Mexican Gray Wolves Benefit From Two Recent Settlement Agreements

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In a recently issued press release, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) announced that it and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had entered into two settlement agreements that would increase protection for the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) in Arizona and New Mexico.  The press release states that under the two agreements the Fish and Wildlife Service will increase the wolf's recovery territory, stop capturing wolves entering the two states from Mexico, and finalize a rule to allow direct release of Mexican gray wolves into New Mexico.  Under one of the agreements, CBD expressly reserved the right to recover "litigation costs including attorneys' fees."  This may raise some red flags for certain individuals, as the recovery of attorneys' fees under the citizen suit provisions of the Endangered Species Act has been a controversial issue of late, particularly when entities like CBD are involved.  See our June 4, 2013, March 29, 2013, and February 28, 2013 posts for a discussion of the issue.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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