With a rising population of wolves and more of them attacking livestock and pets, a federal program to trap and kill problem wolves in northern Minnesota has run out of money.

While Great Lakes-region wolves are currently protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, they are listed as officially “threatened” in Minnesota — a step below endangered that allows U.S. Department of Agriculture trappers to kill wolves where livestock and pets have been killed.  But that Grand Rapids-based program, which has for decades killed about 180 wolves in Minnesota annually, blew through its budget this year and stopped operations last Friday.  On Wednesday, Minnesota lawmakers urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to find money elsewhere in his agency budget to continue the wolf-control effort in Minnesota.