Luna County Endangered Species Advisory Committee Chairman Tink Jackson said county officials and committee members are aware that federal officials want to expand the reintroduction area of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.
The current Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area is identified as the Apache National Forest in Arizona and the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.
Any expansion to the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area or the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area – which would include everything in New Mexico between Interstate 40 and Interstate 10 – would affect Luna County, which has already had one documented Mexican gray wolf visitor and at least one other reported sighting.
Luna County is one of three southwestern New Mexico counties that have signed Memorandums of Understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be a cooperating agency that can provide input into the draft environmental impact statement before it is released to the public.
Jackson said that is important so information pertaining specifically to Luna County can be considered early in the process.
Jackson said federal officials are currently looking at five proposed wolf management alternatives, and Luna County officials have submitted a sixth alternative that would give local government more control over a problem wolf, among other issues.
A public meeting for input on changes to the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program has been set for October 16th at 5:30 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot off North Country Club Road. The meeting will be open to Luna County residents only.