PUBLIC MEETING FOR MEXICAN GRAY WOLVES
AUGUST 28. 2014 ~ SANTA FE, NM
If you are in New Mexico, the meeting for the NM State Game Commission has been rescheduled for August 29. 2014 ~ 9:00 a.m. MST in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Location to be determined, will update here as soon as we know.
In the meantime you can call 888-248-6866 for more information.
Thank you to :
Eva Sargent, Southwest Program Director
Defenders of Wildlife
REASON FOR THIS MEETING:
The New Mexico Game and Fish Commission will be voting to give themselves the power to approve or deny a permit for the possession and release of any Mexican gray wolf in New Mexico. They could even deny a request to allow these wolves to be protected in captivity.
There are fewer than 90 wild Mexican gray wolves in the entire world. These wolves will not recover and will face extinction in the wild, unless more are reintroduced in New Mexico.
If this regulation passes, things will much harder for the lobos. Their last hope is for you, and people just like you, to stand between them and changes that could drive them toward extinction.
Once you RSVP, look for another email from us with talking points to use if you choose to testify. Remember, if you don’t wish to speak, you are helping the wolves just by showing up!
Photo credit : Robin Silver
August 18. 2014
Reposted from Defenders of Wildlife Wolf Weekly Wrap Up ~ August 15. 2014 :
A Home Run: Recap of This Week’s Mexican Wolf Hearings: We asked for your support and we got it in spades!
This week, the Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov/ hosted two public hearings in New Mexico and Arizona where the public was invited to provide comments regarding their recent proposal that will change the rules about how Mexican gray wolves http://www.defenders.org/mexican-gray-wolf/basic-facts?_ga=1.72253018.875246331.1398808300 are managed in the wild. Thank you to the many local supports who came to testify at those events. At both the hearings – one in Pinetop, AZ on Monday, and a second hearing in Truth or Consequences, NM on Wednesday — testimony supporting wolves outnumbered anti wolf testimony 2-1. For several hours, the Service heard from folks of all walks of life — ranchers, hunters, families, teachers – who spoke passionately about the value of having Mexican wolves in the wild. Wolf supporters were informed and articulate, talking about the different alternatives proposed and the details of each. All of your comments will go into the public record and will be evaluated by the USFWS as they decide how to manage critically endangered lobos. If this week has proved anything, it has shown that Defenders’ true strength lies in our committed and passionate members who represent this organization across our country. Thank you for your continued support as we continue to fight for the Mexican gray wolf.
Reposted from High Country News
The Latest: Wild Mexican wolf pups born in Sierra Madre
The species still struggles on both sides of the border.
This summer, the first known litter of wild Mexican gray wolf pups was born in the western Sierra Madre.
NEWS - From the August 18, 2014 issue
By Wyatt Orme
Hunting, trapping and poisoning nearly obliterated the Southwest's Mexican gray wolf in the '70s. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began captive breeding and started releasing wolves in New Mexico and Arizona 16 years ago. Today, around 83 roam the wild, but conflicts with humans and livestock have prompted environmental groups to try to create more cow-free space by retiring grazing permits ("The Gila Solution," HCN, 2/17/14). http://www.hcn.org/issues/46.14/46.3/can-a-grazing-buyout-program-ease-life-for-wolves-and-ranchers
Mexican wolves were also nearly wiped out south of the border, where officials began releasing captive-bred animals in 2011. This summer, the first known litter of wild pups was born in the western Sierra Madre (see photo above). Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment until Sept. 23 on a revised, and controversial, management plan. Advocates want stronger protections, but the proposal continues the animal's ESA "nonessential experimental" designation. It would give wolves more room to roam, though not into historic range in the Grand Canyon and Southern Rocky Mountains.
SPERM BANKING REVIVES ENDANGERED MEXICAN WOLF
One of the male Mexican gray wolves at Brookfield Zoo. They can be seen at the Regenstein Wolf Woods exhibit.
(Photo credit: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society)
Posted by Jordan Carlton Schaul of University of Alaska; Grizzly People on April 5, 2014
Earlier this week, the USFWS announced that a pregnant, captive born, female Mexican wolf reared at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo will be released next week into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area of Arizona as a part of the Mexican wolf recovery effort in the United States.
F1126, known as “Ernesta” to zoo staff, has been paired with a male (M1249) who was captured during an annual survey of the wolf population. Another pair was already released into Apache National Forest this month.
“We anticipate the release of these two pregnant females from captivity will have a higher chance of success because they are paired with males that already have extensive wild experience,” said Benjamin Tuggle, the USFWS’s Southwest Regional Director. “The genetic value of the two females will help us as we move toward establishing a more genetically robust population of wild wolves.”
Besides supplying reintroduction candidates, zoos have been instrumental in the restoration effort for the endangered subspecies through genetic management of the captive gene pool. A collaborative effort between the St. Louis and Brookfield zoos has also demonstrated that assisted breeding technology is closer to becoming a reality for frequent use in the wolf conservation effort. Artificial insemination (AI) can be a tool of great value once the genetic management of the captive wolf population is enhanced with the help of gamete banking—the storage of semen and ova from living or deceased wolves.
