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Cattlemen sue feds over region’s wolves

Washington group forcing review of endangered status

BILLINGS — A Washington state cattle group is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force the agency to review federal protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies.

Attorneys for the Washington Cattlemen’s Association say the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eastern Washington. The cattle association is represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative law firm based in Sacramento, Calif.

Foundation spokesman Harold Johnson says the government has not met its mandate to periodically review if wolves should be listed as an endangered species.

An estimated 1,700 wolves roam the Northern Rockies, including at least one breeding pack in Eastern Washington. A federal judge in Montana reversed two attempts by the Fish and Wildlife Service to lift protections for the species in the last several years.

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