According to the Associated Press, a federal judge has overturned the Obama administration's decision that removed Michigan's gray wolf population, which numbers about 700 animals in the Upper Peninsula, from the endangered species list. The order affects wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had removed federal protections from the wolves in those states in 2012 and turned over the management of wolves to the states. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said in his Dec. 19 ruling that removing these wolves from the endangered list was "arbitrary and capricious" and in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act. While their endangered status was no longer in place, Michigan's wolves have been the subject of a very active debate and the focus of several ballot issues and petition drives. Michigan held a very limited wolf hunting season last year, in which just 23 wolves were harvested.