Hunt Supporters Back Feds in Wolf Lawsuit

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – Supporters of proposed public hunts of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies are intervening in a federal court case brought by environmentalists who want to stop the hunts.

The federal government in May removed more than 1,300 wolves in Montana and Idaho from the endangered species list, opening the door to the first hunts in decades. Environmentalists later sued to restore federal oversight.

The state of Idaho and several livestock and hunting groups have intervened in the lawsuit in support of the government. Montana is also seeking to intervene.

The case is before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula. Molloy stopped wolf hunts proposed in the region in 2008 and ordered the animal returned to federal protection.

About 300 wolves in Wyoming are still listed as endangered.

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