Wolf News


In the News: Groups will sue for Mexican gray wolf recovery plan

There are at least 83 Mexican gray wolves running wild in the Southwest, but a coalition of wildlife groups says that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not doing enough to ensure the survival of the species.

Wednesday, the Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Endangered Wolf Center and the Wolf Conservation Center notified the Fish and Wildlife Service that they intend to sue the agency for failing to create and execute a recovery plan for the endangered species.

“The service’s legal obligation is they’ve got to complete a recovery plan and the plan has to provide a blueprint of how to save this species from extinction,” said Timothy Preso, the attorney representing the groups.

Preso said a 1982 Fish and Wildlife Service document called a “recovery plan” for the wolves was incomplete and did not meet the standards set for revitalizing the species under the Endangered Species Act

Advocates said the Fish and Wildlife Service worked on three different recovery plans in 1995, 2003 and 2010, but they were never finalized.

“Our concern is if we leave this to the service’s apparent schedule, which is indefinite timing, it may be too late before we get a blueprint for recovery,” said Preso, an attorney for Earthjustice.

The notice is the required first step for filing the lawsuit, Preso said. The Fish and Wildlife Service now has 60 days to review the letter and take action.

Michael Robinson, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity, has been following the story of the Mexican gray wolf for more than 20 years.

“What we want to see is a recovery plan out there representing the best science,” Robinson said.

“They can avoid a lawsuit if they rapidly consolidate comments they’ve gotten for the 2011 draft recovery plan, put it out for public review and finalize it with new information.”

A spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Service said the agency is unable to comment on pending or existing litigation.

This article was published by the AZ Republic

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