An environmentalist legal challenge against Oregon’s decision to remove wolves from the state’s endangered species list has been dismissed due to legislation passed earlier this year.
Wolves were delisted by state wildlife regulators last year, but three environmental groups — Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild — asked the Oregon Court of Appeals to reverse that decision, claiming it wasn’t based on sound science.
Earlier this year, lawmakers passed House Bill 4040, which held that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had followed the law in delisting wolves.
Opponents of the bill claimed it would deny the environmentalists their day in court. Supporters, on the other hand, argued the lawsuit was filed to pressure wildlife regulators while Oregon’s wolf recovery plan is updated.
Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill despite environmentalist calls for a veto in March, stating in a signing letter that the “trajectory of wolf populations in Oregon remains strong.”
The legislation was expected to nullify the legal challenge, which proved correct — on April 22, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that HB 4040 rendered the environmentalist petition moot.