Missoula, Mt. – A federal judge says gray wolf hunts in the Northern Rockies can go on, denying a request by environmentalists and animal welfare groups to stop the first
organized wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana in decades.
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said Wednesday that plans to
kill about 20 percent of the two states' estimated 1,350 wolves
would not cause long-term harm to the population.
But he adds that by carving Wyoming out of the recent decision
to remove wolves from federal protection, the government appeared
to violate the Endangered Species Act by making its decision based
on political boundaries. Molloy says that means environmentalists
could ultimately prevail in their bid to restore endangered species
protection for the animals.