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Montana judge restores Montana wolf hunting regulations

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A wolf photographed in Yellowstone National Park. PHOTO BY JACOB W. FRANK / NPS

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A Lewis and Clark County judge on Nov. 29 lifted a temporary restriction that limited state wolf hunting and trapping regulations, citing lack of evidence to suggest that current rules would irreparably harm Montana wolf populations. 

District Judge Christopher Abbott’s decision removed a Nov. 16 temporary restraining order on regulations set by the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission in August that allow for the harvest of as many as 456 wolves this year, permitting individuals to harvest up to 20 wolves total by hunting and trapping, and the use of snare traps. 

Abbott also dismissed concerns raised by environmental groups about the impact of wolf harvesting just outside of Yellowstone National Park. Nineteen wolves from Yellowstone were killed by hunters and trappers in Montana last winter. 

The trapping season opened on Nov. 28, and Abbott’s ruling was effective immediately.

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