest concern, I do not have any trust in the 9th Circuit Court, the courts are bought and sold to the mightiest voices and should it come down to the Supreme Court, deep sigh….they have already proven their inability to decide the fate of many serious issues, I have so little faith that they would uphold integrity and not once again sacrifice the tattered remains to a lesser god of ambition.

      May justice prevail. God speed…. Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.

      For the Wolves!

      HOWLS Across America!!!!! Much love and many blessings to all.


  5. OMGs – there is a light – there is hope – we are really going to fight for them – and the Wildlife Organizations that will file this Appeal will have their stuff together for this one I bet – I could not contain my joy when I read the Gray Wolf at the top of the list –
    All my thoughts and hopes – all my energies will be with them and the Wolves — not only that I hope there is some kind of action taken against those that even dared to do this deed – something that is underhanded and not even legal by the Constitution –


    • Morrigan…..Yes we can cling to this…. a lifeline. Thank god fro Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,


  6. This is the best news that I have read about wolves in a very long time! I highly hope that the Environmentalists will win this appeal! After all, it was because of some precendant (sorry if I spelled that wrong) that caused Judge Molley to find the rider legal, right? I read that if it wasn’t for the precendant he would of found it unconstitutional! Go Environmentalists…save our wolves!


    • There is something I did not understand – how could Judge Malloy quote Precedents? Everybody and even the Politicians said it had never been done and was a dirty trick – so how could there have been a precedent? There either is or is not – but for every source I read to say that this had never happened before – that no Political decision influenced the ESL or anything else – no one had ever attached a rider to a Budget Bill that concerned Wildlife – so that’s how it must have slipped by in the first place – most of them did not even realize it was there – at least that’s what I think –

      I did enjoy writing to my own Constituents how I feel about their votes though – of course they don’t want Wolves – oh my God never – so I wrote them that they lost at least one vote right there lol –

      This Appeal just has to win – it just has to – because that is our last chance I believe –

      So with our combined mind powers and prayers – we will be here in the background – hopefully helping it along .


      • I’m with you Morrigan!!

        For the wolves, For the wild ones,


  7. IF there is any hope it would be w/ the 9th circuit – maybe the Wolves will finally get a break. I have worried about the Wolves since the 70’s after reading Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth and finding out Alaska was shooting them from planes – it turned me into a ardent supporter of animal rights, but the Wolf has had a particular place in my heart and it makes me sick all of this continues – why do all the bad people keep winning?


  8. Nabeki’s earlier “poem” was a tear-jerker. I send all of this to my niece who in turn sends to a very upset friend in Oregon. We are holding our breath.


    • Pat..I think this will end up in the Supreme Court no matter which way the Ninth Circuit rules. But will we have any wolves left? I think there has to be an injunction. Idaho wants to reduce their wolves from 1000 to 150 or less? This is how wolves were extirpated the first time around.

      Looking for a big crowd in DC today. Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals will be on the Jane Velez-Mitchell show today @ 7pm EST..HLN Channel, talking about the rally and the wolf hunts. Don’t forget to watch.

      The poem was a sad one, it hit me in that one moment, we could lose them.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,


  9. Save the wolves ❤ I'm norwegian and i love to read this 😀 ❤


  10. I wish them luck and all my prayers go with them, too, as they file this appeal. Maybe all hope is not lost.


  11. I hope the appeal works,if not,let it go to the Supreme Court.If that doesn’t work,we need to fight and get a bill back into Congress and get it passed in order to protect the wolves and all wild life.It may not happen in my life time but we need to keep the fires burning and not get discouragesd.I won’t give them the satisfaction of seeing me defeated and I find support from everyone in order to face the storms ahead..


    • No defeat. We will continue forward, no matter what.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,


  12. 9 August 2011


    Contact: Dustin Garrett Rhodes, Capital Correspondent, Friends of Animals

    Phone: 202-906-0210 E-mail: Dustin@FriendsofAnimals.org

    Demanding Protection for the Endangered:

    Advocates ‘Rally for Wolves’ in U.S. Capital

    Washington, D.C.—In April 2011, the U.S. Congress tucked an unprecedented “wolf de-listing rider” into the federal budget bill and it passed.

    This rider removed wolves from the Endangered Species List in the Northern Rockies—where it’s estimated that only about 1500 wolves remain. The Rally for Wolves will demand protection for wolves of the West and denounce the stalking of these animals.

    Said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals: “President Obama appointed Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior. A cattle rancher who constantly undermines animals on public lands. We say: Don’t do it. Removing federal protection and subjecting wolves to more hunting is unconstitutional and unconscionable.”

    Wolf advocates from all over will convene in Washington on Friday 12 August 2011 to denounce the wolf de-listing.

    Friends of Animals’ legal experts are now drafting an amicus brief in the case for wolves with federal Judge Donald Molloy to buttress the case made by Alliance for the Wild Rockies and co-plaintiffs Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians, who have filed an Appeal to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “to preserve both wolves and the rule of law in the Northern Rockies.”

    Friends of Animals also called for a complete travel and economic boycott to the states that advocate killing them: Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. These three states place the interests of elk hunters and ranchers over wolves and plan to issue wolf killing permits next month.

    “We need to put the economic screws to state governments that persecute wolves at the behest of haters,” said Feral.

    What: Rally for Wolves

    When: Friday 12 August 2011

    Where: Gather at the Capitol Reflecting Pool at 9.00 a.m. (First Street and East Capitol). Then march to the White House before convening at Lafayette Park (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—directly across from the White House).

    Friends of Animals is a non-profit, international animal advocacy organization, incorporated in the state of New York since 1957, working to cultivate a respectful view of nonhuman animals. Our goal is to free animals from cruelty and institutionalized exploitation around the world.


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