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.
Several excellent letters written by lobo supporters have been published recently!
These letters provide an opportunity to submit letters of your own, so please read through them and then write one to the papers they appeared in.
Las Cruces Sun-News
July 10, 2011
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
It was like a breath of fresh air and reasoned sanity reading Walt Rubel’s balanced fact-based column on June 12 edition. Much needed, too, amid the hyped rhetoric and virtual hysteria of the wolf recovery controversy exemplified by the Catron County Commission in the Sun-News on June 19. Why aren’t the anti-wolf packs smart enough to savvy the overkill of the “facts” they splatter around is counterproductive and derides the case they are wantonly pushing. No informed balanced person would risk defending that jumbled stuff in court.
Along with these realities, seems there’s always a “me, too” politician around like Steve Pearce ready to feed the hysteria. Maybe the 2nd District’s congressman needs to be reminded such “leadership” won’t get him to be the U.S. Senator he’s long coveted.
As a southwest New Mexico cattle rancher for 38 years (3 locations and up to 625 head) now wrapping it up at 95, but still out there every day, I’m subscribing to the Sun-News daily, anticipating more reading time ahead, because it has a big league managing editor with his head fastened on who tells it like it is. Not all newspapers have such an asset.
JUST DO IT
In his article entitled “Gray wolves face new challenges in struggle for survival,” reporter Chris Roberts identifies many of the threats to the survival of the beleaguered Mexican gray wolf in New Mexico and Arizona, including the long-standing opposition of the livestock industry to any wolves in the wild and the anti-federal grandstanding of the Catron County Commission.
Unfortunately, the article fails to identify the greatest single threat to the reintroduction stemming from the massive Wallow Fire. While all collared adult wolves may have survived the fire, and the number of pups lost may be minimal, the fire has directly interfered with the Arizona release of a pack of wolves whose introduction is critically important to increasing the genetic diversity of the wild population.
When the fire swept through their potential Arizona release site, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials were unable to simply change plans and select one of several suitable release sites in New Mexico. The rules under which the reintroduction operates do not allow releases of wolves into New Mexico if they have not previously had paws on the ground in Arizona.
For months President Obama’s Fish and Wildlife Service has been sitting on the tool to allow the direct releases into New Mexico. It is called an Environmental Assessment (EA), which informs the public and gives the public an opportunity to comment before Fish and Wildlife decides whether to change the federal rule and permit a common sense management practice. Whatever excuses the Fish and Wildlife Service may have had for not releasing the EA for public comment before the Wallow Fire, there is no excuse for further delay. The time has come for Fish and Wildlife to “just do it.”
JEAN C. OSSORIO
June 28, 2011
SHAME BROUGHT TO LEOPOLD LEGACY
The writings of the famous conservationist Aldo Leopold have inspired several generations of wildlife professionals, and New Mexico rightfully celebrates with pride Leopold’s time in our state. The author of “A Sand County Almanac,” originator of the idea of protecting wilderness areas and father of wildlife management found his early inspiration in the Gila.
Fewer people know of Leopold’s role in helping form the New Mexico State Game Commission. It was the culmination of an effort to get politics out of the Game Department, and served as a national model in progressive wildlife management and restoration.
The intent of the State Game Commission was to serve as a firewall, to protect wildlife managers from the extremes of politics through the appointment of a bipartisan commission charged with broad powers to set wildlife management policy.
Unfortunately, the commission today too often serves as a reward for campaign donors. As a result of these pay-to-play appointments, the commission is less a buffer from political extremes and more like kindling on the fire.
For example, under Governor Richardson, the Game Commission supported Mexican wolf recovery. Recently, the commission including several members appointed by Richardson did an about face and voted to end all cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the effort to recover Mexican wolves.
This is not the professional Game Commission that Leopold envisioned. Gov. Susana Martinez should ask her commission appointees to devote themselves to transparency, real public input and meaningful wildlife management decisions.
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!
Please take this opportunity to help Mexican wolves by writing your own great letter to the editor!