Did Congress Overstep with Removing Wolves From Protection?

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Tempers are flaring and lawsuits are yet again being filed to stop wolf hunts and return them to the protected status they've enjoyed for way too long. Wildlife conservationist groups led by Alliance for the Wild Rockies are in the forefront in trying to stop the hunting of wolves. They are accusing congress of going against the constitution when they removed the wolf from the endangered species list. Declining numbers of wolves caused them to be placed on the list over four decades ago, but they had reached a sustainable level at least 10 years ago.

There are many sides to the wolf story. There are the people who say they didn't ask for the wolves; the farmers and ranchers who are paying most severely with the over population of wolves. There are the hunters who want the right to hunt wolves, and protect the ungulate populations. Then there are the conservation groups who want to save everything.

Congress, they pointed out, only has authority to amend laws such as the Endangered Species Act, and not previous rulings from the court.

The delisting gave states management control in Montana, Idaho, and parts of Oregon, Washington, and Utah. However, it was with a 5 year U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitoring plan.

The first time the gray wolves were delisted was in 2002, but a court ruled that the Fish and Wildlife Service had illegally delisted the animals in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho so the wolves were put back on the list. In different areas of the states, there are different levels of protection for the animals as well. The federal protection and the state protection are separate, and can vary. Montana has decided to go against federal ruling and have a wolf season this year, with a quota of 226. Wyoming and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been working on a wolf management plan for their state. From All Headline News.

Additional articles on the wolf controversy, from the Billings Gazette, and even the New York Times has published a piece.