D.C. Circuit Vacates Western Great Lakes Gray Wolf Delisting Rule

Here is the opinion in Humane Society of the United States v. Zinke.

An excerpt from Judge Millett’s opinion:

The gray wolf once roamed in large numbers across the contiguous forty-eight States. But by the 1960s, hunting, depredation, and habitat loss drove the gray wolf to the brink of extinction, and the federal government declared the gray wolf an endangered species. After a portion of the gray wolf population rebounded, the government promulgated the rule at issue here, which removes from federal protection a sub-population of gray wolves inhabiting all or portions of nine states in the Western Great Lakes region of the United States. The Humane Society of the United States challenges that rule as a violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (“Act”), 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq., and the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. Because the government failed to reasonably analyze or consider two significant aspects of the rule—the impacts of partial delisting and of historical range loss on the already listed species—we affirm the judgment of the district court vacating the 2011 Rule. 

Lower court decision here.