The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached a tentative settlement with wolf advocacy groups and Western states that would commit the agency to developing a Mexican gray wolf recovery plan by 2017, but New Mexico declined to join the agreement.
The settlement announced Tuesday would force the Fish and Wildlife department to complete a plan it has failed to finish on three separate occasions since the original recovery plan was adopted in 1982. The plan is supposed to guide management of the endangered Mexican wolf, including population targets for the survivability of the species.
U.S. Judge Jennifer Zipps in the District of Arizona must approve the settlement.
“We aim to support natural, wild wolf population growth and improve population genetics, eventually leading to species recovery and state management of the species,” Fish and Wildlife said in a statement.