Wolf Delisting Part Of Federal Budget
An attachment to a federal budget bill needed to avert a government shutdown would take gray wolves off the endangered species list across most of the Northern Rockies. Wildlife advocates conceded Tuesday the wolf provision was all but certain to remain in the spending bill after efforts to remove it failed. Congress faces a tight deadline on a budget plan already months overdue, and the rider has bipartisan support. It orders the Obama administration to lift protections for wolves within 60 days in five Western states. Protections would remain intact in Wyoming, at least for now. But wolf hunting would resume this fall in Idaho and Montana, where an estimated 1,250 of the animals have been blamed in hundreds of livestock attacks and for declines seen in some big game herds. Wolves also would be returned to state management in Washington, Oregon and Utah. Lawmakers said they inserted the rider to circumvent a federal judge who repeatedly blocked proposals to hunt the predators. The legislation would block further court intervention. daho and Montana officials were forced to cancel wolf hunts planned last year when U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy restored protections for the species. Those plans are expected to be updated to allow hunting this fall for potentially hundreds of wolves.