by Mark Chesnut - Monday, August 15, 2022
The ongoing saga over how gray wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains will be managed has taken yet another interesting twist—and again, this latest twist is in the courtroom.
First, however, a little background is in order. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed gray wolves from the threatened species list in 2020, placing their management back in the hands of state wildlife agencies—right where it belonged. The USFWS under the Biden administration originally backed that stance, then it flip-flopped last September, announcing, “The Service finds the petitioners present substantial information that potential increases in human-caused mortality may pose a threat to the gray wolf in the western U.S.”
At the time, the USFWS was to conduct an in-depth review and analysis of gray wolf populations and management and make a determination about future management plans. When a group petitions the USFWS to list a species, the USFWS has 90 days to make a preliminary determination and 12 months to make a final determination, but the 12-month deadline was missed without further word from the USFWS.
That’s what prompted last week’s lawsuit by animal rights activists, who sued the federal government over the missed deadline. The Humane Society of the United States and Center for Biological Diversity—two animal rights extremist groups that opposed scientific management of the wolves—have now asked a U.S. district judge in Montana to order federal officials to make a final decision. After the USFWS makes its 12-month finding, then Administrative Procedures Act rulemaking begins so this is just the latest step in a long process.
The National Rifle Association has been involved in the wolf debate for nearly two decades, standing with hunters and supporting wildlife science and legal, regulated hunting as a wildlife management tool. As the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) continues to track the issue, readers can catch up on all the twists and turns that have occurred over the past few years—in addition to the Biden administration’s flip-flop on the issue as mentioned above—by checking out the following NRA HLF story links.
About the Author
Freelance writer Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC in Jenks, Okla. An avid hunter, shooter and field-trialer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years, previously serving as editor of the NRA’s America’s First Freedom.
E-mail your comments/questions about this site to: