A federal judge in Missoula will hear oral arguments on June 15 on whether gray wolves in Montana and Idaho should be removed from the list of federally protected species. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy filed the paperwork Monday scheduling the hearing.
The hearing comes in a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of 13 conservation and wildlife groups over whether wolves can be removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act in Montana and Idaho yet remain protected in Wyoming.
In a related story, on Tuesday, Wisconsin again asked federal authorities to remove the gray wolf, whose population is soaring, from the endangered species list. The state Department of Natural Resources petitioned the U.S. Department of Interior to reclassify wolves so authorities could use lethal means to control the burgeoning population.
Wisconsin's decision follows a petition filed by Minnesota in March asking the Interior Department to remove gray wolves from the list of endangered or threatened species. Michigan authorities also have sided with the actions but haven't filed a formal petition.