Final Environmental Impact Statement and Final Record of Decision: January, 2015
On January 06, 2015 the Regional Director for the Southwest Region signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Environmental
Impact Statement (Final EIS) for the Proposed Revision to the Regulations for the Nonessential Experimental Population of the
Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). The final rule for Revision to the Regulations for the Nonessential Experimental
Population of the Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) implements the decision recorded in the Final ROD.
For the Final EIS, Final ROD and final experimental population rule please visit the following links:
We initiated the NEPA planning process for an expanded reintroduction effort for the Mexican wolf on August 07, 2007 with a Notice
of Intent (72 FR 44065) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed amendment of our 1998 Final 10(j) Rule
(1998 Final Rule). We received over 13,000 comments and held twelve public hearings in Arizona and New Mexico during the scoping period.
Following the completion of our analysis and review of the public comments we determined that it was appropriate to move forward
with a proposed modification to the management guidance which limits the area available for the direct initial release of captive wolves.
A Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment (PDEA) was prepared for internal Service review. During this same period we also developed
a PDEA for the implementation of a management plan for wolves in areas in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas that are outside of the Mexican
Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA). In response to early feedback we decided to incorporate the proposed actions of both of these
PDEAs into the proposed action of an EIS to be initiated in 2013.
On June 13, 2013 we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise our existing Mexican wolf nonessential experimental
population designation in Arizona and New Mexico (78 FR 35719). A new Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS was published in the
Federal Register on August 5, 2013 (78 FR 47268). The NOI announced the availability of a preliminary draft of Chapters One and Two
of the EIS and solicited comments from the public, government agencies and tribes concerning the scope of the EIS, pertinent issues
to address, and alternatives that should be analyzed. Two public hearings were held in Arizona and New Mexico during the scoping
period. Substantive comments received during scoping were considered in the preparation of the draft EIS.
On July 25, 2014, we published a Notice of Availability (NOA) for a revised proposed rule (79 FR 43358) in the Federal Register and
announced the availability of a draft EIS. Two public hearings were held in Arizona and New Mexico during the 60-day public review period.
Each public hearing was preceded by a public information session. We received over 36,000 comments on the draft EIS and revised proposed
rule. We carefully reviewed all substantive comments in the preparation of the Final EIS and a draft Record of Decision (ROD).
The availability of the Final EIS and draft ROD was announced by the Service in the Federal Register on November 25, 2014 (79 FR 701545).
The documents were made available for public review and comment for a period of 30 days which began with the publication of the Environmental
Protection Agency's Federal Register Notice of Availability of the Final EIS on November 28, 2014 (79 FR 70865). Over 1,300 comments were
received during the 30-day review period for the Final EIS and draft ROD. Substantive comments were considered in our decision-making
process and a response to them was provided in the Final ROD.
For completed NEPA planning and supporting documents pertaining to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program (2007-2015) please click on the following links: