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Minnesota petitions to take wolves off endangered list

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota has petitioned the federal government to take the gray wolf off the endangered and threatened species list in the state and return the animal to state management.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources filed the petition with the Department of the Interior on Wednesday, and asked the federal agency to decide within 90 days.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has tried twice to remove federal protections for the gray wolf in Minnesota and the western Great Lakes region. Both times the decision was blocked in the courts.

DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten says Minnesota's wolf population is not threatened or endangered and that the state's management plan would ensure its long-term survival. The DNR estimates the state's wolf population at around 3,000.