ALBUQUERQUE — Environmentalists pushing for the release of more Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico say they’re worried federal regulators are allowing Arizona to control the process and severely limit releases.
The Phoenix-based director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon chapter says the Fish and Wildlife Service has made it clear it wants state wildlife agencies to take the lead. Sandy Bahr tells the Albuquerque Journal that’s led to no releases at all in the past four years.
Arizona is now proposing to release between one and three captive wolves next year to replace three lobos illegally shot between November 2011 and July 2012 in Arizona.
The first wolves were released in 1998 with an expected population of 100 by 2006. Instead there’s about 60.