BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates say they decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court to keep wolves on the endangered list in Idaho and Montana after their arguments were rejected in lower court rulings.
Congress ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take gray wolves off the endangered species list last spring. That triggered lawsuits from wildlife groups and environmentalists who argued state-sponsored hunts could again drive wolves towards extinction.
But after two lower courts sided with the government, the plaintiffs let the 90-day deadline for appeal to the Supreme Court pass this week without action.
Representatives of the groups involved in the case say they did not expect to prevail before the high court.
There were an estimated 1,774 wolves in the Northern Rockies at the end of last year.