Court Rejects Flawed Mexican Gray Wolf Rule
A federal judge Monday rejected provisions in a 2015 federal management rule that unlawfully imposed roadblocks to recovery of the endangered Mexican wolf.
The decision ruled those roadblocks violated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s duty under the Endangered Species Act.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife.
“This was a very complex body of litigation that actually involved four separate cases. You had both wolf defenders and wolf enemies squaring off in this case,” saidTimothy Preso, attorney with Earthjustice.
Preso also said U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps faulted federal officials for disregarding the advice of expert scientists, adding, “While the government paid lip service to the scientists’ contributions, it adopted policies that the scientists extensively criticized and said would actually cause harm to Mexican wolf recovery.”
The Mexican wolf is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. While there were once thousands living in the Southwest, there are now only about 100 left.