On Thursday, February 10, 2022, U.S District Judge Jeffrey S. White from California, decided to reapply protections for wolves in every state except Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

This is a reversal of a decision made by Trump’s administration, which led to a large number of these animals being hunted and killed. In fact, Wisconsin had to cut short its hunting season in 2021 because 216 wolves were killed in under three days.

Before Trump’s administration delisted the wolves, a compulsory panel of scientists carried out an independent review and voiced their concerns, but to no avail. This new decision will place the wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act again. It was brought about because of a lawsuit by The Humane Society and other conservation groups.

Kitty Block, president, and CEO of the Humane Society was obviously excited about the ruling:

“Today is a monumental victory for wolves who will now be protected from state-sponsored bloodbaths. After having yet another wolf delisting overturned in federal court, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should finally learn its lesson. Instead of continuing to devise convoluted excuses to strip these beloved animals of legal protections, the agency must develop a plan for meaningful recovery across the species’ range and ensure that states will not decimate their wolf populations.”

While the protections will certainly be helpful for the wolves in most states, the Northern Rocky Mountain states are where much of the hunting takes place. The states are clearly not helping the wolves there.

This includes some recent controversy about the over 20 wolves that were killed outside of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

“We urge the agency to use the court’s decision today to inform all of their choices about gray wolves moving forward and to immediately restore federal protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies as well,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Human Society Legislative Fund.

Let’s hope that the wolves in every state will have the proper protections soon. Right now, there are too many wolves at risk in the states where this decision doesn’t apply.

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