On Monday, October 15th, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its Fund for Animals filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the removal of the Western Great Lakes region wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). A 60-day notice of intent to sue is a required procedural step before filing a lawsuit against the Service under the Endangered Species Act.
In December 2011, the Service officially removed the Western Great Lakes wolves from the ESA. The long overdue move restored state management of exploding wolf populations in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and some portions of adjoining states where wolves have been wreaking havoc on livestock, pets, and wildlife populations.
This latest move by HSUS seeks to overturn the delisting and remove these states’ ability to manage their wolf populations.
“Wolf populations in the Western Great Lakes region have far exceeded all recovery goals set by the Service,” said Bud Pidgeon, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation president and CEO. “The fact that HSUS filed its notice on the first day of Wisconsin’s hunting season is very telling. HSUS opposes hunting and trapping as a wildlife management tool and are again attempting to manipulate the ESA to further its anti-hunting agenda. The bottom line is this: wolves are now abundant in this region of the country, so it is time to manage them to ensure healthy populations of all wildlife, and for public safety. Hunting is the most effective means of doing that.”
Wisconsin and Minnesota have already approved limited wolf hunting seasons to help control their wolf populations and legislation is pending in Michigan that would allow its Department of Natural Resources to establish a wolf season if needed to control populations.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) and its partners have been on the front lines working to ensure that wolves in the Western Great Lakes region were removed from the ESA and rightfully returned to state management. In 2010, USSAF helped initiate the delisting by threatening to sue the Service if it did not start the delisting process. USSAF also represented sportsmen in lawsuits by HSUS to overturn previous delisting attempts. Those cases were decided on legal technicalities that were not based on whether or not wolves were recovered.
You can help by supporting the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation’s Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund. The Fund helps protect sportsmen and scientific wildlife management in the Courts.