Wolf protections could end before Bush leaves office

BOISE, Idaho -- Federal wildlife managers hope to remove wolves from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana before President-elect Barack Obama takes office.

But environmentalists say a decision before President Bush leaves office will simply delay final resolution by throwing the dispute back into the courts. They say the best course is to take modest interim steps now and then let the Obama administration take a fresh look at wolf management nationwide next year.

Either way, a new administration more favorable to environmentalists will inherit the job of sorting out a controversy that has raged since the 1980s.

The Bush administration is moving forward with plans nonetheless.

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