HSUS, allies headed to court to fight wolf delisting

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on November 6, 2020 with 35 Comments

When the United States stripped federal protections for wolves last week, giving state managers in the lower 48 states the ability to greenlight trophy hunting and trapping seasons on these animals, we promised to fight this draconian move with every tool at our disposal. This week, we, along with our allies, put the Department of the Interior on notice that we will file a lawsuit in federal court to overturn this illegal delisting.

In a notice of intent to sue letter sent to Secretary David Bernhardt yesterday, we listed the many ways that delisting wolves violates both the Endangered Species Act and its overarching purpose, which is to conserve and recover imperiled species. The new rule ignores scientific evidence showing that wolves remain threatened, and prematurely abandons the prospect of recovery in areas like the West Coast and Southern Rockies where these animals have only just begun to reestablish a foothold. It also exposes wolves to cruel and excessive state-sponsored trophy hunting seasons.

In the past the courts have consistently sided with us on this issue. When wolves in the Western Great Lakes states were first delisted in 2009, we quickly won a court challenge overturning the delisting. When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service attempted to delist them again in 2011, we won major court decisions in 2014 and 2017 that put them back on the endangered species list and halted hunting and trapping seasons. In 2010, we won litigation to keep wolves in the Northern Rockies states protected until Congress—favoring special interests over science—took the unprecedented step of delisting them through a budget rider in 2011.

Our argument for protecting wolves and reversing the delisting decision is based on sound science. The government, on the other hand, delisted wolves in deference to the wishes of a handful of trophy hunters and other special interests who do not represent the vast majority of the American public. We are confident in our position because the law couldn’t be any clearer: the Endangered Species Act was created to help the conservation and recovery of vulnerable animals, and wolves are still in need of its protection. It was not created to give trophy hunters an opportunity to hunt these animals recklessly.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Barbara Maddalena says:

    Stop killing wolves & their baby cubs. All animals all wildlife are God’s children too and they deserve life, respect , safety and love.

  2. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Esto no se puede permitir tenemos que respetar la vida de los lobos y todos los animalitos en general ya no mas violencia hacia los animalitos

  3. Guy says:

    Leave the wolves and other creatures alone. Satisfy your manhood somewhere else. Like to see you hunt when your intended targets are armed like you.

    • Dan says:

      Yes, if only the wolves could be armed and fight back. Maybe a few of these so called hunters might invent spurs. Leave the animals alone. Go target shooting if shooting a gun makes you brave.

  4. Cindy Wines says:

    I am glad you are fighting for the wolves. I wish you were fighting against the round up of our wild horses. You and ASPCA should be protecting them instead of helping with the round up’s. Protect them too!!

    • Tomasa Tinoco says:

      ASPCA, HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL they are against all kind of Animal abuse and cruelty in general, they fighting constantly with the governments of each Country to help and support their efforts in eradicate all the hunting against any kind of Animal.
      Please we all need to cooperate with them in this matter, if we love wilderness.

  5. Lorraine cardosi says:

    So happy to hear that your fighting for the wolves, they need our protection…

  6. Thomas M. Daley says:

    These animals will avoid humans they maintain balance in nature.
    To make them available for “Shoot on sight” persons goes against the natural order.
    Shame on the proposer/s.

  7. Dave Boules says:

    Please stop all hunting and trapping and abuse of animals. They have a right to live happy and healthy lives as much as humans do.

  8. Delores Spencer says:

    Wolves should continue to be protected. We need to keep a balance of creatures to protect our natural system of life. Trophy hunters are cruel and I don’t see a need for displaying killed animals. This act just displays greed and ego.

  9. Marnel says:

    All animals need protection from humans. Humans are destroying our destroying wildlife and polluting this planet. Their are so many cruel act against animals, this has to be stopped before they become ex-stint like the wolves.

  10. Shabana says:

    killing is not a sport. save these beautiful creatures.

  11. Sharon Hopkins says:

    Wolves, bears and other wildlife are all part of the eco-system and have their own right to exist. The US should be proud of its wealth of wonderful wildlife instead the Fish & Game dept gives the green light to so-called macho hunters, shooters, trappers and ranchers to persecute and kill these poor animals who are all trying to survive. How about live and let live? !

  12. Rayline Dean says:

    The wolves & their pups deserve to be left alone & let them live in their own wildlife without any disturbance of anything that has something to do like killing them for real bad & poor reason. They are never in anyone’s way so why do the people want to see that they’re killed while the people are the ones who are in the wolves’ way of life. Just leave the wolves & their pups alone & let them live in their way in the sweet peace & harmony.

  13. Tracey Dare says:

    Human beings are not the only living species who have the right to live!!! Please save the wolves!!! Save all species of animals/innocent creatures before it’s too late!!!!

  14. Sharon Anderson says:

    Stop the killing of our wolves and cubs. This is unconscionable. They have a right to live free of slaughter.

  15. pat brice says:

    Please protect the wolves they are all part of our eco- system and they deserve to live and f0r Gods sake protect our wild mustangs they are a part of our history, they were not put here for man to abuse,,,,many people are fearful that soon they will vanish and a thing of majesty and beauty will be lost forever .

  16. Nancy Dunlap says:

    Leave these beautiful animals alone. Killing wildlife for sport should be a crime.

  17. Evelyn Spencer says:

    Agreed wholeheartedly. People are responsible for over crowding, pollution, deforestation and the death of countess species. They are part of this planet same as we are, and deserve respect and dignity.

  18. Keith Naulty says:

    Wolves were given a population goal that signified a stable amount of animals no longer at risk of extinction. They reached that objective population size long ago, but were not removed from the list of endangered species because wolves are an emotionally controversial subject for many people. The common argument is that they haven’t reached their historic range, which means they aren’t recovered. This argument is only used for wolves. The american bison (buffalo) hardly exists as a free ranging wild animal at all in the lower 48, not to mention that elk used to inhabit the lower 48 in its entirety. Neither of these animals are on the radar of modern “wildlife lovers”. Maybe the humane society should be more focused on the ground nesting birds that are becoming endangered due to widespread predation by invasive domestic cats.

  19. Patricia Fleetwood says:

    This administration cares nothing about wildlife, as trump’s son is trophy hunting.
    The GOP would sell all wildlife.

  20. Deyanira Duarte says:

    Dejen a los lobos y a todos los animalitos del mundo en paz, ellos merecen vivir este mundo tanto o incluso más que nosotros los “seres humanos”…. Realmente ellos son mejores que nosotros., ellos no tienen nuestra maldad y codicia.

  21. Emilia says:

    People don’t realize the beauty and compassion that animals who share our space in this world bring to our every day life. We should do everything we can to make their species prevail. What would be a world without animals? Just think about that.

  22. Joel Becker says:

    Wolves are the predecessor of our Loved domestic dogs.
    They are caring of their young and often hunt in unison.
    These mammals are a vital part of the ecosystem and deserve to remain so.
    The Old Testament endows humans with the responsibility to protect the creatures we share the earth with.
    Defending the American wolf is something we can do in our lifetime.

  23. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Tenemos que respetar a todos los seres vivos que viven en este planeta ellos tienen su hábitat y este mundo también es suyo así como el lugar donde viven sólo ellos nos están compartiendo un pedazo de su mundo

  24. becky ray says:

    Leave the wolves alone!! They are beautiful creatures. The human race is so cruel!!

  25. Angel Brown says:

    Ya all just need to leave the wolves alone. They are here for a reason. If u don’t mess with them they they won’t mess with them.
    They’ve beautiful to look at and help us out too rain or shinr

  26. Pete Braun says:

    Fight for them like there’s no tomorrow!

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