November 7, 2011
RMEF Moves to Fight Wolf Lawsuit in Oregon
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is seeking to defend 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.
RMEF has filed a motion to enter an amicus curiae brief opposing the plaintiff groups.
If the motion is granted, RMEF documents outlining the need for science-based, state-regulated wolf management will be considered as part of the court’s final ruling.
“Our organization has over 15,000 members in Oregon, including hunters, ranchers and other conservationists. Together we endorse the efforts of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to manage and control wolves alongside other wild species as part of an approved plan,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We support the agency’s work to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of citizens.”
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.