Will the wolf survive?

Conservation groups are fighting mad over a recent federal decision that removes wolves from the endangered species list, stripping the animals of the federal protections in three Rocky Mountain states and in areas of three other western states.

In response, an official from the Center for Biological Diversity had harsh words for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and for President Bush: “The Bush administration, acting on behalf of the livestock industry, is attempting to thwart recovery and bring wolves back to the brink of extinction,” Michael Robinson stated in a press release.

The center, along with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club, announced an intent to challenge the move.

Robinson noted that the center sued the FWS five years ago for downgrading the animals’ status from endangered to threatened. After two years of wrangling, conservationists came out of that battle victorious when a federal court reversed the downlisting.