New developments in cryonics, specifically the banking of vitrified oocytes, may be a game changer in the conservation of genetic diversity for endangered species. The technique ultimately eliminates the reliance on existing embryo cryopreservation and subsequent transfer technology.
Vitrification of oocytes, which is unprecedented for an endangered species recovery program, refers to the complete removal of lethal ice crystals within the oocyte. Vitrification differs from standard cryopreservation in that the oocytes are moved through solutions that pull the water out of the oocyte to prevent ice formation. Along with the preservation of semen, the vitrification of oocytes will serve to optimize genetic management of the captive population.
Sathya Chinnadurai, DVM, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ACVAA, associate veterinarian for the Chicago Zoological Society, and Cheryl Asa, Ph.D., director of research for St. Louis Zoo, look at the quality of the Mexican gray wolf sperm under a microscope. (Photo credit: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society)
Dr. Cheryl Asa, the director of research at the St. Louis Zoo, indicated that semen banking is just as integral to the genetic management of Mexican wolves as egg cell banking because they can match ova with sperm from more males than those that are living. Dr. Asa said, ”Currently our focus is on banking genes. Although, animals will age and eventually die, their genes will still be available.” So for now, she said, “Components of cryopreservation, from freezing protocols to post-thaw analysis of sperm and egg quality, will be important to assisted breeding applications (e.g. artificial insemination).”
The St. Louis Zoo has maintained a frozen semen bank under the auspices of the USFWS Mexican wolf recovery program since 1991. St. Louis Zoo is one of the few sophisticated captive wildlife facilities in the world with the capacity to bank genes and develop complementary assisted reproduction technologies. Advances in reproductive physiology and theriogenology are increasingly being used in the ‘sorta situ’ (ex situ and in situ) approach to conservation. They offer more than just a means to artificially propagate founder stock for field conservation programs.
As far as gamete banking is concerned, zoos can pinpoint specific genes that will benefit the reintroduction program. Joan Daniels, Associate Curator at the Brookfield Zoo said, “In addition, these techniques can permit the selective breeding of individuals representing specific genetic lineages.” She added that they can also use cryogenics to preserve gametes for future reproduction efforts if they are not needed for current breeding plans. Zoo populations also provide backup stock in the event that a reintroduced individual becomes a casualty.
As a result, the zoos involved with the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan have made it logistically possible and feasible to continually augment reintroduction populations with genetically sound and redundant individuals, fine-tuning science to make recovery efforts more efficient and more resilient.
An egg yolk extender has been added to the Mexican gray wolf semen.
This protects the sperm cells during the freezing process. The semen is placed in a water bath that will provide a controlled cooling rate period in the refrigerator. After the semen is cooled little straws are filled with it and then placed over liquid nitrogen. (Photo by Jim Schulz/Chicago
From the type of semen collection method (i.e. manual or electroejaculation), to the storage method (i.e. fresh, chilled or frozen) to picking the right donor, to choosing surgical or nonsurgical insemination procedures, many options exist in terms of biotechniques to choose from. Of course, these living institutions are committed to animal welfare as much as their mission is to conserve. So they practice the least invasive techniques, and often without the risk of surgery, when it comes to the genetic management of captive wildlife.
Although gray wolves were once the most widespread mammals on the planet, the extant population now occurs in one-third of its historic range, including three states in the southwestern U.S. where it was once extirpated.
Thanks to the development of reproductive strategies such as sperm banking, along with a highly coordinated management of the living population, the Mexican wolf—one of 27 subspecies of gray wolves—is making an impressive comeback. Mexican wolves have been and will continue to be released in designated U.S. recovery zones in the Apache and Gila National Forests of New Mexico, through a rigorous selection and acclimation process.
This subspecies has been functionally extinct (extinct in the wild) in the United States for many decades. It was nearly extirpated in Mexico, but occasional sightings in the 1970’s confirmed that the wolf was still free ranging across the Mexican border. Its U.S. range included—Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico—and new research suggest the subspecies may have occurred further north.
But it is the captive management and captive population, now comprised of 300 wolves in 45 U.S. and Mexican facilities that have saved the endangered canid from absolute extinction. In fact, conservation breeding of Mexican wolves, which are also the smallest and rarest subspecies of grey wolf, has been an integral part of the restoration program since its inception in the late 1970s.
Specifically, a species survival program was established in 1977 for the subspecies recovery effort. This bi-national breeding program was launched with the capture of the entire wild population and it has undoubtedly saved the Mexican wolf.
Jump ahead to today. Nearly 40 years have passed since the founding stock of five wild individuals was first placed in captivity. On March 29, 1998, almost 16 years ago exactly, the first 11 captive reared wolves were released into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, which includes the aforementioned National Forests in portions which extend through parts of New Mexico and Arizona.
Last year marked the third consecutive year in a row that the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program saw a 10 percent or greater increase in the population size of this subspecies of gray wolf, which is comprised of 15 packs. Fixed wing aircraft and ground census work confirmed this increase for an extant population of wild born wolves. It is significant that these wolves are wild born. The founder stock of captive wolves has perished since the inception of the recovery program. However, their offspring and that of subsequent generations of Mexican wolves, all born in the wild, continue to flourish and produce their own litters. This is a testament to the success of the reintroduction program and is suggestive of just how genetically robust the wolf population has become.
