By Mike Koshmrl
Attorneys for the environmental group Earthjustice are scheduled to present oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that claims mismanagement of Wyoming wolves by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Earthjustice represents Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity. The suit aims to maintain Endangered Species Act protection for wolves in the Equality State.
Management of the large canines, which were reintroduced in 1995, has been handled by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department since September 2012.
“The state has a history of hostile and extreme antiwolf laws and policies, which in the past caused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny Wyoming the authority to manage wolves in the state,” an Earthjustice press release said. “However, the service reversed its position in 2012 and delisted wolves in Wyoming after state officials made what conservationists describe as only ‘cosmetic’ changes to the Wyoming wolf-management laws that the service previously deemed inadequate.”
In more than 80 percent of Wyoming wolves are managed as predators and can be killed by any means at any time of year.
The case will be heard at 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.