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In the News: Wildlife foundation takes sides in Mexican gray wolf lawsuit

Santa Fe New Mexican - September 26, 2016 - Your Letters are Needed

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(AP) — A wildlife foundation started by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and actor Robert Redford is stepping into the fray between state and federal government over the Mexican gray wolf.

The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife announced Sunday it was siding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's wolf release plan in an ongoing lawsuit, filing an amicus brief with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

The state of New Mexico was granted a preliminary injunction in June, stopping any wolf releases while the two parties battle over permits and the revamping of a recovery plan.
The state took legal action in April after federal officials released a pair of captive-born pups into a wild wolf den in southwestern New Mexico despite having no permit.

This article was published in the Santa Fe New Mexican

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Show your support for Mexican wolves with
a letter to the editor today!

The letters to the editor page is one of the most widely read, influential parts of the newspaper. One letter from you can reach thousands of people and will also likely be read by decision-makers.  Tips and talking points for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience. Don't try to include all of the points below. Your letter will be effective if you keep it brief and focus on a few key points.

Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
  • At last official count, only 97 Mexican gray wolves were found in the wild, making them one of the most endangered wolves in the world. The wild population declined 12% since last year’s count.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a legal and moral obligation to follow the best available science and do what is needed to recover endangered Mexican gray wolves in spite of politically motivated state opposition.
  • For almost 4 decades, captive breeding programs in the U.S. and Mexico have worked to maximize genetic diversity so that captive wolves could be released to increase the wild population’s genetic health.
  • Wolves are a benefit to the West and are essential to restoring the balance of nature.
  • Scientists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.
  • Wolves generate economic benefits - a University of Montana study found that visitors who come to see wolves in Yellowstone contribute roughly $35.5 million annually to the regional economy.
  • Public polling continues to show overwhelming support for wolf recovery in Arizona and New Mexico.
  • In a 2008 poll of registered voters, 77 % of Arizonans and 69% of New Mexicanssupported “the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf into these public lands in Arizona and New Mexico.”
  • In a 2013 poll of registered voters, 87% of both Arizonans and New Mexicans agreed that “wolves are a vital part of America’s wilderness and natural heritage.”  83% of Arizonans and 80% of New Mexicans agreed that “the US Fish and Wildlife Service should make every effort to help wolves recover and prevent extinction.”
Make sure you:
  • Thank the paper for publishing the article
  • Submit your letter as soon as possible. The chance of your letter being published declines after a day or two since the article was published
  • Do not repeat any negative messages from the article, such as “so and so said that wolves kill too many cows, but…”  Remember that those reading your letter will not be looking at the article it responds to, so this is an opportunity to get out positive messages about wolf recovery rather than to argue with the original article
  • Keep your letter brief, under 150 words
  • Include something about who you are and why you care: E.g. “I am a 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