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Major Victory for National Wildlife Refuges

Federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms national wildlife refuges will continue to be managed on behalf of all Americans.
February 8, 2002
Denver, CO —

In a sweeping victory for the national wildlife refuge system, the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that national wildlife refuges will continue to be managed on behalf of all Americans.

The State of Wyoming sued the Fish and Wildlife Service demanding authority to manage wildlife within the National Elk Reserve near Jackson, Wyoming. This reserve is part of the national wildlife refuge system. This case was watched closely by other states because of similar jurisdictional disputes in various states. Earthjustice intervened on behalf of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to defend the national wildlife refuge system.

The State of Wyoming claimed it had the right to vaccinate elk against brucellosis (a disease carried by cattle and elk) on the refuge because the refuge is located in Wyoming. Wildlife biologists within the Fish and Wildlife Service resisted because the vaccinations haven't been proven effective or even safe in elk.

"The politicians in Wyoming tried to extend their reach into the refuge system to benefit some special interests." The court made clear this isn't allowed," said Earthjustice attorney Jim Angell.

Contacts

Jim Angell, Earthjustice 303-623-9466

John McManus, Earthjustice 415-627-6720 ex 230

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.