During Trump-era administration, certain protections for gray wolves were lifted in order to drive down wolf numbers but advocates argued it was through inhumane hunting and trapping.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, on Oct. 29, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a rule that removed protection from all gray wolves in the lower 48 states except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.
Wildlife advocates argue that the state-sponsored hunts could quickly reverse the gray wolf’s recovery over the past several decades in large areas of the West and Midwest, reports AP.
This fight has now headed to a federal courtroom for a final decision.
Wildlife advocates are hoping to put wolves back under the Endangered Species Act while government attorneys are claiming wolves are resilient and will bounce back easily and do not need to be put under federal jurisdiction.
The Biden administration’s defense of the removal of protections under Trump has angered environmentalists who hoped the election of the Democrat would shift U.S. policy on wolves, writes Matthew Brown at AP.