Wildlife officials drew a line at I-40 for Mexican gray wolves, but has it hurt recovery?

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“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the federal agency responsible for managing endangered species like the Mexican wolf. It designated the interstate as the northern limit of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Area and state agencies have vigorously enforced that border.

Later that year, confidential documents were leaked by state officials on the recovery team, causing an uproar among ranchers and hunters, who advocated for limited recovery. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch authored a newspaper op-ed condemning the proposal for including parts of southern Utah and northern Arizona in potential recovery areas.

The aim behind the leak was to thwart recovery efforts, said Jeff Ruch, former executive director for Public Employee for Environmental Responsibility, a non-partisan environmental watchdog, in a June 2012 letter.”

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