Defenders of Wildlife formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday to reintroduce wolves to the southern Rocky Mountains, an area encompassing western Colorado, southern Wyoming, northern New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Utah. The region would be ideal for wolves because it is sparsely populated and contains large stretches of public land, said Defenders Vice President Bob Ferris. After most wolves in the lower 48 states were killed off in the early 1900s, the federal government reintroduced gray wolves into Yellowstone and central Idaho in 1995, and wolf populations there are now thriving. Meanwhile, an editorial in today’s Portland Press Herald advocates the reintroduction of wolves to Maine.