Federal Judge Protects Red Wolves, Blasts U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

Federal Judge Protects Red Wolves, Blasts U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Don't shoot. Don't even touch.

That was the message delivered last week by U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle, as he ordered a temporary injunction that both restricts the federal government's ability to remove endangered red wolves from private property and prohibits landowners from shooting members of the species.

Boyle's ruling—which also included scathing criticism of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for what he characterized as its failure to protect the wild red wolf population that calls eastern North Carolina home—is being celebrated by advocates, including members of the Red Wolf Coalition, which brought the agency to court for, among other things, its 2015 authorization of a private landowner to kill a breeding female, which the group claimed was in direct violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Clearly, Boyle agreed.

In his ruling, he wrote that the feds' efforts—or, in this case, lack thereof—have failed to "adequately provide for the protection of red wolves and may in fact jeopardize the population's survival in the wild."

click to enlarge The red wolf - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
  • Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • The red wolf

Thursday's decision is seen as critical to the survival of the species; wolf advocates worried that their "victory" earlier this month, when the USFWS announced that it would not abandon the decades-old Red Wolf Recovery Program, was hollow and the feds' intentions were insincere.

Cindy Dohner, the USFWS's southeast regional director, contended that she and the government were "committed to red wolf recovery." But after unveiling plans that seemingly focused solely on securing the captive population of two hundred-plus wolves living in zoos across the country, advocates argued that the shift in emphasis—and the feds' plans to decrease the wolves' home from a five-county tract to federal land in Dare County, which, in conservation scientist Ron Sutherland's view, "at most could support ten to fifteen wolves"—represented a pathway toward the species' extinction.

"Any wolves that leave federal land will be captured and returned to captivity or possibly just shot by landowners who would face no repercussions if the wolves were outside of the new restricted recovery area," Sutherland told the INDY last month.

Not anymore.

Boyle made clear Thursday that any tampering with the red wolf population would represent a violation of his order. So, at least for now, the state's wolves are free to roam—and live—without fear of capture or death.

"This is a great day for red wolves and for anyone who loves nature in eastern North Carolina," says Southern Environmental Law Center senior attorney Sierra Weaver. "The court was clear that it's the Fish and Wildlife Service's job to conserve this endangered species, not drive it to extinction."

triangulator@indyweek.com

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Comments

Andrews is the director of Church World Service, not Christian World Service. :)

by Kelly Cohen-Mazurowski on Triangle Refugee Resettlement Agencies Try to Figure Out How a Recent Supreme Court Ruling Will Affect Their Clients (Triangulator)

I'd take the 800 square foot studio for $500 a month, actually. As long as my neighbors are nice and …

by ammi on Capitol Broadcasting Wants Community Input on Its American Tobacco Campus Expansion. By God We're Going to Give It to Them. (Triangulator)

Most Recent Comments

Andrews is the director of Church World Service, not Christian World Service. :)

by Kelly Cohen-Mazurowski on Triangle Refugee Resettlement Agencies Try to Figure Out How a Recent Supreme Court Ruling Will Affect Their Clients (Triangulator)

I'd take the 800 square foot studio for $500 a month, actually. As long as my neighbors are nice and …

by ammi on Capitol Broadcasting Wants Community Input on Its American Tobacco Campus Expansion. By God We're Going to Give It to Them. (Triangulator)

I want to acknowledge how lucky Durham is to have such incredible leaders in the community as provided by the …

by duh on Capitol Broadcasting Wants Community Input on Its American Tobacco Campus Expansion. By God We're Going to Give It to Them. (Triangulator)

It's well and good for elected officials to state support for CACs after they voted May 2 to approve a …

by George Farthing on McFarlane’s Attempt to Overhaul CACs Might Be a Big Issue in Raleigh’s Mayor’s Race (Triangulator)

I don't understand the Perry Woods response. To say that Nancy McFarlane hasn't attended to basic concerns of the public …

by ct on McFarlane’s Attempt to Overhaul CACs Might Be a Big Issue in Raleigh’s Mayor’s Race (Triangulator)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation