Jun 23, 2011 11:30 PM by Mark Holyoak (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation filed a note it plans to appeal any decision that adversely affects a state's right to manage fully recovered wolf populations.
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy is expected to decide whether Congress acted within Constitutional bounds when it delisted wolves in parts of the West.
"We are protecting our right to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals any decision that results in another setback for conservation and science-based wildlife management," said RMEF President and CEO David Allen.
An unfavorable ruling may stop wolf hunts planned for this fall in both Montana and Idaho. As he did with other conservation groups, Molloy recently denied an RMEF motion to intervene in the lawsuit.
At least two groups filed a second motion asking the judge to reconsider. RMEF opted for a different response.
"We're hoping for the best but preparing for the worst," said Allen. "A decision could go either way because the laws being challenged leave too much to interpretation. As long as the federal government is involved, there will be more lawsuits and, potentially, more unfavorable rulings. The new motion we filed prepares us for that scenario."