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MISSOULA, Mont.-- Ten conservation groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have asked a federal judge to approve their plan to lift endangered species protections for wolves in Montana and Idaho.

The conservationists sued the federal agency after it delisted wolves in those states and not Wyoming. The management plan there is considered hostile to wolves.

District Judge Donald Molloy ruled in the groups' favor last August. The government appealed that ruling.

The proposed deal would allow wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho while the federal agency negotiates with Wyoming.

An attorney for the groups says the settlement is a way forward and would help reduce conflict over the issue.

Molloy said Friday he will rule soon on whether to recommend the motion to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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