Enter Now: Grand Canyon Wolf Naming Contest!

Open to children and youth under 18- deadline Thursday, December 4


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed, through DNA tests on scat, that there is a female northern Rockies gray wolf on the Kaibab National Forest, near the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

This brave female is the first wolf in this area for more than 70 years! This historic and cause for celebration!

We think this amazing pioneer inhabiting an area where wolves once thrived deserves a special name. That’s why groups from all over the west are working together on this contest!

You must be under age 18 to enter. If you would like to help name this unique animal and be part of his or her story, please fill out the form here with your parent or legal guardian*: http://goo.gl/forms/WqfkUrdtTl

The deadline to enter is December 4, 2014

The winning name will be announced by Monday, December 8, 2014.

Background information:

The Kaibab Plateau has forested lands with elevations up to 9,000 feet, surrounded by the sage, grasslands and canyons of lower elevations. It is bordered on the south by the Grand Canyon, on the east and west by tributary canyons of the Colorado River, and on the north by plains that are dissected by the tiers of uplifted cliffs of the Grand Staircase.

Wolves were once native to this part of the Grand Canyon region, but were wiped out by a federal extermination program in the early 1900’s. Scientists say this area is great habitat for wolves.

Mexican gray wolves, a subspecies of gray wolves, live in Arizona and New Mexico but the government won’t allow them to live north of Interstate 40. Gray wolves from the northern Rocky Mountains are mostly in states north of Utah and Colorado and are bigger than Mexican gray wolves, or lobos.

Gray wolves are legendary for traveling long distances, and this wolf would have have traveled hundreds of miles from her home in Wyoming or another Rocky Mountain state through Utah and into Arizona.

Gray wolves are currently federally protected under the Endangered Species Act in Arizona. If this is a wolf, the government should do all in its power to protect her or him.

Wolves are intelligent, feeling animals who often live in families (packs) with their mates, siblings, and pups. Sometimes, like this animal, they travel long distances from their original family to find a mate and start a family of their own.

Enter the contest here

Thank you for helping!

*The information entered in the form will not be used for any commercial purpose or shared with anyone not involved in the contest except for publicity about the contest.

Photos courtesy of National Park Service staff and AZ Game and Fish Department

From mexicanwolves.org

Want your grandchildren to ever hear a wolf?

The Proposed to Change Mexican Wolf Management Policies Doom Wolves

Earth Justice:  To Court for a Recovery Plan  l  Extinction Is Forever  l
MexicanWolfBrianGratwicke_smSpeak out against draft plan to allow more killing of critically endangered wolves! Deadline Sept. 23The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has released a draft proposal to change the rules governing the Mexican wolf reintroduction.

The draft proposal, if implemented, will seriously jeopardize the continued existence of critically endangered Mexican gray wolves, who currently number less than 90 in the wild. The proposal ignores the best available science and recommendations by top wolf scientists.

  • USFWS proposes to allow more Mexican wolves to be shot, trapped, and permanently removed from the wild.
  • The proposal continues to designate the wild population of lobos as “non-essential,” failing to give them additional protections necessary to their survival.
  • And, while it does expand the area wolves can roam, it restricts them to parts of New Mexico and Arizona below I-40, even though leading wolf scientists say that populations of Mexican wolves north of I-40 are essential to the lobo’s recovery.

The only completely good thing it does is to finally allow new wolves from the captive breeding population to be released into a larger area, a change desperately needed for genetic rescue of the wild population.

USFWS has released this draft proposal with a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public comment.

Here are some of the ways you can help:
Submit comments on the draft proposal by 9/23/14. An individual, personalized comment submission that includes these specific talking points will have the most weight. If you’re short on time, you can just copy and paste these directly into the comment form.

1. I support expanding the area in which direct releases of Mexican wolves can occur, the one critical change included in the proposed rule.

  • This change has been recommended by experts for over 10 years and needs to be implemented immediately. Currently, new releases are hindered because they can only happen in part of Arizona.

2. The USFWS should eliminate boundaries to the wolves’ movement. The draft proposed rule prevents wolves returning to northern New Mexico and southern Colorado or to the Grand Canyon region, including northern Arizona and southern Utah. (See Map)

  • Preventing movement into northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and the Grand Canyon region, including northern Arizona and southern Utah, contradicts the best available science, which confirms that those areas are essential for Mexican wolf recovery.
  • Additional populations of Mexican wolves are necessary to their recovery and genetic health, as is the ability for wolves to move between populations.
  • Not allowing wolves outside of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area will result in more captures that can result in death or trauma to the wolves. We can’t afford to lose rare Mexican wolves just because they crossed an arbitrary, scientifically unsupported boundary. There should be no restrictions on the movements of Mexican wolves.

