Environmental Groups Fight to Put Gray Wolf Back on Endangered Species List

Environmental groups appealed to the Ninth Circuit to reinstate the northern rocky mountain gray wolf on the Endangered Species List, after Montana judge Donald Molley reluctantly upheld Congress' move directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the furry predators.

Congress signed off on this in April, making it the first instance that lawmakers, rather than scientists, have removed a plant or animal from the endangered species list. Environmental groups are charging that the gray wolf has become a victim of politics, saying the delisting was done with no regard for the actual status of the animal.

Judge Molley was clearly unhappy with the decision, accusing Congress of “using insider tactics without debate” and calling the move, which was part of a budget rider, a” tearing away, an undermining, and a disrespect for the fundamental idea of the rule of law.” In his strongly worded ruling, he adds, “Fairness is dethroned and confusion is crowned queen when the laws enacted pursuant to established public policy are inapplicable on an ad hoc basis.”

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