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Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project
  • Speak out against draft plan to allow more killing of critically endangered wolves!

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has released a draft proposal to change the rules governing the Mexican wolf reintroduction.

    I am essential wolf photo by WCC

    The draft proposal, if implemented, will seriously jeopardize the continued existence of critically endangered Mexican gray wolves, who currently number less than 90 in the wild. The proposal ignores the best available science and recommendations by top wolf scientists.

    • USFWS proposes to allow more Mexican wolves to be shot, trapped, and permanently removed from the wild.
    • The proposal continues to designate the wild population of lobos as "non-essential," failing to give them additional protections necessary to their survival.
    • And, while it does expand the area wolves can roam, it restricts them to parts of New Mexico and Arizona below I-40, even though leading wolf scientists say that populations of Mexican wolves north of I-40 are essential to the lobo's recovery.

    The only completely good thing it does is to finally allow new wolves from the captive breeding population to be released into a larger area, a change desperately needed for genetic rescue of the wild population.

    USFWS has released this draft proposal with a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public comment and will hold hearings on August 11 in Pinetop, AZ August 11 and on August 13 in Truth or Consequences, NM.

    PLEASE ACT NOW TO MAKE SURE THAT CHANGES TO HELP LOBOS THRIVE ARE INCLUDED IN THE FINAL RULE AND CHANGES THAT WILL LEAD TO THEIR EXTINCTION ARE DISCARDED.

    Here are some of the ways you can help:

    SUBMIT COMMENTS
    Submit comments on the draft proposal before September 23, 2014 and include these specific talking points in addition to your personalized message:

    1. I support expanding the area in which direct releases of Mexican wolves can occur, 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 USFWS should eliminate boundaries to the wolves' movement. The draft proposed rule prevents wolves returning to northern New Mexico and draft rule change proposal mapsouthern Colorado or to the Grand Canyon region, including northern Arizona and southern Utah.

    • 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.
    • Not allowing wolves 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.

    • 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 expanded provisions for "take" (killing, trapping, and removals) of these critically endangered wolves are unacceptable and will not contribute to the wolves' recovery.

    • 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.

    Submit your comments electronically here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056-6056
    Or by U.S. mail or hand delivery to:
    Public Comments
    Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2013–
    0056; Division of Policy and Directives
    Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife
    Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275
    Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

    SPREAD THE WORD
    Ask everyone you know to act for Mexican wolves before it's too late. Please copy and paste this alert into an email and send it to your networks.

    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.

    Link for the 2014 Proposed Revision to the 10j Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf

    Link for the DEIS for the Proposed Revision to the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) and the Implementation of a Management Plan

  • Paseo del Lobo

    Paseo del Lobo (Path of the Wolf)

    A Wolf Awareness campaign along the path of natural dispersal from the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area to the Grand Canyon

    paseo-del-lobo-trail-map-2-thumbThe Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project is excited to host our wolf advocacy campaign annual camping trips and hike from June to October 2014 that will follow a natural dispersal corridor, connecting the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (where Mexican gray wolves currently live) to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (where we are advocating for their return). Mexican wolves are capable of traversing hundreds of miles, and need room to roam in order to establish a metapopulation structure to preserve remaining genetic diversity.

    Two wolves have been documented in the Flagstaff area since the initial release of Mexican wolves into Arizona in 1998. In 2000, a female Mexican wolf wandered northward, eventually traveling over 200 miles until a vehicle struck and killed her just twelve miles north of Flagstaff on US Highway 89. In 2001, federal and state wildlife agencies reported that a radio-collared, yearling male lobo traveled from his reintroduction site in the Apache National Forest to the Mormon Lake vicinity on the Coconino National Forest south of Flagstaff. The agency biologists later tracked him moving south to Clear Creek and then eastward along the Mogollon Rim headwaters. It is possible he was following the scent of the female wolf who traveled this route before him, seeking out a mate he would never find. Our sojourner was shot and illegally killed in early 2002. As a community awareness event, the Paseo del Lobo hike offers participants a unique opportunity to learn more about little-known stories like this, as well as current efforts to help critically-endangered wolves make their way back to the wild.

    Quick Links:      Volunteer for Paseo del Lobo      Support the Events      Follow the Trail     

  • paseodelobo-flyer-thumbVolunteers needed to hike, bike, join trail support teams, or help with special events!

    Volunteers will be expected to serve as a positive spokesperson for Mexican wolf recovery, sharing your photographs and video experiences of the trail!

    We will provide participants with a detailed map of their section, overview maps of the area, GPS unit with the trail track loaded, a first aid kit, satellite phone (for emergency uses), a digital camera, and hand-held video camera.  We will meet hikers or bikers at the trail head each morning at 9 am (unless another start time is pre-arranged and confirmed) and volunteers will meet you at the end of the trail section each afternoon for a shuttle back to your personal vehicle at the trail head.

    Join Today
    Volunteer Registration -- Volunteer Release Form

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