Judge Sets Hearing Over Montana, Idaho Wolf Hunts

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – A federal judge has agreed to host a last-minute hearing on a request from environmental and animal rights groups to stop upcoming wolf hunts in the Northern Rockies.

Wolves across much of the region were removed from the endangered species list earlier this year.

Public hunts for the predators — the first in the Lower 48 states in decades — are scheduled to begin Sept. 1 in parts of Idaho and two weeks later in Montana. Combined, the two states have authorized hunters to take 295 of the region’s estimated 1,350 wolves, or about a fifth of the total population.

Wolf hunting permits went on sale Monday in Idaho.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy says he’ll host a three-hour hearing Aug. 31 to hear arguments in the case.

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