Wyoming Loses Latest Wolf Battle And Could Ponder A Congressional Fix

Sep 30, 2014

Despite an emergency rule that put Wyoming’s wolf management plan firmly into law, a federal judge refused to change an earlier ruling that placed Wyoming wolves back on the endangered species list.   

Washington D.C. based U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with environmental groups who argued that Wyoming’s management plan, which allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state, failed to adequately protect wolves. 

The Judge rejected requests from Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and pro-hunting groups to change her decision. As Wyoming considers whether to appeal the ruling, Governor Matt Mead said last week that it’s possible that he may ask for federal legislation to de-list wolves as Montana and Idaho did. 

"Those conversations haven’t taken place for some period of time, in part because the plan we had was working and in part because it was still in the court and we felt fairly good about what the court may do."

Wyoming will have to cancel a planned wolf hunt that was scheduled for Wednesday. Wyoming Game and Fish officials said they maintained a population well above the agreed-to 100 wolves and ten breeding pairs.