The lifting of the endangered protection status was challenged by environmentalists, including the group Earthjustice, and as a result US Federal Court Judge, Donald Molly, issued a preliminary injunction to restore the protections. Judge Molloy will ultimately have to decide whether to make the temporary injunction permanent or allow the hunt to continue.
The hunt calls for 500 wolves to be culled.
Judge Molloy in issuing the preliminary injunction said that the government had not met its own criteria for a cull to be permitted. Specifically, Judge Molloy questioned whether the interbreeding program to ensure that the genetics of the various groups are sufficiently varied. Nevertheless, the government's chief biologist on the restoration program believes that the wolves are "a very biologically sound package."
This is an interesting case because it goes directly to the heart of striking a balance between maintaining diversity in the environment and protecting the interests of farmers who blame wolves for continual livestock attacks.