Judge Refuses to Halt State's
Predator Management Programs
Denies Defenders of Wildlife's
Request for Injunction
February 01, 2007
(SitNews) - Alaska Superior Court Judge William Morse yesterday
denied a Motion for Preliminary Injunction brought against the
Board of Game's predator management regulations.
"We're pleased that the judge found that the current regulations
are valid," said Matt Robus, Director of the Division of
Wildlife Conservation at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The lawsuit, filed last fall by "Defenders of Wildlife",
a national environmental organization, challenges the Board of
Game's regulations that allow aerial and ground-based wolf reduction
programs in certain areas of the state, to encourage the growth
of moose and caribou populations.
"This ruling allows us to keep on track with our ongoing
programs," Robus said. "This is the time of year when
daylight and weather conditions combine to improve the effectiveness
of our permittees in taking wolves, and this is an important
piece of our wildlife management efforts." The plaintiffs
had asked Judge Morse to issue an injunction shutting down operations
being conducted under the predator management regulations. "The
predator reduction plans adopted by the Board of Game are designed
to provide Alaskans the social and economic benefits of increasing
the size of depleted moose and caribou populations," said
The judge found that the plaintiffs would not be irreparably
harmed, but that the state would, if he were to shut the program
down immediately. Importantly, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs
have no likelihood of prevailing on the merits of the case.
He specifically found that the current regulations do not violate
the Administrative Procedures Act and that the plans are in compliance
with the Same-Day Airborne law.
This is one of two ongoing challenges to the state's predator
control program; the state is awaiting a ruling on whether the
second case, filed by Friends of Animals, will be consolidated
with the Defenders of Wildlife case.
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