Blame Wyoming

I was thrilled to learn of Judge Molloy’s ruling to restore protection for the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

I applaud the judge, among others, for preserving the integrity of the ESA and holding true to the law of the land. After all, in an uncorrupt, democratic state, if citizens must follow the laws that government passes then surely government should follow those laws too. This enables the ESA to remain protected and the role of science, not emotion or politics, to be honored to the fullest in the decision making process. Thank you, Judge Molloy for doing your job.

For those of you looking to “blame” someone for sacrificing temporary state management of wolves, look no further than Wyoming. In the absence of a responsible state management plan guaranteeing acceptable wolf populations maintained into the future, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was left with two choices: To abide by the law and keep wolves on the endangered species list, or attempt to adopt a skewed interpretation of the law through a delisting process that removes only 2/3 of the population from the list—a bold and unsuccessful gamble. Northern Rocky Wolves were listed under the ESA as one population and need to be treated that way.

The burden now lies on our neighbors to the south to get their heads out of the sand and devise an acceptable management plan that allows the recovered wolves to be managed like all other critters and flourish in the Northern Rockies. >Stu Garney, Missoula

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