Friday, October 23, 2015

Wolf fight headed to Roswell

The New Mexico State Game Commission will hold a public hearing in Roswell next month to consider an appeal by media mogul Ted Turner to import and possess Mexican gray wolves at his sprawling ranch in south-central New Mexico. The Game Commission is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Nov. 19 at Pearson Auditorium on the campus of New Mexico Military Institute. On the agenda, among other items, is an appeal by the Turner Endangered Species Fund, which requested a permit renewal to hold wolves in captivity at the Ladder Ranch. The Ladder Ranch, private property owned by Turner, applied for permits to import and possess Mexican gray wolves at the 156,439-acre ranch property in south central New Mexico, where Turner is raising endangered Mexican wolves and bison. The Game Commission earlier this year voted unanimously to deny the Ladder Ranch wolf applications. Cattle ranchers praised the Game Commission’s decision, while environmental and wildlife groups oppose the decision. Game commissioners have said they couldn’t approve the permit because of the failure of the federal government to update a decades-old recovery plan for the wolves. Officials with the Turner Endangered Species Fund said denying their permit applications will not lead to a new recovery plan. Turner, former owner of CNN, has bought 1.7 million acres in New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota since 1987, becoming the largest private landowner in the United States. In New Mexico, the billionaire owns almost 1.1 million acres, or 1.5 percent of the nation’s fifth-largest state. The sprawling Ladder Ranch, in the foothills of the Black Range east of the Gila Mountains and south of Truth or Consequences, is caught in the middle of a dispute between the state and federal wildlife officials over management of the Mexican gray wolf...more

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