Letters to the editor are read by many people, including policy makers, and can have a great deal of influence. 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.
- Start by thanking the paper for publishing this editorial.
- Wolves help restore balance to the ecosystems they inhabit. They are important native animals, they belong here, and we should do everything in our power to ensure their recovery.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) should move forward with allowing new wolves to be released throughout the larger area proposed. The Mexican gray wolf is the most endangered mammal in the U.S. Additional wolves must be released into the wild now to increase the genetic health of the species.
- There should be no cap on the number of Mexican wolves allowed to live in the wild. Top carnivores like Mexican gray wolves play an important role in ecosystem restoration and will balance themselves with their prey as they did for millennia before humans intervened. The proposed changes should focus on increasing the wild population’s genetic health and moving the wolves towards recovery, rather than promising that lobos can be killed if they increase beyond an arbitrary number.
- USFWS should not allow more killing of critically endangered wolves. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal will push Mexican gray wolves towards extinction by allowing many more of them to be killed under all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with science or recovery, including for eating their natural prey to survive. These native lobos need more protections, not less.
- Wolves need freedom from boundaries. Given room to roam, the wolves will establish themselves in suitable areas with adequate game. They will generally avoid places with high densities of humans and low prey availability. 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.
- The USFWS should designate Mexican gray wolves as essential. By labeling all of the wild wolves as “nonessential” the USFWS ignores science and the reality of 16 years of experience with reintroducing wolves.The 83 wolves in the wild have up to 5 generations of experience in establishing packs and raising pups and are over 22% of all of the Mexican wolves in the world. The fifth generation wild lobos are not expendable and are essential to recovering this unique subspecies of wolf.
Make sure you:
- Thank the paper for covering Mexican wolf topics.
- Keep your letter brief, between 150-250 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.
Where to submit your letter to the Editor HERE.