KUNM

UPDATE: Wolf Ranch Permit Denied

Jan 14, 2016

UPDATE 1/14  11:31 am:

New Mexico game commissioners in a unanimous vote today [Thursday] denied a ranch’s appeal for a permit to house and breed Mexican Gray wolves for release in the wild. Their permit was originally cancelled last spring.

Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity told the Albuquerque Journal that commissioners invited Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to apply for the permit again.

The state Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have butted heads over the future of wolf reintroduction in New Mexico.

For the past seventeen years, the Ladder Ranch raised wolves for a federal endangered species recovery program. 

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State game commissioners may reinstate a permit for a ranch that prepares endangered wolves to be released in the wild.

Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch has housed and prepared Mexican Grey wolves for release by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly two decades. But state game commissioners canceled the ranch’s permit last year saying they had concerns about how wolves were raised there. Commissioners also want to see an updated federal recovery plan for the species. 

Mike Phillips works with Ted Turner on endangered species projects.  “We’ve been frustrated longer than any of them over a lack of updated recovery plan for the Mexican wolf," said Mike Phillips who works with Ted Turner on endangered species. "I’ve been working on that issue for twenty years.”

The Ladder Ranch is proposing to release only wolf pups two months old or younger to the federal officials in order to address the commissioners’ concerns about wolves killing livestock.

Wolf advocates plan to rally Thursday morning in support of the ranch’s appeal. 

The State Game Commission meeting begins at 9 am at the Santa Fe Community College Boardroom, 6401 Richards Ave., Santa Fe. The rally begins beforehand outside the boardroom at 8 am.