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Petition to Stop Minnesota Wolf Hunt Shut Down in Court

Gray wolf pack

On October 10, a Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected a request for a preliminary injunction to halt the state’s first managed wolf hunt in decades.

The ruling does not resolve a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the group Howling for Wolves against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). What this means is that a request to block the hunt until the lawsuit is resolved will not be honored. So the hunt that is to begin on November 3 will move forward as planned by the DNR.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves filed a petition in August asking the DNR to adopt a new rule to stop the 2012-2013 wolf hunting and trapping season. They said that the DNR rushed into the process of preparing a wolf hunt in the same year that the gray wolf was federally delisted from the Endangered Species List. They claim that because of the lack of time, the DNR did not hold a formal comment period, but instead relied on an online survey to solicit public opinion about the hunt.

The DNR denied the allegations of the petition. In a written response to the petition writers, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr wrote, “wolf numbers in Minnesota exceed biologists’ expectations for a recovered wolf population. Given that the wolf population in Minnesota is recovered and that a hunting and trapping season will not negatively impact this self-sustaining population, DNR respectfully denies your petition to adopt a new rule.”

Now the wolf hunt will continue as planned and the lawsuit challenging the season will appear before the Court of Appeals at a later time. A decision likely won’t be made until next year.

Image from Douglas Smith/National Park Service on the flickr Creative Commons

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