The agency announced the wolf population in Wyoming is officially "recovered," just like those in Idaho and Montana. When the decision takes effect in September, it will mark the end of a 17-year wolf recovery process in the region, Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times reports. Wolves had recovered so much in some places, ranchers were reporting frequent deaths of livestock, and state laws had been expanded to allow ranchers to protect herds with killing and trapping. In some instances, state agencies had employed helicopters to aerially kill wolves.
Legal action is expected from activists in Montana, where they contend newly authorized wolf traps could threaten Canada lynx, and in Wyoming, where critics argue that the state's wolf-control laws could "leave them vulnerable to wholesale killing through most of the state," Murphy reports. In Idaho, a proposed law would allow live-baiting of problem wolves with dogs, something attorneys for Earthjustice said has been discussed in Wyoming, too. (Read more)