Posted: Dec 21, 2010 11:15 AM by Beth Saboe (KPAX Media Center)
Updated: Dec 22, 2010 8:22 AM
An Arizona environmental group says it plans to sue the federal government for failing to develop a recovery plan for gray wolves in the lower 48 states.
The Center for Biological Diversity says a protection plan is required by the Endangered Species Act and should have been developed 30 years ago or more.
The group wants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a national recovery plan to help existing wolves populations and return wolves to some of their historic range around the country.
"Wolves are an integral part of this country's natural history and need a national recovery plan now," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center.
According to the notice filed with the Interior Department, the government has 60 days to act or the Center will sue.
"It is time for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to chart a new course for wolf recovery," said Greenwald. "This plan is badly needed to establish new goals and management for existing wolf populations and as a blueprint for establishing wolves in additional areas."
According to a press release from the Center, a national recovery plan could specify a legally defensible path for truly recovering wolves and provide certainty for states that have wolf populations.