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Updated Dec 4, 2012 - 2:41 pm

Federal judge dismisses Mexican gray wolf lawsuit

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal judge has dismissed claims by
environmentalists that New Mexico wildlife managers violated the Endangered
Species Act by allowing trapping in Mexican gray wolf territory.

U.S. Magistrate Lorenzo Garcia dismissed the suit by WildEarth Guardians on
Monday.

The group was concerned that trapping could compromise the wolf population,
which spans parts of New Mexico and Arizona. It pointed to 14 individual wolves
that were captured in foothold traps between March 2002 and February 2009.

The New Mexico Game Commission voted to lift the trapping ban last year based
partly on a federal study that found trapping accounted for only a fraction of
documented wolf injuries and deaths in the reintroduction area.

New Mexico officials said Tuesday the decision was a win for state authority
over wildlife management.

WildEarth Guardians hasn’t decided whether to appeal the ruling.

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