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Find out more from the Center for Biological Diversity:
Northern Rocky Mountains gray wolf
San Jose Mercury News, May 5, 2011

Lawsuits challenge new wolf rules in N. Rockies
By The Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont.—Four environmental groups are going to court to put gray wolves back on the endangered species list.

The groups filed two lawsuits Thursday in federal court in Montana, as control over more than 1,300 wolves was turned over to state authorities in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah.

A federal budget bill rider in April mandated the lifting of wolf protections.

Western lawmakers say they wanted to go around a federal judge who blocked prior efforts to hunt the animals. But environmentalists say that violated the separation of powers required under the Constitution.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuits are the Center for Biological Diversity, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.

Hunts for hundreds of wolves are planned this fall in Montana and Idaho.

Copyright © 2011 - San Jose Mercury News

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton