ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Some state lawmakers in New Mexico say a plan for recovering endangered Mexican gray wolves in the American Southwest is flawed and politically driven.
The 21 Democrats outlined their concerns in a letter sent recently to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency is seeking public comments as it works to meet a court-ordered deadline to have a recovery plan completed by the end of November.
The plan is a long time coming as the original guidance for restoring the species was adopted in 1982. The lack of a plan has spurred legal challenges and skirmishes over states’ rights under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The lawmakers say federal officials should specify a target for wolf releases as well as a benchmark for genetic diversity among the population in New Mexico and Arizona.