- Associated Press - Friday, September 5, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - State wildlife agency directors from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming say they support the recent decision to deny endangered species protections to the rare wolverine.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew proposed protections last month, reversing its prior stance that climate change posed threatened the snow-loving animals in the Lower 48 states.

In an opinion letter released Friday, the three state directors applauded the move and wrote that wolverine populations are on the rebound.

Wildlife advocates say they’ll sue the federal government over the decision. Many wolverine researchers say loss of snow cover in the Rocky Mountains could drive the wolverine toward extinction.

There are about 250-300 wolverines in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Montana was the last of the Lower 48 states to allow wolverine trapping. A judge halted the practice in 2012.

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