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Federal Judge returns ESA protections to Montana and Idaho wolves

[large thumbnail url=”federal-judge-returns-esa-protections-to-montana-and-idaho-wolves” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”08″ day=”05″] [thumbnail icon url=”federal-judge-returns-esa-protections-to-montana-and-idaho-wolves” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”08″ day=”05″] The decision determined that it is contrary to the rules of the Endangered Species Act to give the wolves in Montana and Idaho different protections that those wolves that make their home in Wyoming, a state which is refusing to put together a wolf management plan which satisfies the minimum requirements of the Federal government.

A federal judge ruled Thursday that gray wolves in Montana and Idaho must be given the same protections under the federal Endangered Species Act as their cousins in Wyoming.

Go to Blog Wolves in the two states were removed from protected federal status under regulations proposed during the Bush administration and put into effect after President Obama took office. Last season, about 250 wolves were killed in hunts in Montana and Idaho, and both states had increased the number of wolves that could be harvested in 2010.

But Judge Donald W. Molloy of the District Court for the District of Montana ruled that to apply federal protections to wolves in Wyoming and not to those in the two other states was “like saying an orange is an orange only when it is hanging on a tree.”

Read the entire article on nytimes.com: Judge Orders Protection for Wolves in 2 States

The impacts of the decision could be quite extensive.  It is unclear how the anti-wolf movements will react to this decision, but one thing is clear –  this decision puts an end to the wolf hunts planned in Idaho and Montana in the Fall of this year.

It also puts massive pressure on Wyoming to develop a management plan which is in line with those already in place for Idaho and Montana.

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