3. The USFWS should designate Mexican gray wolves as essential.

  • The current labeling all of the wild wolves as “nonessential” ignores science and the reality of 15 years of experience with reintroducing wolves.
  • The USFWS claims that even if all of the 83 wolves in the wild are wiped out this is not “likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood” of recovery of Mexican wolves in the wild is unsupported by science or common sense.
  • The 83 wolves in the wild have up to four generations of experience in establishing packs and raising pups and are over 22% of all of the Mexican wolves in the world.
  • After multiple generations of captive breeding with few releases, scientists warn that there may be serious genetic problems making captive wolves less able to thrive in the wild.
  • The fourth generation wild lobos are not expendable and are essential to recovering this unique subspecies of wolf.

4. The USFWS needs to quit stalling and complete a comprehensive recovery plan.

  • USFWS admits that their present, typewritten, 1982 recovery plan is not scientifically sound and does not meet current legal requirements – yet in its proposed rule USFWS continues to ignore the best available science and the recommendations of its own science recovery planning subgroup.
  • Current proposals should contain no provisions that would preclude future recovery options.

5. The proposed expanded provisions for “take” (killing, trapping, and removals) of these critically endangered wolves are unacceptable and will not contribute to the wolves’ recovery.

  • Science-based program reviews have shown, and the USFWS has acknowledged, that the killing and permanent removal of wolves by agency managers to resolve “conflicts” has been a major cause of failing to meet the reintroduction objective.
  • The proposed rule changes offer additional excuses for removing wolves. USFWS needs to tighten restrictions for “take” of Mexican wolves, not loosen them.

Submit your comments electronically here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056-6056

Or by U.S. mail or hand delivery to:
Public Comments
Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2013–
0056; Division of Policy and Directives
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275
Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

You can also sign a comment petition here.

Ask your elected officials to weigh in for Mexican wolf recovery. The message to protect wolves will be best received when delivered respectfully and with a focus on evidence and science.

Contact information can be found by entering your address here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Ask everyone you know to act for Mexican wolves before it’s too late.

Share the comment period information on Facebook

Copy and paste this alert into an email and send it to your networks.


We are going all out to ensure that thousands of comments are submitted calling on USFWS to enact only the changes that will promote lobo recovery. This involves numerous expenses, including costs of paid advertising, printed materials, hearing transportation, lodging and refreshments, and supplies. Any amount you can donate will help.

To make a donation, go here.

USFWS’s decision on the proposed rule can help Mexican wolves finally thrive or can push them closer to extinction.

Please act today.

Thank you for giving these special wolves a voice in their future.

Click here to join our email list for Mexican gray wolf updates and action alerts.

Visit us on Facebook here.

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




Earth Justice:  We are going to court for wolves
A Brush with Extintion

Only an estimated 83 wild Mexican gray wolves remain in the United States, yet the Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to develop a legally sound, scientifically based recovery plan to protect them.

We’re waging an emergency battle in court to save these endangered wolves. Will you help us win this and other legal battles?

View details >

Thirty-eight years after receiving protection under the Endangered Species Act, the Mexican gray wolf remains the most endangered mammal in North America and the most endangered subspecies of gray wolf in the world.Following the Mexican gray wolf listing as an endangered species in 1976, the United States and Mexico collaborated to capture all lobos remaining in the wild. This extreme measure prevented the lobos’ extinction. Five wild Mexican wolves (four males and one pregnant female) were captured alive in Mexico from 1977 to 1980 and used to start a captive breeding program. The captive population is managed for maximum genetic integrity by experts with the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan.

View details >

Save our Forests from ORVs

Don’t Let Off-Road
Vehicles Run Amok in Our Forests

The halls of Congress may be quiet but our public lands won’t be if a motorized mayhem bill gets traction.

H.R. 4272, the Forest Access in Rural Communities Act, would open the floodgates to uncontrolled motorized uses of national forests. This bill ties the Forest Service’s hands—prohibiting the agency from common-sense management of motorized vehicles and reverses 9 years of public participation.

Tell Chairman Calvert to stop motorized anarchy from returning to our national forests.

