December 13 2004, 8:30 AM
The Four Corners region used to be an area where populations of wolves native to the Northern Rockies would mingle with Southern Rockies wolves. These days, it is a pretty wolf-free area -- wolves are considered an endangered species everywhere south of I-70 in the Colorado mountains. But that could change as the federal government considers releasing Mexican gray wolves, an endangered species, into the region. Wolf reintroduction has proven very unpopular in southern New Mexico. Given the Bush administration's stated desire to water down the Endangered Species Act, one has to wonder if its aggressive wolf reintroduction policy isn't actually calculated to fire up sentiment against the Act. But while ranchers almost unanimously oppose wolf reintroduction, there could be support for the wolves from people who would like to see the wilder parts of Colorado restored to something more closely resembling the ecosystem before highways and power lines became part of the landscape.