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Press Release: Rep. Pearce's Anti-wolf Bill Draws Crowd of Protesters

Southwest Environmental Center – Rally in Las Cruces, New Mexico, July 15, 2015

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For Immediate Release, July 15, 2015

Media Contact:
Kevin Bixby, Southwest Environmental Center, (575) 522-5552, kevin@wildmesquite.org





Rep. Pearce's Anti-wolf Bill Draws Crowd of Protesters

LAS CRUCES, N.M.— More than 100 people showed up today at U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce’s Las Cruces office to protest the New Mexico Republican’s sponsorship of a bill to strip protections away from Mexican gray wolves — and to show support for the lobo and the Endangered Species Act, which has saved the animals from extinction.

The pro-wolf rally included remarks by New Mexico Rep. Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces); New Mexico State University conservation geneticist Brook Milligan; award-winning landscape photographer Michael Berman, who lives in the Mimbres Valley and hunts elk in the nearby Gila National Forest; Kevin Bixby, executive director of the Southwest Environmental Center; Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, based near the Gila National Forest, and former NM state senator Mary Jane Garcia.

Following the remarks, many of the protestors entered Pearce’s office to deliver a request for a “stay of execution,” saying that Pearce’s bill amounted to a death sentence for Mexican wolves.

Rally attendees hailed from all over the region, including Silver City, Rodeo, Magdalena and Truth or Consquences, as well as Las Cruces. Nancy Savage traveled down from Albuquerque. When asked why she drove 7 hours round trip to attend the event, she said “I am very concerned about the war on wolves and wildlife being waged by Rep. Pearce and Governor Martinez, and I want to do whatever I can to stop it.”

Rep. Pearce’s legislation, H.R. 2910, would nullify two federal rules promulgated on Jan. 16 that respectively list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and prescribe management of the reintroduced population that spans the New Mexico and Arizona state border. Rep. Pearce and his cosponsor Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) have stated that the bill would have the effect of turning over management of the Mexican wolf to state authorities, and that they are considering inserting the language into unrelated spending measures as a rider.

“Fewer than 120 Mexican wolves live in the wild in the United States and Mexico and they suffer from inbreeding and from ongoing persecution,” said Kevin Bixby of the Southwest Environmental Center. “Without an active, federally led conservation program, the Mexican wolf would likely go extinct.”

“The Mexican wolf is one of the most imperiled animals in North America, and people living close to them strongly support their survival,” said Robinson. “Congressman Pearce is doing the bidding of a few malcontents who enjoy the privilege of grazing their cattle on public lands while refusing to coexist with a beautiful wild creature that helps to maintain a healthy natural balance in the ecosystems we all depend on.”


The Southwest Environmental Center works to protect and restore native wildlife and their habitats in the Southwest.


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PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS
and urge them not to cosponsor or vote for this bill or any similar bills or riders.

Contact info for your reps is available at this link just by clicking on your state:

When you call, you can simply say something like:

As a constituent, I urge Representative X to oppose the "Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act" and any other legislation or riders that seek to undermine wolf recovery or the Endangered Species Act. Only about 109 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild in the United States, making them highly endangered. I want my representative X to work for the greater protection of these wolves and to oppose efforts to push them closer to extinction.

Please be polite and thank whoever answers the phone.

Thank you for acting to prevent the extinction of our native Mexican gray wolves!
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