ANCHORAGE — A federal judge on Thursday rejected the state of Alaska's request to immediately kill seven wolves in a national wildlife refuge on Unimak Island.
The state wants to remove wolves from caribou calving grounds and boost numbers for the herd in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
However, Judge H. Russel Holland refused Alaska's request for a temporary restraining order against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has threatened legal action if state employees enter the refuge in helicopters to shoot wolves.
Instead, the judge set a hearing Monday and said the court would consider a preliminary injunction. He asked lawyers for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Interior Department to provide responses to the state's lawsuit by Friday afternoon.
"I think it will be best for everyone if we can get this matter out of the way," Holland said.
The state has informed the judge that Monday is the longest it can wait to prevent wolves from eating calves this year.