BILLINGS — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is publishing an official rule putting gray wolves back on the endangered species list in the Northern Rockies.
Tuesday's announcement follows an Aug. 5 federal court order that forced the cancellation of wolf hunts planned in the region this fall.
That order from U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy reversed the government's 2009 decision to lift protections for wolves in Idaho, Montana and parts of Oregon, Utah and Washington.
The Fish and Wildlife rule formalizes Molloy's order administratively.
There are more than 1,700 wolves across the Northern Rockies including Wyoming, where they were never taken off the endangered list. That number increased slightly last year despite hunts in Montana and Idaho.