Local & Regional News

40K+ Weigh In On Mexican Gray Wolves

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2020

Contact:
Sandy Bahr, Grand Canyon Chapter Sierra Club, (602) 999-5790, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Rebecca Bullis, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0295, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Kelly Burke, Wild Arizona, (928) 606-7870, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Logan Glasenapp, New Mexico Wild, (414) 719-0352, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Maggie Howell, Wolf Conservation Center, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
David Parsons, Project Coyote / The Rewilding Institute, (505) 908-0468, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mary Katherine Ray, Rio Grande Chapter Sierra Club, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Emily Renn, Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, 928-202-1325, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chris Smith, WildEarth Guardians, (505) 395-617, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

40K+ WEIGH IN ON MEXICAN GRAY WOLVES
60-day public comment period ends with outpouring of support for wolf recovery

TUCSON, Arizona (June 15, 2020) - On April 15, 2020, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) opened a 60-day “scoping” period to receive public comments on needed changes to a management rule that will determine the recovery success of Mexican gray wolves in the southwestern United States. This revision follows on a court order to remedy the rule’s deficiencies and use the best available science. Despite the challenges to public outreach in the midst of the global pandemic and stay-at-home orders, supporters of effective science-informed recovery of the critically endangered “lobos” submitted more than 40,000 comments.

By initial review, the large majority of the comments submitted appear to be in support of the (FWS) taking all crucial and necessary measures to restore the endangered subspecies’ declining genetic health, allowing unrestricted dispersal to critically important habitats, and removing the current population cap limiting the U.S. population to only 325 wolves. Proponents are also calling for an “essential” status designation for Mexican gray wolves.

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Wildlife Managers Use Pup Fostering To Boost Wolf Genetics

KNAU Arizona Public Radio (Original) Posted May 29, 2020 by the Associated Press

A record number of captive-born wolf pups has been placed into the wild as part of an effort by federal and state wildlife managers to boost the genetic diversity among Mexican gray wolves in the Southwestern U.S.

The interagency team announced the results of this season's cross-fostering program Thursday. They say the work of integrating the 20 pups into wild wolf packs took place in April and May. A dozen pups were fostered into four packs in eastern Arizona. Eight were spread among three packs in New Mexico. The most recent survey shows there are more than 160 wolves in the wild in the two states.

Advocates question investigations used to target 'problem' wolves

Arizona Daily Star (Original) Posted on May 26, 2020 by Henry Brean

The remains of the dead cow were found early last year in the bottom of a canyon on National Forest land near Reserve, New Mexico.

All that was left was a wadded scrap of dried hide that investigators photographed then collected from the rocky ground at the base of a pinyon pine tree.

They had to soak the skin for weeks before it was soft enough for them to find tooth marks on it.

The size of the bite and the location of the hide was all the confirmation they needed. As far as the federal government was concerned, this 4-year-old cow was killed by a Mexican gray wolf.

Advocates for the endangered predator aren’t convinced.

An ongoing analysis by the environmental group Western Watersheds Project is raising questions about these livestock depredation investigations, which are being used to compensate ranchers and target "problem" wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

The group documented significant oddities, errors or conflicting details in more than two-thirds of the 117 investigations it reviewed from 2019.

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Rough start to the year for Mexican gray wolves, cattle

Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted on May 26, 2020 by Susan Montoya Bryan for the Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One Mexican gray wolf died after being caught in a trap in April and another was found dead in the wild, bringing the total to more than a dozen of the endangered predators that died in the first four months of the year in New Mexico and Arizona.

Environmentalists say a combination of lethal management by U.S. wildlife officials and private trapping is making it difficult to recover the species.

But ranchers say they face constant pressure from the wolves, pointing to the more than two dozen cattle that were killed just last month.

The latest wolf and livestock deaths come as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service begins wading through the process of revamping a rule that guides management of wolves in the Southwest.

The public has until June 15 to comment on the issues to be considered by officials. So far, nearly 800 comments have been submitted.

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Letter to the Editor: Don't forget wildlife issues during pandemic

Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted April 30, 2020 by Kay Bordwell

I read with dismay the information regarding the killing of 4 Mexican gray wolves by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. I appreciate that the Daily Sun continues to alert readers to important wildlife issues even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

It seems very ironic that cattle growers continue to despair how wolves have impacted their precious livelihood when they continue to neglect their herds and disdain any implementation of simple and effective use of wolf deterrents with range riders, flags, and removal of sick and lame animals what would attract predators. The people with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are also promoting, through legislation, expanded hunting and fishing to wildlife refuge areas in many states.

This action goes against the very reason for refuges -- to protect wildlife -- not provide another place to hunt and fish. If any good comes of this pandemic, hopefully we will not go back to the misconceived ideas that have plagued our country and state with regard to wildlife. Other species are not here for our consumption and recreation but as integral and immensely important spokes on the web of our ecosystems.

There is no better time than now to speak out with comments to U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Arizona Game and Fish on protection of our endangered species and our wildlife refuges.

KAY BORDWELL

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