Arizona counties want more funds for Mexican wolf recovery

Posted: Updated:
A Luna pack wolf in the winter of 2011 (Source: Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team) A Luna pack wolf in the winter of 2011 (Source: Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team)
BISBEE, AZ (AP) -

The Cochise County Board of Supervisors is requesting more federal funding for Mexican wolf recovery efforts.

They’re sending a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, asking him to consider a fairer compensation plan for the eastern Arizona communities hosting the recovery program and the state agencies managing it.

[READ MORE: Report: 2 Mexican wolves found dead in Arizona]

Federal authorities began efforts to conserve Mexican wolves in the southwestern United States in 1977 and released the first wolves into the wild in 1998.

The executive director of the Eastern Arizona Counties Organization — Pascal Berlioux — says the annual $200,000 funding for compensation to ranchers in both Arizona and New Mexico is around 10 percent of actual costs.

[RELATED: US senator proposes delisting Mexican gray wolf]

It’s estimated the program has cost $38 million as of last year with the current Mexican wolf population thought to be 114.

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