In the future, zoos will be able to transport semen instead of their resident wolves and coordinate “breeding” activities between institutions through the AZA’s nationwide Mexican Wolf Species Survival Program and even internationally.
According to Joan Daniels, a curator at the Brookfield Zoo who has oversight over the institution’s Mexican wolf management program, “Having future capabilities to use advanced reproductive procedures with wolves such as artificial insemination will greatly enhance the ability to manage zoo populations. Individual wolves might not need to be moved from one zoo to another for breeding if genetic material could be exchanged instead. Wolves are highly monogamous and socially bonded in captive packs, so not having to disrupt the social groupings to manage the genetics would be of great benefit.” As mentioned, semen can also be stored and utilized from animals well after they have expired which will allow for the preservation of genetic lineages until space is available to allow for selective reproduction.
As a note, the Regenstein Wolf Woods, which includes the Mexican wolf exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo, includes “design implementations to cultivate natural behaviors” conducive to animals being released in to the wild. These include the following husbandry practices and enclosure design features:
Wolves socialize only with each other. Keepers do not interact directly with wolves.
Wolves receive native prey species such as elk hide, bison meat, and whole prey items.
Climbing logs, a pool, heated rocks, and loose dirt encourage natural behaviors like playing, lounging, and digging.
Buildings blend in with the natural surroundings so that the wolves don’t associate manmade structures with shelter or food.
“We are committed to the highest level of animal care, and Regenstein Wolf Woods ensures that wolves participating in the release program will be successful in their transition into the wild,” Daniels said.
In 2012, I reported on the first attempted release of Ernesta. I also reported on the advances in clinical care and study of Mexican wolves, made possible by the Brookfield Zoo’s sophisticated diagnostic imaging suite in this earlier piece.
Dr. Jordan Schaul is an American zoologist, conservationist, journalist and animal trainer based in Los Angeles, California. He is a regular contributor to Nat Geo News Watch. For more of his posts, please visit his profile page on this website.
Keywords:artificial insemination assisted reproduction technologies AZA Brookfield Zoo canids Cheryl Asa Chicago Zoological Society Ernesta gamete banking Joan Daniels Jordan Schaul Mexican gray wolves oocytes semen semen banking SSP St. Louis Zoo
April 10, 8:24 pm
As you can see from the first comment- Sam has thrown a lot of numbers and statistics at us. That is a very common technique used to confuse people and to make him sound more informed and professional. The key word I want you to read is in his last sentence- “assumptions”.
Obviously Sam doesn’t care if this rare wolf goes extinct. He’s obviously more concerned about ranchers who can’t keep track of their own cattle and keep them safe. While this is a very small problem- there are a lot of very viable solutions to keep wolves at bay. It’s proven that wolves will stay away when guard dogs are keeping watch on the herd. There are also other low cost solutions that you can view at http://www.defenders.org . For the pet side of the conversation- if you love your pets, you will keep them safe inside and safe inside a fenced in yard. If not, and a coyote or wolf gets them, it is you fault and no one elses. Please, lets all use some common sense and passion and help these wolves make the comeback that they need and deserve.
April 7, 6:35 pm
Success of the Mexican grey wolf will be dependent on how ranchers are treated…. which is not good! It’s sad that so much money is spent on litigation for this animal….Habitat is the key and any betterment of the environment for wolves should be on preserving the habitat that is there (which is almost non existent). The current environment allows for some pretty disgusting numbers …
They say there were 19 confirmed depredations….BUT they do not tell you how many NON-Confirmed cattle are killed. Wolf Loving biologist Dr David Mech testified in court that only one in six TRUE depredation are ever confirmed. So that 19 confirmed depredations in 2012 was really 114 of which RANCHER took the hit for 95 animals….
Then they do not mention depredations on pets / dogs. The ratio of livestock (cattle & Sheep) to dog depredations in Wisconsin is around 50 percent of what the CONFIRMED depredation are SO if they had 19 confirmed depredation that means their were 9 that were probably confirmed …. and 54 pets (pet horses, cats lama’s & chickens) that were actually killed taking in consideration the .NON-confirmed depredations
When keeping in mind that the 2012 population was JUST 58 animals …. We can safely assume that:
58 wolves (estimated population)
19 Confirmed livstock $14,300
95 Non-confirmed livestock (per ratio above $71,500) paid for by ranchers every year…!
9 (estimated) Confirmed dogs/pets
54 Non-confirmed dogs / pets These animals are worth more than a dollar value BUT even at the ratio above the are worth $47,415 paid by the ranchers and pet owners … every Year!
So a total of 174 domestic animals were killed by these Mexican wolves…
So based on these facts and assumptions the ON AVERAGE chance of the Mexican Gray wolf to kill or maim someone’s livestock or pet over JUST ONE year is 174 / 58 .IS 300% …..
