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Wolf Conservationists Win Big Appeal

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of wildlife conservation groups that sued to stop the killing of wolves in Idaho. While the win doesn’t mean that the wolf-bloodshed will immediately stop, it will help to ensure that it is done more thoughtfully.

In short, the lawsuit sought to force the authorities in Idaho to do an environmental impact study to figure out what impact the killing of wolves would have on the ecosystem. Significantly, when the current program began, nearly a decade ago, no environmental impact study was done. And now, after the federal appeals court ruling, it appears that an environmental impact study will be done

That Ain’t No Dog

While many dog lovers out there might take offense to the killing of wolves, the simple fact is that wolves are predators and wild animals that are very dangerous. In Idaho, and other rural parts of the country, wolves pose a serious risk to livestock and other domestic animals, and even to humans, and that risk can increase if the wolf population grows too large to be supported by the natural ecosystem. But, wolves were only recently pulled off the endangered species list.

Additionally, wildlife conservation groups explain that wolf populations tend to be self-regulating, and that there is no need for wolves to be hunted, particularly for sport. As the conservation groups explain, in addition to concerns over livestock attacks, other threatened animal populations are used as a reason to allow wolf hunting.

Standing for Wolves

Significantly, the Ninth Circuit’s decision had less to do with the science and numbers, and more to do with legal standing. In short, the conservation groups appealed the ruling that they did not have standing to challenge law allowing the killing of wolves. And luckily for the groups, the Ninth Circuit agreed with them and it appears the state has already responded by initiating the environmental impact study.

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