Great Letters to the Editor in Southwest Papers!
Submitting a letter to the editor is a very effective action to take for Mexican gray wolves. Media research shows that the letters to the editor section is one of the most widely read parts of the paper. Elected officials and other decision makers read or have staff read this section to get a sense of public opinion on important issues like Mexican wolf recovery.
Below, you can read excellent letters promoting Mexican gray wolf recovery that were published in newspapers in Arizona and New Mexico over the past month, and find information to help you write your own.
From the Santa Fe New Mexican, July 11, 2010
Stop the killing
The recent discovery of the dead bodies of two of the already too-few alpha males of the wolf packs in southeast Arizona and in the Gila, and the fact that a third is missing, makes one wonder what kind of irrational hysteria has been drummed up against this important species. Reintroduced into these national forests and wildernesses by the federal government in 1996 in order to right the ecological balance, the wolves have been victimized ever since.
Ranchers who graze their cattle on these lands largely at the taxpayers' expense (costing the government more than it receives in fees) seem to feel this is their property, and they do not want to share it. In addition, they receive compensation for any cattle killed by wolves. It is time for the state and federal government, and indeed the citizenry, to step in and stop the killing. Find and punish the killers!
From the Arizona Daily Sun, July 18, 2010
Don't give wolf opponents tracking frequencies
To the editor: Once again, anti-wolf fanatics are deciding for all of us whether Mexican wolves should have the chance to return to their historic range here in the Southwest. Today's Arizona Daily Sun (July 14) carried the story, "Deaths of 2 male Mexican wolves investigated." Both wolves were alpha males, leaders in their individual packs.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Since the Mexican wolf recovery effort started in 1998, 31 Mexican gray wolves have been illegally killed and another 47 have disappeared under suspicious circumstances. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reported that illegal wolf killings are the leading cause of death for these wolves.
How are the anti-wolf folks locating these animals to shoot? One strong possibility is the fact that when the wolf reintroduction program began, USFWS issued radio telemetry receivers, programmed to track collared Mexican wolves, to an unknown number of wolf recovery opponents. The reason? They hoped that by knowing where the wolves were, cattle owners might use the information to keep cattle away from the wolves. It is not difficult to see how the ability to locate these wolves by telemetry could also be used to kill them.
These receivers should ONLY be in the hands of government employees directly involved in wolf recovery efforts. All others should be recalled and the tracking frequencies changed to help protect these animals from more unnecessary killings. If these animals are to have any chance of recovery they need our help. Please go to www.mexicanwolves.org to see how you can help protect them.
From the Arizona Republic, August 2, 2010
Give Mexican gray wolves a chance
Thank you for the July 18 story on the Mexican gray wolves, "Groups at odds hinder wildlife conservation efforts."
This illegal shooting of the wolves is awful and must be stopped. There are only 40 Mexican gray wolves left in the wild and two breeding pairs, which has fallen from 52 wolves in 2008.
The Mexican gray wolf is the most endangered wolf in the world and must be protected from illegal poaching, which is their main cause of death.
We need more officers and a new plan of recovery to bring these beautiful creatures back from near-extinction.
These beautiful animals that I love just want to breed, raise a family and live life the way nature intended.
Sounds like us.
From the Arizona Daily Sun, August 11, 2010
Mexican gray wolves due more protection
To the editor:
The Daily Sun article, "Feds to review status of Mexican gray wolf (Aug. 4) offers another glimmer of hope for the endangered lobo here in the Southwest. This past week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to review the status of the Mexican gray wolf, acknowledging that it may need greater protection than its northern cousins if it is to survive. If the lobo receives classification as a separate subspecies, the government would be required to create a specific recovery plan for the Mexican wolf and it would receive greater legal protection than it has under its current "nonessential experimental population" status.
The lobo, native to Arizona and New Mexico, was shot, trapped and poisoned to near extinction by the 1940s. A reintroduction effort stated in 1998 has suffered tremendous losses of these endangered wolves by anti-wolf fanatics who have illegally shot more than 30 wolves since the program began. Classifying the lobo as a separate subspecies will give it a better shot at survival, and add teeth to the legal penalties for those criminals who believe they can decide the fate of the Mexican gray wolf for all of us.
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!
To write your own great letter to the editor, click here for letter writing tips and editorial contacts.
To learn what else you can do to help bring Mexican wolves back from the brink of extinction, click here.