The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it may release Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico in an effort to recover the fragile species, despite the state having refused the federal government a permit to do so.
“Notwithstanding the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s decision to deny our permit, the Mexican wolf is still at risk of extinction,” FWS said in a draft statement obtained by the Journal.
In the statement, FWS said it intends to pursue its Mexican wolf recovery program in New Mexico under federal authority. The Department of Interior has exempted the program from its policy of complying with state permit requirements in New Mexico, FWS said.
“Our preference is always to work collaboratively with states and we ask New Mexico to reengage with us in these efforts,” FWS said.