Writing a letter to the editor 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. We applaud these fine letter writers, who are making a difference for endangered lobos! We hope that these letters will motivate you to be a voice for wolves.
Arizona Daily Sun, October 4, 2015
To the editor:
As a long-time resident of Arizona, I have been appalled by the actions of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to undermine recovery of Mexican gray wolves, our highly endangered native lobos. Unfortunately, the New Mexico Game Commission, once a helpful partner in the Mexican wolf reintroduction, has become as great an obstructer of wolf recovery as the Arizona Commission, as detailed in the Arizona Daily Sun article, “New Mexico wildlife panel denies federal wolf permit appeal.”
Both agencies have refused to allow adult wolves from the captive population to be released into the wild, in spite of warnings from scientists like geneticist Rich Fredrickson, who have said the wolves are in danger from inbreeding and need new releases to avoid further genetic decline. The actions of both state wildlife commissions are in direct opposition to their own agencies’ missions and to the values of the vast majority of voters in both states, who support both Mexican gray wolves and the Endangered Species Act.
These commissions make it all too clear that we have a broken system in both states, which assigns authority over wildlife to those who serve a narrow political agenda, rather than those who are best qualified and willing to follow and implement the best available science for the good of all the state’s wildlife, especially endangered species. We need commissioners who understand that healthy wildlife and lands require saving all the pieces, especially top carnivores like wolves, who are essential to restoring balance. Sadly, we will not get them until the process by which they are appointed changes drastically in both states.
Santa Fe New Mexican, October 2, 2015
The State Game Commission has just made another poorly informed decision, this time with regard to the release of a few Mexican gray wolves to improve the genetic diversity of the small population in the wild (“Fight for Gila wolf releases meets its end,” Sept. 30). Previously the commission voted to allow the barbaric trapping of endangered cougars, a practice that was banned long ago in most other states.
It is not surprising that the State Game Commission continues to make decisions that are at odds with science and the wishes of the residents of New Mexico. Most of the members of the commission are hunters and are not trained in biology. I urge the governor to replace some of the members of the commission with biologists and to establish a fund to compensate without question or delay, any landowner who actually loses livestock to a wolf or cougar. It will not need to be a very large fund. Wolves live primarily on small animals and cougars are very rare and avoid us.
Santa Fe Reporter, September 23, 2015
It is disingenuous of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and New Mexico Game Commission to say they don’t know what the “end game” is for endangered Mexican wolves. The goal is recovery under the federal Endangered Species Act. Biologists on the recovery team say there will need to be at least 750 wolves in three separate populations to achieve recovery…Gov. Susana Martinez and her appointed game commissioners just don’t want wolves, plain and simple, but rather than say that outright, they are finding excuses for obstructing the recovery effort.
Southwest Environmental Center
Daily Lobo, September 20, 2015
Lobos are not a losing face, nor do they besmirch the legacy of UNM. The Mexican grey wolf is not extinct but critically endangered, and many efforts have been made to remedy this. The mentality of wolves in general as being degenerate and pests has only made the Lobos come back more difficult.
Despite all the cards being held against them, Lobos preserve and maintain their dignity. Lobos are shot, poisoned and thought of as losers, yet they still survive and stick to the tradition of a pack mentality: with a variety of members in a pack working together to achieve the same goals. Their penchant for team work and success as a pack is something that we at UNM all emulate. To me the Lobo represents strength in the face of adversity, which is a mascot we should all be proud of.
Resilient, strong, and proud: UNM Lobos for life!
Daily Lobo reader
Harbison claims about wolf impact are not true
Las Cruces Sun-News, September 14, 2015
Jim Harbison’s column supporting Steve Pearce’s wrong-headed bill to end federal protection of wolves presents his usual mare’s nest of myths, distortions, and plain old whoppers. After defaming “radical environmentalists” (is there any other kind in his eyes?), he flatly claims wolves have never been endangered, trots out the long-since-debunked chestnut of “kid cages” in Reserve, then claims wolves in Yellowstone have decimated elk populations, which he says dropped from 20,000 to 4,000.
All the above is simply untrue, but since space is tight, let’s focus just on the elk argument.
The Yellowstone Park Service website reports their elk population ranges from 10,000-20,000 in the summer to 4,000-5,000 in the winter, due to annual migration. There have been concerns in the past several years that the resurgence of wolves in the park was reducing elk herds, and annual elk counts did decline for a while. But careful studies of those reductions showed that wolf predation was a tiny portion of the cause. Bear predation, drought, and disease were much larger impacts, plus the overall effects of climate change.
And if Jim had looked at any objective sources, he’d have seen the good news: the January 2015 Yellowstone elk count was up by 24 percent, and registered the largest number of animals since 2010. (Tech Times, Feb. 7). The bad news? His column’s dead wrong.
Pearce’s anti-wolf legislation would eliminate federal involvement in managing wolf populations on public lands, in favor of the states. With a New Mexico Game Commission that authorizes barbarous and indiscriminate trapping of cougars and bears, we know exactly where that would lead.
Studies of the impact of reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone have clearly shown they’re beneficial in balancing the living eco-system of our forests. They need more protection, not less. Wolves belong.
Lindee Lenox and Shelby Hallmark
Arizona Daily Sun, August 19, 2015
To the editor:
Thank you for the recent article by Dave Parsons regarding the recovery of the Mexican wolf in Arizona. Mr. Parsons is a scientist with direct experience of the efforts to recover this species and well-qualified to critique the decisions of policymakers like Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Representative Gosar.
I attended the recent meeting of the Commission in Flagstaff and was appalled at their decision to oppose any more releases of adult wolves from captive breeding facilities and to rely solely on cross-fostering of captive-born pups. This is a very difficult technique to accomplish and, in fact, failed this year.
I have no doubt that many excellent people work for Arizona Game and Fish and work hard for the Mexican wolf’s recovery, but the Commission is another matter. They are political appointees and their decisions are based on politics and not on peer-reviewed science, which is quite clear as to what is needed to save the species: access to suitable habitat north of I-40, an end to killings and removals, at least two more populations with the ability to intermingle among the populations, and expedited releases of adults from captivity for the genetic rescue of the species.
None of these points is evident in the Commission’s plans — quite the opposite, in fact. The current population of Mexican wolves is very small and vulnerable. We cannot afford to let them slip away into extinction as almost occurred before. The Commission would better serve the people of Arizona by following the science.
PLEASE WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR TO SHOW YOU STAND WITH WOLVES TOO!
Letters to the editor are powerful tools read by the public and policy makers.
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Photo credit: Scott Denny