ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A watchdog group has filed a complaint alleging that scientific findings on what is needed to return the endangered Mexican gray wolf to the American Southwest have been altered due to political meddling.
The wolf restoration effort has been hampered for years by illegal shootings, courtroom battles and complaints from ranchers and environmentalists about the way the program is managed.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed its complaint Thursday with the U.S. Department of Interior.
The group contends confidential documents were leaked to politicians and advocacy groups, that officials in Utah and Colorado pushed for their states to be excluded and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suspended recovery planning in May in response to political pressure.
The complaint has sparked a call from an Arizona congressman for a "full and fair investigation."
The department said Friday the allegations would be reviewed.