Under the Endangered Species Act states can petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove wolves if it can be demonstrated that they are unacceptably impacting elk or deer herds. Montana, like Idaho in that states "Lolo" zone, will seek to have 12 wolves removed from the West Fork of the Bitterroot.
The Missoulian  has a write up on the FWP's request to the FWS. Mike Thompson, the FWP's regional wildlife manager in the area, said that in the past two years the cow/calf ratio in the area was nine to 11 calves per 100 cows. A minimum of 25 calves per 100 cows is necessary for a sustainable population, according to wildlife biologists.