A federal court in Utah ruled Wednesday that the Fish and Game Service has the authority to take wildlife in the West.
The decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was the latest in a long line of court rulings against the agency that have focused attention on the agency’s interpretation of the ESA.
In 2015, the 9th Circuit Court struck down the agency in its final ruling.
The new ruling came after a three-year-long legal fight that saw the Fish & Game Service (F&G) sue the states of Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado for denying federal permits to take the state’s white-tailed deer in a hunt for the species, the first time the agency had taken wildlife in such a way.
The state and Wyoming appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.
The case eventually settled out of court for a sum of $4.2 million, but in the meantime, the Fish Department had taken deer in the past and had taken the deer from one state to another.
The court said that F&G “had not acted in good faith” by denying permits to Wyoming to take deer in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park and Wyoming to Utah’s Ogden National Forest.
The states were not given a chance to object to the F&Gs decision, and the courts rulings said that they were free to ignore it.
F&Gs chief of staff, Joe Sommers, told the judge that the agency was “not the law of the land” and that it was the “agency’s policy” to take all wildlife.
He added that it would not be a good practice to take a deer from the state of Wyoming to another state.
The appeals court also ruled that the state could not challenge the agency as an agency that “does not have jurisdiction over” wildlife in Utah.
The Ninth Circuit ruled that this was not the case, and therefore, the agency is not an agency.
In a press release, the appeals court wrote that “there is a strong and persuasive argument that the Wyoming law was not unconstitutional under the federal law and the F &G’s action is not subject to the restrictions on federal jurisdiction that apply when the agency acts as an agent of the federal government.”
In the new ruling, the court said the Fish can’t deny Wyoming’s deer because the state is “not subject to F&g jurisdiction,” but it can’t ban Wyoming from taking deer because Wyoming is “part of the F.P.S.’s agency.”
The court also said the agency can’t exclude Wyoming from hunting because the agency has jurisdiction over the Wyoming-Utah area and has an obligation to protect and conserve the species.
Fogg and his legal team argued that the Fogger’s decision to not take deer was reasonable and justified.
He said the decision was based on the state agency’s “presumption that Wyoming would be able to satisfy its environmental requirements in its own way” in the hunt.
Fogger also told the court that the decision not to take any deer was not a direct violation of the state laws regarding deer hunting, but rather, a decision made based on “the public interest.”
The Ninth Circuit found that the public interest in preserving the species is important, and it noted that it is important for the public to understand that the states hunting restrictions do not apply to the hunters who take the deer, who are exempt from hunting restrictions.
Fogl said that if the federal courts uphold the decision, the Foggs “would not be able” to do it.
He also said that the federal court ruling will not affect the state deer hunting rules that have been in place since 1994, and will not prevent Wyoming from regulating deer hunting.