CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An appeals court has lifted federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming.

Friday's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reverses a lower judge who sided with environmental groups and rejected Wyoming's wolf management plan.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed in 2011 that gray wolves are no longer a threatened species in Wyoming.

State officials promised to maintain a population above the minimum 100 wolves, including 10 breeding pairs, outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation.

But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman ruled in 2014 that the state's promise was unenforceable and rejected its wolf management plan.

In its reversal, the appellate court ruled federal officials exercised proper judgment and adequately responded to concerns about Wyoming's management plan.

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