The Center of Biological Diversity and Greenpeace filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday to protect the Alexander Archipelago wolf under the Endangered Species Act.
This petition comes just a week after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded approval for four Tongass logging projects due to insufficient scientific explanations for wolf and deer impacts. Greenpeace and Cascadia Wildlands were the plaintiffs.
Edwards said the timing of this petition so soon after the decision is purely coincidental. He said this petition was being drafted many months before the court decision and they intended to submit around this time anyway.
The petition can be viewed at http://bit.ly/pfOtLd.
Even the passing of the legislation would likely have an effect on the Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list or not list the wolves, she said, because the agency would have to consider what the loss of habitat in that acreage would do to the wolves. "If we were looking at a big chunk of land being logged, that would factor into the ESA decision," she said.
The Sealaska legislation is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. Company officials have said it needs to pass this year or the company will have to start curtailing logging operations and that will result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.