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Wolf Rally Zings Obama Administration

El Paso Times, Milan Simonich, April 6, 2012 - (posted 04/09/12)


Fans of the real New Mexico lobos are unhappy.

President Obama is the object of their discontent.

They want his administration to place more Mexican gray wolves in the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona, a project they say is critical to the species surviving.

About 58 Mexican gray wolves freely roam the two states, too few for the species to grow and to avoid inbreeding, conservation groups say.

"More than 300 lobos are in captivity, waiting to be released into the wild as part of a reintroduction program," WildEarth Guardians said in a statement. "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle promised to release more wolves this year, but he made the same promise last year and no new wolves were released into the wild."

The group will fight back publicly.

It plans a rally at 11:30 a.m. April 13 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's regional office in Albuquerque.

WildEarth Guardians also wants a plan of action from the federal agency. It said this in a statement:

"Releasing wolves directly in the Gila Country — where the best remaining unoccupied habitat exists — is critical to quickly boosting numbers and genetic diversity in the wild population, but an outdated rule prevents direct releases into New Mexico.

"The USFWS could easily change this rule by preparing an environmental assessment and putting it out for public review, but it refuses to do so. In addition, there are some wolves that are exempt from the prohibition (because they were originally removed from the wild) and the agency could and should release them immediately."

You can post your comments to the El Paso Times here.

Note: The Rally to Free the Wolves is is a collaborative effort of multiple groups, including WildEarth Guardians, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, Animal Protection of New Mexico, the Center for Biological Diversity and Southwest Environmental Center.

April 13, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Regional Office
500 Gold Avenue SW
Albuquerque, New Mexico

More information can be found here.