Local & Regional News

Endangered Mexican wolf killed following livestock attacks

Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted September 15, 2017 by Susan Montoya Bryan for the Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An endangered Mexican gray wolf has been killed by federal employees after a Native American tribe requested the animal be removed from the wild in the wake of a string of cattle deaths near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

The death of the female wolf marks the first time in a decade that efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to curb livestock attacks by the predators has had lethal consequences for one of the predators.

The decision to remove the member of the Diamond Pack was first made in June after three calves were killed over several days, sparking concern among wildlife managers about what they described as an unacceptable pattern of predation.

An investigation determined the female wolf was likely the culprit based on GPS and radio telemetry tracking.

Another calf was killed in July, prompting the White Mountain Apache Tribe to call for the removal. That was followed by one confirmed kill and another probable kill by members of the pack on national forest land adjacent to the reservation.

Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle issued another order in August calling for the wolf's removal by the most expeditious means possible.

"I am concerned with the numerous depredations in this area over the past year and the toll these depredations have caused the area's livestock producers," Tuggle wrote.

Environmentalists decried the move, saying they are concerned about the possibility of managers reverting to a rigid three-strikes rule that called for wolves to be removed from the wild or killed if they preyed on livestock. Following years of legal wrangling, federal officials revised that policy in 2015 to allow for more options when dealing with nuisance wolves.

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Biologists, wildlife managers divided on basics of wolf recovery

Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted September 11, 2017 by Emery Cowan

A recently released federal recovery plan for the endangered Mexican gray wolf has received harsh criticism from three of the biologists the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pulled together six years ago in an unsuccessful attempt to draft the same type of recovery document.

“Overoptimistic assumptions,” “flawed” and “impractical” were among the words used in the biologists' comments on the federal plan. It sets a recovery goal of 320 wolves in an area of Arizona and New Mexico south of Interstate-40 and another 170 wolves in northern Mexico.

The biologists were part of a nine-member science advisory group that in 2012 concluded more than double that number of wolves spread out over a much larger range would be needed to establish a self-sustaining population in the Southwest.

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Business Leaders Want Mexican Wolves In Grand Canyon Area

KNAU Arizona Public Radio (Original) Posted on August 29, 2017 by the Associated Press

More than 60 business leaders have urged the federal government to release endangered Mexican gray wolves into the Grand Canyon area in northern Arizona and eastern Utah.

The business leaders are submitting their request in a joint letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The federal agency is seeking public comments on its draft plan that limits the wolf-recovery efforts to just one zone south of Interstate 40 in Arizona and New Mexico.

The business leaders include owners, managers and independent contractors from the tourism and service industries in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

They say the wolf-recovery efforts will have economic and environmental benefits.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is under a court order to have a completed recovery plan by the end of November.

Business leaders call for Mexican wolf restoration in Grand Canyon area

The Arizona Republic (Original) Posted August 28, 2017 by Alex Devoid

Over 60 business leaders have urged the federal government to release endangered Mexican gray wolves into the Grand Canyon region, expanding the predator's habitat beyond eastern Arizona.

The group submitted a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service criticizing the agency's long-awaited recovery plan released in June because it confined the recovery zone south of Interstate 40.

The business leaders include owners, managers and independent contractors, among others, from the tourism and service industries in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

Gray wolves in the region would benefit the tourism industry and the ecosystem, the business leaders wrote, citing such benefits associated with gray wolf recovery near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Montana.

Researchers at the University of Montana have estimated wolf tourism brings $35.5 million a year to the Yellowstone region.

And gray wolf reintroduction at the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona and New Mexico benefits the economy by an estimated $3.2 to 3.8 million a year, according researchers at Defenders of Wildlife and State University of New York.

Wolves also strengthened Yellowstone's ecosystem, where they preyed on older elk and animals with infirmities, according to researchers at Defenders of Wildlife.

The business leaders urged the wildlife service "to resist the efforts of narrow political interests that undermine (the gray wolf's) recovery."

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Press Release: Over 60 Business People Call for Mexican Gray Wolves to be Recovered in the Grand Canyon Area

For Immediate Release August 28, 2017
Contact: Emily Renn, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (928) 202-1325

Over 60 Business People Call for Mexican Gray Wolves to be Recovered in the Grand Canyon Area
U.S. Government is Seeking Comments to Recovery Plan that Fails to Bring the Endangered Wolves to the Area

Over sixty business people are calling for the recovery of endangered gray wolves in the Grand Canyon area in northern Arizona and southern Utah, citing economic and environmental benefits. They are submitting their request in a joint letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The service is seeking public comments on its controversial draft plan that ignored recommendations by scientists by limiting the wolf recovery efforts to just one area in the U.S. located south of Route 40 in Arizona and New Mexico.

Signers include owners and others in a wide array of industries, such as tourism, outdoor, retail, lodging, restaurants, artists and service industries.

The letter reads: “I urge the USFWS to stick to the principle of basing recovery goals for the Mexican wolf on peer-reviewed science and to resist the efforts of narrow political interests that undermine this recovery. I am with the 81% of Arizona voters who support the return of the Mexican wolf to the Grand Canyon region and who look forward to the benefits, both ecological and economic, which will accompany this return.”

“I view the recovery of the Mexican wolf in the Grand Canyon ecoregion as a positive for our region. My business will benefit from the increased tourism that can be expected based on the experience of the recovery of the gray wolf in the Yellowstone region where wolf-tourism has brought $35 million a year into the region.”

Examples of the signers are owners and others from Adessi Adventures LLC, Babbitt's Backcountry Outfitters, Canyon REO, Dark Sky Brewing, Firecreek Coffee, Flagstaff Climbing Center, Flagstaff Soap Company, Lee's Ferry Lodge, Kahtoola, Marble Canyon Lodge, Marble Canyon Metalworks, plus many more.

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