The US Fish and Wildlife Service is facing a lawsuit from a group of environmentalists demanding that the agency create a new recovery plan to help the Mexican gray wolves survive. The group is also seeking the court’s help in monitoring the agency’s compliance.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduced The Gila National Forest in New Mexico and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in Arizona as the designated Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.Not Credited
The lawsuit was filed last Wednesday by the Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Endangered Wolf Center and the Wolf Conservation Center. The Fish and Wildlife Service has not respond to the request yet.
There had been a wolf reintroduction programs in eastern Arizona and western Mexico but the programs was hampered by politics and illegal killings of the wolves. There had been disputes as well over the management of the predators that spun numbers of lawsuits between environmentalists and ranchers in the area.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduced The Gila National Forest in New Mexico and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in Arizona as the designated Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Since the start of the program, ranchers have been fighting the reintroduction in their land while conservationists have been fighting to expand the scope of the program. If the two groups have something in common, that is their criticism of the federal agency’s Mexican gray wolf program.
According to the case filed by the group, the federal government has failed to develop a valid plan to protect the gray wolves and it has been 38 years since they started.
The Mexican gray wolf is included on the federal list of endangered species. It almost went extinct in 1980. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service describes it as the “smallest, rarest, southernmost and most genetically distinct subspecies of the North American gray wolf.”
After 15 years of the recovery program that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated, they were able to reproduce and now have 83 individual Mexican gray wolves and 5 breeding pairs.
This archive content was originally published November 12, 2014 (www.betawired.com)