Is the anti-taking provision of the ESA constitutional?The red wolf used to roam throughout the southeastern United States. Owing to wetlands drainage, dam construction, and hunting, this wolf is now on the endangered species list. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) trapped the remaining red wolves, placed them in a captive breeding program, and then reintroduced them into the wild.

Is the anti-taking provision of the ESA constitutional?

The red wolf used to roam throughout the southeastern United States. Owing to wetlands drainage, dam construction, and hunting, this wolf is now on the endangered species list. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) trapped the remaining red wolves, placed them in a captive breeding program, and then reintroduced them into the wild. Ultimately, the FWS reintroduced 75 wolves into the 120,000-acre Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina and the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee.
After reintroduction, about 41 red wolves wandered from federal refuges onto private property. Richard Mann shot a red wolf that he feared might attack his cattle. Mann pled guilty to violating a provision of the ESA that prohibits the taking of any endangered species without a permit.
Two individuals and two counties in North Carolina filed suit against the U.S. government, alleging that the anti-taking regulation as applied to the red wolves on private land exceeded Congress’s power under the interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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