Reposted from our Wolf friends
Canis Lupus 101@canislupus101
Sunday, May 11, 2014
ARIZONA~ STATE: NO MEXICAN GRAY WOLVES FOR FLAGSTAFF AREA
Lobo (Mexican Wolf not a Husky)
12 hours ago • ERIC BETZ Sun Staff Reporter
A collection of hunting advocacy groups have signed onto a plan with the Arizona Department of Game and Fish, calling Mexican gray wolf recovery impossible in the Southwest without habitat in Mexico. The plan seeks to create a corridor that would allow wolves to head toward Mexico and disperse. Conservationists said the state plan is not based on science and would harm efforts to re-establish wolves in the Southwest.
Game and Fish bases its plan on a contested claim that 90 percent of the Mexican gray wolf historical range lies south of the U.S. border. The state plan would restrict habitat north of the border to areas it defines as historical habitat. The state agency would also keep wolves from reaching Flagstaff and all areas west of Payson because they have a poor “prey base” and are too heavily populated with humans. The plan says that the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, as well as Colorado and Utah, should not be used because they are outside the historical range of the wolf.
But the state’s idea that Mexican wolves should stay in a restricted historical region, including south of Interstate 40, contrasts with a scientific research as well as a draft recovery plan leaked from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service several years ago. Researchers studying wolf genetics at the University of California Los Angeles found that northern gray wolves wandered as far south as Arizona and Mexican wolves roamed north in Utah and Colorado. Their genetics were mixed and biologists say they can’t rule out that Mexican gray wolves might have originally come south from Canada.
In a statement sent to the Daily Sun, Arizona Game and Fish Department Director Larry Voyles said that the agency’s plan could potentially increase the proposed wolf population from “not less than 100” to as many as several hundred. The population is currently 83 animals, but the leading cause of death continues to be illegal shootings. “The biggest impediment to the Mexican wolf reintroduction effort in the Southwest isn’t biologically based. It’s social tolerance for an apex predator on today’s modern landscape that must support such a wide variety of conservation, recreation and economic uses,” said chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission J.W. Harris in a prepared statement. “This alternative represents the first time such a broad-based group has come together for Mexican wolf conservation, and it goes a long ways to enhancing social tolerance and, in turn, successful conservation of the species.”
Among the groups listed as “critical stakeholders” on the Game and Fish plan are some two dozen ranching and hunting groups like Phoenix Varmint Callers Inc., a club dedicated to killing predators, and Big Game Forever. The latter was audited after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Utah state government to fight wolf recovery efforts. “It pretty well totally ignores the best available science,” said Kim Crumbo, Conservation Director with the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council.
Crumbo is a stakeholder on Fish and Wildlife’s Mexican gray wolf recovery plan. “That’s not enough wolves to ensure their long-term survival,” Crumbo said. “It would result eventually in their extirpation and eventual extinction.”
TWO WOLVES REACH FLAGSTAFF
The state’s plan, released last month, is being offered as an alternative to the proposal floated by Fish and Wildlife to allow Mexican gray wolves to roam between Interstates 40 and 10 in Arizona and New Mexico. That plan is currently in its draft Environmental Impact Statement phase.
As the U.S. government seeks to delist the gray wolf, it’s trying to find a new strategy for the beleaguered Mexican gray wolf recovery program. The smaller subspecies was extinct in the wild when Fish and Wildlife started reintroducing it to a small patch of land in the White Mountains of Arizona and New Mexico in 1998.
Researchers say that large chunks of land outside the recovery area could support wolves, but the animals that have left in the past have been brought back by wildlife officials or illegally killed. Two wolves have made it to the Flagstaff area. One was hit by a car on Highway 89 north of Flagstaff; the other was shot illegally after roaming as far as Mormon Lake. There remain more captive wolves than wolves in the wild.
The state’s plan calls on the federal government to minimize introducing captive-born wolves to the wild and instead relocate existing wolves to desired new locations. “Any effort by USFWS to expand Mexican gray wolf presence in AZ-NM to a broader area or to greater numbers than are set forth in this Alternative may be aggressively litigated by one or more entities among the Cooperating Agencies and the supporting stakeholders,” the plan by Arizona Game and Fish reads.
1,000 WOLVES ‘UNACCEPTABLE’
Prior to the Mexican wolf being killed off in the wild, animals were found as far east as western Texas. The leaked Fish and Wildlife document also outlines research that supports allowing the Mexican gray wolf to expand into the northern reaches of New Mexico and Arizona, as well as portions of Utah and Colorado, including the Rocky Mountains. The researchers contend that, regardless of historical range, endangered species are often introduced to areas where the habitat is suitable. A group of conservation scientists studying the area found that as many as 1,000 wolves could survive within three distinct populations.
That number has not been taken well by state wildlife managers, who see it as a threat to sport hunting and trapping in Arizona. The state’s plan suggests killing wolves if their population grows large enough to kill more than 15 percent of prey like elk and deer. “The numbers suggested to date by USFWS of 900 to a thousand or more are unrealistic, unmanageable and unacceptable,” the state and its partners wrote in their plan.
