Elk NetworkRMEF, Partners File Legal Brief in Favor of Wolf Delisting

General | September 2, 2021

The Sportsmen Conservation Coalition, a collaborative group including the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Michigan Bear Hunters Association and Wisconsin Bear Hunters’ Association, recently filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to adopt a final rule removing gray wolves in the lower 48 states from the list of endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

RMEF agrees with scientists and professional wildlife managers that the gray wolf species has met delisting criteria in the Lower 48 for a number of years and is biologically recovered.

“Nothing has changed here. This is a matter of science. Scientists and biologists under the Biden administration agree with those under the Trump administration as well as the Obama administration before them, that wolves continue to meet delisting criteria and are successfully recovered,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “As a recovered species, wolves will and should be appropriately managed by state agencies in line with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model through regulated hunting and trapping.”

The USFWS reviewed the 2020 delisting rule and concluded it consistent with the ESA and based on the best scientific data available at that time.

Wolf populations are well above state and federal management goals in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming. They are at historic modern-day levels in both Oregon and Washington. Additionally, active pup-producing packs are on the ground in California and Colorado with confirmed sightings in other states.

(Photo source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)