Lawsuits over wolf hunting filed in Mont., Wyo.
By MATTHEW BROWN and BEN NEARY – 14 hours ago
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A pair of federal judges will decide which states in the Northern Rockies have enough gray wolves to allow public hunting, as the bitter debate over the region's wolves heads to courts in Wyoming and Montana.
Environmentalists filed a lawsuit in Missoula on Tuesday seeking to restore protections for more than 1,300 wolves in Montana and Idaho. The Obama administration in April upheld a Bush-era decision to take wolves off the endangered species list in those two states.
The lawsuit could block regulated wolf hunts slated to begin this fall and scuttle a plan to remove all the predators from part of north central Idaho.
Gray wolves were listed as endangered in 1974, after they had been wiped out across the lower 48 states in the early 20th century by hunting and government-sponsored poisoning. Following an intensive reintroduction program, there are now an estimated 1,645 wolves in the Northern Rockies, not including this year's pups. Read More
The original intent of the Endangered Species Act was to bring a population back to a certain level and then get it off the list. It wasn’t intended to protect species at all costs, indefinitely. If the wolf population grows unchecked, then Mother Nature will take over and control it for us. You see, she doesn’t like it when any species becomes overpopulated. In order to correct the situation, she introduces disease or starvation to kill some of them off. This method is much more painful and cruel than anything humans could use to control them. These wolf packs have grown faster than anyone predicted they would. It’s time to get the population in balance so all species can thrive.