An Arizona Congressman is asking the Interior Secretary to cancel a pending rule that would de-classify many U.S. wolves as endangered. The change would apply to all gray wolves in the Lower 48 states, although there would be an exemption for less than 100 Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.
In a letter sent Friday, Southern Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva asked Secretary Sally Jewell to maintain full Endangered Species Act protections for wolf populations currently covered by the law. He writes, “now is the time to support full wolf recovery, not shut down our efforts,” and calls the pending plan a “scientifically flawed delisting proposal.”
Supporters of the plan say it represents a success story, while some conservationists worry about its impact.
The federal government added the wolves to the Endangered Species list in the 1970s and began reintroducing them in the wild two decades later.
This story was broadcast on KJZZ on Friday, May 17, 2013.
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Photo credit: Rebecca Bose, WCC