Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gray wolf pups released into N.M. wild

Biologists, wildlife experts and officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hiked through the Catron County wilderness last week, carrying a small backpack containing a controversial and potentially illegal parcel. Tucked inside a perforated compartment slumbered two 9-day-old Mexican gray wolf pups, their eyes and ears still sealed shut. They weighed just a pound each. The federal government says the introduction of the young Mexican wolves into the New Mexican landscape is essential in recovering the endangered species, and something they are legally bound to do under the Endangered Species Act. But the New Mexican Game and Fish Department blasted the agency over the April 23 release of the pups, saying Friday that the management of wildlife falls under the state’s jurisdiction. The state agency said the Fish and Wildlife Service’s actions show a disregard for New Mexico law and may harm wildlife management throughout the state. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service blatantly disregarded states’ rights when they released Mexican wolves into New Mexico without obtaining the necessary state permits,” said Lance Cherry, a spokesman for the Game and Fish Department. “It is imperative that the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish remain the primary authority in all matters involving wildlife management in New Mexico for the benefit and best interest of our citizens.” Cherry said the department is currently evaluating the event and “weighing our options at this time.” The release occurred just days after the Fish and Wildlife Service settled a lawsuit by agreeing to create an updated wolf management plan for the region by 2017 and also follows an announcement by the agency that it would begin releasing wolves this summer to increase the species’ population in New Mexico and Arizona, and to boost the genetic variation of the wolves within both states. In response, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department said it would take legal action to prevent the wolf releases...more

And just where are Little Tommy YouDull and Marty Hiney on this issue?  Do they support the feds violating state law?  As U.S. Senators from NM they would have been given advance notice of the release.  What did they tell the USFWS?  Do they support the McCain/Flake legislation just introduced? 

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