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Gov. Mead eyes congressional fix on wolf delisting

Congressional action appears to offer Wyoming its best chance at regaining state management of wolves, Gov. Matt Mead said Thursday.

Acting in response to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of conservation groups, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson last month stripped Wyoming of wolf management authority and returned wolves to federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.

Jackson agreed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that wolves in the Northern Rockies have recovered, and she accepted the agency’s finding that wolves aren’t endangered or threatened within a significant portion of their range.

However, Jackson ruled that the Wyoming plan that took effect in 2012 failed to contain legal guarantees that the state would maintain a buffer wolf population above the required minimum of 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation…

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