(Columbus) – The nation’s top sportsmen’s advocacy organization, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) has joined forces with Great Lakes area state hunting organizations and local outdoorsmen to block animal rights group’s attempts to provide unnecessary protections to thriving wolf populations.
The USSAF’s Legal Defense Fund is filing a motion to intervene against a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and others involving the great lakes population of wolves. Wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List by former President Bush after the populations far exceeded previously set benchmarks for the species. The decision triggered a lawsuit to stop the delisting. The court stopped the delisting while the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) complied with some minor technical issues.
After President Obama was elected, the FWS reviewed the wolf decision and also concluded that the species was healthy enough to be delisted. The Obama administration’s decision has once again triggered a lawsuit by national anti-hunting organizations.
“This frivolous lawsuit makes it clear that anti-hunting groups will never support a species removal from the Endangered Species List, no matter how healthy and abundant the population has become,” said Rob Sexton, vice president for Government Affairs with USSAF. “Presidents from both political parties have seen the data and knew this was the right thing to do. While the anti’s play their delaying tactics, sportsmen across the Great Lakes states continue to lose their hunting dogs to attacks by the thriving wolf population and many sportsmen are reporting declines in deer numbers in the wolf range.”
USSAF is being joined in the motion to intervene by the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, and two local Wisconsin hunters, Scott Meyer of Gleason, and Rob Stafsholt of New Richmond. Both men have lost dogs to wolves.
“It is critical that the states be allowed to manage the wolf population,” said Meyer. “In addition to losing my own dogs, the unchecked wolf population is devastating other wildlife including bear cubs. We need to make sure the court knows this information.”
More urgent at this point, the plaintiffs have filed for a temporary restraining order to stop wolves from being managed by the states while the case moves through the courts. This is a process that could take years and is a frequent delaying tactic by opponents of hunting.
The USSAF also invited Safari Club International Foundation to join the effort.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussafoundation.org.