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Eye On Boise

Risch, Crapo urge U.S. wolf appeal

Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo have sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar urging him to appeal a federal court decision placing wolves back on the endangered species list, which they call a "most unfortunate decision." The two ask Salazar to "vigorously" appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, adding, "It is imperative that the Department of the Interior put forth any and all necessary resources in order to successfully appeal and overturn the District Court’s decision." Click below to read the full letter. Idaho's top fish and game officials already have called for the state to appeal the ruling; as a named defendant, Idaho can appeal on its own, but the lead defendant in the case is Salazar.


Write Secretary Salazar seeking appeal in court case

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have written U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, asking that his agency appeal a recent decision by a federal district court in order to restore state control over the management of grey wolves.  A federal judge recently ruled against state management despite the fact Idaho has reached and exceeded recovery goals set for wolves under the Endangered Species Act.  Crapo and Risch’s letter follows:

The Honorable Ken Salazar
United States Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20240

Dear Secretary Salazar:

We write to once again express our appreciation for the Department of the Interior’s decision to delist the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in Idaho.  As you know, the good work of state and federal wildlife managers, scientists and local communities made it possible for wolves to not only be recovered, but to achieve healthy populations in the northern Rockies.  These levels of success were at one time considered unattainable, but our state, through close work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), showed otherwise.

We are deeply concerned, however, with a recent decision in the United States District Court for the District of Montana, to relist the wolf under the ESA for procedural reasons.  This ruling entirely ignores the successful recovery of the gray wolf in Idaho, as well as our state’s strong wolf management plan, which, as you know, has been approved by the FWS and has demonstrated Idaho’s role as a responsible and effective manager of gray wolf populations within our boundaries.  This was a most unfortunate decision, which will provide no certainty for states and will undermine state and local confidence in collaborative species recovery efforts.

It is vital that Idaho be permitted to manage its wildlife populations.  As such, we request that the Department of the Interior vigorously appeal the District Court’s decision to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  It is imperative that the Department of the Interior put forth any and all necessary resources in order to successfully appeal and overturn the District Court’s decision.

Again, we thank you for the good efforts that you and your employees have put forth over the last several years to help find a way forward on this difficult issue.  We look forward to our continued work together.


Senator Mike Crapo
Senator Jim Risch

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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