Federal protection restored for wolves

Federal protection restored for wolves
In this Feb. 16, 2006 photo provided by Yellowstone National Park, a gray wolf is seen on the run near Blacktail Pond in Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Wyo. Lawmakers are proposing a rewrite of the Endangered Species Act that would lift protections for wolves first enacted in 1974. Critics say the move would effectively gut one of the nation's premiere environmental laws and allow for the unchecked killing of wolves across the West. (AP Photo/Yellowstone National Park)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is publishing an official rule putting gray wolves back on the endangered species list in the Northern Rockies.

Tuesday's announcement follows an Aug. 5 federal court order that forced the cancellation of wolf hunts planned in the region this fall.

That order from U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy reversed the government's 2009 decision to lift protections for wolves in Idaho, Montana and parts of Oregon, Utah and Washington.

The Fish and Wildlife rule formalizes Molloy's order administratively.

There are more than 1,700 wolves across the Northern Rockies including Wyoming, where they were never taken off the endangered list. That number increased slightly last year despite hunts in Montana and Idaho.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.