Wildlife advocates are scrambling to remove from the federal budget bill a provision that would lift protections for gray wolves in Montana and Idaho.
John Motsinger with Defenders of Wildlife said Monday his group would continue to fight the provision "until it's a done deal." But time is running out, with final language for the bill expected to be released Monday.
Western lawmakers announced Saturday they had succeeded in attaching their wolf rider to the budget bill. That came on the same day a federal judge struck down a proposed settlement on wolves between the Obama administration and some advocacy groups.
Ten groups had agreed to lift protections for the animals in exchange for safeguards against overhunting. Those safeguards are not expected to be in the budget bill.