Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) have introduced a lobo extinction bill, the “Mexican wolf Transparency and Accountability Act,” which would void the listing of the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies, reduce the area they are allowed to roam to just the original Blue Range Wolf Recovery area, and prohibit wolves being released from captivity into New Mexico, which is hugely important for expediting genetic rescue.
PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS TODAY and urge them not to cosponsor or vote for this bill or any similar bills or riders.
On June 25th, the Lobo extinction bill was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. The Committee members are here.
When you call, you can simply say something like:
As a constituent, I urge Representative X to oppose the “Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act,” HR2910, and any other legislation or riders that seek to undermine wolf recovery or the Endangered Species Act. Only about 109 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild in the United States, making them highly endangered. I want my representative X to work for the greater protection of these wolves and to oppose efforts to push them closer to extinction.
Please be polite and thank whoever answers the phone.
PLEASE SHARE WIDELY. It is critical that we generate congressional opposition to this bill so that it will not pass as stand-alone legislation or as a rider tacked onto an appropriations bill.
We will post additional updates on this legislation as we get them, both here and on our Facebook page.
Sponsors and Cosponsors: Paul Gosar*, Steve Pearce*, Mark Amodei, Trent Franks, Glen Grothman, Martha McSally, Collin Peterson, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert and Ryan Zinke
The script above is adequate to let your members of congress know that position you want them to take. But if you would like additional talking points, you can use these as well:
With this bill, Congressmen Pearce and Gosar have introduced a death sentence for the Mexican gray wolf.
- Their bill (HR2910) would remove Endangered Species Act protections for lobos, the most endangered population of wolves in the country.
- There are only 109 Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico where thousands once roamed, not because of any failure of the wolves, but because a government extermination campaign almost wiped them out. Only 7 Mexican wolves could be found by the time they received Endangered Species Act protections. Now Gosar and Pearce have made it their mission to drive our native wolves back to extinction.
- The science is clear that the Mexican gray wolf is far from recovery and must remain protected under the Endangered Species Act — with such low numbers, losing ESA protections would lead to extinction of the wild lobo.
The states of Arizona and New Mexico are hostile to Mexican wolf recovery and cannot be trusted with the future of these highly endangered animals.
- During the period from 2003 to 2009, when the Mexican wolf reintroduction program was controlled by a commission led by Arizona Game and Fish, the wild population declined from 55 wolves to only 42 wolves and 2 breeding pairs in the wild. It was only after the US Fish and Wildlife Service resumed control of the program that the population numbers began to rise.
- Under AZ Game and Fish Department’s management, many individual wolves and even whole families of wolves were routinely killed and removed over livestock conflicts, with no regard for their genetic value, under standard operating procedure 13. Arizona Game and Fish has been very clear that it will bring back policies like these and further loosen restrictions on killing endangered wolves.
- Last month, in a petty political move to make recovery of endangered Mexican gray wolves more difficult, the anti-carnivore New Mexico Game Commission denied, for the first time in 17 years, the permit to allow Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to continue assisting with Mexican wolf recovery.
The recovery of the lobo has strong public support in Arizona and New Mexico and those who represent us in Congress should vigorously oppose Gosar’s and Pearce’s extinction legislation.
- Public polling continues to show overwhelming support for wolf recovery in Arizona and New Mexico.
- In a 2008 poll of registered voters, 77 % of Arizonans and 69% of New Mexicans supported “the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf into these public lands in Arizona and New Mexico.”
- In a 2013 poll of registered voters, 87% of both Arizonans and New Mexicans agreed that “wolves are a vital part of America’s wilderness and natural heritage.” 83% of Arizonans and 80% of New Mexicans agreed that “the US Fish and Wildlife Service should make every effort to help wolves recover and prevent extinction.”
Mexican gray wolves pose virtually no threat to human beings. This bill is based on fear mongering to serve a dark political agenda.
- Incidents of wolves harming people are incredibly rare. Wolves generally avoid people, and in almost all cases people have nothing to fear from wolves in the wild.
- The fact remains that chances of a dangerous encounter with large carnivores in the wild are remarkably slim compared to the risks associated with simply driving our cars or associating with domestic animals, something most of us do repeatedly on a daily basis. Not a single person has been killed by a Mexican gray wolf — in comparison, each year on average in the U.S., 241 people are killed by tractors, 53 by bees, 39 by lightning, 31 by dog bites and even 22 by cows!
Incidents of Mexican gray wolves predation on livestock have been greatly exaggerated
- In New Mexico, wolves account for less than one-half of one percent of total cattle and calf losses. Together, mountain lions and bobcats take more than 30 times the cattle and calves than wolves do, but there is no all-out campaign to rid the state of these predators.
With this bill, Pearce and Gosar reveal a shocking willingness to sacrifice one of God’s creations and the greater good for a dirty political agenda.
- Gosar and Pearce introduced their bill to drive the Mexican gray wolf to extinction just one week after Pope Francis issued his encyclical that included these words: “Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.”
- 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. Science has repeatedly demonstrated that wolves are keystone carnivores who help to keep wildlife like elk and deer healthy and bring balance to the lands they inhabit.
- Mexican gray wolves are beautiful, intelligent, family-oriented animals with emotions who were persecuted and nearly exterminated by the government. Elected officials and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have a moral responsibility to do all in their power to avoid the extinction of these important animals.
- What would Noah do? Throwing these wolves off the Endangered Species list is like Noah throwing animals off the ark. It is impossible to support this legislation in good conscience.
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