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Great Pro-Wolf Letters to the Editor!

Lobo supporters speak out! (posted January 8, 2012)

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Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper 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.  Below are excellent letters published in the past few months.

GRAY WOLVES NEED FULL PROTECTION
Albuquerque Journal November 1, 2011

I HAVE LIVED in New Mexico for 43 years. I have learned that an environment without predators is unhealthy and sick. Wolves and other predators are necessary for a healthy environment that includes agriculture and ranching. Save the gray wolves.

Legislation is pending in both federal and state governments that I believe will cause irreparable harm to the environment and gray wolf populations. Speak out, let them know that the gray wolf should receive full endangered species protection and not be restricted in their movements by arbitrary boundaries.

Mexico’s recent release of five gray wolves south of the border is a giant step forward in restoring a viable population of gray wolves in the U.S. At this time there is a struggling population of about 50 gray wolves in the southwest. We should be celebrating Mexico’s conservation achievement, not acting like nosey neighbors and stirring up a fuss based on incomplete information.

MICHAEL C. CALLAWAY
Moriarity, NM


WOLF RELEASE AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP

Albuquerque Journal November 1, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS TO the Mexican group Naturalia. The release of five wolves in the Sierra San Luis is an important first step in creating a more balanced wildlife population. Congratulations, also, to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for working closely with their Mexican counterparts. They have been successfully working with local ranchers to help them better co-exist with wolves.

Here in the United States several Northwestern states have begun programs that result in ranchers living side by side with wolves on their property.

Hopefully, here in New Mexico, our own ranchers will move away from their long held attitudes of extermination as the answer and begin to see the real benefits from a balanced ecosystem. A look at the wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone Park is revealing in that wildlife populations have increased, stream beds are no longer eaten to the ground by elk and bird populations have increased as the plants and trees have returned.

This is a small step but such an important one.

CAROL PRICE
Santa Fe, NM


MEXICAN WOLVES NEED TO BE RELEASED

East Valley Tribune December 24, 2011

I find the story of the Mexican wolf to be so disheartening. It’s so sad to think that state politics in New Mexico is what’s causing the demise of this species.

In the land of America, where we unite under the idea of getting a second chance, how are we granting this opportunity to these wolves?  New Mexico and Arizona started a recovery plan only to abandon it mid-way — a despicable way to run any kind of plan. 

We owe these wolves the chance of survival, in the wild, where they belong. I urge New Mexico and Arizona to release their Mexican wolves immediately into a wilderness area where they can mate and have future generations that hopefully never get a taste of their parents’ past.

LAURA SNEDDON
Los Gatos, Calif.


UPHOLD WILDLIFE PROTECTIONS
Sacramento Bee December 27, 2011
Thank you for the wonderful article about what could be the first wolf seen in California in 90 years. While The Bee reported about a lone wolf, your readers need to know that Congress is proposing provisions that will seriously weaken the law that protects all endangered species: the Endangered Species Act.

Specifically, Congress is considering provisions that will: Prevent (unscientifically) protections for imperiled species now awaiting endangered status; stop the monitoring and regulation of pesticides in endangered species habitats; cut critical funding for the Mexican gray wolf program; and radically (and unfairly) cut funding for the federal agencies that steward endangered species.

I urge the California congressional delegation, especially Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, to oppose these cuts and provisions and to champion a clean budget bill bereft of any harm to wildlife and their habitats.

JANET HOBEN
Burbank, CA


WOLVES DESERVE SCIENCE OVER POLITICS
AZ Republic December 13, 2011

Thank you for the editorial on Wednesday, "Eradicate hurdles to wolf reintroduction."

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has worked tirelessly to pave the way for several wolf releases in the wild. This is now stopped due to the Game and Fish Commission and shows a lack of respect for the department's hard work.

The department has gotten local ranchers on board with releases, and the new wolves are even part of a critical research effort to get them to avoid livestock.  The commission is wasting a critical opportunity in properly restoring this Southwest icon.

The wolves deserve science over politics. The wolves already face too many obstacles for survival.

JEFF SQUIRES
Mesa, Arizona



PEARCE ABOUT SAVING BIG OIL

Albuquerque Journal January 3, 2012

I AM HEARTENED at the exposure the Journal is giving to New Mexico’s top predators. These rare and elusive animals historically have ranged into New Mexico and Arizona.

The article, “Excitement Follows 2 Jaguar Sightings in N.M.,” follows the piece, “Jaguar Sighting First in Two Years.” These articles build on their coverage of another top predator, the Mexican gray wolf.

These species are extremely rare and require the full protection and support of the Endangered Species Act. Without this protection, their chance for survival is nil. Americans have been recently polled and show a strong support of the ESA and what it can do for at-risk species. …

Unfortunately, we have a politician who is scapegoating the ESA and the wildlife and plants it protects. Rep. Steve Pearce would have you believe that the at-risk species are harming the economy by not allowing freedom of his paymasters to destroy at will in their voracious search for gas and oil.

The ESA is slowing Big Oil and Gas in their endless quest for greater profits, and Pearce is the man they made for the job as the ESA hatchet man. He won’t tell you that big oil and gas cost the taxpayers upward of $41 billion a year in subsidies, and the few million dollars spent by the ESA saving and managing endangered species is only a fraction of that. …

We must demand that our politicians not allow any anti-ESA or anti-wildlife riders be attached to any must pass budget bills or appropriations. …

JON SPAR
Albuquerque, NM


DO IT RIGHT THE NEXT TIME
Albuquerque Journal January 3, 2012

THANK YOU for the coverage of this important issue pertaining to the gunning down of the lone gray wolf that was searching for a mate. Knowing there are only 50 Mexican wolves left (in the wild), it is (among) the most endangered mammal(s) in North America.

