Federal Appeals Court Upholds FWS Delisting of Wyoming Wolves

Federal Appeals Court Upholds FWS Delisting of Wyoming Wolves

On March 3, a panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed a previous court decision that placed the gray wolf in Wyoming back on the Endangered Species List. The recent court opinion found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had reasonably determined in its 2012 delisting decision that the state of Wyoming had adequate plans in place to maintain wolf populations in the state. That decision reversed a 2014 court opinion that found that the Wyoming plan was based on non-binding management strategies and that the FWS could not rely on these plans to sustain the population.

“Wyoming showed it could manage wolves in a conservative and responsible manner that met all objectives after delisting,” said Chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Division, Brian Nesvik. “We look forward to again taking on the important work of managing this public resource.”

The recent court decision will not go into effect immediately and at this time wolves remain protected under the Endangered Species Act until additional court proceedings can occur.

March 16, 2017