BILLINGS – Documents released Monday show that Montana is seeking federal approval to kill 186 endangered gray wolves in a special “conservation hunt,” and neighboring Idaho wants permission to remove up to 50 of the predators that officials say are eating too many elk in the Lolo area.
The proposals to kill the wolves come despite a court ruling that restored the animals’ endangered species status.
In separate applications filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho and Montana said their new plans to kill wolves were permissible under the Endangered Species Act. Wildlife managers contend the Aug. 5 ruling did not account for the growing impact of wolves on livestock and big game herds across the Northern Rockies.
The proposals have drawn criticism from wildlife advocates who accuse the states of making an end-run around the courts.