ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—A coalition of 30 conservation groups is calling on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to release more captive Mexican gray wolves into the wild.
Thursday marks the 14th anniversary of the first release done as part of the federal government's effort to reintroduce the endangered wolves to New Mexico and Arizona.
There are now at least 58 wolves in the wild in the two states, but 2008 marked the last time managers released a new wolf as part of the program.
The groups sent Salazar a letter Thursday, saying the lack of releases reflects opposition from ranchers and a lack of support on the part of state wildlife agencies.
You can read the letter in it's entirety as presented to Ken Salazar here
This article has appeared in several other newspapers. Some are listed here.
This is a perfect time to WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER to the Editor.
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 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Tips for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience.
Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
Below are a few suggestions for ensuring your message gets through clearly. Your letter will be most effective if you focus on a few key points, so don’t try to use all of these. If you need additional help or want someone to review your letter before you send it, email it to email@example.com:
* Start by thanking paper for their coverage of this important issue-this makes your letter immediately relevant and increases its chances of being published.
* Encourage the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to use all the means available to them to expedite more releases of captive wolves into the wild. The agency has been sitting on an Environmental Assessment that can end the ridiculous rule prohibiting new releases into New Mexico and letting wolves eligible for release into both Arizona and New Mexico sit in captivity. The stalling has to stop.
* Convey how important new releases of wolves into the wild are to increase the population’s numbers and genetic health - A population of 58 wolves is still extremely small and at risk from threats such as disease, inbreeding, or catastrophic events like the Wallow Fire, which burned through Mexican wolf habitat last year.
* Explain that there are wolves in captivity ready to be released and wolves in the wild that do not have mates; these wolves need more releases to form new breeding pairs and families.
* Talk about your personal connection to wolves and why the issue is important to you. If you’re a grandmother wanting your grandchildren to have the opportunity to hear wolves in the wild, or a hunter who recognizes that wolves make game herds healthier, or a businessperson who knows that wolves have brought millions in ecotourism dollars to Yellowstone, say so.
* Reiterate the ecological benefits of wolves to entire ecosystems and all wildlife. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.
* Keep your letter brief, between 150-300 words.
* Provide your name, address, occupation, and phone number; your full address, occupation, and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.
You can submit your letters to other regional papers here:
* The Arizona Republic - 200 word limit. Submit your letter here
*Arizona Daily Star - 150 word limit. Submit your letter here
* Arizona Daily Sun - 250 word limit. Submit your letter here
* The White Mountain Independent – 300 word limit. Submit your letter here
NEW MEXICO NEWSPAPERS:
* Albuquerque Journal - Submit your letter here
* Santa Fe New Mexican - 150 word limit. Submit your letter here
* Las Cruces Sun-News - 300 word limit. Submit your letter here
* Alamogordo News - Submit your letter here
Thank you for taking the time to submit a letter. The many letters to the editor expressing support for Mexican gray wolves published in the last year have made a real difference!
Please send any letters you submit to us – firstname.lastname@example.org
- so that we can track what's being published.
Even more information about submitting letters to the Editor here