Friday, March 9th 2007, 6:01 am
By: News On 6
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it plans to cut 38 jobs over the next three years from refuges in the southwest, including Oklahoma.
The Wilderness Society immediately criticized the cuts. The group says refuge staffing has been dropping for the past two years, and that the newest cuts will mean a decrease of 20% more.
The agency's Southwest Region is made up of 45 refuges in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas with 2-.86 million acres of habitat. The refuges attract nearly 5 million visitors a year.
Oklahoma refuges are Deep Fork, Little River, Optima, Ozark Plateau, Salt Plains, Sequoyah, Tishomingo, Washita and Wichita Mountains.
Texas will lose 15 positions, the most in the region. Oklahoma is second with 13 positions lost.