By Tristan Ahtone
LARAMIE, wyo – Six of 10 conservation groups have reached a legal settlement with the Department of the interior that would remove Endangered Species protections for gray wolves in Idaho and Montana. The compromise allows the two states to take control of wolf management, but protections would remain for wolves in Wyoming and three other states. However four other conservation groups oppose this deal.
The settlement was filed in Federal Court in Montana for approval by Judge Donald Malloy today. Bill Snape is Senior Council for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the ten conservation groups that discussed the settlement. He says that the deal leaves federal protections for wolves in Wyoming because of the states listing of the animals as predators and allowing them to be shot on sight outside of Yellowstone and Snape says that until those policies are changed, federal protections will remain.
"So what we're hoping is that Wyoming sort of wakes up, smells the coffee and recognizes that if it plays ball, it can join Idaho and Montana," says Snape. "If it continues to sort of do it it's lone way it's going to be the federal way."
However the federal government is reconsidering Wyoming's wolf management plan, following the decision of another federal judge.