"BILLINGS, Mont. — The Biden administration said Wednesday that federal protections may need to be restored for gray wolves in the western U.S. after Republican-backed state laws made it much easier to kill the predators.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initial determination that the region’s wolves could again be in peril — after decades spent restoring them — will kick off a year-long biological review.
It marks an abrupt turnaround for the federal wildlife agency and brought a swift pushback from Montana’s Republican governor, who said officials in Washington shouldn’t be “second guessing” the state’s wildlife policies.
Federal officials had spent years in court defending their decisions on wolves, including under Biden and dating back to the Obama administration, when wolves were returned to state jurisdiction in the six-state Northern Rockies, opening the door to hunting for the first time in decades."