Posted: May 4, 2011 9:48 AM by Associated Press
Updated: May 4, 2011 4:22 PM
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Federal officials say more than 1,300 wolves off the endangered species list in five Northern Rockies states.
Montana U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester say the Interior Department will announce the next step in the recovery of the wolves Wednesday, as states in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes prepare to take over management of the predators.
Western lawmakers attached a rider to the federal budget bill mandating the move and blocking any legal challenges. It marks the first time Congress has stripped a species of protections. Several states want hunts to curb wolf attacks on livestock and big game.
About 4,200 wolves in the western Great Lakes also are due to come off the endangered list under a proposal the Obama administration announced last month.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)