May 25, 2019

RMEF: Silver Linings in Great Lakes Wolf Ruling

*Editor’s Note* – Along with the earlier posting this morning, there is little need to get excited or even optimistic about anyone’s “ability” going forward to “manage” wolves or that states will do anything differently than the Federal Government is doing now. What changes is the financial responsibility is moved from the Feds to the states. Nothing else will change as has been proven in states where wolves are no longer protected under the Endangered Species Act. If you are hoping and thinking that removal of protection of wolves from the Federal Government to the State Governments is going to result in fewer “CONTROLLED” wolves and the state’s ability to manage populations of game animals for surplus harvest, as has been the modus operandi for decades under the North American Model of Wildlife Management will soon take over, you are seriously mistaken.

For what it is worth – meaning that this is but one appeals court decision and several more can make a mockery out of the fake judicial system and change these decisions with the stroke of a pen – where once, many years ago, I argued that environmentalists and the courts could not claim the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t have authority to delist a Distinct Population Segment while, at the same time, approving of the act to list a Distinct Population Segment of any species. My argument fell on deaf ears and lo and behold one appeals court sees it the correct way.

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Unlike its decision earlier in 2017 upholding efforts to delist wolves in Wyoming, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia chose not to do the same in the Western Great Lakes states.

“We are disappointed with this latest ruling, but the court wholeheartedly rejected a number of claims by environmental groups regarding wolves and wolf management,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “The court undid a number of roadblocks thus providing a path forward.”

Positive points from the decision:

  • Rejected an environmental group argument that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) did not use the best available science
  • The Endangered Species Act allows the FWS to delist a distinct wolf population segment
  • Supported FWS’s reliance on state management of wolves and other wildlife in the Western Great Lakes states
  • Upheld the FWS’s determination that disease and human mortality do not pose a significant threat to the wolf population
  • There is no permanent barrier to delisting wolves

“This latest ruling came six years after the FWS tried for a third time to delist wolves in the Great Lakes. We call on Congress to approve and pass a legislative fix to halt this non-stop litigation that frustrates successful wildlife management,” said Allen. “These environmental groups continue to use the wolf as a fundraising tool while overlooking and ignoring each state’s approved wildlife management plans.”

As of 2015-16, there is an estimated minimum population of 3,762 wolves in the Great Lakes states. Minnesota’s wolf population is approximately one and a half times above objective. Michigan’s wolf population is more than 200 percent above its state plan and Wisconsin’s wolf population is more than 250 percent above objective.

RMEF recognizes that predators have a proper place on the landscape but that they need to be managed just as elk, deer and other wildlife are managed in accordance with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model.

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You Can’t Roller Skate in a Grizzly Bear Herd

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is up to its usual lying, cheating and stealing, pretending its intentions are the delisting of the grizzly bear in the so-called, “Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.” Lest we forget that we operate within a rigged system of control, profiteering, and human engineering? The USFWS has no serious intention to remove the grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act protection. And, when considering all aspects of the fascist U.S. Government, why would states want control – meaning they get to spend local taxpayer’s dollars instead of Federal – over the grizzly bear no more than they should want control over the GI Wolves that the Government forced onto the public. They built it, let them deal with it.

Ignorance and short memories persist in the farce of the Endangered Species Act smoke and mirrors show. In 2008, after several court challenges to gray wolf listing and delisting proposals, the USFWS, by order of the Courts, redrew their lines to designate which boundaries they had been able to get away with in the past. In other words, after President Nixon signed into law (1973) the Endangered Species Act, gray wolves in all of the Lower 48 states were declared “endangered” with the exception of Minnesota, where wolves were labeled, “threatened.”

In 1994, the Feds carved out the Northern Rockies Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of wolves. In 1998, the Feds carved out the Southwest Distinct Population Segment for Mexican Wolves. It would be my assumption that the creation of these Distinct Population Segments were permitted because it involved the introduction of wolves into those areas.

The Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment designation, didn’t fare so well, because wolf introduction wasn’t involved. Because the Feds made the decision to carve out a DPS for the Western Great Lakes, for the purpose of delisting the gray wolf in that region, a Washington, D.C. Federal Judge ruled that it was illegal for the Feds to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting. Since that time, there have not been attempts to delist any wolves, or any other species that I am aware of, by first creating a DPS, until now. It is also my understanding, as I have not found any other court rulings, that the USFWS, in the Federal Register, expounded on their historic uses of Distinct Population Segments. Of course this was all done for their own convenience. I am not aware that this “explanation” of the Fed’s right to create DPS for any purpose, has been challenged in the Courts.

The question has always remained that if the Courts are to rule that it is illegal to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting, is it also illegal to create a DPS to list a species? As pointed out above, the initial declaration of labeling gray wolves in the United States (lower) as endangered while calling those in Minnesota threatened, was an illegal act, according to Judge Freidman, the Washington, D.C. Federal Judge. Every act of creating DPS for wolves or grizzly bears or any other species, therefore, has been illegal.

What it does do, and always will do, is provide a court convenience to rule according to the whim of the moment. As environmentalist’s lawsuit will be filed to stop the delisting of grizzlies in the “created” DPS of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Courts have all the ammo they need to do just as they please. And the USFWS knows this and they use it for their own purposes as well. It’s easy to play good cop-bad cop when you know the outcome.

If the USFWS is not authorized, according to previous court rulings, to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting gray wolves, it still is not authorized to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting grizzly bears in the newly fabricated “Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.” This is nothing more that a part of the rigged fascist system we live in, where totalitarians eagerly work toward their own demise.

Below is a link to an opinion piece found in the New York Times. The author shares information, some of which is truth. I have excerpted part of his truthful words about public perceptions and hostile feelings toward the Endangered Species Act, as well as the animals themselves, the result of totalitarian enforcement of individuals’ ideology.

This proposal will end up in court. It will be interesting to see how the courts rule and what lucky rabbit they will pull out of their…hat.

While the author’s ideas may be good, the reality is that you can’t roller skate in a herd of grizzlies – meaning it is pointless to inject sense and sensibility into an insane, rigged system.

“Blocking the delisting of charismatic, Instagram-worthy megafauna like bears and wolves undermines the credibility of the act while costing taxpayers millions and diverting resources away from genuinely imperiled, if less photogenic, species.

There is increasing hostility toward the act, and toward the species themselves.”<<<Read More>>>

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The Great Lakes Wolf Decision

BerylHowell(Judge Beryl A. Howell. Howell was nominated to the position in 2010 by President Obama, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She is married to Michael Rosenfeld, who served as an executive producer at National Geographic for decades.)

Cat Urbigkit has a fairly in depth article published on Pinedale Online about the ins and outs of the court ruling that placed wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (WGLDPS) back under federal control and the strong arm of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the scrutiny of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

In reading over the court ruling and Urbigkit’s summary of events, seemingly absent from both is the court ordered explanation from the USFWS as to why they have authority, under the Endangered Species Act, to create Distinct Population Segments.

On September 29, 2008, Judge Paul Friedman, in Humane Society of the United States v. Kempthorn, vacated a portion in his rule demanding that the USFWS return to his court with an explanation as to why the USFWS had authority of create Distinct Population Segments (DPS). The bulk of Judge Friedman’s ruling is based on his belief that that the USFWS cannot carve out population segments of any species for the purpose of removing that segment from federal protection under the ESA.

It also appears to me that Judge Beryl Howell traveled down the same path as Friedman did in 2008.

On December 12, 2008, just over two months after Judge Friedman vacated his ruling, the Department of Interior, Solicitor’s Office sent to Friedman’s court a 19-page explanation as to why the USFWS has authority, under the ESA, to create DPSs. This 19-page explanation must have satisfied the Courts because a subsequent attempt by the USFWS to “delist” gray wolves in the WGLDPS was successful. However, now, another hand-picked activist judge, evidently refusing to use the same explanation as Judge Friedman, has declared that the USFWS cannot delist wolves, or any other species I’m assuming, unless said species is removed from ESA protection throughout the entirety of the United States, i.e. the USFWS cannot create a DPS.

Odd isn’t it that two courts have ruled in this manner, that it’s all or nothing and that the USFWS cannot create DPSs for the purpose of removing federal protection but evidently the same USFWS is authorized to create as many DPSs in order place a species on the ESA list. Is there no sanity?