April 25. 2014
NM: MEXICAN GRAY WOLVES SLOWLY GAINING GROUND IN FORESTS
Posted on April 24, 2014 by TWIN Observer
by John Larson
The Mexican gray wolf population is continuing to stabilize with the recent releases of two pairs in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in the Gila and Apache National Forests.
The first male-female pair was released on April 2; the second pair, on April 9.
An Interagency Field Team will be monitoring the wolves and, if necessary, provide supplemental food while they acclimate to the area and transition to catching native prey in the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Area.
The Interagency Field Team is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Mexican wolf population. Team members said they believe the females are pregnant; the timed releases should allow the wolves to transition to their new territory prior to giving birth to pups.
The two female wolves were selected from the captive breeding population to increase genetic diversity of the wild wolf population. Both males were captured during the annual wolf population survey in January.
As of the end of last year, the count was 83 Mexican wolves, up from a count of 75 the year before.
The Mexican Wolf/Livestock Coexistence Council — an 11-member volunteer group of livestock producers, tribes, environmental groups, and county coalitions — has developed an innovative Strategic Coexistence Plan, to reduce wolf/livestock conflicts and the need for management removals of depredating wolves.
Please see the plan here:
The plan has three components: payments to livestock producers for wolf presence, funding for conflict-avoidance measures and funding for depredation compensation.
Sherry Barrett, the Mexican Wolf Recovery coordinator for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said her organization does weekly “telemetry flights on these animals we have in the wild.”
“There’s about 50, of those 83, that have telemetry collars on them. Some of the wolves have GPS collars as well.”
Still, many ranchers and cattle growers in Socorro and Catron counties are dubious.
Jess Carey, the Catron County Commission’s wolf investigator, said the wolves are a dangerous presence to cattle growers as well as ranch families in the area.
Carey said that since 2006, when he first took over the job, he has tallied 211 livestock depredations, as well as 10 pets killed or injured by wolves.
“There have been 21 since the first of this year,” Carey said.
Carey said the official count of cows killed by wolves is grossly inaccurate.
“If you have 10 cows and calves killed in one 24-hour period the Interagency Field Team counts that as one incident,” Carey said. “And if you had a cow due to give birth within a week or two, they count that as one depredation.”
Fish and Wildlife’s payments to livestock producers for wolf presence will be based on a formula that considers a variety of factors to determine allocation of the annual funding for each applicant, including whether the applicant’s land or grazing lease overlaps a wolf territory or core area, and the number of wolf pups annually surviving to December 31 in the territory.
The formula also considers the number of livestock exposed to wolves and the applicant’s participation in proactive conflict-avoidance measures.
In addition, direct compensation will continue for confirmed-livestock deaths or injuries caused by Mexican wolves to livestock producers who are not otherwise receiving payments for wolf-presence funding under the Coexistence Plan, unless they require immediate reimbursement.
In such cases, the reimbursement amount will be subtracted from the payment for wolf-presence allocation to that livestock producer.
“Recovering the Mexican wolf must be accomplished on a working landscape,” said Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s southwest regional director. “Working collaboratively with stakeholders, we can achieve a balance of activities that sustain economically viable ranching operations and a self-sustaining population of wild wolves. This plan is a significant step in that direction.”
To report wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredation, call 888-459-9653 or 928-339-4329.
This entry was posted in Southwest US, Wolves in the News by TWIN Observer.
April 24. 2014
Reposted from mexicanwolves.org
IN THE NEWS: ARIZONA BILL ALLOWING RANCHERS TO KILL WOLVES ALSO VETOED
Please take a minute to thank Arizona Governor Jan Brewster for speaking on behalf of Mexican Gray Wolves with this decision~ Contact information to send a letter is below. You can also just send her a tweet at @GovBrewer
Capitol Media Services, Howard Fischer, April 23, 2014
PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer will not give ranchers and their employees permission to kill endangered Mexican gray wolves on federal lands.
The measure vetoed Tuesday was crafted by Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford. She has been a vocal foe of the program by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce the wolves into sections of Arizona and New Mexico, saying they are endangering not only cattle but also pets and children.
SB1211 would have spelled out that ranchers could “take” a wolf — legalese for killing — that was killing, wounding or biting livestock. It also would have legalized a guard dog that is protecting livestock killing a wolf.
And the law would also have permitted killing a wolf in self-defense or defense of others. In that case, though, the act would have to be reported within 24 hours to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Brewer, in her veto message, said she is a “strong supporter” of states’ rights. But she said SB1211 is both unnecessary and conflicts with federal law.
She said the state Game and Fish Department already is working with federal agencies to deal with how wolf reintroduction will affect the state. By contrast, Brewer said SB1211 would have given that duty to the state Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for dealing with ranchers and grazing.
Beyond that, Brewer said the legislation sought to put the Mexican wolf in the same legal category as mountain lions and bears. But she said that is in conflict with federal law which does allow killing those two species in certain circumstances but not the wolves.
“A state simply does not have the power to allow a ‘take’ on federal lands,” the governor wrote.
Brewer took no action Tuesday on HB2699, a related measure on her desk. It would allow a livestock operator or agent to kill a wolf on public lands if it in self defense or the defense of others, with the only requirement that it be reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But that measure also contains language that Brewer could find in conflict with federal law.
