State wildlife officials review feds’ plan for Mexican wolf recovery

A subspecies of the gray wolf, Mexican wolves nearly disappeared in the 1970s. The federal government added them to the endangered species list in 1976. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State wildlife officials are reviewing the federal government’s plan for recovering endangered wolves that once roamed parts of New Mexico, Arizona and northern Mexico.

A draft was recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the agency works to meet a court-ordered deadline to have the plan completed by the end of November.

In Arizona, the state Game and Fish Department says the plan appears to address concerns raised in a 2015 lawsuit that was filed by the state.

Arizona officials and others have argued that the federal government is required by the federal Endangered Species Act to have an updated plan. The current plan was published in 1982.

Since conservation of the Mexican gray wolf began in the 1980s, the Arizona agency has spent more than $7 million on recovery efforts.

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