HOWL Colorado

Federal officials deny Montana wolf hunt request

[large thumbnail url=”federal-officials-deny-montana-wolf-hunt-request” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”10″ day=”14″] [thumbnail icon url=”federal-officials-deny-montana-wolf-hunt-request” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”10″ day=”14″] Federal officials on Thursday denied Montana’s request to hunt gray wolves in response to increasing attacks on livestock and elk, leaving a settlement with environmentalists as the most immediate hope for the state to regain control over the endangered predators.

State wildlife officials hoped to exploit a loophole in the Endangered Species Act and hold a “conservation hunt” for up to 186 wolves this fall.

In a letter denying the request, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Daniel Ashe wrote that the proposal was unlikely to survive a legal challenge.

“We fully support sport hunting as an important and effective management tool for wolves managed under state law,” Ashe wrote. “However … we have concluded that the likelihood of successfully defending such a (hunt) in light of existing case law is remote.”

Idaho also has proposed a public hunt. The state’s Republican governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, met with federal officials in Boise on Thursday, but it was unclear if Idaho’s proposal had been rejected. Otter spokesman John Hanion described the meeting as productive but declined to release details…

Read the entire Associated Press article here: Federal officials deny Montana wolf hunt request

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