U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Concludes Northern Wolf Species Doesn't Merit Listing

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued its 12-month finding on the petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, concluding that listing the wolf species throughout all or a significant portion of its range "is not warranted at this time."

The Alexander Archipelago wolf inhabits the mainland of southeastern Alaska, coastal British Columbia, and several island complexes.  On March 31, 2014, the Service issued a 90-day finding for the wolf stating that the listing petition presented substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted.  On June 20, 2014, various organizations sued the Service for failure to issue a 12-month finding within 12 months of the 2011 listing petition's submission.  The parties eventually entered into a stipulated settlement agreement obligating the Service to issue a 12-month finding on or before December 31, 2015.

In the 12-month finding issued this week, the Service concluded that while there are a variety of potential threats facing the wolf species and its habitats, such as timber harvests, road development, climate change, and disease, these risk factors did not individually or collectively endanger the species throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and it is not likely to do so in the foreseeable future.  The Service also concluded that while the wolf population located on Prince of Wales Island is a discrete population, it did not qualify for listing as a distinct population segment because the discrete population was not significant to the species.

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    Ben Rubin assists developers, public agencies, landowners, and corporate clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters.  He counsels clients on matters dealing with the Federal and State Endangered Species ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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