Wolf Recovery Leader Steps Down

New Mexico – The director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Mexican wolf recovery effort in Arizona and New Mexico is stepping down because of family concerns.

Bud Fazio has accepted a new position in the agency's Albuquerque office, where he will work with a fish restoration group.

Fazio wasn't available for comment Friday but agency spokesman Tom Buckley says Fazio needed more regular hours because of a family situation involving an ill relative.

Buckley says Fish and Wildlife Service officials hope to fill the director's job as soon as possible.

The government began reintroducing wolves in 1998 along the Arizona-New Mexico border. A subspecies of the gray wolf, the Mexican wolf was exterminated in the wild by the 1930s.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.