New Mexico – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and environmentalists have reached an agreement Friday that scraps a controversial rule the agency had used to kill or permanently remove any wolf that killed three heads of livestock in a year.
Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tom Buckley says the rule "will no longer stand."
He says the agency has ways to deal with livestock kills "and remains committed to assisting the local livestock operators in any negative impacts they may have related to wolves."
Environmentalists complained the three-strikes rule favored the ranching industry and was a major roadblock to the effort to recover the species in the wild. Ranchers responded the policy targets wolves that grow accustomed to preying on cattle.
Several environmental groups sued in May 2008, asking the U.S. District Court in Arizona to stop the removal policy.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.