Wyoming, feds announce plan for delisting wolves

By BEN NEARY | August 3, 2011 | 2:28 PM EDT

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming and the U.S. Department of Interior have reached an agreement over how to end federal protections for wolves in the state.

Gov. Matt Mead hailed the agreement Wednesday, saying wolves have taken a heavy toll on livestock and wildlife in the state.

Wyoming is agreeing to maintain at least 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves outside Yellowstone National Park. There are now about 300 wolves in the state outside the park.

Wolves immediately outside Yellowstone would be subject to regulated hunting, and those in the rest of the state could be shot on sight.

Environmental groups have been critical of the Wyoming plan, which still needs approval from the state Legislature.