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Great Letters to the Editor!

Letter writers give wolves a voice in the ABQ Journal, May 19, 2015

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Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper is an excellent way to raise awareness about critically endangered Mexican gray wolves and the steps needed to help them thrive. Surveys of newspaper readers show that the letters page is among the most closely read parts of the paper. It's also the page policy-makers look to as a barometer of public opinion. We applaud these fine letter writers, who are making a difference for endangered lobos!

Get politics out of wolf recovery program
THANK YOU FOR disclosing the N.M. State Game Commission’s incomprehensible denial of the Ladder Ranch permit in your May 9 article (“Ted Turner ranch denied wolf permit”).

As the article stated, the Ladder Ranch has been a good partner in the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction for 17 years. No good reason has been given for the denial of the permit, and it seems clear that politics, rather than solid wildlife management principles, was the basis for this decision.

Although they are currently highly endangered, once recovered Mexican gray wolves will help restore balance to our wildlands, as has happened in other places like Yellowstone, where wolves have returned in significant numbers.
Since this is good for all wildlife and all of us who value New Mexico’s beautiful wild places, it is unacceptable that the commission responsible for New Mexico’s wildlife would take this action to make the job of recovering these wolves more difficult.

Mexican wolves need three things – more wolves released, the establishment of additional populations and a science-based recovery plan. What they don’t need is a commission throwing up obstacles and ignoring the majority of New Mexicans who support the wolf reintroduction.

JAN RAVENWOLF
Sandia Park

NM game panel kowtows to ranchers

ISN’T IT ABOUT time that the New Mexico State Game Commission became a science-driven organization instead of a “good old boys” group dominated by ranching interests? The commission listens to a single-interest, ignoring the general public that understand the importance of wolves to a healthy balance of nature, to biodiversity.

Welfare ranching interests already have nearly free grazing on public lands – totally free to a Nevada rancher who has bucked the federal government with impunity for years, a federal predator-control program to protect their livestock, lamb and wool subsidies – what more do they expect from the federal government? But this is a state issue.

The refusal of the N.M. State Game Commission to continue granting a permit to Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to enhance the Mexican gray wolf recovery program is a slap in the face of the citizens of the state, most of whom support the return of endangered species.

New Mexico is a backward state in many ways, frequently at the bottom of the list. The commission helps keep the state at the lowest level of animal welfare, of concern for non-game birds and animals, of the natural world in general (and) of ignoring scientific facts relative to wildlife.

VERNE HUSER
Albuquerque

State is sabotaging wolf recovery program

THANK YOU for the May 9 Albuquerque Journal article “Ted Turner ranch denied wolf permit” covering the New Mexico State Game Commission’s questionable decision to deny – for the first time in 17 years – a permit that has allowed Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to support the Mexican gray wolf recovery.

In 2011, the New Mexico Game Commission decided to discontinue its support of the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf. Now, with its decision to deny the permit for Ladder Ranch, the commission is actively trying to sabotage the Mexican gray wolf program. As the Albuquerque Journal article points out, the commission was not even available to provide any comments (about) why they chose to deny the permit.

I spend much time camping on public lands in the wolf country and strongly support the Mexican wolf recovery. Mexican wolves are native species and their recovery is crucial for the well-being of our Southwestern biotic community.

New Mexico residents should be concerned that the decision-making for “conserving New Mexico’s wildlife for future generations” – as the N.M. Department of Game and Fish states its goal – rests in the hands of few politically selected commissioners informed by anti-wolf interests.
New Mexico’s wildlife belongs to the people, not to politics.

KAISA LAPPALAINEN
Albuquerque

Commission a pawn of anti-wolf minority

THE NEW MEXICO State Game Commission’s not-so-secret secret is out: they have clearly become a pawn of small anti-wolf interests and will stop at nothing to thwart the Mexican wolf program. Thanks for Laura Villagran’s article (“Ted Turner ranch denied wolf permit,” May 9) informing us that the Game Commission has denied Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch’s request for the newly required permit to hold Mexican wolves.

For 17 years, the Ladder Ranch has partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to help house Mexican wolves. No reason was given for the denial and Game and Fish would not answer Villagran’s calls. Surprise.

