PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Environmental groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to try to stop it from killing two of Oregon’s population of 25 endangered gray wolves. The groups say there are only two breeding pairs of gray wolves in Oregon, and neither of them has bred successfully more than twice.
Lead plaintiff Hells Canyon Preservation Council claims the government’s plan to kill the wolves violates Oregon’s Wolf Conservation plan, which calls for at least four pairs of wolves to breed for three years in a row before “the natural reproductive potential of the wolf population is not in danger of failure.”
Plaintiffs include Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Oregon Wild.
“The lethal removal of any wolf in Oregon, given how few wolves there are, can significantly impact the recovery of the entire species,” the complaint states.
The same plaintiffs filed a similar complaint against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in July 2010; it was settled in April.
Fish and Wildlife agreed not to kill any wolves without an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.
Now the environmental groups claim the Fish and Wildlife Services must evaluate the environmental impact of killing the wolves.
They seek declaratory relief and an injunction.
They are represented by Daniel Kruse with Cascadia Wildlands and Jennifer R. Schwartz with the Hells Canyon Preservation Council.