Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Service Statement in Response to U.S. District Court Decision on Wolf Reclassification

February 1, 2005


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

On January 31, the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, rendered a decision against the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the Service’s Final Rule to Reclassify and Remove the Gray Wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in portions of the United States.

In response to the court decision, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued the following statement:

“ The Service is disappointed with the Court’s ruling striking down the rule that downlisted gray wolf populations from endangered to threatened in the Western and Eastern U.S. We believe our rule provided for biologically sound management of the core population of wolves in areas where we knew they could thrive as stable, viable populations. We also believe the rule was correct as a matter of law under the Endangered Species Act. We are currently studying the court’s opinion and working with the attorneys at the Department of Justice to better understand its implications and determine our future course of action.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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