A federal appeals court has rejected the latest effort from conservation groups wanting to block further wolf hunting and trapping. The ruling, handed down from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a move orchestrated by Idaho Republican Congressman Mike Simpson to forcibly remove the wolves' endangered status by attaching the rider to a federal budget bill.
Wildlife advocates had claimed that lawmakers had violated the U.S. Constitution's separation of powers by interfering with the courts through the congressional rider.
But in an opinion authored by Judge Mary Schroeder, the 9th Circuit Court said Congress was within its rights and did not interfere with the court's prerogative to decide when the Endangered Species Act is being followed.
"The case has made it clear that those who persist in trying to manage wildlife through the courts, in spite of all scientific evidence that this species has recovered, no longer have a defensible position," Simpson said Wednesday.