Public discusses new Mexican wolf-recovery plan

Currently on the brink of failure due to low population numbers and excessive killing due to alleged conflicts with livestock, the rule governing the management of the Mexican wolves is being updated and your comments are needed. Right now they are in the part of the NEPA process called “scoping” — to determine the scope and range of issues and opportunities.

Here is the notice in the Federal Register.

Defenders of Wildlife is recommending the following changes:

Allow wolves to roam beyond the current artificial boundaries to find suitable habitat and prey.

• Resolve livestock-wolf conflicts in ways that keep wolves in the wild and achieve progress toward reintroduction objectives.
• Revise the service’s 25-year-old recovery plan.
• Allow opportunities to expand wolf reintroduction to other areas in the future.

Your comments are due Dec. 31. You can email them in to:

Defenders page on “recovery of the Lobo

Western Watersheds Project on commenting on the Mexican wolf.

Mexican wolf population statistics (government page)







  1. Todd Ringler Avatar
    Todd Ringler

    There seems to be broad consensus for what is being termed a “conservation alternative.” Some of the core components of this alternative are listed below. The bullets below are just the high points, the background and arguments leading to these requests are in the full comments. If anyone would like a complete copy of my scoping comments, please email me directly ( Comments that simply stated the following would be very helpful: The current recovery plan of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area is falling far short of its goals and, as a result, the BRWRA should be uplisted to fully endangered (from experimental non-essential) in order to recover this population of Mexican gray wolves.

    Core Components of the Conservation Alternative

    • Reclassification of the (Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area) BRWRA population of Mexican gray wolves as endangered in their own right, and thus fully protected under the ESA separately and distinctly from Canis lupus.

    • A primary overriding goal of achieving the current, but partial, recovery objective of establishing a viable, self sustaining population of at least 100 Mexican gray wolves within the current geographic scope of the BRWRA, with no upper limit on the future number of Mexican wolves within the BRWRA or any larger geographic area.

    • No restrictions on the movements, dispersal, or establishment of territories by Mexican wolves outside the boundaries of the BRWRA.

    • A provision for maximizing the genetic integrity of the BRWRA population.

    • A provision defining livestock carcasses as attractants, and requiring their removal or rendering inedible as a prior condition for any removal or translocation of a Mexican wolf to resolve livestock-wolf conflicts in the vicinity of livestock carcasses.

    • A provision calling on the Forest Service to execute its duties for the Mexican gray wolf by adopting and implementing one or more conservation programs or policies that serve to better avoid wolf-livestock conflicts, and thus promote the conservation and recovery of the BRWRA population.

    • No provisions that would preclude or impede any conceivable proposal or action to achieve future recovery goals/objectives in any geographic area outside the current boundaries of the BRWRA. This specifically includes a prohibition on any expansion of the existing geographic scope of the experimental population area.

    • A requirement for the USFWS to complete recovery planning for the Mexican gray wolf as expeditiously as possible if such a plan has not been approved and implemented prior to promulgation of a reclassification of the BRWRA population as endangered with full ESA protection.

  2. Chris H Avatar
    Chris H

    Please take a little time out of your day to make a few comments on behalf of the Mexican Wolf. Todd’s list above provides excellent talking points. Particularly poignant are the relaxing of the boundary that precludes natural dispersement, the ability to introduce Mexican wolves in other suitable sites (such as the Grand Canyon ecosystem), the provision requiring the removal or rendering livestock carcasses, and tougher enforcement of laws protecting the wolves on the ground and prosecution of those who have killed Mexican wolves illegaly.
    This may be the last chance to save the program and more importantly the Mexican wolf species itself. We need a lot of comments in favor of the wolf because the local ranching community has an inordinate amount power in the poloticsos USF&WS, Catron and Grant counties in New Mexico as well as Greenlee County in Arizona.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan