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Judge orders renewal of ESA protections for gray wolves across much of US — but not in Yellowstone

A federal judge on Thursday restored Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf across much of the country, ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2020 removed the protections based on two core populations of the canid, not on the species' status in a significant portion of its historic range and did not consider whether that range was needed to achieve full recovery.

In his 26-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White agreed with the plaintiffs that the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to "assess the ESA’s threat factors for West Coast wolves or wolves in the Central Rocky Mountains," and instead focused only on wolves in the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes regions.

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