[Federal Register: March 16, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 51)]
[Page 13624-13625]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project 5-Year Review

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project 
(Reintroduction Project) 5-Year Review under the authority of section 
10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. The 5-
Year Review was conducted by the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Adaptive 
Management Oversight Committee (AMOC). The 5-Year Review and public 
comment will inform our decision to continue, continue with 
modification, or terminate the Reintroduction Project. This 5-Year 
Review should not be confused with status reviews (also called 5-year 
reviews) conducted under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act. This 5-year 
program evaluation of the Reintroduction Project is conducted pursuant 
to a 1998 section 10(j) final rule.

DATES: The comment period for this 5-Year Review closes April 17, 2006. 
Comments on the 5-Year Review must be received by the closing date to 
assure consideration.

ADDRESSES: Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator, New Mexico Ecological 
Services Field Office, 2105 Osuna NE., Albuquerque, NM 87113. To review 
documents or submit comments, see ``Public Comments Solicited'' under 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator, 
telephone: (800) 299-0196 x4748; facsimile: (505) 346-2542; or e-mail: 



    Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) reintroduction in Arizona and 
New Mexico is conducted under the authority of section 10(j) of the Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). On January 12, 1998, the Service published a 
final rule (63 FR 1752) that established a nonessential experimental 
population of the gray wolf in Arizona and New Mexico and defined the 
Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) and the Blue Range 
Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA) within the states of Arizona and New Mexico. 
Initial releases of captive-reared Mexican wolves into the BRWRA 
occurred in 1998, and additional initial releases and translocations 
have occurred annually.
    The final rule states that the Service will prepare periodic 
progress reports, annual reports, and full evaluations after three and 
five years that will recommend continuation, modification, or 
termination of the reintroduction effort. In 2004-2005, the AMOC, which 
consists of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Department 
of Game and Fish, USDA-Forest Service, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, 
White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the Service, conducted the 5-Year 
Review of the Reintroduction Project. The AMOC transmitted a final 5-
Year Review to the Service on December 31, 2005. The 5-Year Review 
provides synthesized information on all aspects of the Reintroduction 
Project, including the status of the wolf population, the social and 
economic impacts of wolf reintroduction on surrounding communities, and 
program management. This information is organized in four primary 
components: Administrative, Technical, Socio-economic, and 
    The Service acknowledges and commends the AMOC for its evaluation 
of the Reintroduction Project, and recognizes AMOC's responsiveness to 
the public during the development and completion of the 5-Year Review.

Public Comments Solicited

    Persons wishing to review the 5-year review may request a printed 
copy by contacting the Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator (see 
ADDRESSES) or by downloading it from the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/ifw2es/mexicanwolf/MWNR_FYRD.shtml

    Comments and materials concerning this 5-year review may be mailed 
to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator (see ADDRESSES), or faxed or 
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Respondents may request that we withhold a respondent's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name or 
address, you must state this request prominently at the beginning of 
your comment. We will not, however, consider anonymous comments. To the 
extent consistent with applicable law, we will make all submissions 
from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. Comments 
and materials received will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at our New Mexico Ecological 
Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES).
    To ensure that we have conducted a transparent process that is 
based on the best available scientific and commercial information 
throughout the development of the 5-Year Review and to inform our 
subsequent decision to continue, continue with modification, or 
terminate the Reintroduction Project, we are soliciting written 
comments on the 5-Year Review from the public, concerned governmental 

[[Page 13625]]

Tribes, the scientific community, industry, environmental entities, and 
any other interested parties. The Administrative, Technical, and 
Socioeconomic components of the 5-Year Review have undergone extensive 
public review under the oversight of the AMOC. The Service is 
specifically interested in comments from the public pertaining to the 
Recommendations and whether they follow logically from the background 
information and analyses provided in the Administrative, Technical, and 
Socio-economic components. However, comments on all components of the 
5-Year Review received by the date specified above will be considered 
prior to the Service's decision to continue, continue with 
modifications, or terminate the Reintroduction Project. This 5-Year 
Review should not be confused with status reviews (also called 5-year 
reviews) conducted under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act. This is a 5-
year program evaluation of the Reintroduction Project as required by 
the section 10(j) final rule (63 FR 1752).


    The authority for this action is Section 10(j) of the Endangered 
Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1539(j).

    Dated: February 22, 2006.
Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, Fish and Wildlife Service.
 [FR Doc. E6-3800 Filed 3-15-06; 8:45 am]