May 3, 2014 11:36 AM by Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Federal wildlife officials say the deadline has been extended for ranchers to apply for payments under a program meant to ease conflicts between Mexican gray wolves and livestock.
Ranchers in parts of New Mexico and Arizona now have until June 2 to apply for the payments.
Officials say the deadline was extended another month.
The chairman of the coexistence council, Sisto Hernandez, says the goal is to increase the number of ranchers who receive financial compensation to offset management costs that result from the presence of wolves.
The payments will be based on a variety of factors, including whether a rancher's land or grazing lease overlaps with wolf territory. Another consideration is the number of surviving wolf pups in the territory.
There are an estimated 83 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.