On Wednesday, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sent a notice of intent to sue to the U.S. Forest Service for alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the hunting of gray wolves in Wyoming’s Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. This National Forest straddles the border with Colorado.
This is yet another salvo of the dozens from CBD where the animal extremist organization is seeking restrictions on federal public land to end all hunting, everywhere, of all species. Under the guise of ESA protections for wolves, the CBD has grown in recent years to become a “sue-and-settle” juggernaut that has aggressively pushed its agenda across the landscape.
CBD argues that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has failed to consult with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on management of wolves, which they allege is required under the ESA. In this case, CBD claims that because wolves are protected in Colorado but migrate across the border to Wyoming, such wolves must be protected at all times, including when they’ve reached an area where wolves are delisted.
In short, argues CBD, a wolf that is protected in Colorado must be protected everywhere that wolf might travel. Because wolves are a highly migratory species at the individual level, this is a convenient argument for the anti-hunting group to make in its crusade to destroy America’s hunting heritage and effective wildlife management under the North American Model.
“This is another example where CBD and others will claim that wolf recovery in a given state or area is irrelevant so long as there is a population of wolves listed as threatened or endangered somewhere else,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Their goal is to cancel hunters and hunting everywhere, so this bizarre legal argument they continue to peddle is extremely dangerous and goes well beyond wolves and wolf hunting.”
The Forest Service must respond to the notice by initiating a consultation with FWS and prohibit hunting or trapping of wolves in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest within 60 days (April 23, 2023) or the CBD is likely to follow-through on the threat and file suit.
“The Center for Biological Diversity is making tens of millions of dollars at the expense of taxpayers by abusing the Endangered Species Act,” continued Adkins. “There’s a reason they wanted to control wolf expansion into Colorado under the ESA, even though they were naturally migrating to the state – they’re going to try to tie wolf management in every state up in court using this population. And don’t forget, this is the same group pushing the government to introduce an experimental grizzly population in Washington state, which they will use to argue against the delistling of any other recovered grizzly population.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.