MATT GOURAS

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Montana officials say it may be possible to reach a settlement with environmentalists who successfully sued to restore federal protections for gray wolves in their state and in Idaho.

The attorney for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department says the state would require that any such deal provide it full flexibility to manage the wolves for hunting just like it does other animals.

Bob Lane says he thinks the 13 environmental groups in the case want assurance the state will manage the wolves for a viable and sustained population. Lane says both sides are still talking about what such a deal would look like.

Montana officials have appealed the federal judge's ruling that restored federal protections for gray wolves.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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