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E-M:/ Michigan - Wolves remain safe

A federal court Monday overturned the Bush administration's decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington, D.C., sided with environmental groups that accused the government of misreading the law last year when it lifted federal protections for about 4,000 wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

It was the second setback in a week for the Bush administration's campaign to return management authority to state officials in the two regions where the wolf has rebounded after being driven to the brink of extinction in the lower 48 states.

"We're reviewing the ruling, but we are very disappointed," Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Mary Dettloff said.

"It will be a setback for gray wolf management in the Great Lakes region."

According to a Michigan DNR population estimate released earlier this year, more than 500 gray wolves roam the Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale.

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