Court Overturns Denial of Endangered Species Protection for Montana Grayling

Andrew Gilham / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service BUTTE, Montana — The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s denial of endangered species protection for Montana Arctic grayling was unlawful and ordered the agency to reconsider protection for the rare fish. The decision came in response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Butte resident Pat Munday and former Montana fishing guide George Wuerthner. The groups were represented by Earthjustice. “Montana’s dwindling Arctic grayling populations will need all of the help we can give them to survive in the face of a warming climate,” said Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine , who argued the case. “The court’s decision offers hope for these magnificent fish, and now it’s up to the Fish and Wildlife Service to translate that hope into action to protect the grayling under the Endangered Species Act.” The Fish and Wildlife Service first determined the grayling warranted endangered status in 1994, but continuously delayed protections. In 2014 the agency denied protection outright, claiming sufficient state management, improvement in population numbers, and the fish’s supposed adaptability to warming stream temperatures. The court today found that the […]

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