U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denies Montana's request to kill gray wolves in a 'conservation hunt'
HELENA, Mont. — Federal officials have denied Montana's request to hunt endangered gray wolves in response to the predators' increasing attacks on livestock and big-game herds.
The state hoped to exploit a loophole in the federal Endangered Species Act and hold a "conservation hunt" for up to 186 wolves this fall.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Daniel Ashe denied the request Thursday, saying that his agency supports sport hunting of wolves but would not expect approval of Montana's proposal to survive a legal challenge.
A federal judge in August restored wolves in Montana and Idaho to the endangered species list after environmentalists filed suit.
-- Associated Press
Photo: A wolf howls in White Cloud Mountains of Idaho. Credit: Isaac Babcock / For The Times