March 3, 2017
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming Governor Matt Mead applauded a 3-0 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that recognized Wyoming’s wolf management plan should be upheld. In 2012, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed Wyoming’s wolves from the protection of the Endangered Species Act through a delisting rule. In 2014 a federal District Court judge reinstated federal protections for wolves and vacated the 2012 rule because she believed that population commitments Wyoming made in its wolf management plan needed to be in regulation or statute. As a result, she ruled that the US Fish and Wildlife Service acted arbitrarily in delisting Wyoming’s wolves. Wyoming and the federal government appealed that decision.
In today’s opinion, the Court concluded that US Fish and Wildlife Service did not act arbitrarily when it determined Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan was sufficient to maintain a recovered wolf population upon delisting.
“I am pleased with today’s ruling. The Court recognized Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan was appropriate. We look forward to state management once the 2012 delisting rule is formally reinstated,” said Governor Mead. “I thank everyone who has worked so hard for the recovery and delisting of wolves. This is the right decision for wolves and Wyoming.”
State officials will notify the public once the 2012 delisting rule is officially reinstated and once Wyoming is operating under its wolf management plan. Until that time, anyone with questions may contact Governor Mead’s policy advisor, David Willms at (307) 777-7434.