Wyoming wolf case stays in DC
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
April 17, 2013
The federal lawsuit over removing Wyoming wolves from the list of federally protected species filed by Defenders of Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States, and other animal activists was filed in Washington DC, and will remain there, according to an order from a federal judge.
Federal officials had tried to have the case moved to federal court in Wyoming, but the judge denied the motion. The court concluded: "the national interest in gray wolf preservation and the substantial deference owed to plaintiffs’ choice of forum tip the balance of the relevant factors against transfer."¯
So one federal court case (filed by Wild Earth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, etc.) against delisting Wyoming wolves will take place in federal court in Wyoming, but another will be heard in the nation’s capitol.
Interestingly, the court also noted that while the people affected by the delisting and Wyoming’s hunting regulations are all located in Wyoming, "But wolves inevitably travel into neighboring states, and the impact of the rule cannot be contained within state lines."¯
The court noted that when considering the public interest, there is legitimate reason in "having localized controversies decided at home," in this case it does not apply "because this case implicates national concerns."¯
In ruling that the case would stay in the congested DC-court system, the court noted, "Most considerably, the issue of gray wolf delisting in Wyoming has great national significance."¯ Perhaps indicating a predisposition on the issues, the court order also noted that "the delisting rule threatens the gray wolf population in Yellowstone National Park and "conserving the scenery, natural objects and wildlife of Yellowstone is a matter of great national importance."
This decision was issued by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.