Bills would drop federal protections for wolves

In this April 18, 2008, file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife shows a gray wolf. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gary Kramer, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Members of Congress have proposed legislation that would remove court-imposed legal protections for gray wolves in four states.

Bills introduced Wednesday by Reps. John Kline of Minnesota and Reid Ribble of Wisconsin seek to override decisions by federal judges last year to restore legal protection to wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled in December that the Obama administration had erred by stripping Great Lakes wolves of their protected status. Another judge issued a similar order in September regarding wolves in Wyoming.

The rulings took management authority away from the states and made it illegal once more to allow sport hunting or trapping of the predators.

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