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Wolf supporters speak out against Lobo Extinction Bill, 7/3/15

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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!

July 3, 2015, Arizona Daily Sun

Removing wolf protection will be lethal 

To the editor:

On June 25, Reps. Gosar and Pearce co-sponsored the ”Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act” --H.R. 2910. It will ensure the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's Mexican wolf nonessential experimental population 10(j) rule has no force or effect, and for other purposes. This will undermine the wolf recovery project and the Endangered Species Act. There are only 109 Mexican gray wolves in the entire United States, making them highly endangered. I want my representative to work for the greater protection of these wolves and to oppose efforts to push them closer to extinction.

Since 2008 there have been a number of polls where registered Arizona voters overwhelmingly support the wolf recovery project, introducing more wolves into a larger area and allowing the wolves north of I-40

In Arizona wolves account for less than 1 percent of the total cattle and calf losses.

The US Fish and Wildlife service, the Department of Agriculture and nonprofit organizations all have programs to assist ranchers financially or with tools and management techniques to reduce conflicts with wolves

The Arizona Game and Fish does not seem to care about the majority of the voters in our state. The wolf gene pool is in an extremely dangerous situation. There needs to be many more wolves introduced so they are not genetically unable to be saved due to inbreeding in the packs.

MACK DAVIS

Flagstaff
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Gosar bill is wolf in sheep’s clothing 

To the editor:

Thanks for your reporting on the Gosar-Pearce bill — oddly called the Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act. Mexican wolves are transparent enough — they are just trying to live a life in some of the country they’ve inhabited for millennia.

Accountable? At just 109 in the wild, they are few, but growing from the seven individuals that hid out in Mexico, remnants of an all-out extermination campaign in the US. Finally listed as an endangered species in 1976, the US FWS had to hire one of the extermination program's trappers just to find live wolves to begin the recovery.

These wolves still need the protections that this bill would strip away. Why the 180-degree turnaround in U.S. policy? We know now that natural systems need predators, without them systems fall apart. Hunters can’t fill the role. We know how to manage livestock to minimize losses. The risk to people from wolves is significantly less than from vending machines. These are foolish reasons to kill wolves. We all lose when the wolves aren’t there.

So this transparent and accountable bill is not really. It overrides science and leaves a tiny group of wolf families vulnerable to hate killings from anyone who still thinks the only good wolf is a dead wolf. It would also leave the Southwest broken and the majority of Americans who value wolves helpless to do anything but grieve their loss for all time. Not the future I hope for.

SHAWN NEWELL

Flagstaff
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More killed by cows than wolves 

To the editor:

I am dismayed by the recent anti-wolf legislation (HR 2910) introduced into Congress by Representatives Paul Gosar and Steve Pearce --  it is a recipe for wolf extinction. There are only 109 Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico where thousands once roamed, not because of any failure of the wolves, but because a government extermination campaign almost wiped them out. Now Gosar and Pearce have made it their mission to drive our native wolves back to extinction.

The science is clear that the Mexican gray wolf is essential to balanced ecosystems and has shown that in places like Yellowstone they have created a healthy ecosystem with their return. It is vital they remain protected by the Endangered Species Act --  losing ESA protections would lead to extinction of the wild lobo.

In a 2008 poll of registered voters, 77 percent of Arizonans and 69 percent of New Mexicans supported “the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf into these public lands in Arizona and New Mexico.” The fact remains that chances of a dangerous encounter with a wild wolf are remarkably slim compared to the risks associated with everyday dangers. Not a single person has been killed by a Mexican gray wolf – in comparison, each year on average in the U.S., 241 people are killed by tractors, 53 by bees, 39 by lightning, 31 by dog bites and even 22 by cows!

KAY BORDWELL

Flagstaff


July 3, 2015, Las Cruces Sun-News 

Pope's encyclical speaks to preserving species

Pope Francis had a wonderful quote in his recently released encyclical, "It is not enough, however to think of different species merely as potential 'resources' to be exploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves. Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever."

I think U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce should be sure to read this quote before sponsoring such ill-thought-out pieces of legislation as HR 2910.

The Mexican gray wolf is the southernmost, most genetically distinct, and most endangered subspecies of gray wolf. Representative Pearce's bill would push lobos back to the brink of extinction, a place they have fought so hard to recover from in the 17 years since the reintroduction program has started. Starting with a population of seven wild wolves and growing to the current 2014 estimate of 109, the program can hardly be called a failure. It's evident however that the reintroduction program is in dire need of something: less politics.

Release more wolves into the wild, open more areas for wolf recovery, write a new recovery plan; all of these are necessary for wolves to truly recover in the Southwest. Politicians like Pearce playing fast and loose with the survival of an entire subspecies is not.

It is time Pearce stop catering to the pressures of special interests and listen to the countless scientific experts explaining the importance of wolves to a healthy ecosystem.

