Wolves have long been shrouded by myth and superstition, this week provides an opportunity to opening the door to understanding the importance and plight of the keystone species. It’s a time to recognize wolves as an ESSENTIAL part of our natural landscapes and to engage others to become interested and active in wolf survival.
Follow the Wolf Conservation Center on Facebook and be on the lookout for wild giveaways, wolf facts, and ways to take action for North America’s most misunderstood predator!
|The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.|
For Immediate Release, July 14, 2017
Contact: Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity, (575) 313-7017, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Katherine Ray, Sierra Club, (575) 772-5655, email@example.com
Kelly Nokes, WildEarth Guardians, (406) 209-9545, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hailey Hawkins, Endangered Species Coalition, (662) 251-5804, email@example.com
Bryan Bird, Defenders of Wildlife, (505) 501-4488, firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter Urges Release of Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves Into Wild
Faltering Southwestern Wolves’ Gene Pool Needs Bolstering
SILVER CITY, N.M.— Thirty-one conservation and wolf-protection organizations in the Southwest and nationwide sent a letter today urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expeditiously release endangered Mexican gray wolves to the wild.
Adding new wolves from captivity to the struggling wild population is vital to diversifying the gene pool of the 113 closely related wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, the letter noted.
“Inbreeding could push the Mexican wolf over the cliff toward extinction if the Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t release captive wolves soon,” said Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The trail forward for successful recovery gets steeper and narrower every day that wolf families are kept behind wire mesh, when they could be helping fix the genetic crisis in the wild.”
Two specific packs should be freed this month, according to recommendations from a federal and state interagency Mexican wolf team. The team advised that releases occur in June or July after elk calves are born “to facilitate natural hunting behavior.” Conservationists want to ensure those wolves are not sequestered indefinitely in pens, as wolf families have been in previous years after release plans were shelved. Today’s letter recommends specific animals and release locations in southern New Mexico.
“The continued survival of the lobo has been jeopardized by agency inaction,” said Mary Katherine Ray, wildlife chair for the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club. “We stand at the precipice of losing our small Southwest wolf forever, a tragedy for nature and a moral failing of our own human species.”
“Wolves belong in the wild,” said Kelly Nokes, carnivore advocate for WildEarth Guardians. “Critically imperiled lobos should not be held in a state of perpetual captivity as a result of political pettiness. We call on the Service to put science and the law first, and release these genetically valuable wolves to their native southwestern homelands now.”
The conservationists requested that other wolves also be released, including a single female from Mexico, christened “Sonora” by schoolchildren in a naming contest, who was captured after crossing the border into Arizona in March. Freeing her in the United States to breed with wolves here would follow guidelines in the new draft Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan that calls for “translocations” of wolves between U.S. and Mexico populations to enhance both populations’ genetics.
“People all over the Southwest, including Utah and Colorado, are rooting for the Mexican gray wolf,” said Hailey Hawkins, southern Rockies representative of the Endangered Species Coalition. “Mexican wolves are one of our rarest mammals and treasured not just for their charisma but for their countless contributions to a healthy ecosystem. Folks want to see the Mexican wolf thrive, not just barely hang on like they have been for the last two decades. Federal management should reflect that.”
The interagency wolf team also proposed “cross-fostering” as many as 10 captive-born wolf pups into up to five wild wolf dens this spring. However, just four captive-born pups were implanted into only two dens, and four wild-born pups were removed from those dens and placed in captivity, which the field team did not advise (or even contemplate) as it sought an increase in wolf numbers.
“If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases more wolves, lobos will have a better chance at beating the clock on extinction,” said Bryan Bird, Southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife. “With more wolf releases, their low numbers and limited genetic diversity will also improve. Wolves can restore the balance. When lobos roam safely on the landscape, they can bring our Southwestern ecosystems back to life.”
The game departments of Arizona and New Mexico, governed by commissions with appointees from the livestock and hunting-outfitting industries, have opposed releases of wolves. The Fish and Wildlife Service has been reluctant to buck state opposition.
Mexican gray wolves are the smallest and rarest subspecies of gray wolf in North America. Federal trapping and poisoning of wolves on behalf of the livestock industry in the 20th century reduced Mexican wolves to just seven animals that, after passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, were caught and successfully bred in captivity.
