Ruling places Wyoming wolves back under federal control

A male wolf from the Canyon pack in Yellowstone National Park watches for bison.

Mike Wheeler

A male wolf from the Canyon pack in Yellowstone National Park watches for bison.

Hunting gray wolves in Wyoming as trophy game or shooting them as predators has been banned under a ruling Tuesday by a federal judge that places the animals back under control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington D.C. struck down a 2012 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming and place their management under control of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Wolves had previously been hunted as trophy game in the northwestern corner of the state, and were killed as predators without restrictions across most of the rest of Wyoming.

State wildlife managers will seek to stay Berman’s decision, in conjunction with the creation of an emergency rule which confirms previously existing management protocols, according to a statement released by the office of Gov. Matt Mead.

“There are many positives in Judge Jackson’s decision. However, she held that Wyoming’s plan was not sufficiently formalized to support the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 rule allowing limited take of gray wolves,” Mead said. “We believe an emergency rule can remedy this, and I have instructed the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Attorney General to proceed accordingly.”

Wyoming’s season for trophy hunting of gray wolves had been set to begin in October.  In the meantime, killing wolves as predators or as trophy game will be prohibited in keeping with Berman’s ruling.

Hunters who have already purchased a 2014 gray wolf license will have fees refunded.  Wyoming Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott defended his agency’s handling of wolves over the last two years as “sound management.”

Berman’s ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by several environmental groups, including The Humane Society of the United States. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society, said he was “pleased that wolves will not be hunted in Wyoming” this year.

Pacelle noted that “a federal court recognized that sport hunting of wolves is inconsistent with the need for continued protections for this iconic species.”

The ruling is the latest in a series of back-and-forth federal court decisions regarding state and federal management of gray wolves both under the protection of the Endangered Species Act and beyond the scope of that legislation.

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5 thoughts on “Ruling places Wyoming wolves back under federal control

  1. The national animal rights groups like the HSUS, PETA and the ASPCA have become urban concentrated vegan cults. They raise millions of dollars by pretending to take care of dogs and cats, then spend it on attacks on agriculture and hunting. All three have concocted stories about animal abuse. They have little or no experience with the animals they claim to protect and either misconstrue legitimate animal husbandry or take isolated instances of animal cruelty and say they are the norm. They get away with this because of the urban population of the US is separated from its food production and large animals. The country has become a society of small pet owners who view livestock the same as small lap dogs. If these groups have their way, primates will be viewed as human and meat eating will be outlawed. Their attack on food production is already causing an increase in cost. So unless you want to end up paying $10.00 a doz. for eggs, $20.00 a lb. for bacon $30.00 a lb. for chicken and $50.00 a lb. for beef, don’t support these groups.

  2. Good! All the rightwing, gun-happy kooks can take their games elsewhere. Send all the NRA members to Syria if they want to shoot something. They may pee their pants, though, if someone shoots back.

  3. Poor Dan, if you have ever seen the way wolves torture and maim the animals they prey on you would not be so impressed with your iconic animal. Wolves do not just kill to eat they kill for sport. When you sit down to eat your vegan diet or if by chance ( which I doubt ) you eat a steak, we have to live with these vermin, we do not sit in a condo and look at pictures of your iconic wolf.
    As far as gun toters and hunters they do it in the open and actually pay for conservation of all wildlife and do it openly in daylight, not underhandedly or in the dark like your enviro animal lovers who no nothing about animals or anything other than fundraising on ignorance of poor folks like you who have no idea what you are talking about.
    As far as your statement about Syria, it just shows how completely ignorant you are and not worth commenting on. So have a nice day and dream on.

  4. Wolves kill for sport? That’s ridiculous. Humans kill for sport. Wolves kill to eat. We in the city have a very good idea of what goes on “outside” as you put it. What justification do you have to call us a bunch of idiots who don’t understand?

  5. When are the two sides going to sit down at a table discuss their differences and reach a comprimise thats not necessarlily good for them BUT is best for the wolves? They have been re-introduced, if their population is stable and or growing there ought to be a limited controlled hunt with protections that if the pup population falls because of a parvo virus outbreak, etc then that hunt be suspended. If there is a hunt for God sakes don’t institute the fiasco of a hunt Montana did several years back when they ok’ed a hunt that included land just north of Yellowstone Park with the obvious result that a whole pack, most if not all collared who had been studied for over a decade, were wiped out! Ranchers and the stock that they have investments in need protection and they should have the ability to petition Fish, Game and Wildlife and be authorized to deal with a wolf preadator, but that doesn’t mean allowing them to wipe out a pack because they don’t like them. There are programs such as guard dog species that can help protect stock and any number of ranchers use these practices successfully. This business of one side hiring lawyers to get the species delisted and then the other side hiring lawyers to reverse the decision is ridiculous, counter productive and just plain dumb! The only way this will be successfully resolved is for the two sides to sit across the table from each other, listen to the biologists and reach a compromise that insures this iconic species will roam wild areas with protection, be studied and when necessary be controlled through a natural, fair hunt. No poisons, helicopter or mechchanized hunts and inhumane trapping allowed!