Please write a letter to the editor of The Salt Lake Tribune today, thanking them for the recent series of articles on anti-wolf lobbying and expressing outrage at Utah's tax dollars being spent to enrich Don Peay and his cronies at the expense of education, wolves and the Endangered Species Act.
The letters to the editor page is one of the most widely read, influential parts of the newspaper. One letter from you can reach thousands of people and will also likely be read by decision-makers. Tips for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience.
Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
- Start by thanking paper for publishing this article. This makes your letter immediately relevant and increases its chances of being published.
- Convey your outrage at the idea of Don Peay receiving taxpayer funds to undermine the Endangered Species Act and spread misinformation about wolves while important programs like education are underfunded.
- Tell readers that the funding was recommended by Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, who received $6,500 last year in campaign donations from Don Peay and Ryan Benson, the two men requesting the $300,000.
- Point out that Peay and his cronies already got $300,000 last year and there has been no accountability or oversight on how that money was spent.
- Inform readers that, at last count, just 75 Mexican gray wolves, including three breeding pairs, survived in the wild. Yet Don Peay wants to strip protections from this critically endangered animal.
- Tell readers why you support wolves and stress that the majority of Utah residents support wolves and understand their importance. In Utah polling by Bruskotter et al., Utah State University, 74% of respondents displayed a positive attitude toward wolves.
- Talk about your personal connection to wolves and why the issue is important to you. If you're a grandmother wanting your grandchildren to have the opportunity to hear wolves in the wild, or a hunter who recognizes that wolves make game herds healthier, or a businessperson who knows that wolves have brought millions in ecotourism dollars to Yellowstone, say so.
- Describe the ecological benefits of wolves to entire ecosystems and all wildlife. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.
- Keep your letter brief, between 150-200 words.
- Provide your name, address, occupation, and phone number; your full address, occupation, and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.
If you live in Utah, you can also help by contacting the Governor and tell him this proposal is an outrage. Ask him to veto the budget bill as it stands with this anti-wolf lobbying appropriation. Calls are most effective.
Governor Gary R. Herbert - (801) 538-1000
When you call, simply say that you find this proposed allocation of your money to pay Don Peay to lobby against wolves morally reprehensible and economically irresponsible. Tell him that you think the State would be better served by using this money for education and the Department of Environmental Quality. If you email, say the same thing and in the subject line of your message say in capital letters NO MONEY TO ATTACK WOLVES AND THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT!
Thank you for taking action for these wonderful animals!