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Wolf Delisting: Old Wine in New Bottles

May 2014

Citation: 44 ELR 10413

Issue: 5

Author: Edward A. Fitzgerald

The Obama Administration’s effort to divide and delist portions of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population was rejected by the Montana federal district court. Congress intervened and enacted a rider on Interior’s 2011 appropriation bill that delisted the wolves in the Northern Rockies, except Wyoming, and precluded judicial review of the action. The Ninth Circuit upheld the congressional action, which should have been rejected under alternative legal theories. The Obama Administration has proposed delisting the gray wolf across most of the United States. The proposal relies on questionable scientific evidence and was developed through a dubious administrative process. The premature proposal focuses on the current range of the wolf, but fails to recognize that the wolf is still missing from significant portions of its historic range.

Edward A. Fitzgerald is a Professor of Political Science at Wright State University.

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