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spectr17
05-24-2003, 07:08 PM
Wolf Reintroduction Project Is Evolving

AZGFD

5/19/03

The Arizona and New Mexico game and fish commissions met in Safford May 16 to discuss the wolf reintroduction project. Here are the highlights of the briefing given to the commissions, and the direction given to staff members of the Arizona Game and Fish Department:

* The original primary cooperators in the project -- the Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - have welcomed three new partners: the White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service and USDA Wildlife Services.

* The Arizona Game and Fish Commission directed the department to continue working on all six areas of concern identified last September and to ensure that the department and its cooperators build on the progress made thus far.

The commission also directed the department to continue working within the reintroduction project's adaptive management process to:

1. Ensure appropriate state participation in Mexican wolf recovery and reintroduction efforts and recognition of state authorities and responsibilities;

2. Ensure opportunities for and participation by the full spectrum of stakeholders;

3. Ensure that the project's interagency field team protocols and staff capacity provide for immediate response capability to urgent operational issues such as depredation incidents.

4. Ensure that outreach efforts are sufficient to provide timely and accurate information to the public.

5. Ensure that all actions in the project are in strict compliance with any applicable, approved special rules, policies, protocols, management plans and interagency agreements.

6. Ensure that the project's five-year review is effective and efficient and is an improvement over the three-year review. Also, to ensure the five-year review is completed by June 30, 2004.

Anyone who wishes to stay apprised of developments in the Mexican wolf reintroduction project in Arizona and New Mexico can subscribe to an automated update service. To subscribe, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Web site at azgfd.com, go to the "e-services" link, then sign up to receive an e-mail newsletter.