Lobos of the Southwest

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Great Letters to the Editor From Lobo Advocates

Letter writing gives Wolves a Voice - Please write Letters!

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Writing a letter to the editor 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!

We hope that these letters will motivate you to be a voice for wolves.  Your letters make a big difference in the effort to protect and recover Mexican wolves.

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We need to fight to save our Mexican gray wolf
Albuquerque Journal
July 21, 2017


JOURNAL STAFF writer Sue Small’s excellent piece July 1 on the Endangered Species Act being under attack couldn’t be more timely. The ESA was crafted by forward-thinking, bipartisan legislators. Why? Because the public demanded it. In recent years, there have been numerous attempts to weaken and destroy this incredible piece of legislation, which has protected so much of our wildlife.

A good example is the latest sportsman’s act, Senate Bill 1514, titled The Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation (HELP) for Wildlife Act. Despite this lofty title, this bill carries a rider that would remove ESA protection for Wyoming and Great Lakes wolves.

Why should you care? Because our Lobo may very well be next! (This) week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (is holding) public meetings in Arizona and New Mexico outlining its proposed draft of the long-awaited recovery plan for the Mexican wolf. Besides once again not following the best science, the service plans to give the states control over wolf releases. Not only have the Arizona and New Mexico game commissions worked to foil Mexican wolf recovery at every turn, when they were put in charge once previously, the population plummeted to 46 animals.

To learn more, attend a meeting in … Albuquerque June 22 (at the) Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2 p.m. Info rooms will be available prior to (the) meeting. Official comments can be made on the USFWS website. For info, go to mexicanwolves.org.

We the public must demand again, and call on our Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich to continue their strong leadership in protecting our wildlife and wild places here in New Mexico, and fight to protect the Endangered Species Act.

ADRIENNE SELTZ
Sandia Park

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Wolves need bigger, connected territories
Arizona Daily Sun
July 19, 2017


I am writing this letter in response to the situation with the Mexican gray wolves. I am a physician and outdoors person who deeply cares about human and animal wellbeing. I am upset with the proposed recovery plan because it seems the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has chosen to serve politics over science.

The previous recovery planning science team clearly identified what the wolves need, yet those findings are being ignored in the proposed recovery plan. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to hand the management of the Mexican gray wolf recovery program to the states. This was unsuccessful in the past and wolf numbers diminished and genetic diversity decreased. If this continues, it will likely drive the lobo to extinction.

The Mexican gray wolf draft recovery plan includes shortsighted delisting criteria for the critically endangered wolf. The plan allows for delisting the wolf after 22 wolves released from captivity reach reproductive age. But we know that just reaching reproductive age does not ensure their genes will be contributed to the wild population.

Poaching is a one major threat to survivability. Also, Mexican gray wolves need connectivity between wild populations in order to recover. Connectivity would be easy were they allowed to establish in the two additional suitable habitats in the U.S.: The Grand Canyon area and the Southern Rockies.

Instead, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal restricts the wolves to south of Interstate 40. These are just a few issues.

PEARISH SMITH
Flagstaff

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Bring wolves to Hart Prairie
Arizona Daily Sun
July 16, 2017

I am a retired teacher and community volunteer, with a great love for the outdoors. I read, with interest, your article dated June 30, which shared information about the newly released draft plan for wolf recovery in our area. Thank you for publishing it.

The Mexican Gray Wolf is native to this area but was hunted to near extinction by the mid-1900s. Wolves are predators that are needed in forested terrain, where elk and deer roam, to keep the ecosystem healthy. They not only cull the old and the sick in these ungulate populations, but create habitat for birds, fish, and many other animals by keeping deer and elk moving, so that they do not destroy vegetation and muddy streams.

The Grand Canyon region is prime habitat for these wolves, yet the proposed plan calls for restricting wolf territory to south of I-40 in Arizona and New Mexico. The report acknowledges that a minimum population of at least 320 wolves would have to survive over a period of several years in order to be recovered. This number is almost three times the number of wolves currently living in the wild. In order to be sustainable, wolves need more territory, not less, and more captive wolves need to be released into the wild to improve genetic diversity and increase their numbers.

I live in Hart Prairie and would be thrilled to hear the howl of wolves in my backyard. They will bring health to our forests and restore the balance.

GRETCHEN MARKIEWICZ
Flagstaff

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Protecting wolves
Santa Fe New Mexican
July 10, 2017


Until we recognize that the recovery of any endangered species, especially the nearly extinct Mexican gray wolf, depends on them having sufficient habitat in which to thrive and protection from interference by humans, we will continue to see inadequate game plans such as the one just released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Feds call for comment on wolf plan,” Feb. 17). To limit the wolves’ range to below Interstate 40 (because this was their historic territory) doesn’t factor in the disturbances by man to wild areas. The same is true for setting artificial numbers to deem the species recovered. Apex predators most likely will need protected status as long as humans remain in charge of their recovery.

Evalyn Bemis
Santa Fe
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NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
SHOW THAT YOU STAND WITH WOLVES!

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.

Here are some recent Lobo articles that needletters to the Editor.  Talking points and submission information is provided.

Both sides voice opposition to USFWS draft proposal
El Defensor Chieftain - July 27, 2017

Call to the wild - Mexican gray wolf recovery program faces challenges
El Defensor Chieftain - July 27, 2017

Wolf plan needs more public outreach, education
Arizona Daily Sun - July 26, 2017

Mexican wolf advocates make final push against recovery plan
Santa Fe New Mexican - July 22, 2017

Commenters object to updated wolf recovery plan
Albuquerque Journal - July 22, 2017


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WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO EVEN MORE FOR LOBOS?
Submit comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under a court order to complete the plan for the Mexican gray wolf by the end of November. Despite the recommendations of independent scientists, they developed a draft recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf that unnaturally limits the population size and range of this subspecies in the Southwest. The plan hands over power to the states who have blocked recovery at every step of the way. These same states will be allowed to determine the timing and location of releases, in effect controlling the program. The plan excludes millions of acres of suitable habitat near the Grand Canyon and in the Southern Rockies in a purely political move. It would impose an arbitrary cap on population size and restrict genetic interchange within the two wild populations, thereby dooming meaningful recovery. The result is a plan that will likely drive the Mexican gray wolf to extinction.


Deadline for comments is August 29
We Provide Talking Points HERE.

Electronically: Go to www.regulations.gov and enter FWS–R2–ES–2017–0036

Hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:
Public Comments Processing
Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2017-0036
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803


Draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision

Additional Documentation Referenced in Draft Plan:




5 peer reviews received on the above documents (Peer reviews are anonymous at this time but FWS will provide peer reviewers names and affiliations when the recovery plan and biological report have been finalized.)