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Judge restores federal protections for gray wolves

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JIM PEACO / NPS PHOTO

Wolves in northern Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming remain under state jurisdiction

EBS STAFF

A judge ordered today in favor of restoring federal protections for gray wolves in parts of the U.S.

The ruling follows a 2020 decision under the Trump administration to remove federal protections for gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act, which the predators were originally given in 1978.

While U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said in his ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was unable to demonstrate that many of the country’s wolf populations were able to recover without the protections, wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming will remain under state jurisdiction. The ruling will not directly impact these states.

According to White, when the Fish and Wildlife Service made its ruling, it relied on the recovery of wolves in the Western Great Lakes and Northern Rocky Mountains to delist other populations.

“…[T]he Court concludes the [Fish and Wildlife] Service failed to adequately consider the threats to wolves outside of the core populations in the Great Lakes and Northern Rocky Mountains in delisting the entire species and GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion on this basis,” the ruling read.

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