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Conservationists sue feds over outdated wolf management plans

Jim Peaco - Yellowstone National Park (PD)
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Conservationists are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the lack of a nationwide recovery plan for endangered wolves.

The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a Washington, D.C., court over what it says are the agency's failures to establish a national recovery plan and complete mandatory five-year status reviews on gray wolf populations in the United States.

The Center for Biological Diversity said the agency’s current recovery plans are outdated and piecemeal, relying on plans that were drafted in the 1980s and '90s. The suit aims to force the agency into drafting a new nationwide recovery plan for endangered wolves, as well as compelling a new five-year status review, which the agency has not done since 2012.

The suit would not directly affect Montana’s wolves, since the Northern Rockies population has been unprotected by the Endangered Species Act since 2011. But a separate lawsuit, filed by the advocacy group earlier this year in District Court in Missoula, seeks to relist the Northern Rockies wolf population. A spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it is agency policy for them not to comment on active litigation.

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