The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday reinstated protections under the federal Endangered Species Act for the gray wolf in Minnesota and nearby states after a federal judge in December struck down the agency’s decision to remove protections.

The agency’s actions apply to Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and portions of North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The Fish and Wildlife Service removed federal protections for gray wolves in 2012 and turned over management — and decisions on how to control their growing populations — to states.

In December, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ruled that the removal by the agency was “arbitrary and capricious” and violates the Endangered Species Act.

Thursday’s action by the agency officially reinstates protections for the wolf.