US Senator Proposes Ending Protections for Mexican Gray Wolf

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By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

A wolf that once roamed parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico would be removed from the list of federally protected species under legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

The Arizona Republican introduced the measure last week. He’s a critic of the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan that was adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in November, calling it a regulatory nightmare for ranchers and rural communities.

“I plan to continue my efforts to push for real recovery that takes into account the needs of the local stakeholders most impacted by this policy,” Flake said in a statement Monday.

The legislation calls for the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if a population of fewer than 100 wolves has been established in the species’ historical range along the Arizona-New Mexico border. If so, the predator would be considered recovered and removed from the endangered list.

Management of the wolves would be turned over to state wildlife agencies in Arizona and New Mexico once the Fish and Wildlife Service makes a determination.<<<Read More>>>