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Judge reinstitutes protections for gray wolves in West

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A federal judge has ordered endangered species protections reinstated for the gray wolf in Montana and Idaho.

      The federal government last year removed protections for wolves in those two states but not in Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy says in his ruling Thursday the government's decision was a political solution and does not comply with the federal Endangered Species Act.

      Molloy says the entire Rocky Mountain wolf population must be either listed or removed as an endangered species, but the protections can't be separated by state.

             (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)