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The Utah Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would let the state decide whether to kill wolves to control the predators' population.
"This bill plans for the future," said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, "and we need to control this predator before it overtakes and becomes unmanageable in our state."
Christensen's SB36 has been watered down. An earlier version would have allowed any wolf in the state to be killed.
The new measure asks the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to remove the animals from the list of endangered species across the state so Utah officials can regulate the animals' numbers.
Christensen said wolf populations have skyrocketed in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, and the predators are taking a toll on livestock and wildlife.
The measure, which now goes to the House, passed 21-8, with all eight Democrats voting against it.