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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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South Dakota Joins Wolf Release Challenge to Protect State Wildlife Management and Livestock Interests

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    Monday, November 7, 2016   
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215   


PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that South Dakota has joined 16 other states in an amicus or “friend of the court” brief that argues the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) was properly enjoined by the Federal Trial Court from further release of Mexican wolves pending permits from the State of New Mexico. The brief was filed in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The release of wolves can have a devastating effect on wildlife management and livestock producers. The States have historically managed the wildlife within their borders and are better equipped to balance wildlife needs with our agricultural interests. The federal government is ignoring the interests of our States by introducing wolves into the State’s wildlife system and then not allow the State to manage and balance wildlife and livestock interest,” said Jackley.
New Mexico denied the request by the USFW to release Mexican wolves, but did not permanently veto the wildlife release. New Mexico officials asked that the USFW prepare and submit a federal species management plan along with the permit application so that state officials could determine whether the proposed releases would conflict with state conservations management efforts. The USFW failed to submit any such plan.
Federal regulation requires the USFW to adhere to state permit requirements prior to releasing wildlife under certain federal programs unless the state requirements impede the Secretary of Interior’s ability to carry out her responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act. The brief argues that it provides an important check on federal authority to intrude into wildlife management, an area that is generally the purview of the States. 
There is no cost to the State of South Dakota to join this challenge.