DENVER – Suspicion over federal plans to restore endangered wolves in the Southwest has spread to Colorado and Utah, where ranchers and officials are fiercely resisting any attempt to import the predators.
About 110 Mexican gray wolves roam parts of Arizona and New Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 11 wolves there about 20 years ago after the population nearly vanished.
The agency hopes to complete a recovery plan for the Mexican wolf in 2017, and officials say they've made no decision about releasing them in Colorado or Utah.
But neither state is waiting. Their governors accuse the agency of using flawed science and biased experts. Utah and Colorado wildlife commissioners also spoke out against releasing Mexican wolves.
The Fish and Wildlife Service defended the experts and the process.