Local Viewpoints
3:59 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Mexican Gray Wolf Hearings In New Mexico, Arizona Expected To Draw Hundreds

  Large turnouts are expected at two upcoming public hearings on proposed changes to the Mexican wolf management plan, including expansion of the wolf-management areas in Arizona and New Mexico.

The hearings, Aug. 11 in Pinetop, Ariz., and Aug. 13 in Truth or Consequences, N.M., will be the final opportunity for verbal testimony on proposed changes to management of the endangered Mexican gray wolf population in the two states. Public hearings last year in Albuquerque and Pinetop drew a total of around 1,000 people, most of whom were not allotted time to speak.

As determined by a settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must complete its rule-making on changes to the Mexican wolf management plan by Jan. 12, 2015.

The Fish and Wildlife Service public hearings and preceding “informational sessions,” will be held:

  • Aug. 11 at Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, Ariz.

2 – 4 p.m.: Public informational session
6 – 9 p.m.: Public hearing

  • Aug. 13 at the Civic Center, 400 West Fourth St., Truth or Consequences, N.M.

2 – 4 p.m.: Public informational session
6 – 9 p.m.: Public hearing

The Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to allow captive-bred wolves to be released into the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, and other suitable habitats, which would address a crisis of inbreeding, and proposes to increase by a factor of 15 the area that wolves can roam.

But as proposed, those science-based reforms would be coupled with provisions that would allow increased federal, state and private trapping and shooting of wolves, contrary to studies that show that more wolves must be allowed to live in the wild.