Wolf News


Get Ready for Action: Don’t let anti-wolf politics hijack wolf recovery

Almost 40 years after they were listed as an endangered species, Mexican wolves still do not have a valid plan to ensure their recovery.

A draft of the new recovery plan will be released sometime in June 2017. There will be a 60 day comment period immediately following when the public can weigh in on the plan. The US Fish and Wildlife Service will also hold several meetings in Arizona and New Mexico during the summer months. We will have more information as it becomes available to us, along with guidance for writing comments and speaking at meetings.

A draft plan with recovery criteria for the Mexican gray wolf was written in 2011 by a team of the nation’s top wolf scientists, who were appointed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Mexican wolf recovery plan Science and Planning Subgroup.

But instead of moving forward with the scientists’ draft plan, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has allowed political interference to stall the recovery planning process and undermine the science.

Why? Because the four states containing habitat that is necessary for the Mexican wolf to achieve recovery are politically opposed to the scientists’ recommendations, which include two new populations of wolves north of Interstate 40, increased numbers of wolves, and reduced human-caused wolf mortality.

Instead of moving forward with the science-based recommendations from recognized wolf experts and the recovery planning team established over four years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now holding closed-door meetings to discuss the Mexican wolf recovery plan with representatives from  Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah who have repeatedly demonstrated their opposition to wolves.

Additional information:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun failed recovery planning processes for the Mexican gray wolf three times in the past decade. The most recent recovery planning process, which began in 2011, stalled amidst allegations of political interference with the science. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a scientific integrity complaint saying that USFWS has allowed politics to interfere with the new Mexican wolf recovery planning process by encouraging scientists to lower or forgo the numeric target for recovery, responding to demands to exclude Utah and other states from suitable habitat, and attempting to prevent the science subgroup from issuing final Mexican wolf recovery criteria.

In 2012, United States Congressman Raul Grijalva — AZ sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior asking for a full and fair investigation of the allegations of political interference.

The American Society of Mammalogists, the Society for Conservation Biology, and the Society for Ecological Restoration sent a letter to USFWS urging the government to immediately resume recovery planning for the Mexican wolf and offering their assistance to help move the process forward.


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