Federal officials denied the State of Montana's request to hunt endangered gray wolves in response to the predators' increased attacks on livestock and big-game herds. The state hoped to get around the Endangered Species Act and hold a "conservation hunt" for up to 186 wolves this fall.
Daniel Ashe, deputy director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, denied the request saying that his agency supported sport hunting of wolves but that it would not expect approval of Montana's proposal to survive a legal challenge.
A federal judge in August restored wolves in Montana and Idaho to the endangered species list after a lawsuit from anti-livestock groups.
Reprinted in part from AP