HELENA, Mont. - State wildlife commissioners Thursday approved the tentative framework for a wolf-hunting season they expect to establish if federal protection for wolves in the Northern Rockies ends in 2008.

Commissioners largely endorsed a proposal presented by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff, but sidelined a plan to allow trapping of wolves the first year the plan is in effect.

Wildlife officials in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming expect the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to end the protected status of Northern Rockies wolves early in 2008.

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