Friday, March 18, 2011
Interior announces proposed settlement of gray wolf lawsuit
If approved by the court, the settlement offers a path for the Service to return management of the recovered wolf populations in
and Idaho to the States while the Service considers options for delisting gray wolves across the Montana region, where population levels have returned to biologically recovered levels. Rocky Mountain
Under the terms of the settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to address the delisting of wolves in the region in the future as a distinct population segment, rather than on a state-by-state basis. The parties are requesting that the court allow the 2009 delisting to be reinstated in
and Montana on an interim basis, in accordance with approved state management plans, until a full delisting can be completed for the northern Idaho wolf population. The parties are agreeing that they allow these steps to move forward, up to and including a potential delisting of Rocky Mountain wolves, without resorting to further litigation. Rocky Mountain
Separate negotiations are ongoing between the Service and the State of
in an effort to reach agreement on a management plan for wolves in that state. If a mutually acceptable management plan for wolves in Wyoming can be developed, then the Service will be able to proceed with delisting proceedings addressing wolves throughout the northern Wyoming Rocky Mountains.
The delisting provided for under this agreement does not extend to the small wolf populations in eastern
and Oregon , or to Washington , where there are not believed to be any resident wolves. FWS intends to address the longer term status of wolves in Utah , Oregon , and Washington when it issues a new rule addressing status of wolves across the Utah region. FWS will work with state officials in Northern Rocky Mountain , Oregon and Washington in the meantime to address any wolf management issues and retains the option to consider reclassifying wolves from "endangered" to "threatened" in those states in order to provide more management flexibility. Utah
The Service and the plaintiffs have agreed to take other actions that will clarify implementation of the
ESA and ensure that a recovered wolf population continues to be sustainably managed under approved state management plans.
Posted by ClearTrib at 2:51 PM