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In the News: Arizona to replace lost Mexican wolves 

Arizona Republic, January 14, 2012 (posted 1/16/12)

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The Arizona Game and Fish Commission will now support the release of endangered Mexican wolves to replace those lost from the wild on a case-by-case basis.

The commission vote Friday revises a policy adopted in December that opposed any new releases until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed revisions to its Mexican Wolf recovery plan and other planning documents.

The commission gave its director authority to approve new releases to replace wolves lost from illegal actions. Replacement of animals lost naturally will require commission approval.

The federal government started its reintroduction effort along the New Mexico-Arizona border in 1998 with the release of 11 wolves. Biologists had hoped to have more than 100 wolves in the wild by 2006, but the numbers continue to hover around 50.
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PLEASE WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR of the Arizona Republic, thanking them for this article and promoting more releases of Mexican wolves into the wild.

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 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tips for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience.

Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
Below are a few suggestions for ensuring your message gets through clearly-your letter will be most effective if you focus on a few key points, so don’t try to use all of these. If you need additional help or want someone to review your letter before you send it, email it to info@mexicanwolves.org:

Start by thanking paper for their coverage of this important issue-this makes your letter immediately relevant and increases its chances of being published.

Stress that only about 50 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild, making them the most endangered mammal in North America.

Tell the Arizona Game and Fish Commission that this is an improvement over their December decision to oppose all new releases and they should give full support to all proposed releases into Arizona.

Encourage the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to use all the means available to them to expedite releases of captive wolves into the wild.

Convey how important new releases of wolves into the wild are to increase the population’s numbers and genetic health
-new releases are essential to pull the wild population away from the brink of extinction.

E
xplain that there are wolves in captivity ready to be released and wolves in the wild that do not have mates; these wolves can’t wait two or more years for the new Recovery Plan to be completed.

Talk about your personal connection to wolves and why the issue is important to you.
If you’re a grandmother wanting your grandchildren to have the opportunity to hear wolves in the wild, or a hunter who recognizes that wolves make game herds healthier, or a businessperson who knows that wolves have brought millions in ecotourism dollars to Yellowstone, say so.

Reiterate the ecological benefits of wolves to entire ecosystems and all wildlife.

Keep your letter brief, between 150-200 words.


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.

Submit your letter here.

To read the article on the AZ Republic website, click here.

Mexican wolf photo courtesy of Amber Legras