Urgent! The Public Has 60 Days To Comment On U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s Mexican Gray Wolf Plan Rewrite; They Need Our Protection!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced earlier this week, the beginning of a 60-day public comment period to help determine the scope of its analysis for rewriting the rule for Mexican gray wolf “management.”

The rule will govern when and how these critically endangered wolves can be “removed” from the wild or released from captivity. The court-ordered rewrite of the 2015 management rule stemmed from litigation by the Center for Biological Diversity and its allies.

“It is outrageous that the feds have let a ruthless livestock industry dictate Mexican wolf management, wreaking havoc on their fragile gene pool,” Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate at the Center, said in a statement. “With the public supporting science-based reforms, we hope to witness the return of family-pack wolf releases to the wild. The days of shooting wolves from helicopters or trapping them into life in a cage need to end.”

As per a statement posted on the Federal Register, the public comment period allows citizens to outline what management changes they would like analyzed in a “draft environmental impact statement” that the Service will issue next summer or fall.

In 2018, the federal district court in Tucson ruled that the Service improperly rationalized its 2015 management rule by citing scientists who told the agency it had “misapplied and misinterpreted their findings in such a manner that the recovery of the species is compromised.” The court described the scientists’ statements as a “dire warning” and the Service’s ignoring of them as “an egregious oversight.” The court subsequently ordered a new rule to be finalized by May 17, 2021.

The 2015 management rule itself stemmed from the Center’s legal challenge of the 1998 Mexican wolf reintroduction and management rule. But genetic diversity among Mexican wolves continued to suffer under the 2015 rule.

“Political pandering and mismanagement have squandered much of the remaining genetic heritage in the Mexican wolf that was already depleted because of extermination efforts many decades ago,” stated Robinson. “This is the third try, since reintroduction began, for the government to write a management plan that actually leads to recovery. They better get it right this time.”

After the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 and the Mexican wolf was added to the endangered list in 1976, there were only seven wolves. They were comprised of three captured from the wild and four already in captivity and became the foundation for captive breeding. No wolves were confirmed in the wild in Mexico after the last of the seven were captured alive in 1980.

Reintroduction began in 1998 in Arizona and New Mexico, and in 2011 in Sonora, Mexico.

At last count there were 163 wild Mexican wolves in the United States, and an estimated 30 wolves in the wild in Mexico.

As per the Federal Register, you may submit written comments by one of the following methods:

Electronically: Go to the Federal rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2020–0007, which is the docket number for this notice of intent.

By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2020–0007; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/PERMA (JAO/1N), 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

Comments will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that they will post any personal information you provide them.

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