BigNews.Biz - Feb 17,2017 - Flake Reintroduces Bill to Revise Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan
Protects interests of Arizona cattlemen, sportsmen, and local governments
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Water and Power Subcommittee, reintroduced the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act. The bill would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to collaborate with states, county governments, and local stakeholders to sustain viable wild wolf populations without adversely impacting livestock, wild game, or recreation.
Specifically, this legislation would require the USFWS to draft an updated recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf in Arizona and New Mexico. The plan would need to contain automatic triggers to ensure appropriate action is taken.
If the agency’s director does not comply with this new recovery plan, state wildlife authorities would be empowered to supplement or assume management of the Mexican gray wolf in accordance with the Endangered Species Act. Upon attainment of the minimum wolf population target, the bill would mandate automatic delisting, returning management of the Mexican gray wolf to the states.
“The federal government’s outdated management of Mexican gray wolf populations is harming ranchers and our state’s rural communities,” said Flake. “This bill will ease the burdens on rural Arizonans by enhancing local stakeholder participation and state involvement in the recovery process.”
Flake and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) first introduced the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act during the 114th Congress. Read more about the bill here.
On April 26, 2016, Arizona courts reached a settlement with the USFWS to establish a recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf by Nov. 2017.
On April 7, 2016, Flake along with McCain and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Chris Steward (R-Utah), and Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Director Daniel Ashe calling for a fair consideration of management that would bolster a binational approach to handling the Mexican gray wolf population.
On Feb. 1, 2016, Flake introduced an amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act that would require the immediate delisting of the wolf.
On Dec. 21, 2014 Flake and McCain requested an extension of the comment period on the final Environmental Impact Statement of the revised Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. The request gave an extended 30-day public review of the program.
On Sept. 17, 2013 Flake along with McCain and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) sent a letter to Secretary Jewell calling for a hearing in Arizona on this issue.