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SCI today filed a motion to intervene in litigation concerning the Endangered Species Act (ESA) delisting of the Western Great Lakes wolves.

SCI’s action comes in response to five animal rights groups that have challenged the delisting. The groups want wolves back on the endangered species list immediately and have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. If the motion succeeds, wolves will be returned to federal management for the duration of the litigation. SCI is actively preparing a defense to that motion.

SCI is a leader in the hunting community in litigation concerning the ESA. It is the preeminent organization in litigation related to hunting, and has defended wolf delisting and state management in each of the cases brought to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to recognize the recovered status of wolves. This recent intervention effort marks the sixth lawsuit in which SCI has participated.

SCI’s goal is to preserve management of this predator species with the individual states in which wolf populations are having an impact on other wildlife species’ numbers and behavior. SCI is also currently participating in two lawsuits to defend the delisting of the grizzly bear population in the Yellowstone area.

SCI President Merle Shepard stated: “The science is clear. The wolves of the Western Great Lakes have merited delisting for years and the states are more than ready to assume management authority of the wolves within their boundaries. In 2007 and 2008, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin demonstrated their ability to manage and conserve their own wolves. SCI will show the court that the states are the best managers for their own recovered wildlife populations.”

In this effort, SCI is again collaborating with the National Rifle Association of America to provide a powerful voice for the hunting community.