You can help critically endangered Mexican wolves
by submitting a letter to the editor today!
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 and talking points 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The release of only one or a few new wolves is inadequate to make up for a more than four-year moratorium on new releases. Wolves do not necessarily fall in with managers’ plans for them. It is unrealistic and irresponsible for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to think it can put out one or a few wolves and have them behave as intended, including in their choice of mates. Many more releases are needed and just replacing wolves killed in the previous year in Arizona will not provide the growth and increased genetic health the tiny wild population needs.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service should manage Mexican gray wolves to ensure their recovery and not risk extinction again. Even though Mexican gray wolves were released to their native lands in Arizona and New Mexico almost 15 years ago, the wild population continues to struggle, not because of any lack on the part of the wolves, but because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to make the changes needed for these wolves to succeed.
The last annual population count found 75 Mexican gray wolves, including only 3 breeding pairs, in the wild; the US Fish and Wildlife Service needs to implement many more releases and an aggressive genetic rescue program that frees many wolves into the wild.
The wild population of Mexican wolves is at tremendous risk due to its small size and genetics and in its proposal for 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to only put out one or two more wolves within or next to existing wolves’ territories, and says the new wolves will be killed or removed if they become a “nuisance.” This is unacceptable and inadequate to meet the need.
There is plenty of room for many more wolves to be released. The Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area comprises 4.4 million acres (twice the size of Yellowstone National Park), which support an extraordinary array of wildlife and vegetation types. The Fish and Wildlife Service is using the mere presence of livestock as a justification not to release wolves into a wider range of the available area in Arizona, and has refused to change the rule that arbitrarily excludes new wolves from being released directly into New Mexico.
The Fish and Wildlife Service should increase protections for these wolves, and expedite the Mexican gray wolf recovery planning process. A draft recovery plan to replace the outdated 1982 plan has been developed but politics has stalled the recovery planning process. The draft recovery plan should be put out for public comment.
The majority of New Mexico and Arizona voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction. Polling showed 69% support in New Mexico and 77% support in Arizona. Elected officials like Senator Tom Udall should use their influence to get the Fish and Wildlife Service to enact the changes needed to help these wolves.
Talk about your personal connection to wolves and why the issue is important to you.
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.
Mexican gray wolves are unique animals. They are the rarest, most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America and the most endangered wolf in the world.
Wolves are a benefit to the West and are essential to restoring the balance of nature.
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.
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Photo credit: Scott Denny