Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) has offered this amendment to the Continuing Resolution:
Amendment No. 342:
Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for the continued operation of the Mexican Wolf recovery program.
The Continuing Resolution (CR) is the legislation needed to continue to fund federal agencies since no formal appropriations bill was signed into law for 2011. If the CR passes with this amendment in it, there will be no money to protect, monitor, or release Mexican wolves. The new Recovery Planning process will end. Work with ranchers and the public on the ground to help the wolves will stop.
The remaining 50 Mexican wolves in the wild will backslide toward extinction.
This could get voted on tonight.
Please, take a few minutes right now and email and call your representatives in Congress-you don’t need to be especially articulate or lengthy. Just tell the staffer that answers the phone that Amendment No. 342 is unacceptable and you expect your member of Congress to vote against it. You can say the same thing in your email.
You really don’t need to, but if you want to say more, you can use these talking points:
* The Mexican wolf is the most endangered wolf in the world with only one population — of 50 animals — in the entire world. This is not the time to kick it off the Ark.
* In a 2008 poll (Research and Polling, Inc. in Albuquerque), 69% of New Mexicans and 77% of Arizonans supported the reintroduction of Mexican wolves in their state.
* These wolves need federal protection. Their numbers declined for years when the states had a large role in their management and the program is now getting back on track.
* Over the past year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken steps to put the Mexican wolf back on the road to recovery. A new recovery team, which includes ranchers, counties and conservationists as well as scientists, is about to begin work next week drawing up a new recovery plan .
* The USFWS, along with the states and tribes, is helping ranchers to coexist with wolves — using extra cowboys, special fencing, fladry (cloth flags hung on fences that wolves avoid), supplemental feed to move cattle away from dens, and other techniques. Without funding (the state and tribal programs also use federal funding), this work with ranchers and communities will end.
* In the Yellowstone region wolf tourism brings in at least $35 million annually to local communities. In Arizona and New Mexico, wolf-centered tourism is beginning as a few outfitters, Fish and Game Department programs and specialty tours take folks out to search for Mexican wolves. One promising new tour developed by the White Mountain Apache tribe combines wolf howling, camera “trapping” for wolves, and cultural activities. Tourism options and revenue will increase as wolf numbers do — bringing a new source of revenue to communities.
* Science tells us that top predators like wolves maintain the balance of nature. This is evident in Yellowstone where the return of wolves caused elk to be more wary and avoid standing in the open near streams — willows and aspen came back, and with them birds and beaver. With the beaver came ponds and more fish. In the Southwest, scientists expect similar benefits — to wildlife, sportsmen and everyone who enjoys the outdoors — once wolf numbers increase.
Contact information for your Representatives In Congress is easy to access here. Just type in your state.
Please do not waste your valuable time contacting Rep. Pearce. He is hopeless.
Mexican wolf photo by Robin Silver