Midwest wolf hunting faces legal challenge
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to restore federal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region that were lifted last year.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, said the decision to take wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan off the endangered list threatens the animals’ recovery throughout most of their historic range. At one time, the animals roamed nearly all of North America.
The Humane Society of the United States provided a copy of the lawsuit to The Associated Press before its public announcement. The other plaintiffs include Born Free USA, Help Our Wolves Live and Friends of Animals and Their Environment.
Hunters and trappers in Minnesota and Wisconsin killed 530 wolves combined during those states’ recently concluded seasons — 413 in Minnesota and 117 in Wisconsin.
The Michigan Legislature voted in December to authorize wolf hunting, which could resume as early as this fall if the state’s Natural Resources Commission approves.