It directs the Attorney General’s Office to seek funds from the federal government to pay ranchers for their losses. But it also says that if the federal government doesn’t come up with the cash, the Legislature will consider a measure to require that Mexican wolves be restricted to federally controlled lands and removed from state and private lands.
Note: On Wednesday, April 23, Governor Brewer also vetoed HB2699.
Please write letters to the editor thanking Governor Brewer for vetoing this unnecessary bill and supporting Mexican wolves.
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 and talking points for writing your letter are below, but please write in your own words, from your own experience.
Submit your letter to the editors of the following news sources.
The Arizona Daily Sun
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
Arizona Daily Star
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
Your West Valley
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
Casa Grande Dispatch
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
Tucson News Now
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
The Republic, Indiana
Submit your letter to the Editor here.
Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
At last official count, only 37 Mexican gray wolves were found in AZ, and only 83 were found total in the wild, making them critically endangered. We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to ensure their recovery and not push them closer to extinction as these bills aimed to do.
Governor Brewer was right to veto SB1211 and HB2699. The proposed legislation would have embarrassed the state by attempting to illegally override federal laws that protect endangered species.
Polling showed 77% of Arizona voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction. Legislation to impede wolf recovery is a slap in the face to the majority of voters who want wolves to thrive.
Mexican wolves are native to Arizona and were reintroduced in Arizona over 16 years ago. They are part of our natural heritage and we should do everything we can to protect them, rather than trying to again extirpate them.
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.
Wolves generate economic benefits - a University of Montana study found that visitors who come to see wolves in Yellowstone contribute roughly $35.5 million annually to the regional economy.
Wolves once lived throughout Arizona and played a critical role in keeping the balance of nature in place. We need to restore this important animal that has been missing for too long.
The livestock industry has a responsibility to share public lands with wolves and other wildlife. Funds are available to help livestock growers implement nonlethal deterrents, better animal husbandry practices, and other innovative tools that minimize conflict.
Current rules governing the Mexican wolf reintroduction already allow people to defend themselves if attacked by a wolf. These bills were blatant pandering to a minority of extremists and would have encouraged illegal killing of endangered wolves for a longer list of reasons.
Make sure you:
Thank the paper for publishing the article and thank the Governor for her vetos.
Do not repeat any negative messages, such as “cows may have been killed by wolves, but…” Remember that those reading your letter will not be looking at the article it responds to, so this is an opportunity to get out positive messages about wolf recovery rather than to argue with the original article.
Keep your letter brief, between 150-200 words.
Include something about who you are and why you care: E.g. “I am a mother, outdoors person, teacher, business owner, scientific, religious, etc.”
Provide your name, address, phone number and address. The paper won’t publish these, but they want to know you are who you say you are.
Click here to join our email list for Mexican gray wolf updates and action alerts.
Visit us on Facebook here.
April 22. 2014
Beautiful, beautiful news for our Mexican Gray Wolves
Thank you Arizona Governor Jan Brewer@GovBrewer
for exercising rational judgement in coming to this conclusion, and thank you so very much, @Wulalowe for bringing this joyful news to us.
Our Mexican Gray Wolves have an honest chance for a fine future in the Southwestern U.S. wilderness now.
VETOES BILL ALLOWING WOLF KILLING
Updated 7:39 pm, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday vetoed a bill allowing ranchers to kill endangered wolves in self-defense.
Senate Bill 1211 would have allowed livestock owners to kill a Mexican gray wolf if one was caught attacking livestock or a person.
Wildlife activists say the bill violated the federal Endangered Species Act.
In her veto letter, Brewer said she is a strong supporter of states' rights but feels the bill is unnecessary and conflicts with federal law.
"A state simply does not have the power to allow a take on federal lands," Brewer wrote.
A separate bill approved by both chambers sets up a reimbursement fund for ranchers who lose cattle to wolves. The governor has not issued a statement on House Bill 2699.
Proponents say the federal government is overstepping its boundaries with its wolf-recovery program in Arizona and New Mexico.
ARIZONA OFFICIALS SUPPORT
Published 5:51 pm, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is supporting an alternative for managing Mexican gray wolves along the Arizona-New Mexico border.
The commission voted in favor of the alternative during a meeting Tuesday. It says the proposal was developed by 28 cooperating agencies and other stakeholders and will be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for consideration.
The proposal would allow for up to triple the target number of Mexican wolves in the Southwest from the previous goal of 100. Supporters say that would help with developing a self-sustaining population.
The alternative also calls for a major expansion of the area where wolves can be released and expansion of the area where wolves can disperse and establish territories.
Commission Chairman J.W. Harris says the biggest impediment to wolf reintroduction is social tolerance.
MEXICAN GRAY WOLF/LIVESTOCK COEXISTENCE COUNCIL
2014 STRATEGIC PLAN
Please view the entire plan here, along with additional information about non lethal predator control utilized for wolf/livestock coexistence:
April 20. 2014
Reposted from mexicanwolves.org
EDITORIAL: CONFRONTATIONAL STANCE VS. FEDS BORDERS ON IRRESPONSIBLE
Arizona Daily Sun, April 20, 2014
It’s clear that a lot of conservative Republicans in this country think the federal government interferes with what should be the prerogatives of the states.
