Speak up for Mexican wolves at August hearings



It’s now or never for the lobo

Last fall, hundreds of New Mexicans came out in force for our native Mexican gray wolves at an Albuquerque federal hearing, demanding that the rare wolves remain under Endangered Species Act protection. Now the lobos are counting on you to do it again for their continued survival in the wild.

Next month, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be holding two public hearings on proposed changes for the Mexican wolf reintroduction program of New Mexico and Arizona. A strong turnout on behalf of lobos is vital to make sure the agency adopts positive proposals and rejects management that would drive the animals to a second extinction.

 

August 11, 2014 – Pinetop, AZ
Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260 (directions)
Public Information Meeting – 2PM-4PM
Public Hearing – 6PM-9PM

August 13, 2014 – Truth or Consequences, NM
Civic/Convention Center, 400 W 4th Ave (directions)
Public Information Meeting – 2PM-4PM
Public Hearing – 6PM-9PM

Carpools and ride-sharing efforts are currently being organized for both hearings. For more information, please visit this link.

For New Mexicans and Arizonans who support the lobos right to roam (respectively, 69% and 77% of the states’ population according to a 2008 poll), these hearings are a very important opportunity to compel successful recovery of our native wolves.

A number of proposals will be discussed at the hearings as part of USFWS’s draft Environmental Impact Statement. Your public comments are key:

  • The agency proposals include an expansion of allowable “take” (reasons for removal of wolves from the wild). The Mexican wolf is a critically endangered species and allowable take must be restricted further, not expanded, for wolves to survive and thrive in the wild.

  • Proposals also maintain arbitrary boundaries on the wolves’ range. Mexican wolves must be allowed to return to the Grand Canyon region and southern Colorado to achieve true recovery. The removal of wolves who venture outside arbitrary boundaries is traumatic and impedes wolves’ natural social structure.

  • Direct releases of wolves into the wild must occur in New Mexico as well as Arizona. Currently, releasing wolves solely in eastern Arizona is severely hindering recovery of the species.

  • Mexican wolves must be listed as “essential” by USFWS. The current designation as “nonessential” is contrary to scientific management as well as our heritage as New Mexicans and Westerners.

  • USFWS must stop stalling on a new recovery plan for Mexican wolves, which has not been updated since 1982.

Please - demonstrate your commitment to wolves and make these hearings successful with your presence. If you cannot attend these USFWS hearings, please contact Senators Udall & Heinrich or your own state’s Senators to urge these steps for lobo reintroduction. For more information on these proposals and all issues related to Mexican wolf recovery, please visit Lobos of the Southwest.