Representing the Washington Cattlemen's Association, attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation have filed a federal lawsuit to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct the legally mandated five-year status review of the gray wolf, to determine whether the species continues to warrant listing as "endangered." The gray wolf is known to exist across the continent from Michigan in the Midwest, through to Washington State in the West.
The gray wolf has been listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act since 1978, but from that point to the present, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has never conducted a formal scientific review of its status to determine whether continued listing is appropriate. PLF says a failure to conduct such reviews is in direct violation of the law.
"First and foremost, the case we've filed is about the rule of law," PLF attorney Daniel Himebaugh said. "The federal government can be harsh on private property owners when it's enforcing environmental regulations, so there is simply no excuse for the federal bureaucrats to be ignoring their own legal obligations. The stalling has to stop and the bureaucrats have to be reminded that they're not above the law."