Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 2910, the Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act, which would require the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to comply with federal law and terminate the new overreaching regulations that established the dangerous “Nonessential Experimental Population” program for the Mexican wolf:
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s attempts to play God with the Mexican wolf population have been nothing short of a disaster. The Service admitted as much on a phone call on January 17, 2015 when it stated that about 50% of the Mexican wolves bred in captivity don’t survive. Talk about an inhumane and ineffective program. Furthermore, the USFWS engineered wolves that are released into the public have not fared much better and have been involved in numerous incidents where wolves have repeatedly stalked children and our citizens.
“This unlawful, new program poses a serious threat to ranchers and citizens in these regions and may cause significant harm to local economies. The new regulations that were implemented without an appropriation or authorization from Congress, in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, defy commonsense as nearly 90% of the wolf’s original habitat falls within the border of Mexico. Our bipartisan bill will protect local communities, delist the Mexican wolf and terminate this flawed experimental program.”
Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM-02) stated the following after joining Rep. Gosar in introducing the bill: “The so-called ‘recovery program’ of the Mexican wolf is a leading example of why Washington should leave species recovery to the states. The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s program ignores public safety concerns, threatens the livelihoods of New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers and fails to set a recovery goal (number of wolves) that will lead to a solution. Wolves are natural predators and are devastating livestock populations and putting children and family pets in danger. Yet the Fish and Wildlife Service has recently decided to expand the population area for the wolves without first securing the necessary funding to ensure predator incidents can be prevented. Needless to say, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s current program is not effective for wolf recovery and does not provide the kind of accountability the people of New Mexico deserve. Congress must intervene by de-listing the Mexican wolf, eliminating this inadequate ‘recovery’ program and transferring species’ protection back to the state of New Mexico.”
On January 16, 2015, USFWS listed the Mexican gray wolf as an endangered subspecies and also issued a new rule that dramatically expanded the area Mexican gray wolves can roam. This bill prevents the Mexican wolf subspecies listing from having any force or effect and terminates the 10(j) rule that expanded the areas the wolves can roam and established an experimental population program.
The Mexican wolf was first listed as an endangered species in 1976. In 1982, Mexico and the United States signed the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. USFWS has acknowledged that, “The recovery plan did not contain objective and measurable recovery criteria for delisting as required by section 4(f)(1) of the Act.”
Yet, the Service has utilized the same recovery plan for the Mexican wolf since the early 1980s, failing to update the plan to include recovery criteria as required by federal law which will allow for the down-listing and delisting of this subspecies of wolves. As a result, this plan is significantly outdated and is not based on the best available science.
On June 8, 2015, the Arizona Attorney General and the Arizona Game and Fish Department filed a lawsuit against the secretary of the Department of Interior and the USFWS “for failing their statutory duty to develop an updated recovery plan to guide Mexican wolf recovery.”
An independent economic analysis found that the Mexican wolf’s presence in one county has caused a direct economic loss of $5 million and resulted in “1,172 calves lost annually to wolf depredation.”
Mexican wolves have caused so many problems in recent years that 12 wolves have had to be lethally removed and more than 150 others have been forced to be relocated.
The Mexican Wolf Transparency & Accountability Act is endorsed by: the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Public Lands Council, Americans for Limited Government, Arizona Cattleman’s Association, Arizona Farm Bureau, Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association, the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, Coconino County Farm Bureau and Cattle Growers Association, Yavapai Cattle Growers Association, Navajo/Apache Cattle Growers Association, Greenlee Cattle Growers Association, La Paz Stockmen’s Association, Mohave Livestock Association, Gila County Cattle Growers Association, Maricopa County Cattle Growers Association, Cochise /Graham Cattle Growers Association, Southern Arizona Cattlemen's Protective Association.
Sponsors and Original Cosponsors of the legislation include: Paul Gosar*, Steve Pearce*, Mark Amodei, Trent Franks, Glen Grothman, Martha McSally, Collin Peterson, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert and Ryan Zinke.