Media Advisory, December 16, 2013

Contact:  Tim Preso, Earthjustice, (406) 600-3302
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
Kari Birdseye, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2098

Court to Hear Conservationists' Challenge to Wyoming Wolf Delisting

WASHINGTON— Conservation groups will go before a federal judge Dec. 17 to challenge the controversial removal of federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Wyoming.

What: Earthjustice is representing Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity in challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s September 2012 decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Wyoming.

When: Attorney Timothy Preso of Earthjustice will present oral argument in the case at 10 a.m.

Where: Courtroom 3 of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., located at 333 Constitution Avenue NW.  

The delisting of wolves in Wyoming turned wolf management over to the state, which is promoting unlimited wolf killing across more than 80 percent of Wyoming and providing inadequate protections for wolves in the remainder. Since the delisting 119 wolves have been killed as a result of Wyoming’s management. The state has a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf 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. 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.           

During the period since the Wyoming delisting decision, there have been numerous demonstrations of continuing hostility toward wolves in the state, including an incident this past fall in which one dead wolf was prominently displayed on a vehicle parked in the town square of Jackson Hole, Wyo., and multiple instances of anti-wolf activists photographing dead wolves and brandishing the images on social media sites.

The case to be argued on Dec. 17 will determine whether Endangered Species Act protections will be restored to gray wolves in Wyoming unless and until state officials develop a stronger wolf conservation plan.

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