Saturday, December 26, 2015

Letter: Let science dictate whether Mexican wolves come to Utah

First Published
The Tribune deserves praise for its reasonable support for the restoration of Mexican gray wolves in the wild. It also rightfully highlighted the flaws of a misguided letter from the Four Corners governors, including Gov. Gary Herbert, who have attempted to interfere with the Fish and Wildlife Service's development of a plan — required by law — to recover this magnificent species.

El lobo has a tenuous toehold on survival, with only about 100 wolves in the wild. This is in part because since the wolf was listed in 1976, Fish and Wildlife has failed to provide a scientifically based plan to rebuild the population to sustainable levels. Herbert and the others should let the service do its job without interference.

If the science indicates that habitat in Utah is necessary for the species recovery, then, as the Tribune said, "we should let them in."

The Mexican gray wolf is an important part of our national wildlife heritage. Its survival is a matter of interest to all the people of the United States, not just to Herbert and the narrower interests he serves. Political efforts to influence the service's decisions and undermine the wolves' survival have no place in this process.

Heidi McIntosh
Managing attorney, Earthjustice Denver office