BILLINGS – Federal wildlife officials say they will take more than 1,300 gray wolves in the Northern Rockies off the endangered species list within 60 days.
An attachment to the budget bill signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama strips protections from wolves in five Western states.
It marks the first time Congress has taken a species off the endangered list.
Idaho and Montana plan public wolf hunts this fall. Hunts last year were canceled after a judge ruled the predators remained at risk.
Protections remain in place for wolves in Wyoming because of its shoot-on-sight law for the predators.
There are no immediate plans to hunt the small wolf populations in Oregon and Washington. No packs have been established in Utah.
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