And not only does it interfere, they say, but the current administration comes down on the wrong side of issues like health care, immigration, education reform and climate change, to name a few.
That’s nothing new. What is different is how far Arizona Republicans are willing to go to subvert and even overturn federal policies with which they disagree. This includes bills that require the federal government to turn over federal lands to the state, deport protected Mexican gray wolves, check in first with the county sheriff before making a mine inspection, and have federal health care reform navigators get state licenses.
Some of these bills are seen for what they are — grandstanding for conservative constituents and special interests — and never pass. Others pass but are vetoed. Almost all are unconstitutional on their face and will cost the state plenty in legal fees if they are enforced.
This past, week, though, the anti-federalist rhetoric took a troubling turn, and it was led by Flagstaff’s own state representative, Bob Thorpe. He and several other lawmakers traveled to Nevada to show support for rancher Cliven Bundy of Bunkerville, whose cattle were ordered seized because he had grazed them on federal lands without paying the required fees.
It is certainly troubling enough that Bundy has become a folk hero even to people outside the sovereignty movement, which denies federal authority under a convoluted and irrational theory of states’ and individual rights. For others who simply don’t like paying taxes to lionize someone who is clearly breaking the law makes a mockery of all the other ranchers in the Southwest who dutifully pay their grazing fees, even if they don’t like them.
Thorpe, however, used a two-minute point of privilege Tuesday to read into the record a resolution decrying the violation of “civil rights, property rights and free speech rights” in Bunkerville and asking for a congressional and state investigation into “any and all violations” to assure that “constitutional rights” are upheld.
It’s of course disturbing that Thorpe chose not to read into the record the history of Bundy’s failed lawsuits against the BLM and his refusal to pay grazing fees. What’s worse, though, is that Thorpe’s incendiary statement came two days after a confrontation between BLM officials and armed sympathizers of Bundy spoiling for a fight. The federal agents backed off seizing Bundy’s cattle Sunday rather than risk bloodshed to allow the situation to cool down.
That is all the more difficult when elected officials like Thorpe who are sworn to uphold the law throw oil on the fire of confrontation instead. Worse, demonizing federal employees for the sake of making a political point can endanger their safety, as we’ve seen in other western states. If Thorpe and others contend the BLM has no right to charge Bundy grazing fees, they need to take it to court or to Congress, not encourage an armed standoff.
RIDICULE AND DISMISSAL
But as we noted above, Thorpe’s conduct is part of a pattern of antipathy toward the federal government in the Legislature that only sets up Arizona for ridicule and dismissal. How many CEOs rule out the state as an expansion possibility because its Arizona legislative opponents believe the Common Core — adopted by 45 states — is a federal conspiracy to further a “collectivist” and “anti-family” agenda?
If the Republicans were consistent in their defense of self-determination against an overbearing federal government, at least Arizona cities like Flagstaff could rest easier in the knowledge lawmakers would leave them alone. But just the opposite has taken place in recent years as the Republican majority has played Big Brother to municipalities in setting local election dates, gun laws and rules for traffic cameras. They even talked of regulating chicken coops in city back yards.
As a result, it’s difficult not to conclude that Republicans are simply playing obstructionist politics with federal laws and programs they don’t like, including voter registration, health insurance, immigration and wolf reintroduction. That’s not principled, it’s pandering to a narrow, ideological base that simply doesn’t represent the vast majority of Arizonans.
As we have noted before, state elected officials who refuse to engage the world on broader, collaborative terms not only risk enacting unworkable policies but also discourage civic engagement. Most voters occupy in their daily lives a vast middle ground of negotiation and the accommodation of diverse views and inconvenient facts. When politicians dismiss that middle ground, they undermine the possibility of even arriving at a concept of the common good. That’s a threat to the future of representative democracy itself, and it is a trait that voters should oppose in their elected officials in the strongest possible terms.
Serving this week on the Daily Sun’s Editorial Advisory Board were Publisher Don Rowley, Editor Randy Wilson and citizen members Stan Sutherland, Susan Cooper, Roman Lewicky, Janis Klinefelter, Ken Lamm and Jean Richmond-Bowman.
Our View: State Rep. Bob Thorpe and others who condone armed resistance undermine democratic engagement.
This Editorial was published in the Arizona Daily Sun on April 20, 2014.
ARIZONA SENATE OKS KILLING OF ENDANGERED WOLVES
The range for the reintroduced Mexican gray wolf has been widened to include areas of Southern Arizona.
Photo: Mexican gray wolf ~ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
21 hours ago • By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services30
State lawmakers voted today to let ranchers shoot the Mexican gray wolves being reintroduced to the Southwest despite their listing under federal law as endangered.
On a 16-12 vote the Senate approved legislation that allows a livestock operator or agent to kill a wolf on public lands if it in self defense or the defense of others. The only requirement under HB 2699 is that the act must be reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In separate action the House gave final approval to SB 1211. Its permission to kill wolves on public lands is broader, extending that to any wolf engaged in killing, wounding or biting livestock. And it also allows dogs which guard livestock to kill wolves.
