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!
To the editor:
I read with interest the guest columns presenting opposing views on the Arizona Game and Fish Commission's deliberations (and recent decision) on the future of the Mexican gray wolf recovery program. Both writers presented scientific facts -- and in one case, misstatements of fact -- to back up their conclusions. I'd like to add a different voice to the debate -- the theological one.
Certainly it is difficult to join biology with theology, but both disciplines are hard to separate in their respect for life. The book of Genesis abounds with references to life and the sacredness of ALL of it, not just a few select winners. It describes the creative process in the archaic language of the times, of course, but the bottom line is that Earth brought forth teeming life, "swarms," as it says in Genesis1:20, quite possibly the Biblical word for biodiversity.
Theology sees diversity as a good thing, even a godly thing, because fertility is sacred. Similarly, biologists see diversity as a good thing because it maximizes offspring in the next generation.
Seems to me, then, that the best available science and theology agree: The way to save the endangered Mexican gray from extinction is to give it the best shot possible to proliferate in natural surroundings. This means continuing to give this magnificent animal, one of God's creatures, the full protection of the ESA (the modern-day version of Noah's Ark!) and keeping human interference in its ability to repopulate to a minimum. To do otherwise will certainly erase this iconic species from our landscape forever.
Arizona Daily Sun - August 7, 2015
To the editor:
How ironic that David Wolf’s August 6th column claiming to present “the facts” on the status of Mexican gray wolves is itself rife with fallacies. The most glaring of these is Wolf’s claim that with only 109 Mexican gray wolves in a single population in the wild, and another 250 in captivity, they are no longer close to extinction. They are, in fact, one of the world’s most endangered wolves, and they desperately need the federal protections Gosar’s bill would remove.
Like Arizona Game and Fish, Wolf implies that we need not recover our native wolves in the Southwest because a significant portion of the lobo’s historic habitat was in Mexico. This is indicative of a mindset that still sees wolves as a problem to be rid of, rather than important, intelligent animals that can help make our wildlands whole, and our deer and elk herds healthy. Thousands of these wolves roamed the Southwest prior to European settlement. They belong here.
While Arizona Game and Fish biologists contribute greatly to Mexican wolf reintroduction, the politically appointed Commission has repeatedly acted to subvert wolf recovery. Just one day after Wolf’s column was published, the Commission voted to keep genetically valuable adult wolves in captivity while the wild population becomes increasingly genetically impoverished.
Our lobos need genetic rescue, two new populations north of I-40, and a science-based recovery plan. They don’t need barriers to recovery erected by Arizona’s Game and Fish Commission or misleading newspaper columns about their plight.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce introduced the Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act. A more apt name for this bill would be the Lobo Extinction Act. In his press release, Representative Pearce cites "harmful federal regulations" as a reason for its necessity. Let's be clear about what harmful federal regulations he is referring to: the Endangered Species Act.
The Mexican gray wolf is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act as a highly endangered subspecies.
According to Representative Pearce, one of our most successful environmental laws on the books is "harmful." This makes one wonder: harmful to whom?
A 2012 report found that the Endangered Species Act is recovering species at a rate of 90 percent and doing it on time according the timeline set within each species' recovery plan, so it can't be harmful to the species it hopes to recover. A 2015 poll found that 90 percent of American voters are in favor of this important legislation and also more likely to vote for legislators who protect it, so it's obviously not harmful to the majority of Americans who understand the importance of the Act. If 90 percent of Americans support the Endangered Species Act, than whom exactly is Pearce representing?
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.
A recent Lobo article and opportunity to write your letter to the editor can be found HERE. We include letter writing tips and talking points, as well as contact information HERE.
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