ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – The New Mexico Game Commission has denied an appeal by federal officials who sought to release endangered Mexican gray wolves in the state as part of recovery efforts in the Southwest.
The commission expressed concern about the lack of an updated recovery plan and decided during its meeting Tuesday in Albuquerque to uphold a previous ruling by the state game and fish director.
The commission’s decision prompted boos from the crowd. Many in the audience held signs that read “More wolves, less politics.”
Federal officials say they’re disappointed but the agency has a responsibility under federal law to recover the species and that it will move forward with its work.
They say delaying releases could compromise the genetics of the wild population in New Mexico and Arizona.
There are at least 109 wolves roaming parts of the two states.