Arizona agency seeks to intervene in wolf lawsuit

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Game and Fish Department has asked a federal court for permission to intervene in a lawsuit over revised rules for managing Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest.

Arizona officials say their motions are aimed at protecting the state's interest in the wolf reintroduction program and recovery of the endangered predator in Arizona and New Mexico.

The motions were filed in response to a lawsuit by environmentalists.

Aside from asking to intervene, the wildlife agency also wants the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Arizona officials say under the revised rules, there's more habitat available and potential for growth of the wolf population than previously.

The agency is also working with the Arizona attorney general's office to challenge the federal government's failure to develop an updated recovery plan for the wolves.