Wildlife Agency Agrees To Wolf Recovery Plan Deadline

By Heather van Blokland
Published: Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 9:40am

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to a deadline to craft a recovery plan for the endangered Mexican gray wolf-- and that’s good news for the wolf habitat supporters in Arizona.

The agency reached a settlement with environmentalists, Arizona and Utah, but it still needs the approval of a federal judge. Farm bureaus in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah are expected to challenge the settlement, saying it places an unfair burden on the American public when the wolves' historical range includes Mexico.

States and environmental groups say the recovery plan is long overdue for a species that has struggled to gain a foothold in the Southwest.

The most recent annual survey shows at least 97 wolves live in forested lands in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

The settlement would require a recovery plan by November 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.