Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International (SCI) asked a federal court in Montana on May 2, 2008 for permission to participate in a legal battle over the delisting of wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. SCI seeks to defend the decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to delist the wolves of the Northern Rocky Mountain states, and to return management of the predator species back to the state authorities. Wolves achieved recovered status in 2000, and their population numbers in the three states now far exceed the recovery criteria established by the FWS.
SCI seeks to participate in the case to represent the many hunters who are competing with wolves for game, who have been forced to change hunting areas and practices due to the presence of wolves, and who have lost hunting dogs, horses and mules to wolf attacks.
SCI is already in court in Montana on two other cases. In one SCI has been granted the right to intervene in a case dealing with a federal law expanding Montana, Idaho and Wyoming’s authority over problem wolves. In the other, SCI has intervened in a case involving the delisting of grizzly bears. SCI is also defending the delisting of the wolves of the Western Great Lakes. In that case, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, SCI has joined forces with the National Rifle Association of America. SCI and the NRA have continued that collaboration in this new delisting case.
SCI President Dennis Anderson stated that “SCI has consistently supported the delisting of recovered species. The ESA was never intended to be the ‘Endangered Species Forever Act.’ Once a species has recovered – and the gray wolves of the Northern Rocky Mountains clearly have – it is time to allow them to be managed in a way that prevents harm to wildlife like elk, moose and deer, which are of great importance to the hunting community.”
SCI-First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s 188 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 13 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.safariclub.org or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.