November 10, 2011
Judge Accepts RMEF Motion in Oregon Wolf Lawsuit
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has learned that an Oregon court has agreed to consider in its final ruling the RMEF motion outlining the need for science-based, state regulated wolf management. The court is reviewing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s authority to manage and control wolves as part of a state-approved plan.
Oregon wildlife officials recently announced the agency would use lethal means to stop two wolves known to habitually kill livestock in Wallowa County. Animal rights and wolf activist groups sued the state, claiming that any loss of wolves could cause “irreparable harm” to wolf recovery in Oregon. That argument was rejected in a previous lawsuit heard in a Montana federal court. But an Oregon court granted a temporary stay to stop the search for the two wolves until the legal merits of the case can be considered.
“The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has always believed strongly that the management of all our wildlife be based on science, said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Oregon is just one example of our commitment to support proven wildlife management procedures. By allowing wildlife agencies to create state-approved plans we know the entire balance of these complicated ecosystems can be maintained to the benefit of all.”
RMEF attorneys also continue to respond to legal wrangling by animal rights and wolf activist groups seeking to foil management plans in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Great Lakes states. On Nov. 8, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif., will hear arguments from RMEF and others as it considers a lawsuit alleging that Congress’ acted outside the Constitution when it delisted wolves in parts of the West.
In some areas, such as the northern Yellowstone in Montana and the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, elk calf survival rates are now too low to sustain herds for the future.