(AP) -- Conservation groups are asking a federal judge in Missoula to block fall wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.
The request, filed Thursday by Earthjustice on behalf of 13 groups, is part of an ongoing lawsuit that seeks to restore federal Endangered Species Act protection to wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission voted earlier this week to let hunters shoot 220 wolves during a hunting season to start next month, while Montana has voted to allow 75 wolves to be killed in a hunt that would start in mid-September.
The request argues that Idaho and Montana are beginning wolf hunts too soon after federal protections were removed.
Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Ed Mitchell says the agency is confident in its management plan.
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