A wilderness preservation group is calling on New York state officials to study the reintroduction of wolves and cougars to the Adirondacks.
The group Protect the Adirondacks says the state’s updated Wildlife Action Plan contains no mention of possible reintroduction of the big predators. The federally mandated action plan, updated every 10 years, guides state management of species and habitats and ensures that New York will receive federal funding for research.
Public comments are being accepted on New York’s plan until Friday. The plan drafted by the Department of Environmental Conservation includes assessments for 597 species that currently have populations in New York state. There hasn’t been a resident population of wolves or cougars in New York for 150 years.
“New York needs to begin planning for the return of large carnivores. They’re a historic part of the landscape and their return would be a great success story about ecological restoration,” said Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks. “The 2015 Wildlife Action Plan is the best place to start the long journey for the return of these top carnivores.”