- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DENVER (AP) - The Latest on a court fight over endangered Mexican gray wolves (all times local):

11 a.m.

A federal appeals court is weighing whether New Mexico can block the federal government from releasing more endangered wolves in the state without the state’s permission.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver heard arguments in the case Wednesday. The judges didn’t say when they would rule.

The Interior Department wants the court to overturn a preliminary injunction that prohibits it from releasing more Mexican gray wolves into the wild in New Mexico without state approval.

New Mexico refused to issue a wolf release permit to the department in 2015 because state officials had multiple objections to the way the reintroduction program is managed.

Interior department officials released more wolves anyway, citing an urgent need to expand the population to prevent inbreeding. A lower court issued an order last year blocking further releases while the dispute is resolved.

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2 a.m.

A battle over endangered wolves in the Southwest is moving to a federal appeals court as judges hear arguments on whether states can block the federal government from reintroducing wildlife within their borders.

The Interior Department will ask a Denver-based court on Wednesday to overturn a preliminary injunction that bars the department from releasing more Mexican gray wolves into the wild in New Mexico without that state’s approval.

New Mexico has multiple complaints about the Mexican gray wolf program, and in 2015 it refused to issue a permit to the Interior Department to release more of the predators in the state.

Interior released more wolves anyway, citing an urgent need to expand the population to prevent inbreeding. A lower court issued an order last year blocking further releases while the dispute is resolved.

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