NICOLE SYLVESTER 
Las Cruces


July 1, 2015, Las Cruces Sun-News

Pearce ignores teachings on protecting God's creatures

Rep. Steve Pearce and I have little in common, but I will wager that we both attended Protestant Sunday schools as children. I would be surprised if the congressman didn't sing this hymn:

All things bright and beautiful,
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All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

He certainly remembers how Noah, following God's instructions, took onto the ark two of every creature on the Earth. There is no mention in the book of Genesis that predators were excluded. It is disappointing, therefore, to read that he has sponsored a bill that would certainly result in throwing the Mexican gray wolf off our modern ark, the federal Endangered Species List.

Pearce has apparently bought into the exaggerated fear of wolves that torments some of his fellow citizens. I've spent almost 400 nights camping in a small tent in lobo home ranges on both sides of the state line and have observed 45 of the animals in the wild since 1998. I can say with some confidence that their fears are wildly overblown.

It's unfortunate that Representative Pearce didn't take time to read these words from the recent encyclical from Pope Francis:

"Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right."

After he studies that passage, he might look at the version of the old children's hymn in the hymnal of the United Church of Canada:

"The rocky mountain splendour, / the lone wolf's haunting call, / the great lakes and the prairies, / the forest in the fall." 

Wolves, too, are "wise and wonderful." Their recovery is a moral issue.

JEAN C. OSSORIO
Las Cruces


July 1, Arizona Daily Star

On wolves’ welfare, we have a people problem

Re: the June 28 article “Federal bill takes aim at wolf program.”

As student of behavior and ecology, I both lived with a wolf for 10 years and study wolves. I take exception to exaggerations, misstatements and pure disingenuousness by legislators and those who attempt to falsely characterize the species.

While the wolf is an apex predator in North America for hundreds of thousands of years, it poses no danger to humans; in fact, less than 1 percent of cattle losses are attributable to wolves, largely due to failures in ranching practices.
Yet the tiny remnant population is falsely vilified.

When Arizona Game and Fish administrated the lobo recovery between 2003 and 2009, the population plummeted, showing the incapacity of the state to do what the feds are doing slowly. They are now working hard on a plan to recover this vital ecosystem regulator with as little conflict as possible.
The tiny population is in good hands unless small hate groups are allowed, through unethical legislation, to control the fate of America’s wildlife.

MIKE MCLAUGHLIN
Eureka, California


June 3, 2015, Arizona Daily Sun

Managing wolves means better data

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing this article in the Arizona Daily Sun and providing opportunities for local residents to learn more about the Mexican gray wolf population and related challenges to increasing the diversity and overall fitness of this endangered species. I am a science educator, wolf advocate, as well as a hunter of several game species in the state of Arizona. I understand and acknowledge the difficulty of developing, implementing, and maintaining a management plan for Mexican gray wolves in our region.

I appreciate the work and collaboration between state and federal agencies, but a new and updated management plan that is based upon sound and accurate science is necessary and very much overdue. Managing predator species in a state that relies heavily on revenue from game tags can create conflict from invested stakeholders, but again this shouldn't be a reason for NOT having accurate scientific data be the basis of the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan. Anyone who spends time in the outdoors should be able to identify, based off of simple observation, that the natural world won't thrive unless it is in a state of balance and equilibrium. Releasing more captive Mexican gray wolves into the wilderness of the southwest is crucial for the recovery of this keystone species.

I strongly encourage local residents, state and federal agencies, and all stakeholders to support a management plan that is based upon scientific data, facts, evidence and conclusions instead of personal interest.

AMY LARSON
Flagstaff


May 31, 2015, Santa Fe New Mexican

Species’ survival matters to world

As a lifelong (66-plus years) hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman, I am outraged (but not surprised) at the views of Rep. Andy Nuñez, R-Hatch, (“Wolf lovers, cattlemen face off,” May 20) in a story about the denial of the Ladder Ranch’s Wolf Recovery and Reintroduction Assistance Program permit. Nuñez was quoted as saying that he hoped wolves “would simply go extinct in the U.S.”

How about extinction of cougars, bears, coyotes, prairie dogs, beavers, rattlesnakes, ants and other species that are economically and personally inconvenient? Do we really want ourselves, our children and our grandchildren to live in a world of only human comforts with nothing but a picture of or a story about extinct species on an iPad?

FRANK E. (DIRK) MURCHISON
Taos


Ready to write your own great letter to the editor
on behalf of endangered Mexican gray wolves?

You can use the articles and talking points posted here, or write in response to the letters above:
  • Arizona Daily Star – submit your letter here.
  • Arizona Daily Sun – submit your letter here.
  • Las Cruces Sun-News – email your letter here.
  • Santa Fe New Mexican - email your letter here.

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