Defenders of wolves stepped forward to block wolf hunting seasons in Idaho and Montana, claiming that the season is long, the quotas are high and the combined effect will limit the ability of the wolves to establish new territories.
“The hunting will further isolate the Yellowstone population,” said Center for Biological Diversity spokesman Michael Robinson, one of the members of an environmental coalition filing the petition in federal court,according to the Missoulian. The coalition, which also includes Earthjustice, is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to reverse the federal agency’s decision removing the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act in Montana and Idaho. Both states set up 2009 hunting seasons for wolves.
The injunction request asks that wolves be put back on endangered species status while the larger lawsuit is settled. To win that, the wolf advocates must show two things: That they are likely to win the larger case and that allowing a hunt in the meantime would do irreparable harm to the wolf population.
Dang it! Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has already said he was all set to get himself one of those wolf tags, as InvestigateWest earlier discussed. But federal officials would advise him not to worry. They say they can meet environmentalists objections in court, and win.