If we go back in history to the establishment of the Endangered Species Act, and to that time when the USFWS declared that gray wolves were an endangered species in all Lower 48 states, with the exception of Minnesota (which was listed as “threatened”), according to Friedman and now Howell, the USFWS did not have authority to do that. Evidently this left the USFWS with the only option of declaring the entire planet gray wolf habitat. But then again, why stop with Earth? Perhaps a Papal Bull would do the trick?

None of this makes much sense and to those whose aim is the protection of wolves at all costs, don’t really care about making sense or implementing previous court rulings in formulating their cases; at least when it doesn’t fit the narrative.

What is probably most unfortunate is that eventually there will be enough people sick and tired of this utter nonsense and they will do as was done in Montana and Idaho and craft Congressional legislation that will remove wolves in the Western Great Lakes from federal protection and block any further lawsuits. This is liable to create a domino effect for many other ESA listed species, i.e. Delta Smelt, Canada lynx, grizzly bears, polar bears, etc. And, eventually this action will come back and bite all of us on the ass.

The utter nonsense of it all.

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DNA Studies – Smaller Native Wolves Existed in Northern Rockies before Canadian Wolf Transplant

By George Dovel (Republished with Permission)

In the Jan-Mar 2008 Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 26, the lead articled titled, “What They Didn’t Tell You about Wolf Recovery,” described the ongoing deception by federal and state biologists in their scheme to fill rural areas in the lower 48 states with wolves.

The article referred to 20 years of Dept. of Interior Solicitors (lawyers) changing the number of N. American wolf subspecies covered in the Endangered Species Act from 24, finally to two and back to four – and then to any or all wolves called “gray wolves” or “Canis lupus”. Then it told how FWS reclassified ESA-listed wolves as members of two “Distinct Population Segments”, which it later changed to three until a federal judge denounced the obvious attempt to circumvent the ESA.

The ongoing debate between wildlife scientists who classify species, concerns whether subspecies of elk (red deer), North American bison, grey wolves, etc., exist. Bona fide expert taxonomists include Dr. Valerius Geist who points out that changes in location, habitat, size and appearance alone do not necessarily change the genetic make-up to qualify an animal as a separate sub-specie.

However the Northern Rocky Mountains wolf subspecies – C. l. Irremotus – was documented by physical comparisons of skulls, etc., from larger wolves in 1959:

Page 2 of the 146-page FWS Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan dated August 3, 1987, contains the map showing the historical distribution of Canis lupus Irremotus in the lower 48 states, plus the 1987 distribution in black. It depicts immigration of Irremotus from southern British Columbia into Idaho and from B.C. or southern Alberta into the northwest corner of Montana.

It also shows the two 1987 Irremotus population areas in central Idaho, one of which included the three wolf pack territories mapped by Tim Kimmery between 1988 and 1991 (see Outdoorsman Bulletin No. 35).

Historical Impact on Wolf Subspecies

During the most recent (Pleistocene) ice age, water evaporating from the oceans became part of the glacial ice covering the land. Ocean levels dropped 300 feet or more and the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska dried up.
The exposed land bridge with little snow, later named Beringia, became a refuge for hardy Siberian animals and plants for several thousand years (see below).

Many scientists believe Beringia included a small human population from Siberia that was prevented from continuing into North America for 5,000 years by the North American ice sheets. Geologists report these continental ice sheets were 5,000-10,000 feet in depth and extended south in some places to the 40th Parallel below what is now the U.S.-Canadian border.

The artists’ three views of Beringia published by “Wikipedia” illustrate the changes that have occurred in the “Bering Land Bridge” during the last 18,000 years. But there is still disagreement among biologists about when, where and how several current mammal species first arrived on the North American Continent.

Subspecies Had Limited Opportunity to Crossbreed

Since 1995 a number of wildlife biologists have accepted the determination by Nowak that five subspecies of gray wolf (Canus lupus) inhabited North America during the early 20th Century. There is also agreement that Canis lupus occidentalis (the large gray wolf transplanted to Yellowstone and Central Idaho by FWS in 1995) had virtually no opportunity to influence the genetic make-up of coastal wolves in SE Alaska and Yukon and portions of five other Canadian Provinces where it existed.

