Court OKs USDA Secrecy on Wolf Killings of Livestock

December 15, 2010

A federal appeals court Dec. 2 rejected environmental groups' request for data on locations where protected Mexican gray wolves had killed livestock.

The subspecies is being reintroduced under a federal program. It roamed the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts from Mexico to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before humans largely exterminated its populations.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife had sued the Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services arm for GPS information about where the introduced wolves had killed livestock.

But the 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruled that data collected by Wildlife Service personnel visiting private ranch property was exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests.