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In the Press: New Mexico abandons efforts to restore Mexican gray wolves

Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2011 (posted 6/12/11)

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New Mexico's Game Commission on Thursday night voted to stop assisting the federal effort to restore Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest, the latest step by new Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration to reverse her state's green course.

Martinez appointed four new members to the six-member commission. Its vote is expected to have a mainly symbolic impact in the beleaguered attempt to reintroduce the wolf, which was once endemic to the state before government trapping pushed it to the brink of extinction. …

The state's Fish and Game Department is still required to conduct surveys of the wolves and protect them as an endangered species. The state has spent only $1.9 million on the program since 1999, with most of that paid by the federal government, and dedicated two employees to it.

Ranching groups, who complained the predators damaged their cattle and threatened children, were cheered. “It shows support for the rural industries that are under siege right now," said Laura Schneberger, president of the Gila Livestock Growers Assn. “But I don’t know how it will affect us immediately.”

Environmental groups were outraged. "New Mexico's governor sided with an intransigent, wolf-hating livestock industry," said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. …

Martinez has made a point of distancing herself from Richardson's environmental record, which she contended hurt business.

Shortly after taking office this winter, Martinez removed all members of an environmental board which formulated rules limiting emissions.  She also overturned regulations that required a 3% cut in industrial greenhouse gas emissions and regulated waste on dairy farms, though the state Supreme Court later overturned those moves, ruling Martinez exceeded her power.
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To read the full story in the Los Angeles Times and post a comment, click here.  

PLEASE WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR TODAY.
In your letter, please thank the paper for this story, talk about the tremendous importance of Mexican wolves to the Southwest, point out that this decision does not reflect the will of the people in New Mexico, who overwhelmingly support the reintroduction program, and call on Governor Martinez and the NM Game Commission to reverse this harmful decision against a beautiful animal that has only around 50 members left in the wild.

You can email your letter to the Los Angeles Times at: letters@latimes.com

Here are editorial contacts for more papers that have published stories on the NM Game Commission’s decision:

Albuquerque Journal http://www.abqjournal.com/letters/new
Las Cruces Sun-News letters@lcsun-news.com
Silver City Sun-News editor@scsun-news.com
Mother Jones http://motherjones.com/about/contact#contact