New Mexico lawmaker wants more public input on wolf plan

2 Mexican gray wolves killed in New Mexico

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico’s U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is calling for an extended public comment period on a federal proposal to release more endangered wolves into the wild.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the public comment period was open for less than a month and ended March 8. Pearce has asked Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke for an additional 90 days for public input.

Pearce has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mexican wolf recovery program. He says in a news release the program has been “disastrous” for New Mexico communities.

Under the new plan, wolves would be released within the Gila Wilderness and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness in western New Mexico.

Fish and Wildlife began reintroducing the wolves in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998.