BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal court says a lawsuit seeking to ban using bait for hunting black bears in national forests in Idaho and Wyoming can continue.

The court ruled Thursday in favor of three environmental groups who contend the practice has led to hunters killing federally protected grizzly bears.

The U.S. government policy targeted in the lawsuit allows states to decide if hunters can use bait for black bears in grizzly habitat. Idaho and Wyoming allow the practice.

The two states have restrictions on where bait can be used to hunt black bears.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which defends federal agencies in lawsuits, didn’t respond to an inquiry.

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