Wolves Win as Feds Give Up on Suit
In a happy ending to the Center for Biological Diversity’s fight to ensure protections for northern Rockies gray wolves, the Bush administration announced this week that it’s giving up and putting the wolf back on the endangered species list. Thanks to a suit filed by the Center and 11 allies in April, this summer a judge reversed the administration’s March decision to remove the wolves’ protections, ending a period of indiscriminate wolf slaughter in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and parts of Oregon and Washington. But that reversal was temporary. Now, right before public wolf hunting was planned to begin this fall, the administration has decided to withdraw its rule alleging that wolves don’t need Endangered Species Act protection — just in time.
Due mostly to federal predator control and conflicts with the livestock industry, the gray wolf was eliminated from the West by the mid-20th century. Within months after its Endangered Species Act protections were removed last spring, more than 100 wolves had already been killed. The Center will keep a sharp eye on the administration to make sure it doesn’t prey on these predators again.