FWP to Intervene in Federal Wolf Lawsuit

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has intervened in a federal lawsuit that seeks to restore federal endangered species protection to gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains.

FWP officials say the agency will also oppose any preliminary injunction requests that seek to reinstate federal protections while the case continues in court.

Joe Maurier, FWP director, says the state’s wolf population is growing, well protected by Montana law and well-managed.

In May, the federal government removed more than 1,300 wolves in Montana and Idaho from the endangered species list. Environmentalists have sued to restore federal oversight.

The case is before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula. In a similar lawsuit in 2008, Molloy reinstated federal protection for the wolf.

About 300 wolves in Wyoming are still listed as endangered.

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