For thousands of years the ice between interior Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia and the coastal area prevented the occidentalis wolves from mixing with the smaller wolves defined as C. lupis ligoni by Goldman in 1944. And the intensive efforts to kill all wolves in the early 1900s also left few of the large wolves alive in most areas where they might have mixed with the native wolves.

The map below in the study titled, “Legacy Lost: genetic variability and population size of extirpated U.S. gray wolves (Canis lupis),” published by Leonard et al in the 2005 Vol. 14 issue of Molecular Ecology, shows the five primary subspecies that existed in the early 1900s. The bold black line indicates the northern limit of gray wolf eradication that occurred in the 48 contiguous United States and Canada.

In 1995, C.l. nubilus, the primary subspecies common in the U.S. and Canada mainland included ligoni from the west coast of Canada, irremotus from the Northern Rocky Mountains and labradorius from Labrador. The “a” to “z” letters scattered on the map represent original locations of the various museum specimens whose DNA were recorded in the study.

A similar study titled, “Phylogeography of wolves (Canis lupus) in the Pacific Northwest”, by Weckworth et al (published in the 2010 (2) issue of the Journal of Mammology) used basically the same map, along with an expanded inset to illustrate locations of testing for the genetic difference between the smaller coastal wolves and the 30% larger occidentalis wolves from the Alaska and Yukon interiors.

Both of these DNA studies emphasize that the nubilus wolves migrated northward to populate Canada as the ice sheets and glaciers melted. They point out that the smaller wolves existed in the south before the larger wolves migrated into northern Canada, and the Weckworth study suggests the coastal wolves should be listed as a separate individual subspecies.

Court Allows Transplants – Then Orders Removal

Readers who actively opposed the FWS option to import Canadian wolves may recall the following events:
In 1994 the Farm Bureau, Audubon Society and other plaintiffs asked the Wyoming Federal District Court to halt wolf introduction because it could not legally occur where naturally occurring wolves already existed per the 10J Rule. But instead of issuing an injunction to halt the process while the arguments were presented, Judge Downes allowed FWS to go ahead and transplant Canadian wolves into Central Idaho and Yellowstone Park for three years until he issued his ruling in December of 1997.

Then after setting aside the final wolf introduction rules as unlawful, Judge Downes ordered FWS to remove all Canadian wolves and their progeny from both experimental population areas. This ruling was met with loud criticism by the wolf activists, including the state and federal wildlife agencies who apparently believed they could get by with ignoring both state and federal laws when it suited their agenda.

Judge “Passes the Buck” to Appeals Court

They quickly pointed out that it would not be possible to even locate most of the wolves – much less capture them. But even if that were possible, both Canadian Provinces refused to allow the wolves to return and there were not enough zoos willing to accept several hundred wild wolves so killing most was the only option.

Judge Downes could have prevented this disaster from occurring by simply putting wolf introduction on hold three years earlier until his decision was reached. But the second time he did essentially the same thing by later staying execution of his removal order pending an appeals decision by the 10th Circuit Court.

On January 13, 2000, five years after the first large Canadian wolves were introduced, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the December 1998 Wyoming District Court ruling that the reintroduction program was unlawful and should be revoked. The appeals court admitted that the evidence showed native irremotus wolves already existed when the larger Canadian wolves were introduced, but said FWS had the authority to determine what constituted a population.
The fact that the resident wolves coexisted with abundant big game populations and with negligible impact on livestock and human activity was already a matter of record in 1994. But on August 12, 1994, FWS Wolf Leader Ed Bangs sent a letter to Charles Lobdell telling him to stop issuing statements to the public advising that the number of reported resident wolves was increasing.

Bangs’ letter advised that FWS planned to introduce wolves from Canada and said: “From this day forward…confirmed wolf activity (will only include) individual wolves or members of packs that have been examined, radio-collared and monitored in the wild.” He also said he had transferred $9,000 to the FWS Boise Field Office to search for wolves and organize flights to locate any radio-collared wolves that might be in Idaho or the Yellowstone area during the summer and fall.

