Sportsman’s Alliance Foundation, Partners File For Intervention In Wolf Cases

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The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, Safari Club International and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation filed to intervene in a pair of lawsuits brought by anti-hunting groups against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) for the agency’s denial of two requests to “relist” Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation sought intervention to ensure that sportsmen have a voice, including any settlement negotiations taking place as the litigation proceeds.

Several anti-hunting organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the United States, Western Watershed Projects and the Sierra Club, filed suit against FWS in early April for the agency’s denial of a pair of petitions to relist gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains under the ESA. The petitions were filed by the animal-extremist groups in 2021, with the agency’s final decision in February of this year provoking the lawsuits. In denying the petitions, FWS cited clear data that show wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains remain robust, with state fish and wildlife agencies effectively managing the species throughout the region.

“Once again, here are the anti-hunting groups denying science which shows time and again that the gray wolf continues to expand everywhere in the United States, including the northern Rockies,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “But groups like CBD and the Humane Society don’t care about science, don’t care about wolves, they only care about their extreme out-of-touch ideology and raising millions to file one frivolous lawsuit after another.”

The gray wolf is among the most studied species on the North American continent, and data from FWS and state wildlife agencies show one undeniable truth: gray wolves have recovered, and the population continues to expand year over year, including in the northern Rockies. Instead of recognizing this recovery success, however, animal-extremist groups continue to press for full protection of gray wolves everywhere they exist, in all populations and regions of the country.

Intervention is a process utilized by courts to bring interested third parties into a case. It promotes efficient administration of the courts and protects nonparties from having their interests adversely affected by litigation conducted in their absence. The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has a long history of intervening in many wolf-related ESA cases to ensure representation before the courts of our interests and the hunting community at large.” Intervention in the present frivolous lawsuits is necessary because the interests of sportsmen cannot and will not be adequately defended by FWS.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has additional interests in intervening to defend the current status of Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves. Along with actively supporting state management of gray wolves throughout their range, we’re awaiting a decision on our own petition requesting FWS recognize and delist a Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment of gray wolves. Just as FWS has concluded in the northern Rocky Mountains, wolves in the western Great Lakes region, including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, have achieved ESA recovery goals, and the management of the species should return to well-equipped state wildlife agencies.  ��


“We want the intervention motion to make sure sportsmen are heard as we fight the extreme ideology that full and permanent protection for wolves is the only answer,” said Michael Jean, litigation counsel for the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation. “The data shows that state agencies are doing a great job managing gray wolves and we will oppose, at every turn, full ESA protection when it’s not supported by the science.”


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