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WI – HUNTING – Fearing delisting reversal, group sues to immediately begin gray wolf hunt

A group of hunting aficionados on Tuesday accused Wisconsin regulators in state court of dragging their feet at allowing the hunting of gray wolves, amid signs that President Joe Biden may reverse his predecessor’s delisting of the animal as protected. “There is a substantial possibility that Wisconsinites’ time to hunt wolves is limited,” the complaint says. Kansas-based Hunter Nation in a lawsuit in Wisconsin Circuit Court for Jefferson County accuses the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of violating the state constitutional rights of Wisconsinites to hunt and trap game including gray wolves, whose protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) President Donald Trump lifted in November, by failing to immediately permit an open season. The department has said the next wolf hunting season will begin in November to give it time to “develop a science-based harvest quota,” said DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye. She said the department will review the complaint. In the lawsuit, Hunter Nation, which claims 20,000 members and whose board features vocal Trump supporter Ted Nugent and Outdoor Channel TV host Jim Shockey, says that the gray wolf’s delisting, which took effect on Jan. 4, has triggered a state law requirement to schedule a hunt that lasts until the end of February. The group also claims a violation of Wisconsin’s constitutional right to “fish, hunt, trap.” Trump’s administration removed the predator from the list of ESA-protected species on Nov. 3, saying it had been brought back successfully from the brink of extinction. President Joe Biden, in a Jan. 20 executive order on the environment included the delisting decision among those that agency heads must review. The case is Hunter Nation Inc v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources et al., Wisconsin Circuit Court for Jefferson County, No. 30701.  [full article]

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