Enviros Sue Feds for Loosening Wolf Protections

In an effort to make the western U.S. safe for gray wolves, 17 conservation groups teamed up yesterday to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for downgrading the species’ status from endangered to threatened in April. The coalition argued that the Bush administration was wrong to remove federal protections from the wolves because the animals still have not returned to much of their historic range and their populations remain small and isolated. The down-listing would give states more say in how wolf populations are managed; a number of states have plans to allow sport hunting, trapping, and other lethal control measures. The conservationists chose to file their suit in a federal court in Oregon because wolves are believed to be migrating to that state from Idaho, which could make Oregon a new battleground in the fight over wolf protections.