The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) changing the rules governing Mexican gray wolf reintroduction. The proposal contains some contentious suggestions:
- The proposal would allow more Mexican gray wolves to be shot, trapped, and permanently removed from the wild by changing requirements for “managing” problem wolves.
- The proposal continues to designate the wild population of Mexican gray wolves as “non-essential,” failing to give them protections under the Endangered Species Act necessary to their survival.
- While the draft does expand the area in which wolves can roam, it restricts them to parts of New Mexico and Arizona below I-40, even though leading wolf scientists say that populations of Mexican wolves north of I-40 are essential to the lobo’s recovery.
The proposal does contain some good suggestions, including finally allowing new wolves from the captive breeding population to be released into a larger area, a change desperately needed for genetic rescue of the wild population.
USFWS will hold hearings on this draft proposal on August 11 at the Hon-Dah Conference Center in Pinetop, AZ, and on August 13 at the Civic/Convention Center in Truth or Consequences, NM. You can sign up for carpools here.
You can also comment electronically by going to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Click on “Comment Now!” to comment.
Send hard copy commentary to:
Public Comments Processing
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC
5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803
More ways to help, including specific talking points to mention in your comments, links to the events on Facebook, and contact information for NM elected officials, can be found here.
The comment period will remain open through September 23, 2014.