Los lobos in Utah? No way, Jose, states say.

Four Western states are attacking the credibility of key scientists helping the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s revise a long out-dated recovery plan for seriously imperiled Mexican gray wolf.

Mexican-Wolf-AGFDUtah Wildlife Board Chairman John Bair says that no evidence will ever convince him that Mexican wolves should be allowed in Utah, even though top wolf biologists believe the Canis lupus subspecies can’t be saved unless its recovery zone extend north of Interstate 40.

“People want to use the wolf as the silver bullet to kill the culture of the West,” Bair, a gifted auctioneer and self-proclaimed “Mormon redneck,” told the board Wednesday. “There is no need to have them here other than those political reasons.”

Utah might be harbor unoccupied wolf habitat, rich with prey animals, but the states claim 90 percent of the the Mexican wolf’s historic range is in Mexico. Officials here say the FWS’s science panel is driven by personal agendas to expand the scope of Mexican wolf recovery.

Critics say the state is driving its own agenda that puts politics and emotion above science and the law, Brian Maffly reports in the Salt Lake Tribune.


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