Maine trappers picked up a big victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit officially dismissed an appeal concerning the trapping of Canada lynx in Maine. The appeal, which was brought about by animal-rights organizations, spanned multiple years and multi-lawsuit court battles, The Sporstman Alliance reports.

Animal-rights organizations gave up after realizing they wouldn’t be able to overturn a ruling from earlier this year by U.S. District Judge Jon Levy. In that ruling — one won by the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation in conjunction the Maine Trappers’ Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Maine — state biologists persuaded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to grant Maine and Maine’s trappers an incidental trapping permit, which they say acted in the best interests of fish, game and endangered species in Maine. The federal permit, which Judge Levy’s ruling upheld, guarantees that trappers who accidentally catch a protected lynx while targeting other species will not be prosecuted for violation of the Endangered Species Act.

“This was essentially another backdoor attempt to use the Endangered Species Act to stop trapping in the state of Maine,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Using the Endangered Species Act to undermine wildlife management is a favored tactic of animal-rights organizations, which raise millions of dollars on emotional rhetoric and imagery in an effort to tie any delisting of a potential game animal up in the court system for years. Now that we’ve put yet another frivolous lawsuit brought by animal-rights extremists to bed, we can focus on the ongoing Great Lakes wolf case and upcoming grizzly lawsuits.”

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