SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the state's decision to lift endangered species protections for gray wolves.
The Capital Press reported Thursday that the appeals panel has tossed the complaint.
State wildlife officials removed wolves from Oregon’s endangered species list in 2015 and lawmakers passed a bill backing that move in 2016.
Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild and the Center for Biological Diversity sued, arguing the delisting was premature and not based on sound science.
The appeals court says the legislative bill makes the environmentalists’ lawsuit irrelevant.
Wolves are still federally protected as an endangered species in western Oregon.
Ranchers have long argued they need to be able to kill wolves that make a habit of preying on livestock.