In the politics of wildlife, one of the nation’s biggest decisions during the next week or so will focus on New Mexico.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will announce any day now whether it will ‘relist’ Mexican wolves under the Endangered Species Act,” said Mark Salvo of WildEarth Guardians, a conservation group based in the Southwest.
With a population numbering under 60 in the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona, the Mexican wolf now is listed as a nonessential experimental population of more numerous, wider-ranging gray wolves.
Salvo said that under a court settlement the Fish and Wildlife Service “committed to redress this error” by relisting the Mexican wolf as a separate subspecies under the Endangered Species Act.
The proposed rule is due before the end of the federal government’s budget year, which ends next week.
New Mexico and much of the country will be watching this decision.
This article ran in the online version of the El Paso Times.
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Photo credit: Kaite Flynn