Groups ask court to restore protections for US gray wolves

By MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates are asking a federal court to overturn a U.S. government decision that stripped Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across most of the nation.

Two coalitions of advocacy groups filed lawsuits Thursday in U.S. District Court in Northern California seeking to restore protections for the predators.

The Trump administration announced in October that wolves were considered recovered from near-extinction across most of the U.S. But critics of the move say continued protections are needed so fledgling wolf populations in Colorado and on the West Coast can continue to expand.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said gray wolves have exceeded goals for recovery.

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