The 37-22 vote came over the objections of Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson.
"We nearly destroyed the buffalo years ago," she told colleagues, evoking the image of herds of animals shot and left to rot on the Great Plains. "We're about to do this to the Mexican wolves. We don't have to keep repeated the tragic mistakes of history."
And Rep. Jonathan Larkin, D-Phoenix, said there are "more humane" alternatives to having ranchers kill the wolves. He said that New Mexico, for example, has set up a fund to reimburse ranchers for lost livestock.
That actually is part of HB 2699, though there are no actual funds to do that. Instead, the legislation tells the attorney general to seek funds from the federal government to pay the ranchers for their losses. But it also says that if the federal government doesn't come up with the money, the Legislature will consider a measure to require that Mexican wolves be restricted to federally controlled lands and removed from state and private lands.
Much of the debate concerns whether wolves, which everyone admits were here until at least 1930, should be reintroduced to Arizona.
PLEASE HELP TO BRING ABOUT THE CHANGES NEEDED TO HELP OUR LOBOS THRIVE
From our Wolves at :
You can help bring about policies needed for the long-term recovery of Mexican gray wolves with a phone call today.
Recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed one very good and many very bad changes to the rules governing the Mexican wolf reintroduction.
The proposal is very important to the future of Mexican wolves in the wild, who numbered only 83 at the last official count.
USFWS plans to release a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and to hold a public comment period and hearings this year.
Your help is needed now to make sure that changes to help the lobos thrive are included and the changes that would push them closer to extinction are discarded.
PLEASE TELL DECISION-MAKERS:
1. I support direct releases of Mexican wolves throughout the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, the one critical change included in the proposed rule.
This change has been recommended by experts for over 10 years and needs to be implemented immediately. Currently, new releases are hindered because they can only happen in part of Arizona.
2. The proposed rule prevents wolves returning to northern New Mexico and southern Colorado or to the Grand Canyon region, including northern Arizona and southern Utah. The USFWS should eliminate boundaries to the wolves’ movement.
Preventing movement into northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and the Grand Canyon region, including northern Arizona and southern Utah, contradicts the best available science, which confirms that those areas are essential for Mexican wolf recovery.
Additional populations of Mexican wolves are necessary to their recovery and genetic health, as is the ability for wolves to move between populations.
The proposal to capture and remove wolves who roam outside of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area will result in more captures that can result in death or trauma to the wolves. We can’t afford to lose rare Mexican wolves just because they crossed an arbitrary, scientifically unsupported boundary. There should be no restrictions on the movements of Mexican wolves.
3. The USFWS should designate Mexican gray wolves as essential.
The current labeling all of the wild wolves as “nonessential” ignores science and the reality of 15 years of experience with reintroducing wolves.
The USFWS claims that even if all of the 83 wolves in the wild are wiped out this is not “likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood” of recovery of Mexican wolves in the wild is unsupported by science or common sense.
The 83 wolves in the wild have up to four generations of experience in establishing packs and raising pups and are over 22% of all of the Mexican wolves in the world.
After multiple generations of captive breeding with few releases, scientists warn that there may be serious genetic problems making captive wolves less able to thrive in the wild.
The fourth generation wild lobos are not expendable and are essential to recovering this unique subspecies of wolf.
4. The USFWS needs to quit stalling and complete a comprehensive recovery plan at the same time as or before changing the current rule.
USFWS admits that their present, typewritten, 1982 recovery plan is not scientifically sound and does not meet current legal requirements – yet in its proposed rule USFWS continues to emphasize a woefully inadequate population of only 100 wolves in the wild. Instead of following the best available science on recovery, the Service is chasing after what a 31-year-old inadequate plan suggested as a good first step.
Current proposals should contain no provisions that would preclude future recovery options.
5. The proposed rule must not include expanded provisions for “take” of these critically endangered wolves.
Science-based program reviews have shown, and the USFWS has acknowledged, that the killing and permanent removal of wolves by agency managers to resolve “conflicts” has been a major cause of failing to meet the reintroduction objective.
The proposed rule changes offer additional excuses for removing wolves. USFWS needs to tighten restrictions for “take” of Mexican wolves, not loosen them.
HOW TO CONTACT OFFICIALS:
Be respectful and avoid name calling. The message to protect wolves will be best received when delivered respectfully and with a focus on evidence and science.
NM residents: Please contact New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and ask them to influence USFWS to make the changes above.
Tom Udall: ABQ: (505) 346-6791 * Santa Fe: (505) 988-6511
Martin Heinrich: ABQ: (505) 346-6601 * Santa Fe: (505) 988-6647
Residents of other states: Please contact your elected officials. Contact information can be found by entering your address here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
Not in the U.S.? Please click here to send an email to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell asking her to make the changes above. firstname.lastname@example.org
USFWS’s decision on the proposed rule can help Mexican wolves finally thrive or can push them closer to extinction.
Please act today.
Thank you for giving these special wolves a voice in their future.
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