Oct 30, 2012 11:34 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Environmentalists and a group of scientists are criticizing a draft proposal that outlines options for releasing Mexican gray wolves into the wild.
The plan deals with releasing wolves from captive breeding facilities into the wild in Arizona to replace wolves that are either killed illegally or die from natural causes.
The document suggests the replacement wolves be selected to maximize genetic diversity of the wild population in Arizona and New Mexico.
The scientists and other critics have sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, saying releases are needed but the plan doesn't do enough to boost the wild population.
They also argue that release decisions should hinge on the federal agency rather than guidelines from the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.
There are around 58 wolves in the wild along the New Mexico-Arizona border.