The federal plan calls for reestablishing a viable wolf population of at least 100 animals in Arizona's Apache National Forest and the adjacent Gila National Forest in New Mexico.
Most environmentalists were pleased. "Despite more than a decade of stalling, the Fish and Wildlife Service has made the right recommendation," said Roger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildife.
Some wolf advocates, however, would like recovery efforts expanded to include portions of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, plus several sites along the Texas-Mexico border. Others have criticized the wolves' classification as "nonessential experimental," which allows ranchers to shoot wolves caught killing livestock.
To get a copy of the final plan or to comment before Jan. 27, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwest Regional Office at 505/248-6911. For general information, call the Defenders of Wildlife Southwest Office at 502/578-9334.