Hunting Group Sues U.S. Fish & Wildlife Over Wolf Controversy

Environmental and animal-rights groups have grown very adept at using lawsuits to further their agenda. Now a pro-hunting group is taking a page from that playbook in the latest chapter in the ongoing, never-ending wolf controversy saga.

From this story in the Duluth News-Tribune:
_The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation and five other groups gave notice this week they will sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if the federal agency doesn't move quickly to remove Great Lakes wolves from the endangered species list. In a letter to the Secretary of the Interior, which oversees Fish and Wildlife, the pro-hunting groups say the agency has not responded to their May 18 petition seeking fast action on delisting wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan."No one wants to engage in litigation on this issue," said Bill Horn, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation director of federal affairs, in a statement. "However, the law is the law and it is high time that (the federal government) move forward with giving states back their rightful ability to manage their wolf populations."

__The notice is required at least 60 days before any suit is filed. The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, the Dairyland Committee of Safari Club International Chapters of Wisconsin, National Wild Turkey Federation of Wisconsin, Whitetails of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Firearms Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators joined in signing the petition. Fish and Wildlife officials earlier this summer said they are reformulating a plan to delist wolves in the western Great Lakes but that they need to proceed carefully because past efforts have been thwarted by court action from groups who want federal wolf protections continued. There are about 3,200 wolves in Minnesota and about 700 each in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. They currently remain off limits to any trapping, hunting or harassment, except in Minnesota where federal trappers are allowed to kill wolves near where livestock or pets have been killed._

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