Sierra Club
FEBRUARY 1, 2005
6:44 PM
CONTACT: Sierra Club 
Annie Strickler, 202- 675-2384
Court Rules Bush Administration Efforts to Undermine Wolf Conservation Unlawful
Statement by Mike Smith, Chair of Sierra Club’s Wildlife and Endangered Species Committee

WASHINGTON -- February 1 -- "District Judge Robert E. Jones in Portland, Oregon, yesterday ruled that the Bush administration has a duty to uphold the intent of the Endangered Species Act to recover populations of at-risk fish and wildlife. The decision, which declared the actions of Interior Secretary Gale Norton to downlist the gray wolf unlawful, is a victory for responsible wildlife management.

"The Bush administration's proposal would have undermined efforts to restore healthy wolf populations to America’s wildlands. With this decision the Bush Administration will need to move forward with wolf conservation that relies on the best available science, not ideology.

"This is a victory for science-based wildlife conservation. The Bush administration’s attempt to prematurely end the federal wolf recovery program in the Eastern United States is part of a politically-driven agenda to weaken enforcement of the Endangered Species Act -- the safety net on which America's wildlife depends.

"Now the American people have before them a great opportunity to keep the promise of the Endangered Species Act and restore healthy wolf populations that can be enjoyed by future generations."

The Sierra Club was joined by 18 other conservation groups in the suit including the Defenders of Wildlife. The case is Civil case No. 03-1348-JO.