Bangs also included key issues to be presented to the public consistently by FWS:
“1. (I)t is likely that wolf populations would ultimately recover without reintroduction and breeding pairs of wolves would likely occur in Idaho before they would occur (in) Yellowstone.

4. Experimental populations will not knowingly contain a significant portion of the territory of any naturally occurring breeding pair that has successfully raised young. However once wolves are released all wolves in the area will be treated as experimental animals.”

Despite reported wolf sightings by more then 120 outfitters, trappers and others in less than two months, most in the same location where Kemery mapped three wolf pack areas from 1988-1991, and despite the USFS road closure to protect existing wolves (see Bulletin 35), Bangs dumped Canadian wolves halfway between the two known native wolf locations guaranteeing their extermination.

In February of 2012, I forwarded the Weckworth DNA study, without comment, to Dr. Valerius Geist. The following was his reply:

“Thank you, George, I have seen this study. To me it suggests that there was indeed a remnant of native wolves in Idaho that were finally done away with by introduced wolves from Canada. The native wolves would have been of the same clad as the coastal wolves. Anyway, that’s testable since some museum specimens of native Idaho wolves are still available for genetic analysis. However, somebody competent and trustworthy needs to do it. Cheers, Val Geist.”

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Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Lays Out Demands to USFWS on Canada Lynx

Perhaps the tone of the comments made by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) is just as important as the information contained in them. It is refreshing to read from any hunting, fishing, trapping and outdoor organization with an attitude that exudes the confidence needed to place the demands of the outdoor sportsmen above those of the environmentalists. SAM lays out five issues that they see as what needs to be done in order to move forward as it pertains to the application process for an Incidental Take Permit for trapping in Maine.

The comment period has closed in which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), by law, accepted comments from all interested parties concerning the State of Maine’s application for an Incidental Take Permit(ITP) for trapping. The Canada lynx is listed under federal law as a “threatened” species and certain critical habitat has been designated as needing further protections in order to assist in the growth of the lynx population. As a result of this process Maine should apply for and obtain this ITP to protect the state and trappers should some lynx be accidentally caught in traps intended for other species.

Here’s a look at SAM’s five demands and my comments on them.

1.) SAM asks that the ITP be approved as quickly as possible without delay and without any further restrictions added to the already harsh rules that govern trapping (by a court Consent Decree). All the data available indicate that the rules and programs in place are more than adequate to not only protect the lynx but to assist in a continuation of growing the population.

2.) The USFWS is requiring MDIFW to set aside certain public lands to be used as “lynx conservation areas”. SAM demands that if this is done the land remain open to, “all legal trapping, hunting, snowmobiling, and other traditional activities”. While I agree that all public land should remain open for all public use, I have serious concerns about portions of this “conservation plan” that calls for large areas of forests on these public lands to be “clear cut” in order to grow desirable lynx habitat. We would hope that no public lands be clear cut only for the purpose of creating habitat for one species with disregard for all others and the overall use of the land by the people.

3.) SAM demands that the USFWS set recovery goals. In other words, provide the people with the scientific criteria in terms of population numbers, etc. that must be reached and for how long, before delisting can occur.

For those who don’t know, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) lists, although extremely non specific, any condition that must be in existence BEFORE a species can be listed on the ESA. Please review the ESA for those criteria. The ESA also clearly states that the same criteria must NOT exist in order to remove a species for federal protection.

Because the criteria in the ESA is so non specific and much flexibility and deference is given to the Secretary of Interior, what SAM is demanding is reasonable and well within the scope and historic activities of the USFWS.

However, that same history shows us that setting population goals, genetic connectivity, etc. acts more as a catalyst for inflaming arguments over species management theories than providing reachable goals for delisting. In some areas, such as those battling over gray wolves, those goals keep changing making it impossible to ever delist a species.

4.) SAM demands that the USFWS, “modify its distinct population segment”. This is where the waters get really muddy; where science takes a back seat and politics take over and decisions that should be based on science get decided in the Courts.

Historic evidence shows us that animal rights groups and environmentalists have learned to use the very non specific Endangered Species Act to create great wealth. One aspect of abuse of the ESA comes over the debate about Distinct Population Segments (DPS). I would attempt to explain to readers what a DPS is supposed to be but the court rulings nationwide are so varied I’m not sure anyone knows any longer what the laws are regulating the use of DPSs.

