Feds consider dropping wolf protections

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) The federal government is considering another attempt to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday told The Associated Press that it has begun a science-based review of the status of the wolf, which is covered by the Endangered Species Act in most of the nation.

If the agency decides to begin the process of removing the wolf from the endangered species list, it will publish a proposal by the end of the year and take public comments. The government proposed removing wolf protections in 2013 but backed off after federal courts rejected its plan for taking wolves in the western Great Lakes region off the list.

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