A federal judge on Saturday blocked a proposed settlement between environmental groups and the Obama Administration that would have removed wolves from ESA protection and given management to the states, but in a weird twist, it didn’t much matter, because on Friday an Idaho Congressman managed to get a rider de-listing wolves attached to the bill preventing a government shutdown. Confused? Read on…

From this story in the Bellingham (Wash) Herald:
_Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson got his rider delisting wolves in Idaho and Montana into the budget bill that prevented the government shutdown Friday. And it came just in time. On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula rejected a settlement between 10 environmental groups and the Obama administration that would have removed wolves from the endangered-species list and allowed Idaho and Montana to resume state management of wolf populations – which included hunting seasons. Simpson, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, had included the wolf provision in the original House budget resolution that ended up being negotiated in the long talks between the House and the Senate that ended Friday. Simpson’s original wolf provision would reinstate the 2009 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the gray wolf in Idaho and Montana. But the new language – and the final budget resolution bill – won’t be finished until later this week.

Malloy’s 24-page decision Saturday said he did not have authority to return wolves to Idaho and Montana state management in part because all 13 groups that sued did not agree to the settlement._