This whole situation was a losing proposition from the start. With her being alone out there she was bound to need to be with other like-creatures since wolves are known to be extremely social and family-oriented. Keeping the other wolves in captivity and turning only one loose was short-sighted, heartless and gross mismanagement of our wildlife.

And then, the heartbreaking part of all, she had a litter of puppies after mating with a dog and they took them away from her and killed them. That had to be a shock on her natural instincts. She got nothing but mistreatment. Animals are not our possessions. They are fellow creatures that deserve dignity and friendship. Without them the Earth would be a barren place.

There are ecological benefits for the entire ecosystem and wildlife by giving the wolves their natural place in the environment.

FRANCES MARTIN
Carmel, Calif.


BAD RESULT FROM BAD SCIENCE
Albuquerque Journal January 3, 2012

IRONICALLY, THE killing of the wolf by Wildlife Services tragically underscores how wolf management policies are failing ranchers, but not for the reasons many ranchers might think.

The solution is for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release more wolves and to do it now. November 2008 was the last time any wolves were released into the wild. With only 50 or so critically endangered Mexican wolves in the recovery area, and now four dead in just the last two months, this lone female was simply looking for company and a mate, and a rancher’s dogs are all she could find.

Unfortunately, some fear wolves and their curious nature, and this may fuel the false cry that wolves are out there lurking to prey upon people. This is not supported by science or my many years of living with and studying predators.

Now is the time for Southwest regional director, Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, to take scientifically sound action. Now is the time for him to speak out to help dispel the myths and ease the unnecessary fear. Politicking has resulted in flawed policies and inaction. What will benefit us all is leadership based on science.

KIM MCCREERY, Ph.D.
Regional director, N.M. Wilderness Alliance, Silver City


LET MORE WOLVES RUN FREE
Albuquerque Journal January 3, 2012

SINCE A HEALTHY wolf population was deemed to be at least 100, having only around 50 at any given time, and a reluctance to add more which are in waiting, goes against what is considered a healthy and sustainable population.

Arizona voters had decided overwhelmingly in favor of these types of decisions, as in the success of Proposition 109. Yellowstone National Park is a prime example of the success of wolf reintroduction, not only for the enormous amount of interest and money that is generated through tourism and associated means, but also in the total ecosystem balance.

This has even been documented when it comes to preserving aspens, which in Arizona are not even surviving due to overgrazing issues. I have come across people who do and do not hunt. Nevertheless, they all respect wolves, as they do their own domesticated dogs.

Ranchers have been compensated for predation losses, though they are very seldom caused by wolves. They usually graze on public lands for pennies on the dollar; the majority must accommodate their apathy, greed and selfishness. There are hardly any places one can go in the desert or forest that are free of cow patties. Ignorance, fear, intolerance and disdain should not be the deciding factors on wolf preservation, by a few wealthy and connected people or groups.

Game populations are strong as always, but an absence of predators to accommodate “certain” hunters who desire no sport in their pursuit should not be considered. The vast majority of people want full wolf populations, and are willing to drive and spend much, just to get a chance to see them, hear them or even find traces of their existence. When wild things die off and are gone, something dies inside of us as well.

JOE S. WTORKOWSKI
Glendale, Ariz.


ARE WE WINNERS OR LOSERS?
Albuquerque Journal January 3, 2012

PLEASE ENCOURAGE the release of more Mexican wolves into the Gila National Forest. The Mexican gray wolf is (among) the most endangered animal(s) in North America. Does the Southwest really want to be known for its failure of this reintroduction?

CINDY BUTLER
Albuquerque, NM


TIME ISN’T ON WOLVES’ SIDE
Albuquerque Journal January 3, 2012

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission’s decision to withhold support for Mexican wolf releases until U.S. Fish and Wildlife completes a recovery plan is misguided.

A plan is several years down the road, but captive wolves are ready to be released right now. We have yet to meet the original plan’s goal of 100 wolves on the ground by 2006. Instead, in 2011, we have 50. Meanwhile, we are losing vital attributes — the possibility for increasing genetic diversity (and therefore the health of the animals), and the genes for wildness.

Wolves closest to their wild heritage are those most likely to succeed in their native wild environment — that is, the least likely to interact with the human world. Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Pearce is threatening legislation that would defund the Mexican wolf recovery program and weaken the Endangered Species Act, legislation that could pass as a rider attached to Congressional spending bills.

We must act before there is more tampering with the Endangered Species Act instead of squandering opportunities to put wolves nearest their wild heritage into wilderness.

RUTH RUDNER
Corrales, NM


LOBOS BENEFIT GAME, TOURISM
Albuquerque Journal January 3, 2012

REGARDING THE endangered Mexican gray wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico: One of the greatest hopes for the viability of this species is the immediate release of captive wolves, which would provide vital genetic diversity to this dwindling population. Unfortunately, current bureaucracy is further threatening the very existence of these noble creatures and their right to uphold their critical place in our ecosystem.

The number of these animals is so pitifully low that we simply cannot wait for the estimated three to four years for the U.S. Fish and Game Commission to give the OK for the captives to be released.

I urge the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to do everything in its power to expedite the recovery of our wolves. The presence of the beautiful “Lobos” not only strengthens our game herds, but plays an important role in the much needed tourist money that our communities rely on.

JOEL PUTNAM
Seattle, Wash.

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Many thanks and congratulations to these talented and dedicated letter writers-your letters make a big difference in the effort to protect and recover our lobos!

We usually include a link for letters to the editor with the articles we post-please take advantage of these opportunities to advocate effectively for Mexican wolves. To learn more about submitting your own letters to the editor, click here.