Wolves far from in recovery

Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Letter to the Editor Posted on August 7, 2015 by Roxane George

To the editor:

How ironic that David Wolf's August 6th column claiming to present "the facts" on the status of Mexican gray wolves is itself rife with fallacies. The most glaring of these is Wolf's claim that with only 109 Mexican gray wolves in a single population in the wild, and another 250 in captivity, they are no longer close to extinction. They are, in fact, one of the world's most endangered wolves, and they desperately need the federal protections Gosar's bill would remove.

Like Arizona Game and Fish, Wolf implies that we need not recover our native wolves in the Southwest because a significant portion of the lobo's historic habitat was in Mexico. This is indicative of a mindset that still sees wolves as a problem to be rid of, rather than important, intelligent animals that can help make our wildlands whole, and our deer and elk herds healthy. Thousands of these wolves roamed the Southwest prior to European settlement. They belong here.

While Arizona Game and Fish biologists contribute greatly to Mexican wolf reintroduction, the politically appointed Commission has repeatedly acted to subvert wolf recovery. Just one day after Wolf's column was published, the Commission voted to keep genetically valuable adult wolves in captivity while the wild population becomes increasingly genetically impoverished.

Our lobos need genetic rescue, two new populations north of I-40, and a science-based recovery plan. They don't need barriers to recovery erected by Arizona's Game and Fish Commission or misleading newspaper columns about their plight.