Judge Ignores Science, Creates Hurdles for Species Recovery

Judge orders Great Lakes gray wolf back on endangered species list

09-30-2008 // Marc Smith

WASHINGTON, DC -- A U.S. District Court Judge yesterday overturned a 2007 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf in the upper Great Lakes states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The National Wildlife Federation maintains support for the 2007 decision to delist Great Lakes wolves, as they have met or exceeded all recovery goals.

Andy Buchsbaum, Regional Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Natural Resource Center said in a statement:

"The recovery of gray wolves in the Great Lakes region is one of the most remarkable wildlife success stories in American history. This ruling complicates this accomplishment and creates a quagmire for future recovery efforts.

"Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, the gray wolf has recovered and is thriving in the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, this ruling undermines years of science and the reality that wolves have made a successful comeback.

"Great Lakes wolves are healthy and in good hands. The states should be able to manage the gray wolf population like any other wildlife species. The state management plans were designed to ensure the long-term survival of this species."

"The recovery of this population of gray wolves is the result of hard work and cooperation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state wildlife departments in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Judge Friedman's decision goes against science and ignores the fact that all recovery goals for gray wolves in the Great Lake States have been met or exceeded."

The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

Contact: Marc Smith, National Wildlife Federation, 734-255-5413

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