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Washington, DC – Safari Club International ( SCI) today asked a U.S. District Court in Montana for permission to intervene in defense of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf delisting. SCI’s request comes in response to a lawsuit brought by thirteen animal rights and environmental groups on June 2, 2009 to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision that removed wolves in Montana and Idaho from the “endangered” species list.

SCI seeks to participate as a party to defend the federal agency’s decision to recognize the recovered status of the wolves and to turn management of the species over to the states where it belongs. Over the years, SCI has actively participated in multiple cases concerning the status and management of wolves, including litigation in Oregon, Vermont, the District of Columbia and Montana.

SCI President Merle Shepard said “SCI has been the hunting community’s leader in efforts to support the removal of wolves from the endangered species list. Animal rights groups have stymied wolf management and conservation by their repeated challenges to the wolf delisting. SCI is prepared for yet another battle and is looking forward to demonstrating how both scientific management and the law justify the delisting.”

While the “ink dries” on the papers filed for intervention in the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf delisting case, SCI is staying at the forefront of the wolf issue around the country, already preparing to move to intervene in another case – an impending challenge to the Western Great Lakes wolf delisting, likely to be filed this week by a separate set of animal rights plaintiffs.