Wolf News


Turner ranch wolf appeals delayed

SANTA FE — Ted Turner’s appeals of state permit denials for the wolf-holding facility at Ladder Ranch have been put on hold for at least another month.

The Turner Endangered Species Fund, which had been on the agenda for the Aug. 27 meeting of the state Game Commission, asked for the delay, said the fund’s executive director, Mike Phillips.

Phillips said the problem was scheduling conflicts for the Turner employees.

“I can’t get the proper team in place for that meeting and so we requested a postponement,” Phillips said Friday. “I feel very strongly the best thing I can do is make sure that we’re ready.”

He said the presentation could be rescheduled for Game Commission meetings on Sept. 29 or Nov. 19.

Another wolf-related item remains on the Aug. 27 agenda: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is appealing the state Department of Game and Fish’s denial of permits to release Mexican wolves, including pups intended to bolster the genetics of the population in the wolf recovery program.

Turner’s Ladder Ranch in Sierra County has been permitted by the state Department of Game and Fish for 17 years to hold wolves in large pens, either readying them for release into the wild by the federal government or because they had been removed from the wild.

The Game Commission denied a permit renewal in May.
Gov. Susana Martinez, who appoints the commission, said the federal government’s 33-year-old wolf recovery plan is outdated and should be revamped. The same reason was given when the department rejected the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s request last month.

The second request from Turner’s fund was to shift six captive wolves from the federal Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in New Mexico to the Ladder Ranch while maintenance work was being done at Sevilleta. That request was made under the fund’s current permit, which Phillips said runs through 2016.

The department objected to the Ladder Ranch’s management practices, saying they potentially predisposed the wolves to nuisance behavior once the animals were released.

This article was published in the Albuquerque Journal.

Please take a stand for Mexican wolf recovery with a 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 decision-makers. Tips and talking points for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience.

Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points

  • The actions of the New Mexico Game Commission in denying these permits are petty and violate the public trust. Governor Martinez needs to make this right by getting the Ladder ranch and USFWS permits granted.
  • For 17 years, Ladder Ranch has been an excellent partner in the effort to pull Mexican wolves back from the brink of extinction. US Fish and Wildlife Service must be able to release wolves into New Mexico to improve the dwindling genetic health of the wild population. New Mexico Game Commission has given no good reasons for denying the Ladder Ranch or USFWS permits because it has none-only a desire to block the recovery of these native wolves. These decisions should be reversed.
  • At last official count, only 110 Mexican gray wolves were found in the wild, making them one of the most endangered wolves in the world. Actions such as NM Game Commission’s unwarranted denial of the Ladder Ranch and USFWS permits will only further complicate efforts to recover these rare wolves.
  • The New Mexico Game Commission, under Governor Martinez, has clearly become a tool of a small anti-wolf minority and its actions are out of touch with the majority of New Mexico voters who support wolf recovery and understand the important role top carnivores play in our ecosystems.
  • Wolves are a benefit to the West and are essential to restoring the balance of nature. Actions to interfere with the Mexican gray wolf’s survival and recovery cheat us all of the opportunity to have wolves returned to their critical natural role.
  • Mexican gray wolves are unique native animals. They are the rarest, most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America and the most endangered wolf in the world. State and federal agencies should do all in their power to move these special wolves away from extinction towards recovery. Instead, Martinez’s Game Commission has chosen play politics with the wolves’ future.
  • 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. New Mexico stands to benefit from wolf-related tourism, but only if the Mexican wolf reintroduction is allowed to succeed.
  • The livestock industry has a responsibility to share public lands with wolves and other wildlife. Wolves are responsible for less than 1% of livestock losses and there are many tried and true methods to avoid conflicts between livestock and wolves. Responsible managers and livestock owners emphasize conflict avoidance instead of scapegoating wolves.
  • The federal government nearly drove the Mexican gray wolf to extinction in the 1900’s. We have a moral responsibility to do all we can to ensure these wolves do not go extinct and NM Game Commission is ignoring that sacred charge and their public trust responsibility.
  • Governor Martinez and her Game Commission should not be interfering with the rights of a responsible landowner to use his private land to aid wolf recovery.

Make sure you:

  • Thank the paper for publishing this article.
  • Submit your letter as soon as possible. The chance of your letter being published declines after a day or two since the article was published.
  • Do not repeat any negative messages, such as “so and so said that wolves kill too many cows, but”¦”  Remember that those reading your letter will not be looking at the article it responds to, so this is an opportunity to get out positive messages about wolf recovery rather than to argue with the original article.
  • Keep your letter brief, between 150-300 words.
  • Include something about who you are and why you care: E.g. “I am a mother, outdoors person, teacher, business owner, scientific, religious, etc.” Don’t be afraid to be personal and creative.
  • Provide your name, address, phone number and address.  The paper won’t publish these, but they want to know you are who you say you are.
  • Submit your letter to the ABQ Journal here.
Want to do more to help save Mexican wolves?

Tell Governor Martinez: Stop Taking Aim at Endangered Wolves

Contact the Governor’s office
and request respectfully that she put an end to her Commission’s anti-carnivore state wildlife policies, grant the Mexican wolf permits to Ladder Ranch and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and rescind the rule giving the Commission this authority.

Calls are most effective: 505-476-2200
Email: http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Contact_the_Governor.aspx
You can also sign a petition to the Governor here.

Rally for endangered wolves at the NM Game Commission meeting in Santa Fe on August 27th!

In the past few months, the NM Game Commission has repeatedly sought to obstruct Mexican gray wolf recovery by denying permits to Ladder Ranch and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Appeals of these bad decisions are on the agenda for the August 27, 2015 Commission meeting. The commission will also vote on their proposal to allow cougar trapping and to expand bear hunting in NM.

NM Game Commission Meeting and Rally
Santa Fe Community College
Jemez Room
6401 Richards Ave.
Santa Fe New Mexico
Click here for map
The rally is at 8 am
The Game Commission meeting begins at 8:30 a.m.

The bear and cougar rules and wolf agenda items are numbers 7-10

Please RSVP for the rally and/or meeting here.


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Donate to support our work for Mexican gray wolf recovery here.

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