Some of their descendants were reintroduced into Arizona and New Mexico starting in 1998 and into northern Mexico in 2011. But due to ongoing federal trapping and shooting, and the infrequency of wolf releases from captivity, numbers in the U.S. have lagged below projections. They are so closely related now that, on average, each wolf is as genetically similar to every other wolf in the population as if they were siblings.
Scientists have urged resumption of stalled wolf releases in the United States, less heavy-handed management — meaning less killing — and establishing additional populations in northern New Mexico and Arizona and southern Utah and Colorado.
The Fish and Wildlife Service, in contrast, drafted a recovery plan that gives the states veto power over wolf releases and allows for the removal of federal protections while the species is still biologically imperiled. The draft recovery plan is currently open for public comment until August 29.
Michael J. Robinson
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 1727
Silver City, NM 88062
Looking for a great group to join? We are going to start organizing in Nutrioso. we need to protect our access to public access, do all we can to keep our public lands healthy, and fight to save the Endangered Species Act.
Contact me at email@example.com. I will be working on organizing over the next couple of months.
Great Old Broads for Wilderness began in 1989 on the 25th anniversary of the Wilderness Act by a feisty bunch of lady hikers who wanted to refute Utah Senator Orrin Hatch’s notion that wilderness is inaccessible to elders. About that time, wilderness designation had been proposed for Escalante, and Senator Hatch opposed it, saying, “if for no other reason, we need roads for the aged and infirm.”
Founder Susan Tixier and her fellow activists were outraged, and with sudden clarity, saw that an important voice was missing from the environmental movement: the older woman—impassioned, experienced, not afraid to speak out, and definitely not needing roads. The group committed themselves to grassroots advocacy to preserve Wilderness and wild places for future generations.
Tixier and her colleagues happily settled on their role and purpose, but hadn’t yet decided on what to call themselves. Fate brought an answer to them. One fine day while the gang was out hiking and discussing what action to take next, they came upon a group of elderly ladies coming off a trail—dusty, tan, sinewy, and gray-haired. Someone remarked “What a bunch of great old broads”.
The name stuck. It captured the spirit of the budding entity they envisioned, emphasizing the old and the feminine. More importantly, the moniker had humor, a core value of the group from the beginning.
The early framework declared Broads to be a nonprofit, social organization dedicated to the protection, use, and enjoyment of the wilderness (designated, proposed, or imagined).
The early days were informal—there were no dues. To become a member you just had to declare yourself one, and then you could buy a T-shirt to proclaim it to the rest of the world. The point was to have fun while doing what you were passionate about.
The Broads sat around kitchen tables and brainstormed. The plan was to spend their time and energies on action protecting wilderness, not creating a formal organization with a paid staff.
By 1993, with a growing membership and expenses, the board decided to institute annual dues—though payment was still optional. In 1994, it became necessary to hire a staff person to keep the membership database, publish the newsletter, Broadsides, and handle public relations. Broads was on its way to becoming a cohesive organization.
Today, Broads has a small staff and our ranks have grown to more than 5,000 members and supporters. There are 36 Broadbands (chapters) in 15 states across the United States dedicated to local and national wilderness issues. Our members include men (Great Old Bros) and younger women too.
Big Lake Howliday Campout Weekend
July 29, 30, & 31, 2016
Join the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project for a fun-filled weekend learning about and celebrating the return of Mexican wolves to the wild. This year marks the 18 year anniversary of the first releases of Mexican wolves back into the wild in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.
Where: Apache Trout Campground Fir Group site at Big Lake in the Apache National Forest, Arizona.
When: Friday, July 29th, 2016 starting at 3:00 pm through Sunday, July 31th at noon.
Suggested Donation is $50 per person* (to help us cover the cost of the meals and the camp ground group site). Register for the event here. All activities during the weekend are free. Weekend registration is required through the registration form (see registration form below). *Please note that the suggested donation is cheaper than what it would cost to reserve a camp site and pay for food for a weekend trip on one’s own, but we may have some limited sponsorships available to help cover the costs for participants that may not be able to afford the suggested donation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please bring your own personal camping equipment and comfortable clothes for hiking in and appropriate for high elevation weather during the Monsoon season. Here is a list of Recommended Personal Camping Supplies to bring with you.
