Friday, 3 October 2014

Federal judge won't give Wyoming control of wolves

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and pro-hunting groups to change last week's decision that reinstated federal protections for wolves in the state.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., leaves Wyoming and the Fish and Wildlife Service with the choice of either appealing or developing a revised management plan. The planning process can take years and require more public comment, during which time Wyoming wolves would remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Wyoming wolf plan Jackson rejected took effect in 2012. It classified wolves as unprotected predators subject to being shot on sight in most of the state. Many ranchers and hunters in Wyoming are concerned that if left unchecked, wolves will take too heavy a toll on other wildlife and livestock.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, issued a statement saying he's disappointed by the judge's ruling. He said his administration will consider the best way to regain state wolf management.

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