Saturday, September 7, 2013

Comment period extended for proposals affecting Arizona’s Mexican wolf population

 

Sept. 6, 2013
 
 
PHOENIX — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a 45-day extension to the comment period for both the proposed revision to the Mexican wolf’s 10(j) nonessential experimental population rule and the proposed rule to delist gray wolves in the U.S. with an accompanying proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies of gray wolf.

The new deadline for public comment on both of these proposed rules is Oct. 28, 2013.

Those interested in submitting comments on either proposed rule should submit comments to the Service; see  www.fws.gov/graywolfrecovery062013.html for more information. The comment period deadline for these two proposed rules is different than the comment and public scoping period deadline associated with the development of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the newly proposed 10(j) rule for Mexican wolf. The scoping/comment deadline for the draft EIS is Sept. 19, 2013.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be submitting comments on both proposed rules that will appropriately address feedback it receives from its constituents. One point of interest for the state and its residents is that the Service has proposed to hold public meetings on the proposed 10(j) revisions only in Washington, D.C., Sacramento, Calif. and Albuquerque, N.M., and not in Arizona where a large portion of the Mexican wolf’s Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area lies. The department is undertaking efforts with some stakeholders to help rectify these public scoping deficiencies with the Service. 

More information on the comment period extension, proposed rules and how to submit comments is available at www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073 and Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056.

The Mexican wolf reintroduction program began in 1998. The 2012 year-end population count showed a minimum of 75 wolves roaming Arizona and New Mexico, up from 58 wolves in 2011.

To learn about the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s role in the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction, visit www.azgfd.gov/wolf.