Wyoming Farm Bureau Statement regarding congressional language to uphold Judge Johnson’s wolf decision - April 13, 2011
“Judge Johnson’s November 2010 ruling showed science should still matter when making decisions,” Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau executive vice president, said. “We are pleased congressional language was included to ensure that this ruling could not be wrongfully attacked.”
In a news release U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) stated: “Upholding Judge Johnson’s ruling is crucial to advancing negotiations on a common sense wolf management plan. This language removes obstacles that would have otherwise hindered discussions on the status of the fully recovered gray wolf in Wyoming. Returning management of the gray wolf to the State of Wyoming is the ultimate goal. Much work remains, but with this provision intact, I am confident we are closer than ever to realizing a full delisting. I look forward to that happy day.”
In a November 2010 ruling, Wyoming Federal District Court Judge Alan Johnson ruled that the USFWS had acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in rejecting Wyoming’s wolf management plan.
The FY2011 Continuing Resolution included language authored by Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) that overturned the August 2010 district court decision in Montana to put wolves in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah back on the endangered species list. In effect, the provision delists wolves in Idaho and Montana but threatened to supersede Judge Johnson’s November 2010 ruling. Repudiation of the ruling would jeopardize the progress of wolf management negotiations in Wyoming. The language Lummis successfully inserted allows for negotiation to continue without the language of the 2009 delisting rule hindering Judge Johnson’s ruling.
Congress is expected to approve the overall legislation later this week.