Gray Wolf to Be Protected Again

Angry Montana, Idaho blame Wyoming
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2010 3:18 AM CDT
Updated Aug 9, 2010 3:38 AM CDT
A gray wolf peers into the wilderness.   (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

(Newser) – A federal judge has put the gray wolf back on the protected list, and angry ranchers in Montana and Idaho are blaming Wyoming for the move. While Montana and Idaho have agreed to management plans with controlled wolf hunts, Wyoming allows unregulated hunting of wolves if they're not on the endangered list, so the federal government keeps the animals listed as endangered in Wyoming. Now the judge says the policy must be the same throughout the region.

"Unfortunately, we're not in a position to reward" Montana and Idaho for "their responsible behavior, because Wyoming is the outlier," a fish, wildlife and parks official told the Washington Post. "It's a real slap in the face for those states who have worked hard to not only meet but exceed the goals," an Idaho rancher said. As wolf populations have bounced back in recent years, an increasing number of cattle and sheep have been killed by wolves in the northern Rockies region.

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