Suggestions Sought For Modifying Mexican Wolf Program

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun a scoping process to gather input on potential modifications to its rule that established a reintroduction program for the Mexican gray wolf.

The Fish and Wildlife Service established a nonessential, experimental population of the Mexican gray wolf in 1998, and has introduced more than 90 wolves into Arizona and New Mexico.

"We have been reintroducing wolves into the wild for nine years now and we've learned a thing or two," said Brian Millsap of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"We want to hear from everyone else on what they have learned and what their recommendations are for recovering the Mexican wolf.

"We've set the meetings up to facilitate conversations. The Web site mirrors the meetings as much as possible, so those who can't be with us can join in on the Web site at www.mexicanwolfeis.org."

The scoping process will include 12 open-house style meetings. Participants may attend any time during the meeting at their convenience. The meetings will include:

Informational materials about the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program

A continuous overview presentation for participants to watch at their convenience

One-on-one opportunities to provide information to Adaptive Management Oversight Committee (AMOC) representatives and agencies' staff, and ask them questions about the rule change and EIS process.

Questions about the process will be answered, but issues will not be debated.

Comment cards for participants to submit written comments during the meeting, or during the comment period which ends Dec. 31.

The Monday through Friday sessions will run from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday meetings will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants are welcome at any time during those time periods.

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