Friday, June 11, 2010

Wolf lawsuit headed back to court

Judge will hear arguments Tuesday


By JASON KAUFFMAN
Express Staff Writer

A lawsuit by environmentalists that seeks to force federal officials to reclaim management of gray wolves in the northern Rockies will enter a critical phase in a Montana courtroom next week.

Early on Tuesday, June 15, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy will hear oral arguments in his Missoula courtroom related to the ongoing legal challenge by environmentalists. They hope to convince Molloy to wrest wolf management duties away from state fish and game agencies in Idaho and Montana and return it to the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The groups ultimately want the wide-ranging predators relisted under the federal Endangered Species Act. Wolves in Wyoming still remain listed under the act.

Some have speculated that Molloy is unlikely to render a decision on the lawsuit on Tuesday. Rather, it seems likely that he will listen to oral arguments from both sides in the lawsuit, come back with questions of his own and then render a written decision.

Jason Kauffman: jkauffman@mtexpress.com




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