Will the (Red) Wolf Survive

A decision today from the Eastern District of North Carolina illustrates that it even administrations that are environmentally friendly sometimes lose their way.

The decision, in a case captioned Red Wolf Coalition v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, addressed actions and failures to act by the Fish & Wildlife Service during the Obama Administration.   In particular, in 2014 and 2015 the Fish & Wildlife Service issued “take authorizations.”  (A “take” is defined by the Endangered Species Act to mean “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.” 16 U.S.C. § 1532(19).  See fn. 6, slip op. at 2.)

The opinion is worth reading if only to get a sense of the complexity of the efforts to save this endangered species, including the sterilization of coyotes to prevent interbreeding and the steps that have to be shown to be fruitless before a take authorization can issue.

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