A coalition of agriculture and forestry groups filed court motions in defense of delisting the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act. Three cases filed by environmental and animal welfare groups in California challenge the final delisting ruling issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last November. The coalition is defending the delisting because it recognizes the successful recovery of the wolf and enables responsible wildlife management and protection of private property by farmers, ranchers, and forest resource users.
The coalition provided the court with personal stories that illustrate the harm inflicted by unchecked wolf populations on livestock ranchers and farmers, natural ecosystems, and other wildlife. A Minnesota farmer stated in the filing that he lost 26 calves in a single year to gray wolves. Groups in the coalition include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Forest Resources Council, the American Sheep Industry Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the Public Lands Council. Since being listed under the ESA in 1974, the gray wolf has exceeded recovery goals by more than 300 percent. This has been a runaway success story, with uncontrolled populations now threatening livestock and rural communities across the country.