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Conservationists Hit Obama on Wolves

President Has Done Nothing to Help Save Species, Critics Say, El Paso Times
Correspondent, Milan Simonich, March 29, 2012  (posted 03/31/12)

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Conservationists are displeased with President Obama's policies in regard to the endangered Mexican gray wolf, saying he is guilty of inaction.

This is from Michael Robinson, Silver City-based member of the Center for
Biological Diversity:

"Thirty conservation organizations, scientists and animal-protection and sportsmen groups today urged Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to release Mexican wolves from the captive-breeding program into the wild this year. No release has occurred since 2008."

The groups sent their letter on the 14th anniversary of the reintroduction of
endangered Mexican gray wolves to the wilds of  the Southwest.

They also want Salazar to allow the release of captive-bred wolves to New
Mexico, which is currently prohibited.

Robinson said only 58 Mexican wolves, including just six breeding pairs, were counted in the wild in January 2012. Inbreeding may be lowering the number of pups that are born and survive, he said.

“Time is running out for endangered Mexican wolves," said Kevin Bixby, executive director of the Southwest Environmental Center. “After more than a decade of bureaucratic inaction, wolves cannot wait any longer. "We are calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service to use its existing authority to take immediate action to get more wolves on the ground before this magnificent creature goes extinct in the wild for the second time in living memory.  ...”

Read the full article here.



WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR!

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.

* Encourage the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to use all the means available to them to expedite more releases of captive wolves into the wild. The agency has been sitting on an Environmental Assessment that can end the ridiculous rule prohibiting new releases into New Mexico and letting wolves eligible for release into both Arizona and New Mexico sit in captivity. The stalling has to stop.

* Convey how important new releases of wolves into the wild are to increase the population’s numbers and genetic health - A population of 58 wolves is still extremely small and at risk from threats such as disease, inbreeding, or
catastrophic events like the Wallow Fire, which burned through Mexican wolf habitat last year.

* Explain that there are wolves in captivity ready to be released and wolves in the wild that do not have mates; these wolves need more releases to form new breeding pairs and families.

* 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. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.

* Keep your letter brief, between 150-300 words.

* Provide your name, address, occupation, and phone number; your full address, occupation, and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.

You can submit your letters to other regional papers here:

ARIZONA NEWSPAPERS:

* The Arizona Republic - 200 word limit.  Submit your letter here.

*Arizona Daily Star - 150 word limit.  Submit your letter here.

* Arizona Daily Sun - 250 word limit.  Submit your letter here.
* The White Mountain Independent – 300 word limit.  Submit your letter here.


NEW MEXICO NEWSPAPERS:

* Albuquerque Journal - Submit your letter here.

* Santa Fe New Mexican - 150 word limit.  Submit your letter here.

* Las Cruces Sun-News - 300 word limit.  Submit your letter here.

* Alamogordo News - Submit your letter here.

Thank you for taking the time to submit a letter. The many letters to the editor expressing support for Mexican gray wolves published in the last year have made a real difference!

Please send any letters you submit to us – info@mexicanwolves.org - so that we can track what's being published.


Even more information about submitting letters to the Editor here.