Submit a letter to the editor responding to this Guest Column, and influence decision-makers and thousands of your fellow citizens.Tips and talking points are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience. Don’t try to include all the talking points in your letter.
With fewer than 90 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to make changes that could push them closer to extinction or finally help them thrive. The decision will be made in the next few months and they need to hear from you!
- Start by thanking the paper for publishing this Guest Column.
- Wolves once lived throughout Arizona and New Mexico and played a critical role in keeping the balance of nature in place. The Mohave County Supervisors should be supporting the restoration of this important animal that has been missing for too long.
- Wolves need freedom from boundaries. Under the current rule, Mexican wolves are trapped if they go outside the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. The USFWS proposal does not propose to reintroduce wolves into new areas, but rather to allow them to roam throughout a larger area. The wolves will establish themselves in suitable areas with adequate game. They will naturally avoid places with high densities of humans and low prey availability. USFWS must change the rules that do not allow wolves to establish new packs and populations in additional areas that are essential to their recovery.
- Polling has shown repeatedly that the vast majority of Arizonans support wolf recovery. An ever-growing body of research shows that wolves are key to restoring wild places, and wolf-related tourism can bring significant income into communities. Mohave County’s Supervisors are acting against the best interests of their constituents when they oppose Mexican wolf recovery.
- People who care about wolves have an important opportunity to speak out for their recovery through September 23, 2014.Comments can be submitted electronically here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056-6056. More information can be found at mexicanwolves.org.
- USFWS should not allow more killing of critically endangered wolves. The draft proposal will push Mexican gray wolves towards extinction by allowing many more of them to be killed under all kinds of justifications. With fewer than 90 in the wild, every wolf is important. These native lobos need more protections, not less.
- Additional populations of Mexican wolves north of I-40 are necessary to their recovery and genetic health, as is the ability for wolves to move between populations. Capturing and moving wolves because they roam beyond an artificial boundary is always a risky business that can result in death or trauma to the wolf.
Make sure you:
- Thank the paper for publishing the Guest Column.
- Keep your letter brief, between 150-300 words.
- Make your letter personal. Don’t be afraid to use humor or personal stories. Include something about who you are and why you care: E.g. “I am a mother, outdoors person, teacher, business owner, scientific, religious, etc.”
- Provide your name, address, phone number and address. The paper won’t publish these, but they want to know you are who you say you are.
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