Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Suspicion over federal wolf plan spreads to Colorado, Utah

Suspicion over federal plans to restore endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest has spread to Colorado and Utah, where ranchers and officials are fiercely resisting any attempt to import the predators. About 110 Mexican gray wolves — a smaller subspecies of the gray wolf — now roam a portion of Arizona and New Mexico, nearly two decades after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 11 wolves there to restart a population that had nearly vanished. The agency hopes to complete a comprehensive recovery plan for the Mexican wolf in 2017, and officials say they’ve made no decision about releasing them in Colorado or Utah. But neither state is waiting. Their governors joined Arizona and New Mexico’s executives in November to accuse the Fish and Wildlife Service of using flawed science and biased experts. They demanded that no Mexican wolves be released outside the southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico. Wildlife commissioners in Utah and Colorado also spoke out against releasing Mexican wolves in their states — the Utah Wildlife Board in December and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission last Wednesday...more

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