Meals included in the weekend for registered participants: Dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings, Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and a pack-your-own brown bag lunch spreads for lunches on Saturday and Sunday. All the meals served will be vegetarian and we will make an effort to accommodate vegan, gluten-free diets, and food allergies that are indicated by filling out our registration form (registration form below). Please Bring Your Own Beverages of choice. Note there are strict orders from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest on bear resistant food, trash, and personal hygiene product storage for the Big Lake area. Read the special order here, and be prepared to lock all food and personal hygiene items you bring with you in your vehicle.
Optional Weekend Activities include:
– morning bird walks
– wildlife tracking workshops with wildlife tracking experts
– a hike to the “Green Fire” site where Aldo Leopold had his epiphany about wolves
– hikes on the Paseo del Lobo trail
– Evening talks by a wolf conservationists and biologists
Sorry, no dogs are allowed (besides service dogs) to join us at the campground or on the activities at the Big Lake Campout Weekend. We are huge fans of companion dogs, but because we will be camping and hiking in areas occupied by Mexican wolf packs and other wildlife, we want to minimize our disturbance to the wolves and their new pups. Thank you for your understanding!
Please contact Emily at email@example.com or (928) 202-1325 if you have any questions.
Time to Prepare for Winter Weather
Now is the time to prepare for snow, ice and strong winds. It is important to prepare since winter weather can cause power outages resulting in the loss of heat, water or communications to our homes and businesses. With the projected strong El Nino pattern for winter 2015-2016, we suggest that you check out – http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather for a list of ways to prepare.
Preparing for winter storms is similar to preparing for other emergencies like floods or wildfires. Following the three steps below, can help your family be prepared for most winter events.
Step 1: Make an emergency supply kit which includes items like non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlights and a hand crank radio. Add the following items for winter: rock salt, sand, snow shovels and adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
Step 2: Make a family emergency plan. You may not be with your family when a storm hits, so know how to contact one another.
Step 3: Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and windows. Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to help avoid freezing. Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in your family knows how to use it. House fires pose an additional risk as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the proper safety precautions.
Lastly, remember where to find storm updates. An excellent source for weather forecasts and weather warnings is http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/. You can dial 311 from any phone for updates from the Health Department, Emergency Management, Fire and Forest information. You can go online to 311info.net as well as watch the news or listen to the radio for weather updates. If you have any further questions please contact Apache County Public Health Service District, 928-333-6430.
Speak up for wolves at September Commission Meetings and call US Fish and Wildlife Service
For years, scientists have warned that more Mexican gray wolves must be released into the wild to improve the wild population’s declining genetic health.
But Arizona’s and New Mexico’s state wildlife agencies are blocking the release of new wolves.
And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife is deferring to these states that are clearly hostile to wolves, instead of exercising its federal authority to ensure the recovery of endangered Mexican gray wolves.
All three of these agencies need to hear from wolf advocates. And both states’ wildlife commissions have meetings this month, with Mexican gray wolves on the agenda.
Speak for wolves at the Arizona Game and Fish Commission meeting on Friday, September 4th.
Springerville Town Hall
418 E Main St
Or by Video Teleconference from any regional office except Tucson
The meeting begins at 8 am. The wolf briefing is item 5 on the agenda.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has a long history of ignoring the best available science and interfering with recovery of these highly endangered animals, including blocking releases of new wolves into the wild, needed to boost the wolves’ declining genetic health, and asking Arizona members of Congress to remove the wolves’ Endangered Species Act protections.
The Commission also pressured the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to loosen restrictions on killing and trapping wolves, to keep wolves from key habitats north of I-40, and to limit the wolf population to a number far below what experts say is needed to reduce the risk of extinction. During the period from 2003 – 2009, when the Adaptive Management Oversight Committee (AMOC) led by Arizona Game and Fish managed the wolf reintroduction project, the wild population declined from 55 to only 42 wolves and 2 breeding pairs.
At their last meeting, the Commission went a step further to undermine wolf recovery, by voting to ban all releases of adult Mexican gray wolves from the 250 wolves in captivity.
Stand for wolves at the New Mexico Game Commission meeting in Albuquerque on Tuesday, September 29th.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
September 29, 2015
1000 Woodward Place NE
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Agenda item no. 7 is “Action to be Taken on United States Fish and Wildlife Service Appeal of the Denial of Application to Release Mexican Gray Wolves.” For more information, email email@example.com.