By Bob Beck
Laramie, WY – A conservation group is pleased with a federal judge's recent decision concerning wolves.
Judge Donald Molloy has ruled that wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho this year will probably not harm the wolf population in the Greater Yellowstone area. But in his ruling, he suggested that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the endangered species act by not including Wyoming in a wolf recovery plan. The judge said the service allowed delisting by political boundaries and not by science. Louisa Wilcox of Natural Resources Defense Council is pleased: "The judge found that we are likely to win on the merits of the case. And that the federal government likely violated the law, when it removed endangered species protections for wolves. Still hopeful that the Obama administration will take the opportunity to get this right."
Wilcox wants the federal Government to manage Yellowstone wolves in a similar manner in all three states and to increase the numbers of wolves needed for a sustainable wolf population. Judge Molloy says he will add to his ruling next week.