Back To Court….

UPDATE: November 8, 2011

No word from the Ninth Circuit yet!!

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Advocates seek stop to Idaho, Montana wolf hunts

APBy MATTHEW BROWN and NOAKI SCHWARTZ – Associated Press | AP

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Wildlife advocates appeared in federal court Tuesday seeking to stop gray wolf hunts that are already well under way in the Northern Rockies, arguing that Congress overstepped its authority in stripping federal protections from the canines.

Federal biologists say the wolf population is healthy enough to support the hunts in Idaho and Montana. The two states want to drive down the predators’ numbers to curb their attacks on livestock and big game herds.

But wildlife advocates say too many wolves are being shot too quickly, threatening to unravel the species’ decades-long recovery and killing animals closely followed by wolf watchers.

Almost 170 wolves have been shot since hunting began in late August.

“The longer the hunting season goes on, the more risk to the population in total,” said James “Jay” Tutchton, an attorney who spoke on behalf of WildEarth Guardians, one of the groups that sued Interior Secretary Ken Salazar after wolves lost their federal protections.

The hunts were allowed after Congress last spring took the unprecedented step of stripping endangered species protections from more than 1,300 wolves. That prompted a lawsuit from wildlife advocates who say Congress effectively reversed prior court rulings that favored protections for the animals.

Tuesday’s hearing was before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif.

The 9th Circuit agreed to hear the case on an expedited basis. But several groups involved in the lawsuit requested an injunction to stop the killing of wolves while the case is pending.

Read More: http://news.yahoo.com/advocates-seek-stop-idaho-montana-wolf-hunts-220628246.html

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November 8, 2011 @ 5am

Today is a landmark day for wolves. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing oral arguments on the wolf delisting lawsuit and considering the emergency injunction, to stop the brutal wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana. Wish we could be in Pasadena with everyone. Thanks in advance to all the dedicated wolf advocates who are taking the time to travel to the courthouse in a show of solidarity. Best of luck to the attorneys who are fighting the good fight for our wolves.

CLICK HERE to read the renewed emergency motion as filed.

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Death Toll November 8, 2011

167 Wolves Slaughtered In The Hunts

103 Killed By Wildlife Services and Ranchers (for ridiculously low depredations)

“Even without hunting, wolves are shot regularly in the region in response to livestock attacks. At least 103 of the predators had been killed this year by government wildlife agents and ranchers.”

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Total 264 dead wolves and it’s only November.

These numbers also don’t reflect poaching or general wolf mortality.

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Ranchers routinely lose thousands and thousands of cows every year to non-predation, IE: weather, disease, calving, theft.

2010 Cattle Loss Numbers Non-Predation (NASS)

Idaho: 86,900

Montana: 74,800

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Total: 161, 700

Yet wolves are dying because of extremely low depredations in each state. Why aren’t ranchers squawking about the 161,700 cows they lost in 2010 to non-predation?

This is a campaign to demonize wolves. The media glosses over or doesn’t report at all on the non-predation livestock losses.

Livestock are also lost to other predators. Feral dogs and coyotes are responsible for the majority of livestock  depredations but it’s wolves that garner the negative attention.

We can only hope the truth rings out loud and clear today in the Pasadena courtroom and the wolves plaintive howls of suffering are finally heard.

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Idaho and Montana state wolf hunts head to court

BILLINGS, Mont.—Wildlife advocates are due in federal court Tuesday seeking an injunction to stop gray wolf hunts already well under way in the Northern Rockies.

Federal biologists say the wolf population is healthy enough to support the hunts in Idaho and Montana. The two states want to drive down the predators’ numbers to curb their attacks on livestock and big game herds.

But wildlife advocates say too many wolves are being shot too quickly, threatening to unravel the species’ decades-long recovery and killing animals closely followed by wolf watchers.

More than 150 wolves have been shot since hunting began in late August.

Tuesday’s hearing is before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif. The hunts were allowed after Congress last spring took the unprecedented step of stripping endangered species protections from more than 1,300 wolves. That prompted a lawsuit from wildlife advocates who say Congress overstepped its bounds by effectively reversing prior court rulings that favored protections for the animals.

The 9th Circuit has agreed to hear the case on an expedited basis. But several groups involved in the lawsuit requested an injunction to stop the killing of wolves while the case is pending.

“We perceive a continuing threat not just to the population in total but to particular individual wolves. Even if the court is going to delay another three months, we would like them to stop the hunt while they consider the case,” said attorney Jay Tutchton with plaintiff WildEarth Guardians.

Read more: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/11/08/idaho_and_montana_state_wolf_hunts_head_to_court/

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Photo: Lawyer Mohawk Courtesy A.S.

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: US Ninth Circuit, emergency injunction, Pasadena, brutal wolf hunts, wolves suffering

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Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 5:46 am  Comments (10)  
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Conservation Groups Seek Emergency Injunction From The Ninth Circuit To Stop Upcoming Wolf Hunts…

For Immediate Release – Aug 13, 2011
CONTACT:  Mike Garrity, Executive Director, Alliance for the Wild Rockies 406-459-5936
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Facing plans to kill hundreds of wolves in Montana and Idaho, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians are seeking an Emergency Injunction from the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the imminent hunts.
“Idaho plans to open a wolf hunting season on August 30, Montana’s wolf hunting season begins with an archery season on September 3, followed by a rifle season shortly thereafter, on September 15,” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  “Beginning in less than three weeks, hundreds of Gray Wolves that should be protected as endangered species are about to be hunted and killed.  Our only option is to seek an Injunction to stop the illegal killing of wolves.”
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“We believe that Congress violated the U.S. Constitution when Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) used a rider on an appropriation bill to overturn the Federal Court’s decision that wolves should remain protected by the Endangered Species Act,” Garrity added.
Referring to a strongly-worded decision recently issued by Montana Federal District Judge Donald Molloy, Garrity explained that “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.  Not only did Tester circumvent the Endangered Species Act for pure political expediency, we believe that he violated the Separation of Powers upon which our government is founded by exempting his rider from judicial review.”
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As an example, Garrity offered the following quotes directly from Molloy’s decision:
    •    “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.”
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    •    “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.“
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“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 by 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 (attached) that the delisting rider, which was sponsored by Montana’s Democrat U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Idaho’s Republican Representative Mike Simpson, violates the U.S. Constitution because it specifically repeals a judicial decision and then exempts it from judicial review.
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“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.”
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“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 shooters and trappers.”
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“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.”
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“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,” Garrity continued, 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.”
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“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.”
Please find the request for an Emergency Injunction attached.
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Emergency Motion (August 13, 2011)

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfMOT.pdf

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Exhibits (August 13, 2011)

#1

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX1.pdf

#2

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX2.pdf

#3

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX3.pdf

#4

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX4.pdf

#5

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX5.pdf

#6

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX6.pdf

Top Photo: Courtesy First People

Bottom Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

Tags: Emergency injunction, US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, wolf wars, wolf hunts, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming

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