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In the News: Comment Period Extended for Gray And Mexican Wolf Proposals

Arizona Range News, October 30, 2013  (posted 11/2/13)

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As a result of delays caused by the lapse in federal appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced rescheduled dates for the remainder of a series of public hearings on two proposed rules—one to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and delist the gray wolf elsewhere, and the other to revise the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf.  Comment period deadlines also are extended until Dec. 17, 2013 to allow these hearings to take place within the public comment periods on the proposed rules.

The hearings will take place on Nov. 19 in Denver, Colo., Nov. 20 in Albuquerque, N.M, Nov. 22 in Sacramento, Calif.  There will also be a public information meeting and hearing in Pinetop, Ariz. on Dec. 3. Each hearing will include a short informational presentation.

The hearing in Albuquerque will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1000 Woodward Place, Sandia room. The public will be allowed access at 5 p.m., the hearing starts at 6 p.m. The Informational meeting and hearing in Pinetop, Ariz., will held at the Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, AZ 85935 (3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73). The Pinetop public information meeting is from 3:30-5 p.m., followed by a public hearing for recording comments from 6-8:30 p.m.

The hearings are part of the Service’s continuing efforts to provide an open, comprehensive public process for the two proposed wolf rules and will provide the public a forum by which to register their views. A formal notice of these hearings and the extension of the comment period will appear in the Federal Register on Oct. 28.

To learn more about the proposed rules, view the draft Federal Register notice with the details of the public hearings, and for links to submit comments to the public record, visit www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery.

This article appeared in the Arizona Range News on October 30, 2013.

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Please Act to Save the Lobo!

Here are two ways you can help these critically endangered Mexican wolves:


1. Submit a letter to the Editor of the Arizona Range News to ensure the future of critically endangered Mexican gray wolves today!

One letter from you can reach thousands of people and will also likely be read by decision-makers.  Tips and talking points are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience. Don’t try to include all the talking points in your letter.

Talking points

Start by thanking the paper for this article.

The USFWS should designate Mexican gray wolves as essential. By labeling all of the wild wolves as “nonessential” the USFWS ignores science and the reality of 15 years of experience with reintroducing wolves.

The 75 wolves in the wild have up to four generations of experience in establishing packs and raising pups.  These fourth generation wild lobos are not expendable and are essential to recovering this unique subspecies of wolf.

The USFWS should move forward with allowing new wolves to be released throughout the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. The Mexican gray wolf is the most endangered mammal in the U.S. with only about 75 in the wild.  Additional wolves must be released into the wild now to increase the genetic health of the species. Numerous wolves are in captive breeding facilities around the country, prepared for, and awaiting, release.

The USFWS needs to quit stalling and complete a comprehensive recovery plan at the same time as or before changing the current rule.  USFWS admits that their 1982 recovery plan is not scientifically sound and does not meet current legal requirements – yet in its proposed rule USFWS continues to emphasize a woefully inadequate population of only 100 wolves in the wild.  The proposed rule puts the cart before the horse and should come with or after – not before – an updated recovery plan

Wolves once lived throughout Arizona and New Mexico and played a critical role in keeping the balance of nature in place. We need to restore this important animal that has been missing for too long.

Wolves need freedom from boundaries. Given room to roam, the wolves will establish themselves in suitable areas with adequate game. The USFWS proposal does not allow wolves to establish new packs and populations in additional areas that are essential to their recovery.  Capturing and moving wolves is always a risky business that can result in death or trauma to the wolf.

Additional populations of Mexican wolves are necessary to their recovery and genetic health, as is the ability for wolves to move between populations.
The likelihood of being hurt by a wolf is almost non-existent. In rural areas, people are far more likely to be harmed by things accepted as part of daily life, such as domestic dogs, livestock, or off-road vehicles. Mexican wolves are small, weighing 50-85 pounds, and tend to avoid people.

While giving Mexican wolves their own Endangered Species Act listing is long overdue, delisting gray wolves throughout the U.S. is counter to protecting Mexican wolves
. The  proposed rule will leave gray wolves unprotected in places that scientists have said are needed for Mexican wolf recovery, making it more difficult to protect Mexican gray wolves even if they are allowed to expand into new areas.

Make sure you:

- Thank the paper for publishing this article.

- Include something about who you are and why you care: E.g. “I am mother, outdoors person, teacher, business owner, scientific, religious, etc.)

- Provide your name, address, phone number and address.  The paper won’t publish these, but they want to know you are who you say you are.

Submit your letter here.


2. Submit comments on the USFWS proposal that threatens the survival and recovery of Mexican wolves.

Public comments are being accepted through December 17, 2013.  Part of the proposal could help get more wolves into the wild, but most of it threatens the Mexican wolf’s continued survival and recovery.

Your comments are needed to help lobos survive
beyond the current crisis.

Talking points and information on how to submit your comments are here.


You can read the Fish and Wildlife Service Rule Proposal here.


Thank you for everything you do to save these beautiful, intelligent animals from extinction!


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