MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Western ranchers say they're hopeful the removal of gray wolves from the federal endangered species list will make it easier to hunt the predators and stem losses of cattle and sheep.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally lifted federal protections for more than 1,300 wolves in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah earlier this month.
That will allow hunting of the carnivores that ranchers say have taken a steady toll on their livestock since the federal government began reintroducing wolves to the region decades after they were wiped out.
The agency also intends to take gray wolves off the endangered list in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. A 60-day public comment runs through July 5. Some 4,200 wolves now roam those three states.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please provide detailed information.
All comments must adhere to the WSAW.com discussion rules.