Nessel Files Brief in Lawsuit Against US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Decision To Delist Gray Wolves

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Monday that she has submitted a brief in a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for their decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list.

The brief was filed on Friday, June 23 in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California. The brief states that the Service unlawfully delisted gray wolves based on the species’ status in Michigan and other Great Lake states.

Nessel says delisting the species’ is improper for three reasons:

  • The Service must look to a species’ current range, i.e., where it currently exists, to determine whether it is endangered;
  • The Service must analyze the five statutory factors for delisting for each state in which a species is actually located; and,
  • The Service may not break a species into recovered populations in a way that cuts out orphan populations that would otherwise be entitled to protection.

In the brief, Nessel argues that the Endangered Species Act does not authorize the Service to pick and choose where endangered species should recover.

“The facts are clear here: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can only use Michigan’s successes in Michigan, not nationwide,” said Nessel. “Where wolves remain endangered, they must remain listed.”