Judge sides with environmentalists in wolf case

April 3, 2009 By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- A federal judge says a lawsuit by environmental groups to keep the government from aggressively removing endangered Mexican gray wolves that have attacked livestock can move forward.

U.S. District Judge David Bury this week rejected a motion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to throw out the case filed nearly a year ago by several organizations.

The government began reintroducing Mexican to the Southwest in 1998 in a 4 million acre territory along the Arizona-New Mexico line. A survey last year found 52 wolves scattered between the two states.

The plaintiffs are challenging a "three strikes" rule that calls for wolves to be removed from the wild or killed if they prey on more than twice a year.

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On the Net:

Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery: http://sn.im/f50ov

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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