12 Dec 2008, 2:07am
by admin

USFWS Relists Rocky Mountain Wolves as Endangered Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday issued a final Rule which reinstates Rocky Mountain wolves as Endangered Species. The Rule was announced in the Federal Register [here] (pdf, 493 KB).

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are issuing this final rule to comply with three court orders which have the effect of reinstating the regulatory protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the western Great Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountains. This rule corrects the gray wolf listing at 50 CFR 17.11 to reinstate the listing of wolves in all of Wisconsin and Michigan, the eastern half of North Dakota and South Dakota, the northern half of Iowa, the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, the northwestern portion of Ohio, the northern half of Montana, the northern panhandle of Idaho, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and in north-central Utah as endangered, and reinstate the listing of wolves in Minnesota as threatened. This rule also reinstates the former designated critical habitat in 50 CFR 17.95(a) for gray wolves in Minnesota and Michigan, special regulations in 50 CFR 17.40(d) for the gray wolf in Minnesota, and special rules in 50 CFR 17.84 designating the gray wolf in the remainder of Montana and Idaho and all of Wyoming as nonessential experimental populations.

Three court rulings forced the USFWS to vacate Distinct Population Segments for Rocky Mountain wolves and reinstate Endangered Species status:

On September 29, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs (Humane Society of the United States v. Kempthorne, 1:07-CV-00677 (D. Columbia)). The court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and vacated and remanded the Service’s application of the February 8, 2007 (72 FR 6052), final rule for the WGL DPS of the gray wolf.

On April 28, 2008, twelve parties filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana challenging the Service’s February 27, 2008, final rule (73 FR 10514) for the NRM DPS. On July 18, 2008, the court enjoined the Service’s implementation of the February 27, 2008, final rule and ordered the reinstatement of Endangered Species Act protections for the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf. …

On January 31, 2005, and August 19, 2005, U.S. District Courts in Oregon and Vermont, respectively, ruled that our April 1, 2003, final rule violated the Act (Defenders of Wildlife v. Norton, 1:03-1348-JO, D. OR 2005; National Wildlife Federation v. Norton, 1:03-CV-340, D. VT. 2005). The Courts’ rulings invalidated the three DPS designations in the April 2003 rule, including the Western DPS. Therefore, as we reinstate the special regulations at Sec. 17.84(n) for the Yellowstone and central Idaho NEPs, we also remove from the regulation erroneous language referring to the defunct Western DPS. …

This means that wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Washington, Oregon, Utah, the Idaho panhandle, and northern Montana are hereby listed as endangered (50 CFR 17.11(h)). Wolves in Minnesota are listed as threatened (50 CFR 17.11(h)). Wolves in southern Montana, Idaho south of Interstate 90, and all of Wyoming are hereby listed as nonessential experimental populations under section 10(j) of the ESA (50 CFR 17.84(i) and (n)).

12 Dec 2008, 6:51am
by More Confusion On Feds “Distinct Population Segment” Creations : Black Bear Blog

[...] Western Institute for Study of the Environment (WISE) has a story this morning covering information they found on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife [...]



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