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Complaint to Invalidate Catron County Ordinance Regarding Wolf Kills

July 25, 2007
WildEarth Guardians
In This Release
Wildlife   Mexican gray wolf
#DefendCarnivores, #EndTheWarOnWildlife
Once eradicated from the United States on behalf of livestock interests, today fewer than 50 Mexican gray wolves exist in the wild. Federal authorities have reintroduced Mexican wolves to the Gila and Apache National Forests in an attempt to further the conservation of this species. But the Mexican wolf recovery program has been roadblocked by conflicts with public lands ranchers. Approximately 20 Mexican gray wolves have been shot or otherwise removed from the wild since 2005 for conflicts with cattle.

Catron County, in southwestern New Mexico, has been vocally opposed to Mexican gray wolf reintroduction and recovery since the program’s inception. Now, claiming that county residents are being “psychologically traumatized” by the presence of wolves, the Catron County Commission consecrated its wolf intolerance by passing what conservation groups call an unlawful local law (Ordinance No. 001-2007). Because the ordinance authorizes county officials to stalk, trap, remove, or otherwise injure Mexican wolves in violation of the Endangered Species Act, the groups say the ordinance is unconstitutional and invalid.

Read the Complaint (PDF)