Only 83 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild; only 37 are in Arizona. They need more protection, not less.
But members of the Arizona State Legislature seem determined to push this small struggling population of endangered lobos closer to extinction with multiple bills that obstruct their recovery.
Your help is needed to make sure these bills do not become law.
Legislation sponsored by AZ State Senator Gail Griffin and others (SB 1211) encourages more killing of Mexican gray wolves in violation of federal law. This bill passed its final vote April 16 and will go next to AZ Governor Jan Brewer.
Another bill (SB 1212) appropriates $250,000 for state litigation to impede federal efforts to recover Mexican wolves. This bill needs to go to the Appropriations committee before it can move forward.
Adding insult to injury, a concurrent resolution against Mexican wolf recovery sends a message that native Mexican gray wolves do not belong in Arizona (SCR 1006). SCR1006 is on its way to the Secretary of State, because it’s a resolution rather than a bill.
And a bill sponsored by Bob Thorpe (HB2699) calls Mexican wolves “varmints” and treats these native animals as if they do not belong in AZ. This bill states that the legislature should consider ending state participation in Mexican wolf recovery and requires the removal of all Mexican gray wolves from Arizona if the federal government does not pay private interests for a wide, vague range of “losses” related to Mexican wolf recovery. This bill passed its final vote as amended on April 17 and will go to Governor Brewer.
Please contact Governor Jan Brewer and urge her to veto SB1211, HB2699 and any other anti-wolf bills that come to her desk.
Phone: (602) 542-4331
Also contact your AZ House members and urge them to oppose SB1212!
Calls are most effective, but if you live in Arizona, you can also send an email to Legislators through the Sierra Club-Grand Canyon Chapter’s website. Click here and scroll down to the wolf photo for action links.
Mexican gray wolves are critically endangered. By restoring these beautiful, intelligent animals, we can eventually restore the balance to our state’s wild lands and achieve economic benefits from wolf focused eco-tourism.
We can still stop these outrageous bills from becoming state law. Please contact the Governor today!
If you don’t live in AZ and want to send emails to the Legislature, you can bcc your messages to the email addresses at this link. You can also weigh in by signing up at www.azvoices.gov and posting your comments on each bill.
Tell them politely that you expect them to oppose these bills that embarrass Arizona, waste taxpayer money and fly in the face of overwhelming majority public support for wolf recovery.
Additional talking points include:
- Mexican gray wolves are native to AZ. 83 remain in the wild and only 37 remain in the state. We have a moral obligation to promote their recovery.
- Polling showed 77% of Arizona voters and 69% of New Mexico voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction.
- The livestock industry has a responsibility to share public lands with wolves and other wildlife. There are many tried and true methods to avoid conflicts between livestock and wolves. Funds are available to help livestock owners implement nonlethal deterrents, better animal husbandry practices, and other innovative tools that minimize conflict.
- If state legislators really want to help, they should redirect the $250,000 slated for lawyers toward implementation of the new Coexistence Plan — a performance-based program co-developed by ranchers, conservationists and wildlife agencies, which provides funds to help implement conflict-avoidance measures and “rewards” ranchers for helping to successfully raise the wolf population.
- 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..
- 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.
Please act today to stop these outrageous bills from moving forward!
Thank you for standing for Mexican wolf recovery.
Photo courtesy of Amber Legras.