Involving The Public

The Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in New Mexico.

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Your opinions, suggestions and concerns are important. As a result of the five-year review in 2005, agency officials have decided to continue the Mexican wolf reintroduction. Ending the reintroduction of wolves to the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area is not being considered. Rather, agency officials are looking for your help to improve the program, and to discuss potential changes to the reintroduction and management process.

The “scoping” meetings held in 2007 were the first steps in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Meeting attendees learned about the wolves and the process, and asked questions of and talked with the people who actually run the program. This was an information-gathering step, needed to identify all the factors in developing alternatives to the 1998 10(j) Rule. The Service gave the opportunity to provide written comments until Dec. 31, 2007.

Although the scoping process is complete, there are more opportunities for public comment:

  • Information from the scoping meetings will be reviewed by all agencies and governments involved in the program.
  • A socioeconomic analysis will be conducted to identify the consequences of amending the 1998 10(j) Rule.
  • A draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be written.
  • The draft EIS will be presented to the public for further review, including another round of public meetings where you can express your opinions on options offered in the draft EIS.
Fences that mark grazing borders in Arizona.

Fences mark grazing borders in Arizona. The flagging on the fence is fladry, which has been shown to discourage wolves from crossing the fence.
Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

After the first round of public meetings:

  • Your comments are being considered, along with current knowledge of Mexican wolf habitat use and needs, to make any changes to the 1998 10(j) Rule. Written comments from 2007 will be added to this site soon.
  • A draft EIS will be developed, incorporating and analyzing a range of alternative strategies for Mexican wolf reintroduction.
  • A new preferred alternative will be published in the Federal Register to solicit further comments.
  • Afterwards, the draft EIS will be finalized and, depending on the outcome of the process, officials either will continue with the 1998 10(j) Rule, or publish a new 10(j) Rule incorporating changes based on input from all the above steps.