The WNC Nature Center might get only a portion of $870,000 set aside for efforts to save endangered red wolves.
Details on how the money secured by U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, will be spent have been unclear, officials said. Shuler cited constituent respect for the outdoors and conservation as reasons for securing the federal funding for the red wolf captive breeding program.
The Nature Center operates one of about 40 captive breeding facilities in the country participating in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's red wolf recovery program.
Eighteen rare red wolf pups have been born at the Nature Center since the Asheville facility joined the effort. Red wolves have been at the brink of extinction, numbering only about 300 worldwide.
New money for the effort was included in a $410 billion omnibus spending measure signed by President Barack Obama last week.
“When you lose a species, you never get it back,” Shuler said.
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