Arizona sues feds over regulations on Mexican gray wolves

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Madeleine Winer, The Republic

The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Attorney General’s Office have filed a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging it has failed to update its Mexican-wolf recovery plan.

The state is asking the secretary of the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a modern plan that would improve Arizona’s involvement in recovery efforts and establish a target number of Mexican wolves for the area.

“If you think about wildlife management, part of what you want is for a target number of animals for there to be a balance in the rest of the biotic community,” said Jim deVos, Arizona Game and Fish Department assistant director for wildlife management. “You don’t want to have too many of the one thing. We want a healthy population of wolves in balance with social, economic and wildlife needs in the state of Arizona.”

The current Mexican-wolf recovery plan, established in 1982, allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain a captive breeding program and re-establish the population with 100 Mexican wolves released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona and New Mexico in 1998. Currently, deVos said, 109 wolves inhabit Arizona.

The Game and Fish Department claims the 1982 plan fails to identify how many animals would constitute recovery of the population and allow the wolves to be removed from the list of endangered species in the future. For decades, there have been conflicts between ranchers and the wolves.

More: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/06/08/arizona-sues-feds-regulations-mexican-gray-wolves/28721223/

3 thoughts on “Arizona sues feds over regulations on Mexican gray wolves

  1. “For decades there have been conflicts between ranchers and the wolves.” You can tell where this is going.

  2. “You don’t want to have too many of the one thing.”

    Too late for that. We’ve already got too many people, livestock, golf courses, buildings, power lines, wind turbines, ad infinitum. 109 wolves gives the impression of barely hanging on. Balance? Things are so out of balance in favor of human interests that one side of the scales has gone through the floor – so these kinds of arguments are disingenuous.

    There has to remain some kind of protection because without it the wolves will be gradually killed off. This area just may have the worst record for illegal killings and demands and complaints in the nation. If ranchers want protection from depredation, a general wolf protection must remain a feature of any management agreement, and with this small number of wolves, hunting should not be an option. They should come to the table honestly. It is not honest to try to get them wiped out entirely.

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