Wolf reintroduction: Point/Counterpoint

Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted October 22, 2015 by April Smith

To the editor:

RE: Arizona Game & Fish commissioners do not qualify for science-based decisions

In support of Roxane George's letter, which stated "[AZ and NM] have a broken system ...which assigns authority over wildlife to those who serve a narrow political agenda, rather than those who are best qualified and willing to follow and implement the best available science for the good of all the state's wildlife, especially endangered species." The biographies of Arizona commissioners reveal none has a science background. All are unqualified political appointees representing a narrow, frightened, unscientific political stance. Two are members of a foundation dedicated to the "protection" of the Mexican wolves' prey species: elk. Unbiased, informed decisions will NEVER come from these politically chosen commissioners.

Genetic drift now threatens the genetic health of the recovery of the grey wolf in Arizona and New Mexico. The 110 members of free-roaming wolf packs now on public lands are too closely related.Their genetic status is that of brother and sister; an unacceptable concept in ANY population.

The solution is to release genetically unrelated wolves currently in captivity due to failed Game and Fish commission decisions in both states. U.S. Fish and Wildlife must not abrogate to opinions from unqualified groups. Neither the New Mexico nor Arizona commissions have enforcement authority; and worse, no scientific basis to their decisions.

Congratulations to USFW on their decision to ignore N.M. Game and Fish and to continue with release plans on the Gila National Forest. Maybe they'll take that same courage to an Arizona wild release policy and ignore Arizona Game and Fish.



Read Wolf reintroduction: Point/Counterpoint submission by AZGFD Commissioner Pat Madden here.