The intent of a DPS was to designate a certain species of animal within a region that subsequently became federally listed through the ESA as a “threatened” or an “endangered” species. Of course in designating such a DPS, boundaries have to be used somewhere and decided upon somehow. However, the designation and use of such boundaries has led to some ridiculous court rulings making little sense, based on arbitrary decisions and mostly from activist-type judges.

In the Great Lakes region a few years ago, when the USFWS attempted to remove grey wolves from the ESA, a lawsuit ensued and Judge Paul Friedman, in his ruling, stated that the USFWS did not have the authority to create a Distinct Population Segment in order to delist a species. No explanation has ever been given as to why, then, it is acceptable to create a DPS to list a species but not to delist.

Judge Friedman remanded the case back the USFWS until such time as they could provide proof to the courts that they had the authority to create DPSs. Last year, the USFWS tried once again to delist grey wolves in the Western Great Lakes. The Final Rule in the Federal Register, goes into quite a bit of depth in explaining existing laws and past court rulings in an attempt to bolster their argument that they have all the necessary authority the judge deemed they didn’t.

Currently grey wolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment have been removed from federal protection under the ESA. Environmental groups are threatening lawsuits and until such time as that happens we may not know whether the USFWS has sufficiently satisfied the Court.

While I concur with the SAM on this to some degree, that a better job needs to be done, especially when the initial creation of a DPS is considered, making the demand to “modify its distinct population segment” for Maine’s population of lynx is a very complicated act. Which leads us into SAM’s fifth demand.

5.) SAM insists that, “individual states within each of the newly-created DPS’s need to be separable when lynx populations reach recovery goals in one or more states, but not in the others.”

Again, this is a very complex issue because of the involvement of the courts. When a species is brought under federal protection, it is the U.S. Government, i.e. the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that overseas and calls all the shots as they pertain to species protection and recovery. That management authority is taken away from the states and if and when the day comes that a species is declared recovered, wildlife management authority returns to the states. And yet, when it comes time to delist a species, even if one state has worked harder than another to recover a species, delisting cannot occur along state boundaries because of court rulings.

Example: The USFWS has designated large portions of Maine and smaller areas in New Hampshire, Vermont and New York as areas where the Canada lynx has known populations. Essentially, the USFWS includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York as a Distinct Population Segment for Canada lynx.

SAM is asking the USFWS to be prepared to delist Maine’s population of lynx when it has recovered even if New Hampshire, Vermont and New York have not recovered their populations.

Court rulings have further confused this issue. As I stated earlier, Judge Friedman claims the USFWS does not have that authority under the ESA. In Maine’s case, according to Friedman’s ruling, the USFWS could not create a DPS along the boundary lines of the states for the purpose of declaring the Canada lynx a recovered species.

Out in the Northern Rockies, when the USFWS attempted to delist grey wolves, Judge Donald Molloy ruled that the USFWS could not exclude Wyoming from the delisting process because the Feds didn’t have authority through the ESA to do that. In other words, the Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct Population Segment included all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and small portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah. Cutting Wyoming out of the process was not something Judge Molloy was willing to do. For him, it was all in or all out while the issue of scientific recovery, within the borders of a state, of a species was never considered.

Even though it literally took an act of Congress to delist wolves in all of the NRM DPS except Wyoming, the laws are still very unclear about what the feds can do.

SAM says that the feds need to do a better job with their DPS designation processes and I would certainly concur with that statement. However, the first thing needed is a clear and definite set of rules and guidelines that should be utilized before any DPS is created and the specific guidelines for delisting, even if it included breaking off segments within a DPS. Science should be the driving force not politics or private agendas.

There is one thing that I can guarantee. Maine’s attempt at acquiring an Incidental Take Permit will not be simple. Depending upon the content of that ITP, will depend on the number of lawsuits that will be filed in an attempt to stop all trapping to protect the lynx. It is almost as certain that we will never see the Canada lynx removed from the ESA because the ESA, politics and the entire process that got the species listed is not designed to remove a species from federal protection. This is partially what is wrong with the ESA that needs fixing.

And, good luck with that.

Tom Remington

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