Lori Colt
Lori Colt 6,170 signatures

Utterly Disappointing Judgement for Mexican Wolves

Despite photographs of wolf amputees, and over a dozen documented cases, a U.S. District Court last Monday dismissed a lawsuit alleging the director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the chairman of the State Game Commission violated the federal Endangered Species Act by allowing trapping in the recovery area of the Mexican gray wolf (http://www.mountainmailnews.com/?p=2282).

In February of this year, WildEarth Guarians sued the State of New Mexico for repeatedly failing to safeguard lobos from trapping, even though the majority of New Mexicans polled want to both see wolves conserved and cruel trapping abolished.

Traps have injured or killed 14 Mexican gray wolves (in 15 separate incidents) since 2002. Two wolves died. Two had entire limbs amputated. One endured a partial foot amputation. Traps may have harmed even more wolves. Some of the dozens of illegally-dispatched lobos have simply vanished.

New Mexico still allows both regulated trapping of "furbearers" during set seasons as well as unregulated, year-round trapping of coyotes and skunks. Our lawsuit alleged that both types of trapping are illegal because the State of New Mexico has not exercised "due care" to prevent harm wolves as required by the Endangered Species Act.

U.S. Magistrate Lorenzo Garcia ruled that WildEarth Guardians could not support its assertion that trapping – by legal or illegal means – posed a significant threat to Mexican wolf populations (hmmmm, over a dozen injured), nor could it convince the court that the Department of Game and Fish or the State Game Commission were responsible for trapping-related wolf mortalities caused by third parties – trappers.

We're disappointed and a little shocked by the "judgement", but not deterred, we intend to work with Legislators in January's Legislative Session to ban traps from all public lands in New Mexico. Learn more here: http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/PageServer?pagename=priorities_wildlife_end_trapping
UPDATE #1
We've appealed! We told you about the lower courts decision to throw out our case involving New Mexico's continued authorized trapping in endangered Mexican wolf country a few weeks ago. Well, we have appealed and today have had a case number assignment. When it comes to wolf protections, we're not backing down!

WildEarth Guardians filed notice last Friday with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that it will appeal a lower federal court's decision that allows trapping to continue in the range of the beleaguered Mexican wolf. The 10th Circuit Clerk of Court today issued a case number in the matter.

"We believe that the lower court erred in its decision because the Endangered Species Act makes it very clear that one can neither trap nor harm federally-protected species," said Wendy Keefover, Director, Carnivore Protection Program for WildEarth Guardians.

Multiple wolves were killed or harmed by trapping activities in New Mexico as a result of their injuries from cruel and indiscriminate leghold traps, and the State's failure to take due care to prevent future injuries and mortalities.

"The State needs to do all that it can protect Mexican wolves, but ironically, its position in this litigation has been to elevate careless and harmful practices over conservation," she added.

You can learn more here: http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&page=NewsArticle&id=7483

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