The gray wolf was officially removed from the Endangered Species Act's "threatened" list Friday after three decades -- a decision that has stoked controversy among environmentalists and ranchers.
It means the wolves can be shot and killed once they step out of Yellowstone National Park as soon as the affected states establish a hunting season. However, state Fish and Wildlife officials can shoot the animals whenever they deem the wolves to be a problem.
The government delisted the wolves -- which were eliminated from Yellowstone decades ago before being reintroduced in the 1990s -- because they are now thriving in the park that is dominated by bison, elk and bighorn sheep. Read full article »