A feder

al appeals court has rejected a lawsuit from conservationists that want to block wolf hunts.  Wednesday's ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals says Congress did have authority to intervene when it stropped protections from wolves last spring. Lawmakers stepped in after court rulings kept wolves on the endangered list for years after they reached recovery goals.  Although conservation groups say more than 500 wolves across the Northern Rockies have been killed by hunters in recent months the number of wolves in the region still grew slightly last year.  There are at least 1774 in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and portions of eastern Oregon and Washington.  Wolf hunting is allowed in Montana and Idaho and it could resume in Wyoming this fall.  Idaho also allows wolf trapping.