Alarmed gray wolf pup. Photo via First People
The Bush Administration must have something against gray wolves. On a personal level. That might come off as a partisan, bleeding heart lefty sort of thing to say—the big bad government hates wolves!—but this time, it's not. It simply may be the only explanation. Either that or Cheney just wants more stuff to shoot in the face. Seriously though—this is the fourth time they've tried to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list. That's right; that third time's a charm adage evidently didn't hold up in court—last summer, as with every single other attempt, the removal was struck down in federal court and the wolves maintained their endangered status .
Will the delisting hold this time? Will hunters in Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho, and Minnesota be able to hunt the still-struggling wolf population in open season this year?
Unfortunately, probably yes, at least for a little while.
Last Spring, after the last delisting of the wolves was made, 110 gray wolves were hunted down before the National Resource Defense Fund successfully sued the administration to get it overturned.
There's a chance that this year, we may not even have to wait that long (though we likely will), as an Obama transition team spokesman has said that Obama will review all such "11th hour regulations" when he takes office. Call me a cynic, but wolves' endangered species listings probably won't be at the top of his legislation-to-review-list. That means we'll have to wait and see—if Obama does somehow overturn the ruling, great. If not, we can count on the NRDC to step up to the plate shortly after.
But time is short—the delisting takes effect a month from next week.
More on Bush and Endangered Species:
AP Reports Proposal to Drastically Alter Endangered Species Act
Endangered Species List is Itself Endangered
Bush Administration Proposes 48 New Endangered Species in Hawaii
Another Endangered Species Gets Shafted : TreeHugger