In 2005, after identifying unmanaged motorized recreation as one of the top threats to national forest lands, the Bush Administration began to rein in off-road vehicle abuse. Nine years later, and after extensive public involvement, nearly 90% of our national forests have completed management plans—outlining where motorized vehicles can and can’t go.

But Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) is doing the work of a vocal minority (just 1.4% of forest visitors refer to off-road vehicle use as their primary activity) and introduced H.R. 4272 which would undo all that work by putting an outright ban on the plans or enforcing the rules.

Take action and sign our letter to the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee asking him to stop legislation that would throw over 9 years of planning into the trash bin.

Walden’s bill would allow counties to veto any national forest management decision related to roads or off-road vehicles. This underhanded attempt to put federal land management into the hands of local politicians would set a new precedent. No road signs will be installed, no maps showing the public where roads and trails are located will be printed, and roads that are polluting drinking water and harming fish will be not be repaired.

Essentially, this bill would reverse all progress towards a manageable and sustainable motorized road and trail system on national forests.

Public lands are ravaged enough by extreme off-road vehicle use. Help us and the Forest Service curtail motorized mayhem and ensure public land management stays public.

For the Wild,

Sarah Peters
Wild Places Program Attorney
WildEarth Guardians

ORVsMayhemWildEarthGuardingOver 50 million acres of public lands are currently protected from destructive cross country motorized use and 50,000 miles of routes/roads are closed because of Forest Service travel plans.impactORVWildEarthGuardians
Don’t let Motorized Mayhem Return to National Forests
Poorly located motorized routes cause severe impacts on the environment.This action closes July 25 so please speak out today.TakkActionWildEarthGuardians

See the letter (pdf) signed by over 60 groups opposing this bill.

Read more about Guardians work on travel management.



Celebrate the Signing of the Wilderness Act

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary

of the Wilderness Act

Hike Escudilla of the Signing of the Wilderness ActWhen: Friday, July 11, 9:30 to 2:00
Where:  Escudilla Trailhead
Pre-registeration Required:  Limited to 22 people
To register contact Stephanie Rainey,Conservation Education specialist for the Alpine Ranger District


Register for our Wildlife Tracking Workshop

Introduction to Wildlife Tracking
We share our hiking trails with a lot of different wildlife that leave behind signs of their passing journeys.IMG_0044CaldwellReducedSize Is that a bobcat track or a coyote track? Are you following mountain lion tracks or was someone hiking with their family dog?


Indoor session: Saturday evening, June 21, 2014

  • 4 pm arrival/set-up;
  • 5pm Happy Hour;
  • 6pm Dinner;
  • 7pm Talk Tracking hike:

Sunday morning, June 22, 2014

  • 8 am breakfast;
  • 9 am– 1 pm hike/lunch

Nutrioso, Arizona at Billie Hughes and Russ Winn’s home.
Directions to follow.

Camp-out space is available at Billie and Russ’s.

To RSVP/Questions: Contact Janice Przybyl: mtlion2009@gmail.com, 575.322.2065 & Billie Hughes: chediski@nutrioso.com,928.339.4684

You will learn basic wildlife tracking skills, including:

  • How and where to look for tracksTrack300px
  • What clues in a track help you identify species
  • How to recognize the difference between canine and feline tracks
  • An introduction on how to properly photograph wildlife tracks
  • Natural history elements of each species so you can gain an appreciation of how wildlife move and live on the landscape.

Track identification cards focused on southwest critters will be available for purchase ($5 a set) as well as tracking rulers specifically designed for photo-documentation ($5).
Please bring:
~ A chair to sit on during morning presentation
~ A notebook and pencil/pen
~ A digital camera (if you have, not mandatory)
~ Your normal hiking gear including water and snacks
~ Be prepared for any type of weather
~ Overnight camping gear
~ Food and beverages for yourself for at least 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Apache County Fire Restrictions

Apache County Enters Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Due to extremely high fire risk, effective May 23, 2014 at 8:00 a.m., all unincorporated areas of Apache County will be placed under Stage 2 fire restrictions. Under Stage 2 restrictions, the following prohibitions and exemptions apply:

  • Prohibitions:
    The following acts are prohibited until further notice:
    1. Building maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, including fires in developed campgrounds or improved sites.
    2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
    3. Outdoor Mechanical and Industrial Prohibitions
    a. Operating any internal combustion engine in the course of mechanical or industrial operations that would produce open flames or sparks.
    b. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
    c. Using an explosive.
    4. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.
    1. Use of any and all fireworks.
    2. Use of explosive targets.
    3. Use of tracer round ammunition.

1. Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.

2. Industrial operations where specific operations and exemptions are identified and mitigation measures are implemented as outlined in an agency plan.

3. Persons operating internal combustion engines with spark arrestors such as lawnmowers and landscaping equipment in maintained landscaped space.

4. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame in an enclosed or developed area designated for that purpose that is equipped with appropriate fire protection.

5. Persons using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.

6. Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.

7. Operating motorized vehicles on designated roads and trails so long as you park in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.

8. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads and mitigation measures are implemented as outlined in an agency plan.

9. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.

10. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

11. All land within a city boundary is exempted unless otherwise stated by city ordinance.

An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity.

Stage II Fire Restrictions

Stage II Fire Restrictions coming this Friday May 23rd

This coming Friday, May 23,2014, at 8:00 am, both Apache and Navajo counties will enter into Stage 2 fire restrictions. This means no campfires, charcoal, coal, or wood stoves including fires in developed campgrounds or improved sites. Smoking only allowed within a vehicle or building. Other prohibited acts: operating any internal combustion engine, welding, operating motorized vehicles off designated roads/trails. Use of any and all fireworks, tracer bullets and/or explosive targets are prohibited.

Devices that use LPG fuels and have an on and off switch can be used but only in a cleared and designated area.

Smoke in White Mountains

Smoke in the White Mountains
Posted on May 18, 2014 by BParks
5/18/14 @ 2:03 pm
Residents in the White Mountains will be experiencing heavy smoke due to two fires on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
The Skunk fire is at 18,144 acres, and was lighting caused. It started on April 19, 2014, and has been spreading for 27 days. Total acres are now 18,144 acres. The fire is traveling in a north westerly direction in ponderosa pine/juniper forest and easterly through a step canyon. The south end of the fire is secured and holding. Fire is mostly driven by steep terrain and wind. Road Closure from the junction of Road 1520, 1522, top rim Road Junction 1522 and 1523. Old Summit area down to road 1521 is closed due to the Skunk Fire. Structure protection is in place at the Ash Creek Ranch and Ash Creek ceremonial ground

The Barlow fire is on the San Carlos Apache reservation south of Barlow Tank estimated at 440 acres and headed in northwesterly direction. It started on Saturday May 17th, 2014.The fire is still under investigation. It is a northwest drainage in Ponderosa Pine and Doug Fir fuel type. Fire management is managing for full suppression. Resources at risk are the electric line along rd#1700, IDT Ranch and Seneca Ceremonial Grounds.

From 311info.net

Want to be a wildereness steward?

The White Mountain Conservation League (WMCL) is very pleased to invite our members to become official Wilderness Stewards for wilderness areas on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. This opportunity is available through our special partnership with the Arizona Wilderness Coalition which developed and manages this statewide program. Stewards will participate in a one day training and then will serve as volunteers of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The duties can vary but for the most part the Stewards serve as the eyes of the US Forest Service – observing and reporting on wilderness conditions including recreational impacts, visitor use, trail conditions, presence of non-native plants, etc. The minimum time commitment is for the Stewards to spend two days per year visiting their chosen Wilderness Area(s) although most Stewards are more active. Please read more (below) about this fun and exciting program, and we hope you can join us at the training on May 16!

Friday, May 16, 2014
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Alpine Ranger Station, Alpine Arizona

Directions will be provided in your registration packet.

Additional details will be provided soon!

The Wild Stew program is a statewide program developed by the Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC).  Wild Stew represents more than just our AWC-led field events, we also have a cadre of trained individuals who serve as Wilderness Stewards on their own time.

Individual Stewards receive training on wilderness philosophy and history, federal wilderness management policy, field monitoring protocols and techniques, first aid, backcountry travel preparedness, and more. This one-day training prepares you to collect field data while you are exploring one of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas.

We request your commitment to monitor wilderness conditions twice per year, either in different locations or at an adopted area. Simply observe and report, all while enjoying the outdoors.

Please note: Normally you must attend at least one (1) AWC-led Wild Stew field event prior to applying for the Individual Steward Training.   However, the required attendance of  at least one (1) AWC-led Wild Stew field event prior to applying for the Individual Steward Training will be waived for WMCL members due to the ongoing partnership with AWC.

Sign up for the May 16th training at:


Be sure to identify yourself as a WMCL member. Thank you! Not a member?  No problem.  Join by subscribing to the League’s newsletter at http://azwmcl.org.  It’s free!

In the Footsteps of Leopold at the Foot of Escudilla