In a direct snub to state officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that plans to release up to 10 Mexican gray wolf pups and a mating pair into the wilds of southwestern New Mexico sometime in 2016 , even though state game officials have refused to issue a permit for the action.
The federal agency sent an internal memo Wednesday about the decision to members of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team that said it will release the wolves as part of its recovery program for a species that is at risk of extinction.
“It is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s obligation under the law to recover this species, and reintroductions into the wild from the more genetically diverse captive population are an essential part of that recovery process,” the memo said.