Wolves Causing Debate in More Than Just the Northern Rockies

With all the sound and fury over wolves in the northern Rockies, many people don't realize there's another wolf re-introduction controversy brewing along our southern border.

From this story on MSNBC:
_Ranching groups and two southern New Mexico counties have sued over a program that is reintroducing endangered Mexican gray wolves into the wild in New Mexico and Arizona, claiming its managers have made substantial changes that require a new environmental impact statement. "The bottom line is that the individual landowners and small rural communities that are located in places in close proximity to where the wolf release program is being operated are not getting an adequate voice into the process," said Daniel Bryant, a Ruidoso attorney who filed the lawsuit.

__The complaint alleges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish violated the National Environmental Policy Act by altering the rules without the environmental review. It asks a federal judge to stop the program from changing how it operates until it complies with NEPA. The lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of Americans for the Preservation of the Western Environment, located in Reserve; the Adobe and Beaverhead ranches in southwest New Mexico; rancher Alan Tackman; the Gila National Forest Livestock Permittees' Association, which represents livestock growers around the wolf reintroduction area; and the Otero and Catron county commissions.

It also names as defendants Fish and Wildlife Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle and Game and Fish Director Tod Stevenson. Officials began reintroducing Mexican gray wolves along the Arizona-New Mexico border in 1998. The effort has been criticized by ranchers who have lost cattle to wolves and by conservationists who disagree over how the federal government has managed the program._

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