NBC Montana: Gray Wolf To Be Taken Off Endangered Species List

The Senate signed off on the 2011 federal budget plan. In doing so it takes gray wolves off the endangered species across much of the Rocky Mountains.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) with the help of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) added the attachment to the federal budget. Many applauded the legislation but it’s unclear who will pay for it. Tester’s office says it will mostly be state dollars, but Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks officials say they’ll try to keep the federal money covering the cost.

Tester hails it as a victory though. He says, “Taking wolves off the endangered species list and letting the professionals at the state level mange them is the right thing to do for domestic livestock. It’s the right thing to do for wildlife and it’s the right thing to do for the wolves.”

State officials agree. They say the wolf needs to be managed at the local level. Ron Aasheim, an FWP spokesperson says, “We need to be able to balance wolf numbers with other wildlife populations and tolerances of land owners.”

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