Feds deny protections for gray wolves, environmental groups sue

Apr 9, 2024

On Monday, environmental organizations filed two lawsuits against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), challenging its decision not to restore Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the West. Currently, gray wolves are listed as endangered in 44 states and threatened in Minnesota. In Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and portions of Eastern Oregon and Washington, wolf management is under state jurisdiction.

The environmental groups claim that the analyses conducted by the USFWS failed to accurately consider the increasingly aggressive measures that states like Montana and Idaho have taken to substantially reduce wolf numbers. Montana has legalized the use of neck snares, hunting with bait, night hunting, and even authorized the reimbursement of wolf hunters’ expenses. In Idaho, the use of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and dogs to hunt wolves is allowed.

Similar authorizations have been made in Wyoming, where recently a man intentionally hit a wolf with his snowmobile, taped its mouth shut, then brought it to a nearby bar before killing it. The man received a ticket for violating laws prohibiting the possession of live wildlife, but the killing of the wolf was not considered an offense.

“The end goal of the wolf ‘management plans’ in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming is to once again exterminate them from the Northern Rockies,” said Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “They think the only good wolf is a dead wolf.”

Quick hits

Conservation groups sue Fish and Wildlife Service over delistment of wolves as an endangered species

Montana Free Press | Casper Star Tribune | Idaho Capital Sun | National Parks Traveler | KMVT

Opinion: I was a wildfire fighter for six years. The reason they’re quitting is simple

Washington Post

Wildlife advocates urge stronger safeguards for Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Public News Service

Grassroots group urges EPA to take more time to determine how to address Superfund site in Montana

Montana Free Press

Column: Project 2025 seeks to repeal one of America’s greatest conservation tools


Meet the Hayduke Trail, southern Utah’s most backbreaking backcountry route

Salt Lake Tribune

How thin air and summer snow can heal the soul

New York Times

BLM acquires 480 acres of land in Colorado known for its scenic and recreational resources

Denver Gazette

Quote of the day

I think the idea is just getting out there into this harsh environment on your own, the things you’re going to experience are unique to the desert… Like, I wouldn’t shut my eyes at night until I got to see one shooting star. It’s things like that that you just aren’t going to find anywhere else.”

—Mike Coronella, hiking guide and just-retired member of Grand County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. Salt Lake Tribune


Picture This

Colorful tipis are illuminated in a wide open field at night.

The night sky has inspired us for generations. Nighttime views and environments are among the critical Yellowstone features we protect. The night sky is more than a scenic canvas–it’s part of a complex ecosystem that supports both natural and cultural resources. #DarkSkyWeek


(Featured image: Gray wolf near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. Jim Peaco, National Park Service)