BILLINGS — Lawmakers from Montana have introduced legislation in Congress to override a federal court order that put gray wolves in Montana and Idaho back onto the endangered species list.
The bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus is one of several measures now pending to strip wolves of federal protections.
It differs slightly from wolf legislation sponsored by the two Democrats last year, no longer specifying that the Interior Department must sign off on the states' wolf management plans. Instead, the bill would revive a 2009 rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that took wolves off the endangered list — a move later struck down by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula.
More than 1,700 wolves are estimated to roam the Northern Rockies.