Judge issues temporary restraining order curbing some wolf hunting and trapping in Montana

Thanks to a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians and Project Coyote, a Montana State Court judge granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the State of Montana, and the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The TRO requires the state of Montana to significantly curb the number of wolves permitted to be killed in hunting and trapping districts adjacent to Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, reduce the annual “bag limit” of individual hunters by 75%, and stop the use of strangulation snares once trapping season begins later this month. The TRO expires on November 29, 2022 and a hearing is scheduled in Helena for November 28 at 1:30 pm, which is the same day that the wolf trapping season is set to start.

“We collectively breathed a sigh of relief when we saw this order, knowing that Yellowstone’s wolves—and wolves across the state—will have some protections in place while we wait for their day in court,” said Lizzy Pennock, the Montana-based carnivore coexistence advocate at WildEarth Guardians. “This is a promising step in the right direction, and we will continue using all means necessary to end the senseless, politically-motivated slaughter of Montana’s beloved wolves.”

As Judge Christopher Abbott explained, the November 15 decision considering only the TRO, concludes “that interim relief is necessary to ensure there is no acceleration of wolf kills that would impede relief at the preliminary injunction stage,” which will be the next stage of the legal process and further consider conservation groups’ claims that “over-hunting of wolves constitutes an irreversible act.” There will be a hearing on November 28, 2022 at the Montana First Judicial District Court on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction at which point the court will decide whether or not to issue a preliminary injunction pending resolution of the merits of the case.

There are two ways you can support our new lawsuit right now.

First, write the Biden administration and demand that they immediately issue emergency relisting protections under the Endangered Species Act for the gray wolf in Montana and across the Northern Rocky Mountains.

Second, if you can, please donate to our Wolf Defense Fund to ensure we have the resources we need to defend wolves.

Together—with your help—we will defend wolves and end this senseless slaughter in Montana.

Like what you just read? Sign up for our E-news. Want to do more? Visit our Action Center.

About the Author

WildEarth Guardians | ,

Read more from