Dear Friend of the Wolf,
Thank you for your generous support this year. Your commitment to wolves and wolf recovery is essential to our work to restore the magnificent Mexican gray wolf to the Grand Canyon region!
The year has been an extremely busy and productive one for the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. During July 19-21, 2013, we hosted our first Big Lake Howliday Campout Weekend at Big Lake in the White Mountains of Arizona to launch the Paseo del Lobo campaign and to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the first releases of Mexican wolves back into the wild. We had 85 participants at the campout. They came from all over the Southwest and from as far away as the state of New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. We were also pleased to have participants of all ages, from five to over 75 years old. Weekend events included making Apache fry bread with tribal members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, wildlife tracking workshops, a hike to the Green Fire site where Aldo Leopold had his epiphany about wolves, morning bird walks, evening presentations by a wolf biologist from the Mexican wolf reintroduction project field team, and the director of a Mexican wolf captive breeding facility, and discussions with numerous wolf conservationists. We are planning to host several weekend camping trips in 2014, and we are hoping you can join us!
Waking up surrounded by the immense beauty of the White Mountains in Arizona, I was greeted by crisp dewy July air. At 9000 ft. and a few good rain showers, Mexican gray wolf country is breathtaking. Working this summer as an intern for the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project I had the privilege of spending the Big Lake Howliday Weekend with some of the most fascinating and dedicated wolf advocates. The entire weekend was spent learning, exploring, and sharing the deep passion we all have for the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolves into the Southwest. I believe with so many strong wolf advocates we will keep moving forward and fighting to make sure this species overcomes the controversy of its reintroduction and makes a full recovery. Being able to speak at the national wolf delisting hearing at Pinetop, AZ was an eye opening experience. Many people both for and against took the podium and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest during my two minute testimony where I stressed the importance of a revised science-based recovery plan. As I continue to work with Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, I will focus on the Mexican gray wolf genealogy and making a comprehensive visual chart of the genetics. This is an exciting project and I am thrilled to watch it unfold as I continue my research. Hopefully I will get to share it in the coming year. It is good to use my science and analytical skills to make a difference for a project I am devoted to.
Prescott College student in Conservation Biology
This year, we also had the privilege of working with two excellent college interns and over 100 dedicated volunteers. We conducted many fun and informative education programs for regional schools, public presentations about wolves, and organized outreach tables and events to encourage advocacy on the national wolf delisting and proposed rule changes for Mexican wolves. We helped organize hundreds of wolf supporters to attend two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hearings on wolves in the Southwest, and together with our coalition partners, collected over 10,000 public comments on the proposed rule change for Mexican wolves! Our work is still far from over though, and the political threats that aim to prevent wolves from returning to the Grand Canyon region remain a constant reality. Supporting the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project with your end-of-year contribution will allow us to take full advantage of current opportunities to ensure wolf recovery throughout the region. Thank you for supporting our crucial work to protect endangered wolves and to bring them home to their historic range.
For the wolves,
Emily Renn, Program Director