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Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) announcement on recovery planning for the endangered Mexican gray wolf:
“I’m disappointed that the Trump administration has once again allowed politics to override science. Research shows clearly that areas in southern Utah and Colorado are within the historic range of the Mexican wolf and contain suitable habitat to support its recovery. Today’s action to restrict recovery planning to Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico, combined with Trump’s plan to ignore the Endangered Species Act to build his ill-conceived border wall, virtually ensures the extinction of the Mexican wolf.”
Mexican gray wolves are one of the most critically endangered mammals on Earth, with only 97 believed to exist in the wild. Greg Sheehan, the newly appointed Deputy Director of FWS, opposed reintroduction of Mexican wolves into their historic range in Utah during his time as the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources chief. Last year, Grijalva wrote a letter to then-Director of FWS Dan Ashe urging the agency to base its wolf recovery decisions on science rather than politics.