If wolves can survive in El Malpais, let them in. Those of us who hike in that area would love the chance to see them.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed expanding the area where the predators are allowed to roam, but it could be months before a final decision is reached. Until then, the agency is required to capture those wolves found outside the nearly 7,000-square-mile wolf-recovery area, which straddles the Arizona-New Mexico line.
That was the case with a pair that had traveled north to El Malpais National Monument near Grants. They had been in the area since February before wildlife managers darted and captured them last Friday.
This was the farthest north a pair of Mexican gray wolves had been documented, said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.
“This is excellent habitat. It’s remote country, and filled with deer,” he said. “This would have been an opportunity for the population to expand naturally.”