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Management of Arizona and New Mexico's small population of re-introduced Mexican gray wolves will be returned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service following a lawsuit by environmentalists.
A news release by the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups that sued, states that wolf management had been heading in the wrong direction under a private committee set up to oversee the wolves' reintroduction to the wild in 1998. As part of the lawsuit settlement, Fish and Wildlife agreed to eliminate a rule made by the committee that required any wolf that killed local livestock three times to be euthanized.
The Mexican Wolf Adaptive Management Oversight Committee seemed more interested in "appeasing anti-wolf interests" than helping the animals, according to the release.
By now, more than 100 wolves -- including 18 breeding pairs -- should be roaming the forests of northeastern Arizona and parts of New Mexico. Instead, only 52 wolves live in the area, with just two breeding pairs among them.
Conservationists seem to feel that with the government in charge, we'll soon be tripping over wolves when we go up to the White Mountains. Maybe, maybe not. But it would be awesome to hear a wolf howl while camping in the woods.