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Take Action: Support Needed for Reintroduction of Mexican Wolves in Mexico

Please write a letter to the editor today! (posted Sept. 14, 2011)

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There have been numerous articles published this week on plans by the Mexican government to release five Mexican gray wolves in northeastern Sonora this month. This is great news for the struggling wild population, which numbered only 50 at last count, and has been restricted to a portion of Arizona and New Mexico.  True recovery will require several connected populations and the release in Mexico is a great step in that direction.

The articles about the planned Mexican releases provide an important opportunity to show strong public support for Mexican gray wolf recovery. Surveys show that the letters page is one of the most closely read parts of the paper. It's also the page policy-makers look to as a barometer of public opinion. Please take advantage of this brief window of opportunity to show your support and write a letter to the editor of one or more of the papers below today.

Mexico set to free gray wolves in NE Sonora
Arizona Daily Star, September 14, 2011-Letters to the Editor can be submitted here.

Tim Steller
The government of Mexico plans to release five endangered Mexican gray wolves this month in northeastern Sonora, the Arizona Game and Fish Department announced. ...

Any wolves that cross the border into the United States would be considered fully protected endangered species, said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tom Buckley. That means nobody may interfere with the wolves unless they are directly threatening people....

The release could bring new Mexican gray wolves into contact with the wolves that are being managed in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, something that environmentalists are hoping for.

"It's good news," said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. "It's hard to envision the Mexican wolf recovering without a population in Mexico. The heart of their range is the Sierra Madre." ...

Rancher Laura Schneberger, president of the Gila Livestock Growers Association in New Mexico, said the wolves in Mexico threaten the livelihood of American ranchers. ... Anyway, she suspects the wolves won't last long in Mexico.

"I know a bunch of the people who live down there. They won't put up with it," Schneberger said.

To read the full article and view the map published with the original post on the Arizona Daily Star website, click here


Wolf release in Mexico spurs questions in US
Associated Press, September 13, 2011

The AP article below appeared in the following newspapers:

Houston Chronicle, Sept. 13, 2011- Letters to the editor can be submitted here.

Columbus, Indiana Republic, September 13, 2011-Letters to the editor can be submitted here.

Artesia News, September 13, 2011-Letters to the editor can be submitted here.

Alamogordo Daily News, September 13, 2011 - Letters to the editor can be submitted here.

Las Cruces Sun-News, September 14, 2011 - Letters to the editor can be submitted here.

San Antonio Express News, September 14, 2011 - Letters to the editor can be submitted here.

Wolf release in Mexico spurs questions in US
SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A plan by Mexican wildlife officials to reintroduce a rare species of gray wolf to its historic range in northern Mexico has prompted questions from wildlife managers and ranchers in the Southwest, where a similar, decade-long effort has been fraught with controversy. ...

Mexican officials on Tuesday were still working on finding a suitable date for the release, said Laura Aguilar, a spokeswoman for the Mexican agency that oversees natural resources and the environment. ...

Environmentalists said a release in Mexico would help ensure the species' recovery in both countries. ...

The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf, was exterminated in the wild in the Southwest by the 1930s after a campaign by the federal government to control the predator.

A handful of wolves were captured in Mexico in the late 1970s to save the animal from extinction. In 1998, the U.S. government began reintroducing wolves along the Arizona-New Mexico line in a 4 million-acre territory.

Biologists had hoped to have at least 100 wolves by now, but the latest survey shows about half that number. ...

Associated Press Writer Adriana Gomez Licon in Mexico City contributed to this report.

To read the full article, click here. 


Mexican authorities to release Mexican wolves in Sonora
White Mountain Independent, September 14, 2011- Letters to the editor can be submitted here.

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been informed that Mexican authorities plan to release five Mexican wolves this month at an undisclosed ranch location in northeastern Sonora, Mexico.

While the department does not know the specific date or other details at this time, it has received indications that the wolves being released will be fitted with satellite tracking collars. …

To read the full article, click here.


Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
Below are a few suggestions for ensuring your message gets through clearly
:

* Keep it short, no more than two or three paragraphs.
* Start by thanking the paper for their story and tie your letter to the article.
* Write from your own experience, in your own words. Talk about why Mexican wolves are important to you.
* Provide your name, address and phone number; your full address and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.

Some suggested talking points:
* With only around 50 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, new releases are critically important to increase the size and genetic health of the wild population.
* Mexico, along with Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas, is part of the Mexican wolf’s historic range.
* True recovery of these highly endangered wolves requires several populations that have connectivity; this release in Mexico is a step in the right direction.
* Stress that you believe Mexican gray wolves are an important part of the Southwest’s ecosystem.
* The wolves reintroduced in Mexico should receive full endangered species protections and not be restricted in their movements by arbitrary boundaries.
* Mexican wolves also belong on Mexico’s wild lands as well as across the Southwest. We should be celebrating Mexico’s conservation achievement – not acting like nosey neighbors and stirring up a fuss based on incomplete information.
* Mexico has plans to release only 5 wolves, half as many wolves as the U.S. did back in 1998, and many miles south of the border. Looks to me like American livestock interests are crying wolf -- greatly exaggerating the potential for problems rather than celebrating this great news.
* Mexican scientists have been working closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the Mexican wolf recovery effort.
* The AZ Game and Fish Department has been successfully working with ranchers to help them better coexist with wolves – joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Defenders of Wildlife and other groups to implement such things as more range riders, special fencing, fladry, and moving livestock away from den sites. Hopefully, the Arizona Game and Fish Department will share its knowledge with our neighbors, helping the Mexican reintroduction effort succeed. 


Thank you for writing a letter to support Mexican wolf recovery!!