Wolf hunters and conservationists are waiting Tuesday morning for a decision from U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula on whether the scheduled opening day for hunting wolves can proceed. Here is some recommended reading:
Monday’s latest from NewWest.Net’s Amy Linn is a full report on the lawsuit by 13 groups in a coalition represented by Earthjustice. Linn was in the courtroom yesterday and it’s a fascinating you-are-there piece on this controversial issue.
“Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the courtroom came when Earthjustice attorney Honnold said reintroduction won’t be a success until 3,000 to 5,000 wolves are in the northern Rockies—up to three times more wolves than today’s numbers. The statement drew audible gasps from the pro-hunt contingent.”
Also yesterday, the Spokane Spokesman-Review’s Betsy Russell had three short, informative pieces. Excerpts and links:
“Along with hunters who are headed out wolf hunting in the morning in the Lolo and Sawtooth zones, there’ll be members of the national media. ‘Today was the busiest day with the media I think we’ve ever had,’ said Ed Mitchell of Idaho Fish & Game. ‘The ABC guys are going to be here tonight, New York Times. National Geographic is here …’”
“One concern raised by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy raised when he issued the 2008 injunction stopping wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana was the lack of evidence of genetic mixing between the wolf populations in the various states.”
“Get this: Idaho wasn’t supposed to be allowed to offer any oral arguments this morning at the wolf hearing in Missoula, but U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy surprised officials from Idaho and Montana this morning by shifting gears at the last minute, and agreeing to hear their arguments as well as those from the 13 environmental groups that sued over the delisting of the wolf, and from the U.S. Department of Justice, defending the decision.”