Written on . Posted in Wildlife

Final Rule on Gray Wolf Reissued

Final Rule To Identify the Northern Rocky Mountain Population of Gray Wolf as a Distinct Population Segment and To Revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife Reissued

On April 15, 2011, President Obama signed the Department of Defense and Full-Year Appropriations Act, 2011. A section of that Appropriations Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to reissue within 60 days of enactment the final rule published on April 2, 2009, that identified the Northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolf (Canis lupus) as a distinct population segment (DPS) and to revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife by removing most of the gray wolves in the DPS. This rule complies with that directive. DATES: This action is effective May 5, 2011.

The final rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.  For information on wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, see http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/

On April 2, 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a final rule to remove protections of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), from most of the concurrently designated northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) gray wolf Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (74 FR 15123).

Lawsuits challenging the April 2, 2009, final rule were filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana and U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. On August 5, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana vacated and set aside the 2009 delisting rule (Defenders of Wildlife et al. v. Salazar et al., (729 F. Supp. 2d 1207 (D. Mont.).

On April 15, 2011, President Obama signed Public Law 112-10--The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011. Section 1713 of Public Law 112-10 requires: ``Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 FR 15123 et seq.), without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Number 09-CV-118J and 09-CV-138J on November 18, 2010.''

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