Wolves: Sportsmen’s Alliance Files Intent to Sue FWS

The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (SAF) filed a notice of its intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today, Nov. 10, for the agency’s failure to respond to SAF’s two gray wolf petitions – filed on June 29, 2023 – within the 90 days required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The deadline for FWS to respond to the petitions was September 27, 2023.

As reported previously, the first SAF petition is to delist gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin – otherwise known as the “Western Great Lakes” (WGL) population. Gray wolves in the WGL have long surpassed recovery goals for each of the three states, but animal extremist organizations have tied up the delisting process for nearly two decades, filing one lawsuit after another to hinder decision-making and obstruct wildlife management every step of the way. Nobody can argue science, wolves in the WGL have fully recovered.

The second SAF petition is to provide FWS with a blueprint that follows previous federal court rulings disallowing WGL delisting because of the potential impact delisting could have on wolves in other regions of the country. By combining these two petitions together, FWS now has a roadmap to get wolf management back in the hands of wildlife biologists and away from the animal extremists who want wolves to retain “endangered” status even when and where the species is not, in fact, endangered any longer.

“FWS has had more than enough time to consider our petitions and issue a finding, as required by the ESA, so we are ready to sue to force a decision,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Our petitions will get wolf management back on track with sound science driving decisions instead of the irresponsible and unsustainable anti-science of the extremists, so we will fight to get this done.”

The Michigan Bear Hunters Association, Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association and Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association joined the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation in filing the initial petitions and now in the notice of intent to sue.

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, FacebookTwitter and Instagram.