ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two Western Republican congressmen have succeeded in getting legislation through the U.S. House that would shift management of the endangered Mexican gray wolf from the federal government to states.
The measure sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Steve Pearce of New Mexico was included as an amendment to a $32 billion spending bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency that passed Thursday.
The congressmen say efforts to reintroduce the wolves in the Southwest have failed. They cited the lack of an updated recovery plan, a struggling population and livestock losses.
They also pointed to a recent federal investigation that concluded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mishandled the program.
But environmentalists are worried the wolf could go extinct if the legislation gets through Congress.