And it’s not just the wolves in peril. (Recently), Game and Fish held a meeting in Albuquerque to discuss new rules for cougar trapping, a bill that was tabled at this past legislative session. As hunting quotas are not even reached during the season, why would anyone want or need the addition of this archaic and inhumane method to kill more cats?

Also discussed at this meeting was an idea to initiate a spring bear hunt!
Science has proven that large predators are necessary and all this anti-predator action is in direct opposition to what the majority of New Mexicans want. These animals are part of our heritage and culture. They help provide for a healthy ecosystem and opportunities for tourist dollars. They were here before us.

The N.M. State Game Commission needs to do its job by properly managing and maintaining wildlife for all New Mexicans, thus better reflecting the desires of the majority and not just special interests.

ADRIENNE SELTZ
Sandia Park

Wilderness, lobos can be boons for NM
THE MEXICAN WOLF, or lobo, is an iconic part of New Mexico’s culture. The Greater Gila Bioregion, where over 100 wild wolves now roam, is an iconic conservation landscape. Extraordinary biodiversity combined with more than 5,000 square miles of wilderness and wilderness-quality lands make the Greater Gila Bioregion the Yellowstone of the Southwest. It has the potential to be a similar magnet for international tourism and a new economic engine.

On a continent increasingly fragmented by development, the Gila is one of the last big, wild places we still have the opportunity to protect. Returning an original inhabitant – the wolf – to the Greater Gila Bioregion is a large part of realizing that opportunity and the economic benefits that it would bring. Unfortunately, (the May 9) decision by the state Game Commission ignores an enormous opportunity for this part of our state.

The Mexican Wolf Recovery program has a long and successful history of collaboration with private landowners, including Ted Turner, owner of the Ladder Ranch. The decision of the commission, first, to implement an arbitrary permit system and, second, to deny issuance of a permit to a key conservation partner is upsetting.

Denial of Turner’s permit request not only jeopardizes the survival of an iconic animal, but undermines years of coexistence efforts by agencies, nonprofits, and landowners. Ending a long-standing and successful conservation partnership between a private citizen and federal agency is contrary to the Department of Game and Fish’s mission to “conserve New Mexico’s wildlife for future generations.”

For too many years, the only howl heard in the state was at University of New Mexico basketball games. Conserving our state’s wildlife for future generations isn’t about playing politics. It’s about supporting conservation programs across the state.

MADELEINE CAREY
Gila campaign fellow at WildEarth Guardians
Santa Fe

Ted Turner’s ranch is good for wolves

AS AN OUTDOOR enthusiast and longtime wolf advocate, I was disheartened to hear of the New Mexico Game Commission’s decision to deny the permit that allowed Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch in the Gila Mountains to aid the federal Mexican gray wolf recovery program.

The imperiled population of lobos cling to an existence in a region where many cattle ranchers view them as a threat. Ted Turner’s ranch has been a safe haven for many endangered and threatened species and specifically has provided opportunities for Mexican wolf recovery since the reintroduction program started in 1998.

If for 17 years the Ladder Ranch has been an excellent partner in the effort to pull the Mexican wolves back from the brink of extinction, why would the New Mexico Game Commission suddenly deny their permit? There is only one motive, which is the desire see the failure of the recovery program.

The Game Commission serves the interests of the anti-wolf minority, all the while ignoring sound science, which demonstrates that wolves are a benefit to the West and are essential to restoring the balance of nature.

The actions of the Game Commission to interfere with the Mexican gray wolf’s survival and recovery rob us all of the opportunity to see wolves returned to their critical natural role.

CHRISTINA HARTSOCK
Albuquerque

These excellent letters to the editor were published in the Albuquerque Journal on May 22, 2015.
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Ready to write a letter of your own?
You can find articles and letter to the editor talking points and submission info at the links below:

Want to do more to help save Mexican wolves?

Tell Governor Martinez to Stop Taking Aim at Endangered Wolves

Contact the Governor’s office and request respectfully that she put an end to her Commission’s anti-carnivore state wildlife policies, grant the Mexican wolf permit to Ladder Ranch, and rescind the rule giving the Commission this authority.

Calls are most effective: 505-476-2200
Email: http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Contact_the_Governor.aspx

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