Local & Regional News

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

U.S. Wildlife Managers To Update Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Rule

KNAU Arizona Public Radio (Original) Posted April 15, 2020 by the Associated Press

U.S. wildlife officials are seeking public comment as they prepare to update a rule that guides management of endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will be working on a supplemental environmental review of the 2015 rule.

The process was prompted by a 2018 court decision that ordered the agency to take another look at the rule to ensure wolf recovery in Arizona and New Mexico isn't compromised.

The court set a deadline of May 2021 to finalize a revised rule.

There are more than 160 Mexican Gray Wolves in the wild in the two states.

Feds look to next chapter for controversial gray wolves

The Arizona Republic (Original) Posted April 15, 2020 by Debra Utacia Krol

After nearing extinction, a controversial reintroduction to the wild and a string of shootings, controversies and lawsuits, the Mexican gray wolf awaits the next chapter of its story.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a call for public input on April 14 as part of rewriting the rules that define how the predator is managed in the wild.

The previous rule was enacted in 2015, but environmentalists sued, saying it was insufficient to grow the animal's population, and in 2018 a judge ordered a revamp.

The revised rule must be completed by May 17, 2021.

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