Action timeline

November 21, 1991 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service classified the Montana Arctic grayling as a candidate for Endangered Species Act listing, giving it no federal protections.

2002 – The Center sued the Service to force a decision about the grayling's listing.

April 24, 2007 – Despite the grayling's dangerously low numbers in the United States, the Service decided not to list the species.

November 15, 2007 – The Center and allies filed a lawsuit to force the Service to reconsider its April listing denial.

September 30, 2009 – The Service agreed to make a new decision on protecting the grayling by August 31, 2010.

September 7, 2010 – In response to our 2007 lawsuit, the Service determined that the grayling warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act, but that such protection was precluded by listing of other species considered a higher priority. The fish was again simply made a candidate for protection.

July 12, 2011 – The Center reached a landmark agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to move forward in the protection process for 757 species, including the Montana Arctic grayling.

August 19, 2014  In yet another political bow to states opposed to protection for some of the nation's most endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reversed course and announced the Montana grayling would not get Endangered Species Act protection. 

February 5, 2015 The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Butte resident Pat Munday and former Montana fishing guide George Wuerthner filed a lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency's decision to deny protection to a unique population of Arctic grayling in Montana. 

Photo © Ernest Keeley