Description: Challenge to recovery plan for Mexican wolves.
WildEarth Guardians v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/30/2019 Order Download Motion to dismiss granted in part and denied in part. Arizona Federal Court Allowed Pared-Down Challenge to Mexican Grey Wolf Recovery Plan to Proceed. A federal court in Arizona allowed conservation groups to pursue only some of their claims that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS’s) 2017 recovery plan for the Mexican grey wolf was inadequate. Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that the recovery plan failed to utilize best available science to assess threats to the endangered Mexican wolf, including threats from ongoing and future impacts of climate change. The court concluded that it had jurisdiction under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) citizen suit provision to consider allegations that the recovery plan had failed to address certain problems identified by the agency. The court found, however, that other claims—including the claim that the recovery plan failed to incorporate best available science—were not cognizable either under the ESA or the Administrative Procedure Act. The court held that the ESA’s recovery plan provision does not impose a “best available science” mandate. The court also characterized many of the plaintiffs’ claims as disagreements with FWS determinations that were within the FWS’s discretion and therefore unreviewable. 05/24/2018 Complaint Download Amended complaint filed. 01/30/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Conservation Groups Challenged Recovery Plan for Mexican Wolves. WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project filed a lawsuit alleging that the final Mexican wolf recovery plan violated the Endangered Species Act and Administrative Procedure Act. The plaintiffs alleged, among other claims, that the recovery plan failed to utilize best available science to assess threats to the endangered Mexican wolf, including threats from ongoing and future impacts of climate change.