1/6/12 – Federal officials held a tele-conference yesterday to decide what to do with nine Wisconsin whooping cranes grounded in Alabama. The U-S Fish-and-Wildlife Service plans another meeting Tuesday with the partnership that’s overseeing a re-introduction of the endangered cranes in the eastern U-S. The nine birds, which took off from the Horicon Marsh, were supposed to fly from Wisconsin to two wildlife refuges in Florida with the help of an ultra-light pilot. But the group that coordinates the trip, Operation Migration, voluntarily halted the mission last month. That’s after the group learned that it broke federal rules against paying ultra-light pilots for services. Operation Migration had been using the pilots for over a decade, and its attorney has asked for a waiver from the rules.