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Judge orders wolves back under state management in Wyoming

A court has formally lifted endangered species protection for wolves in Wyoming and put the state back in charge of managing them. Tuesday’s order by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia follows a March ruling by the court that federal officials adequately responded to concerns about Wyoming’s wolf-management plan. Environmental groups declined to appeal. Gov. Matt Mead praised the order, saying Wyoming officials recognize the need to maintain a healthy wolf population. Wyoming managed wolves from 2012 to 2014, when a judge reinstated federal protections amid concern that Wyoming’s were inadequate. The ruling kept Wyoming’s 400 or so wolves on the endangered list while wolves remained off the list in Montana and Idaho. The wolves are descendants of wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone in the 1990s. The Wyoming Senate delegation also applauded the action. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wy) is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “This court mandate now puts the management of the wolf where it should have been all along, under the control of Wyoming, not Washington.” Senator Mike Enzi agreed. “This order means a lot to the state of Wyoming and brings wolf conservation back to where it belongs,” Enzi said. “It is Wyoming wildlife managers who know best how to manage Wyoming’s wildlife.”

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