Five conservation groups on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Idaho seeking to stop a federal agency from killing wolves in the state until a new environmental analysis is prepared.
Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project and four other groups in the 27-page federal lawsuit say the 2011 analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services is outdated.
“They didn’t consider Wildlife Services killing of wolves in combination with the other killing of wolves that occurs by private people in the state of Idaho," says Western Watersheds Executive Director Travis Bruner. "And they need to consider those impacts together. Because when you put those impacts together there’s really a whole lot of wolves being killed in the state of Idaho.”
Bruner says the federal agency needs to conduct a new environmental assessment before continuing to kill wolves in Idaho. The groups say changes in the understanding of wolves and ecosystems as well as changes in recreational hunting and trapping need to be considered in a new analysis.
The environmental groups also challenge the way wolves are killed by federal wildlife officials, calling the methods inhumane.
The agency and its state director, Todd Grimm, are named in the lawsuit.
Grimm says the agency had no comment.
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