Wildlife groups sue to get wolf back on protected list

States haven't taken steps to adequately defend the species, activists say.

hide

Minnesota's wolf hunt started Nov. 3.

Photo: Macneill Lyons, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Great Lakes gray wolf is back in federal court.

Four wildlife advocacy groups filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, seeking to put the predator back on the federal endangered species list less than a year after it was removed.

Actions by Minnesota and Wisconsin -- including the wolf hunts that began last year -- are central to the suit's argument, which asserts that the wolf is not being adequately protected and that its continued survival is in jeopardy.

Placing responsibility for the wolf's survival in the hands of state governments "paves the way for the same state-sponsored eradication policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place," said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president at the Humane Society of the United States.

The suit was filed by the Humane Society, Born Free, and two Minnesota organizations, HOWL and FATE.

Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) declined to comment on the suit, which had been expected since October, when the Humane Society notified the agency of its intent to challenge the de-listing.

The suit says that already hundreds of wolves have been shot and trapped, and that Wisconsin allows dogs, snares, night hunting and leg-hold traps. Minnesota, it says, failed to implement a five-year hunting moratorium that was part of its wolf-management plan. State wildlife officials have said that it took so long for the wolf to be de-listed after the management plan was crafted that the moratorium wasn't necessary.

State officials have also said that Minnesota's first-year quota of 400 animals is not enough to threaten the population, because wolves can easily replace that number through reproduction.

The federal suit is now the second legal fight underway over Minnesota's wolves. Last year another wildlife advocacy group, the Center for Biodiversity, filed suit in the Minnesota Court of Appeals claiming that the DNR violated its own rules by not giving the public adequate chances to weigh in on the state's hunting plan. The DNR has said that the public had plenty of opportunity to comment during the legislative process that established the hunt last year.

That case is scheduled for oral arguments in early April.

Now, some officials fear, the decade-long legal wrangling over the wolf may pose a threat to the Endangered Species Act itself. The wolf was de-listed in western states by a new federal law that, in effect, bypassed the act. And state legislators have raised questions about the act and the litigation it has generated over the wolf's status.

Josephine Marcotty • 612-673-7394

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: J. Outman 6
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 2
Atlanta - LP: G. Schlosser 3 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Valverde 4
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: M. Dunn 3
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Gomez 2
NY Yankees - WP: P. Claiborne 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: H. Bell 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: Y. Ventura 3
Cincinnati - WP: H. Bailey 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 2
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Johnson 16 FINAL
Texas - LP: R. Ross Jr. 2
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 4
Philadelphia - WP: J. Diekman 10 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 9
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 4 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 3
Arizona - LP: J. Collmenter 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 4
Baltimore - LP: B. Matusz 5 FINAL
Boston - WP: E. Mujica 6
Dallas 85 FINAL
San Antonio 90
Charlotte 88 FINAL
Miami 99
Washington 102 FINAL
Chicago 93
Portland 71 3rd Qtr 0:51
Houston 77
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Detroit 1 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Los Angeles 2 2nd Prd 2:37
San Jose 3

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which quarterback is best in the NFL draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close