Groups ask court to halt Mont., Idaho wolf hunts

By the Associated Press | August 13, 2011 | 4:44 PM EDT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Environmentalists have filed a request for an emergency injunction to halt wolf hunts scheduled to start in a few weeks in Idaho and Montana.

The request by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and other groups with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was made public Saturday. The groups want the hunts canceled until the court rules on an appeal filed Monday challenging a federal judge's ruling allowing the hunts to go forward.

A federal judge in Montana earlier this month was critical of a congressional budget rider that removed federal protections for wolves in Montana and Idaho, and in parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah. But he said court precedent required him to rule it constitutional.

The groups contend the way Congress removed the wolf protections is unconstitutional.

Wolf hunts start Aug. 30 in Idaho and Sept. 3 in Montana.