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Editorial: Our View: If the feds had done their job, they wouldn't be facing another lawsuit over the Mexican grey wolf.

Arizona Republic, 9/11/14 Letters Needed!

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Just do your job, feds, for the wolves

If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had done its job, it wouldn't be facing another lawsuit over the Mexican gray wolf recovery effort.

Maybe you can't expect bureaucrats to leap into a cauldron of controversy. After all, past efforts to update a 32-year-old recovery plan for the wolves were met with strong opposition from those who do not support reintroduction.

But the plan is required under the law. There's no excuse for not getting this done.
What's more, the plan could have reflected both the needs of the wolves and the reasonable concerns of hunters and ranchers about the impact of wolves on their activities. That's the sort of balance professional federal biologists should have provided.

They didn't.

So, you can't expect advocates for the wolf-reintroduction effort to ignore the foot dragging. A coalition of environmental groups has announced its intention to sue the feds. Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Endangered Wolf Center and the Wolf Conservation Center are joined by wildlife biologist Dave Parsons, a 24-year veteran of Fish and Wildlife who led the wolf-recovery program from 1990 to 1999.

He says the outdated plan was focused on preventing extinction. With at least 83 wolves in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, the focus needs to be on growing the population and ensuring the species' full recovery. The plan needs to set out a process for doing that.

It shouldn't have been necessary to file a lawsuit to compel Fish and Wildlife to do its job. But it was.

It may not be too late to stay out of court, though. Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity says the lawsuit could be avoided if the feds move quickly to get a plan written that represents good science.

Yes. Instead of defending itself in court, Fish and Wildlife should be busy restoring a healthy, sustainable population of Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest.

This editorial was published by the AZ Republic.

Please thank them for supporting a much-needed new recovery plan for Mexican wolves and express your support for wolf recovery with a letter to the editor. Everything you need, including talking points and submission information, is here.
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Please Act for Endangered Mexican Wolves Today!
Public comments are being taken through September 23 on a US Fish and Wildlife Service proposal that will determine the future for Mexican wolf recovery. Your voice is needed. Talking points and submission info are here.
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