FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2011
Phil Carter, Wildlife Campaign Manager, Animal Protection of New Mexico (505) 967-5297
Owen Johnson, President, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM) has been proud to coordinate with UNM Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) and UNM Wilderness Alliance (UNM Wild) in the creation of UNM Wolf Awareness Day, set for March 30. The event is both an examination and celebration of UNM’s mascot, the Mexican gray wolf a.k.a. lobo, and its ongoing reintroduction in New Mexico and Arizona.
“The lobo has a prominent position within New Mexican culture and history, of which the UNM mascot is an expression,” said Owen Johnson, President of SALDF. “With Federal legislators attempting to have gray wolves delisted despite a continuing danger of extinction, we wanted to learn more about the relevant issues and law.”
As part of Wolf Awareness Day, SALDF has organized a panel discussion at UNM Law School entitled The Challenge of Mexican Wolf Recovery: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives of Key Players. The panel discussion will begin at 3:30 PM with short introductory speeches by State Auditor Hector Balderas and SALDF. The panel will convene at 4 PM; confirmed as panelists are John Oakleaf of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Justin Tade, attorney with U.S. Department of the Interior; John Horning, Executive Director of WildEarth Guardians; Michael Robinson, Conservation Advocate with Center for Biological Diversity; UNM Law professor Eileen Gauna; and UNM Communications professor Tema Milstein. The panelists will be answering a series of questions on Mexican wolf reintroduction asked by UNM students.
After the panel discussion, SALDF is sponsoring a screening of two short films related to Mexican wolf reintroduction at UNM Law School, beginning at 6:00 PM. First showing will be a debate on Mexican wolf reintroduction aired on KNME’s New Mexico In Focus on January 7, 2011, featuring John Horning and Caren Cowan of New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association. NM In Focus host Gene Grant will be present to introduce the film. The second showing will be rare footage of the first releases of Mexican wolves into the wild in 1998/99.
Earlier in the day, UNM Wild will be sponsoring a rally on behalf of the five Mexican wolves illegally poached in 2011. The rally will occur from 12 PM — 1 pm on the UNM campus, beginning at UNM Bookstore and moving to the intersection of Central & University. The event will feature advocacy groups including UNM Wilderness Alliance and Great Old Broads for Wilderness and is open to the public.
Phil Carter, Wildlife Campaign Manager for APNM and a former president of UNM Wild, said, “When SALDF came to me with their ideas for a wolf day at UNM, I jumped on the chance to help. UNM can and should be at the forefront of defending their mascot’s right to exist.”
A solidarity event will be held on the same day in Silver City, New Mexico. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for Silver City details.
Mexicanwolves.org partners and Mexican gray wolves Facebook fans will be participating wholeheartedly in these events. Please join us if you can!!
If you’re not in Albuquerque or Silver City, please celebrate lobos on March 30 in your own community, in your own way, and keep us posted.