BILLINGS, Mont. -

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case from government officials who were ordered to consult with a wildlife agency about steps they should take to protect Canada lynx in the Northern Rockies.

Tuesday's announcement came in a 2012 lawsuit from the Cottonwood Environmental Law Center.

A federal judge in Montana agreed with the group that the U.S. Forest Service violated federal regulations by not revising its management plans to consider areas designated as critical to lynx survival.

Federal officials challenged that ruling, which was later upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lynx were listed as a threatened species in 2000.