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Wolf hunting to resume in Idaho if judge doesn't intervene

August 31, 2009 |  8:37 pm

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The gray wolf, virtually exterminated in the West in the early 20th century, will be hunted once again in Idaho beginning Tuesday after a successful reintroduction program saw populations of the predators bloom across much of the northern Rocky Mountains.

Though a federal judge has been asked to intervene, new state laws call for wolf hunts to begin this week in two parts of Idaho, followed by hunts in much of the rest of the state and in Montana later in the month.

Protected since 1973 under the federal Endangered Species Act when they were nearly extinct in the continental United States, wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park and parts of Idaho in the 1990s and have since formed a large number of hunting and breeding packs that are beginning to range as far as Oregon.

The federal government concluded that the wolves, which now number about 1,650, had recovered and lifted endangered species protections this year.

Read the rest of the article, including the arguments of a coalition of environmental groups that are against the hunting.

--Kim Murphy

Photo: A gray wolf at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming in 2004. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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