In the News: Ladder Ranch wolf program resumes with state’s OK
The letters to the editor page is one of the most widely read, influential parts of the newspaper. One letter from you can reach thousands of people and will also likely be read by decision-makers. Tips and talking points for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience.
Submit your letter to the Santa Fe New Mexican here.
- The actions of Governor Martinez’s Game Commission to thwart the recovery of Mexican gray wolves violate the public trust.
- In recent polls, the great majority of New Mexicans support lobo recovery.
- At last official count, only 97 Mexican gray wolves were found in the wild, making them one of the most endangered wolves in the world. Actions such as NM Game Commission’s unwarranted denial of the Ladder Ranch permits will only further complicate efforts to recover these rare wolves.
- Releases of more wolves, especially adult wolves and families, from captivity are desperately needed to improve the wild population's genetic health. The wolves cannot afford compromises between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state of New Mexico that limit wolf releases.
- The New Mexico Game Commission, under Governor Martinez, has clearly become a tool of a small anti-wolf minority and its actions are out of touch with the majority of New Mexico voters who support wolf recovery and understand the important role top carnivores play in our ecosystems.
- New Mexico officials are obviously using the lack of a recovery plan as a flimsy excuse for obstructing wolf recovery. If Gov. Martinez truly wanted a science based recovery plan for wolves, she would urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move forward with the draft plan already developed by top wolf scientists instead of pressuring the Service to throw the science out.
- Wolves are a benefit to the West and are essential to restoring the balance of nature. Actions to interfere with the Mexican gray wolf’s survival and recovery cheat us all of the opportunity to have wolves returned to their critical natural role.
- Mexican gray wolves are unique native animals. They are the rarest, most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America. State and federal agencies should do all in their power to move these special wolves away from extinction towards recovery. Instead, Martinez's Game Commission has chosen play politics with the wolves’ future.
- Wolves generate economic benefits - a University of Montana study found that visitors who come to see wolves in Yellowstone contribute roughly $35.5 million annually to the regional economy. New Mexico stands to benefit from wolf-related tourism, but only if the Mexican wolf reintroduction is allowed to succeed.
- The state is putting up roadblocks that could doom our lobos, but the feds are also dragging their feet on recovery and should stop trying to accommodate the political agendas of states that are hostile to wolf recovery.
Letter Writing Tips
Make sure you:
- Thank the paper for this article and make sure to reference the article in your LTE.
- Submit your letter as soon as possible. The chance of your letter being published declines after a day or two since the article was published.
- Do not repeat any negative messages, such as “so and so said that wolves kill too many cows, but…” Remember that those reading your letter will not be looking at the article it responds to, so this is an opportunity to get out positive messages about wolf recovery rather than to argue with the original article.
- Keep your letter brief, no more than 200 words. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.
- Include something about who you are and why you care: E.g. “I am a mother, outdoors person, teacher, business owner, scientific, religious, etc.” Don’t be afraid to be personal and creative.
- 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.