Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 8, 2023


Sophia Ressler, Center for Biological Diversity, (206) 399-4004,
KC York, Trap Free Montana, (406) 218-1170,

Lawsuit Launched Challenging Montana’s Wolf Trapping Program

New Trapping Regulations May Harm Threatened Canada Lynx

HELENA, Mont.— The Center for Biological Diversity notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today of its intent to sue over the permitting of a Montana wolf pelt export program that may harm endangered Canada lynx.

Today’s notice says the Service failed to consider new threats to the rare lynx from Montana’s 2021 wolf regulations, which extended the state’s wolf trapping season and allowed snaring on private and public land.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service ignored the fact that Montana’s horrifying new trapping regulations have widespread environmental consequences, including harming rare and beautiful lynx,” said Sophia Ressler, an attorney at the Center. “Allowing even more of Montana’s wolves to be trapped and tortured puts lynx and other wildlife in the crosshairs of the state’s war on wolves. That’s simply unacceptable.”

Wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains have come under increased attack in the last several years with the passage of extreme legislation allowing indiscriminate killing methods, high hunting quotas, trapping expansion and other measures to decimate the population.

“Being able to export wolves puts a greater demand on killing them,” said KC York, president and founder of Trap Free Montana. “Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Fish and Wildlife Commission were aware of wolf regulations in place to try and avoid trapping lynx that granted the 2014 Montana wolf export permit. Yet, they exacerbated the passage of 2021 anti-wolf legislative bills, including allowing snaring of wolves on private and public lands and a month longer wolf trapping season, violating the export permit and putting protected lynx at even greater risk of trapping in the agenda to destroy wolves.”

The Center and Trap Free Montana have filed lawsuits challenging the mass killings of wolves across the northern Rockies, including a 2022 lawsuit to restore federal protections for northern Rockies wolves.

Today’s notice was sent on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Trap Free Montana.

Canada Lynx, Lynx canadensis, Flickr Creative Commons / ucumari. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Trap Free Montana is a boots on the ground, 501(c)(3), connecting hearts and minds through science, truths in trapping & compassion for wildlife, biodiversity, coexistence and responsible stewardship.

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