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BOISE -- A federal judge has rejected a request by conservation groups to halt Idaho's plan to kill wolves from two packs in central Idaho as part of the state's efforts to bolster elk numbers in the area.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge on Friday denied the temporary restraining order sought by the groups who contend the large-scale removal of wolves contravenes the 1964 Wilderness Act and other federal acts.

Idaho wildlife officials hired a hunter late last year to begin killing two packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

Lodge ruled the conservation groups failed to prove they would likely succeed in their arguments. He also ruled the groups wouldn't suffer irreparable harm if the wolves are killed because that wouldn't result in the loss of the species.

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