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Washington • Western Republicans in the Senate introduced legislation Thursday that would remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List, after a court ruling rejected a move by the government to allow individual states to manage its wolf populations.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was among the five bill sponsors, the others representing Idaho and Wyoming. Their legislation is similar to a bill already introduced in the House, which is co-sponsored by Utah Reps. Jim Matheson, a Democrat, and Jason Chaffetz, a Republican.

"Washington needs to get out of the way of how states control wolf populations," Hatch said. "Bureaucrats in Washington don't understand the kind of impact the wolf has in Utah and throughout the West."

And yet the Fish and Wildlife Service did attempt to allow Idaho and Wyoming to kill wolves to manage its growing populations in 2009, a decision that a court recently struck down. That ruling is the major impetus for the House and Senate legislation.

Matt Canham