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Tell the USFWS that a recovery plan is needed for Mexican wolves now!

Defenders of Wildlife Alert - Letters Needed! 9/13/14

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It’s true – 38 years after they were listed, Mexican gray wolves are still waiting on a recovery plan!  The papers are full of news about how Defenders of Wildlife and our partners, including two centers that breed lobos for release, put the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on notice that they intend to sue for failing to produce and implement a valid recovery plan.

A recovery plan is crucial to the recovery of Mexican wolves.

We need your help to keep Mexican wolf recovery in the news!


Letters to the editor are powerful tools read by the public and policy makers.   Let’s rally behind the message that a recovery plan is the road to survival!  Highlight the importance of wolves to ecosystems, how wolves are imperiled due to lack of genetic diversity, and that innovative “coexistence” programs are underway with ranchers to prevent wolf/cow conflict.  (See talking points below for more ideas).

Get started right away.  Make a difference for wolves; be a voice for those who can’t speak. Everything you need follows—tips for writing, where to send, etc.

Be sure to use your own words and write from your heart!   Tell your own story and don’t delay. Your chance of getting published increase if you respond within a day of this alert.  If you want Defenders staff to review your letter before you send, email ksinclair@defenders.org. Blind CC Defenders a copy of whatever you send the paper.  This helps them track what the papers are publishing.

Write one letter—send it to all NEWSPAPERS!

Write one letter, and send a slightly revised edition to each paper.  (Just change the opening line… E.g. “Thanks to the Daily Star for your article”, or “Thanks to the Arizona Republic for your article…”)  

Articles
Arizona Daily Star: Groups to sue over lack of wolf recovery plan
Arizona Republic:
Just do your job, feds, for the wolves
Groups will sue for Mexican gray wolf recovery plan
Arizona Daily Sun: Groups to sue over lack of wolf recovery plan
Las Cruces Sun-News: Groups to sue over lack of wolf recovery plan

Where to Send your LTE's
The Arizona Daily Star: Respond: Write a Letter to the Editor
The Arizona Republic: Send a Letter to the Editor
The Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff):  AZ Daily Sun online submission
The Las Cruces Sun-News: Send to letters@lcsun-news.com

Sample Talking Points
Include some of these points but USE YOUR OWN WORDS.  For tips on crafting a good letter, SEE TIPS BELOW

Talking Points: Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Litigation:

About the lobo…
•    Recent polls confirm that the majority of voters in both Arizona and New Mexico strongly support wolf recovery.
•    Lobos are in dire straits! Once an icon of the American southwest, there are only 83 left in the wild in the United States.
•    Wolves are important predators that contribute to the environmental health of the areas they inhabit. Wolves help keep nature in balance for all of us.  
•    Coexistence is key. There are steps we can take and resources to turn to that can help us share the landscape with wolves.
**The “Coexistence Council” is a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Program that helps ranchers specifically by reimbursing losses and offering incentives to live with wolves, not against them.

About the litigation…
•    The lobos were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1976, almost 40 years ago. And even though the ESA legally requires the Service to develop recovery plans for such critically threatened wildlife, the Service still hasn’t done so for Mexican gray wolves. Isn’t it about time?
•    Not only is a recovery plan legally required, but it would bring science to the forefront and get the wolves off the Endangered Species List faster – which is the point of the reintroduction program.
•    A recovery plan provides a necessary, science-based road map for wildlife managers to follow. Only with a plan can they guide Mexican gray wolves from being critically endangered to being recovered enough to come off the Endangered Species List. 
•    The current recovery team has not met since 2011. In the meantime, lobos have continued to struggle to survive in the wild. How can a science-based plan be produced or implemented when the team isn’t meeting?  

Letter Writing Tips
If you want Defenders of Wildlife to review your letter before you submit, send them a copy at ksinclair@defenders.org.
•    Keep it short and sweet—150 words or less. Choose one or two points and make those well.  Don’t try to cover everything.
•    Provide your name, address and phone number; this info will not be published, but they are required for the paper to believe you exist!
•    Make one or two clear points vs. attempting to cover several--it’s hard to make several points with this short word length; letters get confusing and watered down.


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