Thank you to all who have submitted letters!
Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper 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.
Below are some recent letters that have been published.
Kudos for your article stating "Mexican gray wolves still battle bureaucracy" ("Howl," Currents, April 18). Your reference to surveys indicating 77 percent of Arizona and 69 percent of New Mexico residents strongly support wolf reintroduction points the finger directly at Arizona Fish & Wildlife and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service as having disregard for the tenants of two key provisions of wildlife management, the "Public Trust Doctrine" and the "Endangered Species Act."
Yes, the Mexican grey wolf is in trouble but who do we blame? It is clear to me and it should be clear to all. What do we do about it? Vote out those ignoring the majority of people's interests.
-Bruce J. Barker
Imagine this great country of ours just 100 years ago. People still rode horses and trains and there were only 48 states; Arizona being the newest. In order for the Mexican gray wolf to rebuild what humans have effectively decimated, more wolves need to be released to add variety to the breeding pool and strengthen the genetic line. Using science and logic to reach an ecological balance and not being influenced by special interest groups or political pressure is the only way to re-establish the wolf population to its natural state. The reintroduction program barely had time to get its feet. Imagine you're a 15-year-old teenager. They just can't wait to drive to vote, to move out—that eager 15-year-old metaphorically represents the lifespan of this recovery effort. Give it time to grow up. It's just not old enough yet, to snuff out its potential and undo what little that's been accomplished.
Get rid of Wildlife Services division
The recent killing of a Mexican grey wolf exposed a fatal flaw in the Mexican wolf recovery program. The program, which puts zoo wolves onto public land open to ranching, has had numerous flaws from the outset. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the wolves “experimental and nonessential,” denying them the full protection of the Endangered Species Act. The fatal flaw in the experiment has proved to be the decision to include “depredation specialists” from the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the agency responsible for the recent killing, as an integral part of the interagency field team responsible for implementing the Mexican wolf program.
Long known as Predator and Rodent Control, later renamed Animal Damage Control, the agency now known as Wildlife Services has always been dedicated to killing wolves, coyotes and other predators, along with such dangerous creatures as prairie dogs, on behalf of the livestock industry. The recent wolf killing at the hands of Wildlife Services should be viewed not as an isolated act of a poorly trained employee, but an action consistent with the purpose and practice of this rogue agency. The agency should have been abolished long ago.
Faced with the combined threat of public lands ranchers and government wildlife killers, the wolves stand little chance of survival. The Fish and Wildlife Service should immediately and permanently remove Wildlife Services from the Mexican wolf program.
Ariz. must free more wolves; we all must keep them safe
TWO ARTICLES published April 4 and 5 describe the lethal removal — read unwarranted murder — of a wolf in Southwest New Mexico in January. These articles, “Wildlife Services Employee Investigated in Wolf Death” and “Wildlife Employee Investigated in Wolf Killing,” describe how a supposedly trained Wildlife Services specialist “didn’t recognize” the animal he is trained to know. This is extremely suspect, and all efforts should be taken to find out how this happened … including the possibility of an illegal payoff of this unnamed employee and to severely punish those at fault and to ensure this pitiful action does not happen again.
There are so few of these most rare of North American wolves that the loss of even one threatens the very survival of the species. Without more wolves, genetic diversity is limited, which is a further threat, in addition to these ongoing killings, to the species’ survival.
It is therefore time once again to demand that the Arizona Game and Fish release more of our captive wolves into the wild. The public in both New Mexico and Arizona overwhelmingly favor the wolf reintroduction. These are our wolves, and this government agency works for the taxpayers and should not be beholden to a vocal minority of those who hate and would kill the wolf because of financial gain. This corrupt practice needs to end, and we must demand more wolf releases now.
NOW IT"S YOUR TURN!
The US Fish and Wildlife Serve recently released two pairs of Mexican gray wolves into the wild. Follow the link below to an article that was published in several news sources around the country. This is a great letter writing opportunity to show your support of Mexican gray wolves. Contact information and talking points are provided.
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