Montana to oppose wolverine protections

YELLOWSTONE COUNTY

Associated Press
POSTED: 3:52 PM Jan 08 2013
wolverine on rock
BILLINGS, Mont. -

Montana wildlife officials have given up on a wolverine trapping season this winter.
    
But they want the state excluded from pending federal protections for the elusive predators so trapping can be revived.
    
Federal officials are poised to announce next week whether wolverines should get Endangered Species Act protections across the western U.S.
    
That's what government scientists have recommended for years due to habitat threats posed by climate change.
    
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said Tuesday the animal's population is healthy enough in the state that no additional protections are needed.
    
Even if protections are proposed, Aasheim says Montana will seek authority to continue trapping up to five wolverines annually.
    
A judge temporarily blocked trapping this winter. Aasheim says the state will pursue that case in coming months.