By Naomi Hatch
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a proposed revision to the endangered species act regarding the Mexican Wolf, District III Navajo County Supervisor Allen advised those attending the Nov. 13 Taylor Town Council meeting.
Allen said that the proposal would delist the gray wolf in the United States, but there is an accompanying proposal to list the Mexican Wolf as an endangered subspecies of the gray wolf. She said that they are proposing to expand the Mexican Wolf territory into most of Arizona, including Navajo County, and New Mexico.
Allen asked citizens and council members to make comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service prior to the Dec. 2 deadline.
“The problem with wolves being introduced is because the first pairs of Mexican Wolves were raised in cages with people feeding them,” said Allen. “Wolves were very desensitized to people because they were used to people feeding them.”
Allen presented information from Catron County, N.M., that showed there were 3,476 wolf-animal and wolf-human incidents since 2006, as well as many problems with pets because the wolves came onto property and into barns, where they would attack dogs, cats and chickens, for example.
“There was a lot of psychological trauma in Catron County,” said Allen, because there was concern for the children. They went to the extent of building cages for kids to go into at such places as bus stops.
The five eastern counties of Arizona have spent a lot of time and money to work to stop the endangered species listings that come down from the federal government, Allen explained, noting that she will be working with different agencies to try to protect citizens’ lives.
Allen had cards carrying a statement amending the rule for citizens to mail to the Fish and Wildlife Service that include a place for personal comments.
“Do the public comments have any affect on them?” Mayor Fay Hatch asked, noting it was his opinion that they do what they want to do anyway.
Allen explained that this will probably come to a lawsuit, and, “we can show we have a record that we’ve been against this, that it affects our safety and welfare, and how this affects other people. If we haven’t done our work, haven’t done our comments, we have no standing.”
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By Naomi Hatch