Washington, D.C. – A federal appeals court today upheld a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 decision to remove the gray wolf in Wyoming from the endangered species list. The Wyoming congressional delegation applauded the ruling, which overturns a lower-court ruling from 2014 that reinstated protections of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act.
“This ruling is a win for Wyoming and all those who have worked so hard to return management of the gray wolf to the state,” U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said. “The state of Wyoming has been working on this issue with local stakeholders and the federal government for years and the courts should have never blocked the delisting in the first place. While I am hopeful that this decision is the end of the battle, I will continue to working to ensure that management will stay in the hands of the state.”
“The state of Wyoming has put together a working plan to protect the state’s wolf population. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the gray wolf has recovered enough to be delisted in the state,” U.S. Senator Jon Barrasso, R-Wyo., said. “I am pleased that the court agrees that the wolf has recovered enough to be removed from the endangered species list. As a result of this ruling, the state’s wolves will be under the control of Wyoming, not Washington.”
“The DC Circuit Court of Appeals righted a wrong for Wyoming today,” U.S. Representative Liz Cheyney, R-Wyo., said. “This ruling nullifies the lower court’s decision to re-list the gray wolf based on a technicality, and re-affirms Wyoming’s authority to manage our gray wolf population. While this ruling is welcome news to Wyoming, the long and drawn out process has highlighted why Endangered Species Act reforms are so badly needed. Sound science, not the courts, should decide when a species is recovered. This ruling will again put the process of managing the gray wolf back where it belongs – in Wyoming’s capable hands.”
“I am pleased with today’s ruling,” stated Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “The Court recognized Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan was appropriate. We look forward to state management once the 2012 delisting rule is formally reinstated. I thank everyone who has worked so hard for the recovery and delisting of wolves. This is the right decision for wolves and Wyoming.”