The Daily Courier (Original) Posted March 25, 2017 by Dennis DuVall, Special to the Courier
Will the Mexican wolf survive? Not likely if Sen. Jeff Flake and Arizona ranchers have their way (“Moving goal for Mexican gray wolf,” Courier, Feb. 25).
Flake’s anti-wolf bill is the culmination of state and congressional assaults to shred the Endangered Species Act (ESA), emasculate wolf science, manipulate the courts, and hand the Mexican wolf recovery plan over to the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD).
Flake’s Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act would delist the Mexican wolf from the ESA based on having reached a population of 100, an interim goal set in 1982 (an updated recovery plan was developed by the Mexican wolf recovery planning team in 2005 recommending 750 Mexican wolves as a viable, self-sustaining population goal for successful recovery). The ESA saved the Mexican gray wolf from extinction as an “experimental, non-essential” subspecies of the gray wolf, but wildlife advocates have clamored for the federal Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to change the classification to “essential, endangered.”
Wolf activists want to expand Lobo’s recovery habitat to north of the Grand Canyon, end the practice of capturing and relocating wolves, eliminate invisible boundaries to wolf movement, end lethal removals, and supplement the wild Mexican wolf population with 300 captive-bred wolves to increase the number of packs and breeding pairs.