"But Molloy told Eitel he was having trouble accepting that the Endangered Species Act allows wolves in Wyoming to be separated from the rest of its distinct population segment.
"I understand the practical argument, I understand the political argument. Those two things are very, very clear. But what I don't understand is the legal argument. That's not very clear," the judge said."
"Wolf Delisting Hearing Resumes in Missoula"
Molloy isn't expected to make a decision Monday, and it will probably take a few weeks to review the extensive briefs and case law involved in the wolves' future.
The opening statements were delayed at mid-morning Monday when an attorney for one of the environmental groups fainted in the courtroom this morning.
Also, in an unusual move, Molloy has banned media from bringing electronic devices, including laptops, into his courtroom today.
"Idaho wolf hunt rests in hands of federal judge"
Lawyers for both sides of the issue testified before Judge Donald Molloy in Bozeman Tuesday. According to the Associated Press and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, attorneys for wolf advocacy groups including Defenders of Wildlife and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition argued that the estimated wolf population numbers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) were too low to consider the species "recovered," and rather than looking at the wolf population on a state-by-state basis, the entire region’s population should be the deciding number.
"Molloy: Why Protect Wolves in Wyoming, but not Montana and Idaho?"
Government wolf managers have either run roughshod over the Endangered Species Act or successfully returned a threatened animal to healthy numbers, lawyers told a federal judge on Tuesday.
[You will shake your head at the pictorial coverage of signs of a group of wolf protesters]
This will be a significant ruling. If the Judge rules to keep the wolves off of the endangered species list, it will set a precedent in how removing species from the endangered species list can be done in regards to a distinct population segment. Isn't it odd how the population of Wyoming remains around 300?
edit: FYI from the USFWS Western Gray Wolf monthly wolf report
Table 1. Confirmed livestock depredations and control actions in WY from 2002 - 2010.
"If the Fish and Wildlife Service can get away with this, the scope of the Endangered Species Act is radically restricted," Honnold said.