Who We Are

Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Final 02132019 brochure cover

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Our Mission: The Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project is dedicated to bringing back wolves to help restore ecological health in the Grand Canyon region.

The Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project (GCWRP) works collaboratively with partner organizations to educate and motivate the regional public to support wolf restoration. By creating meaningful opportunities for the public to learn about wolves, experience their habitat first-hand, interact with land managers and engage in public decision-making, we are making positive grassroots change to achieve improved and sustainable habitat conditions for wildlife, specifically wolves. Our goals are to compel leadership within the Grand Canyon National Park, surrounding land management agencies, and the regional community to help lead the way for the return of Mexican gray wolves, the most endangered subspecies of wolf in the world, to a suitable portion of their historic range in Arizona.

Because of the critical ecological role played by wolves, in 2004, concerned citizens and conservation leaders joined forces to form a new grassroots organization, to restore the wolf to its former range. In 2005, we were officially named the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. Wolves are native to northern Arizona but were eradicated from the region in the early 1900s as part of a wolf extermination program. The Mexican gray wolf is now considered one of the most endangered mammals in North America, with a population of only about 131 individuals in the wild of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.

Over the last ten years, with the help of our volunteers, we have held 88 events in the Flagstaff and Grand Canyon communities to build support for wolves and distributed information through tabling at over 104 public forums. We have also educated over 36,000 people from the U.S. and abroad by tabling at the North and South rims of Grand Canyon National Park and regional events. Our tabling campaign has generated over 3,000 post cards to the Southwest Regional Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and over 550 hand-written post cards to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, expressing support for the recovery of wolves to the Grand Canyon region. In 2014 and again in 2017, we assisted wolf advocates in submitting over 1,000 comments on the FWS proposed rule change to the Mexican gray wolf experimental, non-essential population rule and draft recovery plan. We coordinated phone banking efforts and organized carpools from around the state to help wolf supporters attend, testify, and ask questions at public meetings hosted by the FWS on the proposed rule change and draft recovery plan for Mexican wolves. In August 2017, we submitted a letter to FWS on behalf of over 60 business leaders from the region that support wolf recovery in the Grand Canyon region for the economic and ecological benefits wolves could provide. We continue to build positive public enthusiasm for wolves through education programs in schools, outreach events, and communication with regional businesses.

Visit our Conservation Partners Page to see what other organizations support our mission to restore wolves in the Grand Canyon region.

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Staff and Board

Emily Renn at PD colonyEmily Renn – Executive Director
Emily began working for the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project in 2009. She completed her M.S. degree at Northern Arizona University in Biology with a focus on wildlife conservation biology, and B.S. in Biology with emphasis in Fish and Wildlife Management. Her graduate research focused on the survival success of translocated Gunnison's prairie dogs in the Flagstaff area, and she continues to coordinate prairie dog translocations for colonies threatened by development or destruction. Her research has been published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. She was awarded the Roger Hungerford Student Award in 2009 by the Arizona Chapter of the Wildlife Society for significant contributions to the management and conservation of Arizona's wildlife through her work as a student. Emily currently serves on the board of Habitat Harmony, an organization that assists humans living in harmony with wildlife. She is also certified level II in Wildlife Track & Sign wildlife tracking by CyberTracker Conservation. Over the past 12 years, Emily has worked as a field biological technician, researcher, and environmental educator with many species of mammals and birds in northern Arizona. Emily is committed to working on behalf of declining and endangered wildlife and is excited to be a part of the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. Contact Emily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Toni Prothero - Secretary of the Board Toni at the Alhambra 2012 138
Toni brings many years of experience to her position as a board member and volunteer for the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. She has been involved in education since 1985 and has taught in public schools in California, Washington, Arizona, and New Mexico. Toni has a Bachelor's degree in anthropology and a Master's degree in teaching, both from the University of Washington in Seattle. In addition to her experience in public education, she has been involved in animal welfare for the past 10 years as a member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators, as education and outreach director for the Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, Arizona, and as a volunteer for the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. Toni lives in Flagstaff with her husband and two dogs with whom she enjoys exploring the southwest.

Sally Evans photoSally Evans – Treasurer of the Board
Sally has over thirty years of experience working with non-profits, state agencies, and small businesses. She is a Certified Research Administrator, and has expertise in federal grant management and general fiscal administration. Most recently, Sally has worked as the Operations and Contract Manager for the Ecosystem Science and Society Center at Northern Arizona University. She is a new retiree from the university.

Janice Przybyl BoardphotoJanice Przybyl — President of the Board
Janice ardently believes that introducing people to wildlife tracking is a positive way to educate and energize individuals about nature and wildlife conservation. She has been organizing wildlife tracking workshops and classes since 2001. In 2003, she earned an M.A. in Environmental Studies from Prescott College with a master's thesis that explored the theoretical and practical framework for instituting a volunteer-based wildlife tracking project. That manuscript became the management model for the Wildlife Monitoring Program at Sky Island Alliance, a conservation organization based in Tucson, Arizona. As coordinator for the Program, Janice developed the instructional curriculum for training volunteers and designed the protocol for data collection. In addition, she worked with public policy makers and land managers to promote and ensure landscape permeability for wildlife. Moving from Tucson to New Mexico in 2010, Przybyl now lives near Quemado with her husband and dogs surrounded by breathtaking views of grasslands and mesas. She continues to organize introductory wildlife tracking workshops, primarily throughout the Mexican wolf recovery area of New Mexico and Arizona.

Kays bio photoKay Bordwell - Vice President of the Board
Kay has been an educator, environmentalist and artist throughout her life. She received a Master of Education in Special Education from Northern Arizona University. She has had a 25 year career in education particularly with students of differing ability. Her community involvement includes representing the county, her community, her church and children’s theater. She has volunteered with the Flagstaff Food Kitchen, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Sierra Club, Odyssey of the Mind and with Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project tabling at many locations, presenting information and speaking before the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. She is dedicated to the idea that community involvement and a balanced ecosystem creates a livable environment for all citizens and a future for generations to come.

Seeking New Board Members to Join Our Team!
Please read a letter from our board president about serving on the board of directors

If you are interested in serving on the board of directors for the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, please fill out this application.