August 19, 2019

Feds Plan Wolf Releases Outside Approved Areas

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Press Release from Wolf Crossing:

Call to Action:

Please be aware Fish and Wildlife Service are issuing themselves a permit to release Mexican wolves in Vermejo park in Northern NM. We believe this to be in violation of NEPA and the APA not to mention all the lip service FWS ever gave the general public during the past years rule change NEPA process.

Wolves at the park would be out of the Mexican wolf experimental population area, making them fully endangered. This was our worst fear, that a large landowner could provide a staging ground for releases into areas not approved under 10-J experimental rulemaking, but land that could still qualifying for recovery habitat of the animal.

Why did this happen? FWS simply gave themselves permission for a categorical exclusion. Legally a CE is limited in it’s analyzed impacts, for it to qualify there has to be no change to ongoing process. definition of CE can be found here. http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/docuce.asp Clearly this is a big change, wolves in N. NM and S. Colorado outside the current recovery area, with full status is a MAJOR FEDERAL ACTION that doesn’t meet the requirements for a Categorical Exclusion. FWS may be trying to tier the CE off the Mexican wolf NEPA analysis just concluded and the new rule issued Jan 15, with only the barest mention of deeded land deals in the Draft and Final EIS, with no analysis of impacts, regardless, it is illegal.

The current rule and final decision, is already under scrutiny by several organizations both producer and environmentalist, as the final decision was based on an agreement rather than any of the alternatives vetted by the public in the NEPA process, it too is illegal. FWS made a backdoor deal on a new alternative the public had no chance to comment on, during public meetings or comment periods and now they pursue an entirely new plan.

Clearly FWS is acting outside the parameters of the ESA behaving lawlessly and trying to release Mexican wolves outside the Mexican wolf experimental population area and recovery area. This could allow them to spread onto ranch-lands north of I-40. This will make Mexican wolves fully endangered up in this area which means no control of problem animals and no removals even with depredation problems.

Make your comments and donate funds to the legal battles. Folks we have to do something this time, talk to your organization and insist they communicate with the members on the implications of this new plan and the legal strategy that is being embarked upon.

Comments on the permit, can be made here. Cite the permit number in your comments.
Comments on this permit are due by February 17.

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/01/15/2015-00551/endangered-and-threatened-species-permit-applications#h-16

Permit TE-091551

Applicant: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Applicant requests a renewal to a current permit for research and recovery purposes to conduct the following activities for Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupis baileyi) within Arizona and New Mexico: Capture, including, but not limited to, leg-hold traps, helicopter or ground darting and net-gunning, and captive capture methods; handle; possession; administration of health care; propagation; radio collar or other marking techniques; release; obtain and preserve blood, tissue, semen, ova, and other samples that are considered parts of wolves (scat is not considered a part of a wolf and can be collected without a permit); translocate; transport between approved Mexican wolf captive management facilities in the United States and Mexico, to approved release sites, and to and from the Vermejo Park Ranch; purposeful lethal take (lethal control is limited to Mexican wolves within the MWEPA in Arizona and New Mexico); hazing via less-than-lethal projectiles; injurious harassment; research; and any other USFWS-approved husbandry practice or management action for Mexican wolves.

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