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Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project

Local & Regional News

Feds: No wolves to roam in Grand Canyon

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Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted on July 25, 2014 by Eric Betz

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is scrapping any immediate plans to allow the beleaguered Mexican gray wolf population to expand north to the Grand Canyon, as many wolf advocates and scientists have advocated in recent years.

But wolves could still roam as far north as Flagstaff, so long as they didn't cross Interstate 40.

On Thursday, the federal government published its long-awaited draft environmental impact statement, as well as revisions to proposed rule changes for the wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico. Depending on the final plan, it could be the most significant change for the Mexican gray wolf since being reintroduced to the wild following their extermination.

The proposal drastically expands the potential wolf habitat beyond its current small range along the New Mexico-Arizona border, where the animal has been limited since 1998. Under most alternatives in the proposed plan, wolves would be able to roam in New Mexico and Arizona from Interstate 40 south to the border of Mexico.

Wolves wandering north to habitat on the San Francisco Peaks or Grand Canyon National Park and beyond would be removed.

Federal Plan Would Expand Wolf Territory in Arizona, New Mexico

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The Arizona Republic (Original) Posted on July 24, 2014 by Brandon Loomis

Arizona's imperiled but rebounding wolf population is set to get a vastly increased range, but also perhaps a shorter leash around livestock and wildlife, under new rules proposed by federal wildlife officials.

The Mexican gray wolf — an endangered subspecies that lives only in Arizona, New Mexico, and with one new pack in Mexico — until now has been confined to a 4.4 million-acre forested mountain stronghold called the Blue Range. All releases of captive-bred wolves and transplants of roaming wolves have been confined to that zone straddling the Arizona-New Mexico line in the Apache and Gila national forests.

If the federal proposal is adopted after a 60-day comment period that starts today, wolves that behave themselves will be welcome anywhere south of Interstate 40. On paper, that's 98 million acres, though only about a fifth of that is considered suitable wolf habitat.

Let wild wolves roam in wilderness

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Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Letter to the Editor Posted on June 13, 2014 by Nicole Walker

To the editor:

The Mexican gray wolf, nearly eradicated to a population of only seven, was reintroduced to a small contiguous region in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998. Since then, the number of wolves in the region has grown to only 83 — a much, much smaller number than is feasible for genetic viability. The proposed expanded "wolf zone" is bounded by two freeways, I-10 and I-40.

If a wolf crosses beyond the boundaries of this narrow band of land, it is "relocated," which often does not go well for the wolf.

It is time to let the wolf roam further north, toward the Grand Canyon, where the people who live there and visit there do so for what the wolf represents: open spaces, ecologically sound land, wild animals and the dream of wilderness.

Wolves are not the dangerous animals conveyed by the media. They are intelligent, family-oriented creatures. A bit like us.

Even if we put all human proclivities above animals, we, by confining the wolf to one small region and preventing the wolf population from growing, effectively destroy the wildness of wilderness.

Nicole Walker


Editorial: Game and Fish Should Wait For Full Wolf EIS

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Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted May 15, 2014, Editorial

There is no easy answer to the question: Why bring back endangered Mexican gray wolves?

The habitat in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico has been changed through logging and ranching.

The land beyond the initial release zone is full of dangerous, high-speed highways.

And there is strong criticism in the region of federal land management, undermining any federal effort to make the reintroduction program collaborative.

Any one of those factors would make the wolf project difficult; taken together, they would seem to doom it.

But federal wildlife managers have pressed on, and recently they have taken the initiative on two fronts.

State: No Mexican gray wolves for Flagstaff area

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Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted May 11, 2014 by Eric Betz

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.

More Articles...

  1. Guest Column: Game and Fish plan makes it easier to kill wolves
  2. Guest Opinion: Game and Fish can't be trusted with wolf program
  3. Wild Battle Rages Over Wolves, Wilderness And Politics Of Extinction
  4. Brewer vetoes bill letting ranchers kill endangered wolves on federal lands
  5. Wolves make the elk herd strong
  6. State Legislature Attempts to Limit Federal Wolf Reintroduction
  7. Alpha wolf pack sighted in Flagstaff
  8. Wolf Wanderers blog post
  9. Letter to the Editor: Thorpe's wolf story too one-sided
  10. Anti-wolf bills clear case of over-reaction
  11. House should listen to public on wolf issue
  12. Bob Thorpe trims wolf proposal
  13. Legislators work to cap gray wolves in Arizona
  14. Denying federal authority costly, inconsistent
  15. Wolves are in the crosshairs, thanks to Sen. Gail Griffin
  16. Thorpe takes up cause of Arizona ranchers losing cattle to wolves
  17. Wolf plan reignites passions
  18. National Wolf Awareness Week Event to Affect the Future of Wolves in AZ
  19. Mexican gray wolf: Where the wild things aren’t
  20. New study forecasts genetic risks to wolves in western US unless dispersal can connect isolated populations
  21. Letter to the Editor: Writer's wolf argument holds water
  22. Coconino Voices: Wolves deserve wider range
  23. Letter to the Editor: Let wolves roam more widely
  24. Editorial: Wolf expansion plan needs more details
  25. Wolves to roam toward Flagstaff?
  26. Arizona Endangered Wolves Still On The Brink
  27. Press Release: Scientists Call on Obama Administration to Keep Gray Wolves Protected Under Endangered Species Act
  28. Sedona Lecture Series focuses on Mexican Gray Wolf – April 8
  29. Howling-Good Films: Wild and Scenic Film Festival Visits Flagstaff and Benefits Local Wolf Recovery Project
  30. 15 Years of Mexican Gray Wolves: Celebrate or Sob?
  31. Arizona commission backs request to remove wolves from endangered list
  32. Wolves in Utah
  33. Attempt to strip dollars for anti-wolf lobbyist fails
  34. Why keep wolves out?
  35. Editorial: Just cry wolf
  36. Anti-wolf group likely to get second $300,000 Utah payment
  37. Legislators steering another $300,000 to anti-wolf crusade
  38. Expert: Still a Long Road Ahead for Mexican Wolf Recovery
  39. Why not control elk with wolves?
  40. Number Rose for Endangered Wolves in 2012
  41. Elk Targeted Over Aspen
  42. Grand Canyon Elk Go From Attraction To Menace
  43. Team's daily job is to manage wolves back from the brink of extinction
  44. Idea for Wolf Diversity Draws Ire
  45. We can still save the Mexican gray wolf
  46. Follow the Trail
  47. Reintroduce wolves to control bison
  48. Canyon backcountry users weigh in on access
  49. Delisting Mexican wolves sets dangerous precedent
  50. Mexican gray wolves deserve protection
  51. Wolves in wilderness part of divine splendor
  52. Coconino Voices: Wolves on rise but far away from recovery
  53. Arizona's wolves need a break
  54. Game and Fish abandoning gray wolves
  55. Mexican gray wolves due more protection
  56. Don't give wolf opponents tracking frequencies
  57. Song of the wolf long overdue here
  58. Wolf return connects us to natural world
  59. North Rim wolf revival?
  60. Environmental film festival entertains and educates
  61. Prosecute killers of wolves as criminals
  62. Mexican wolf count drops by 10 from year ago
  63. It's succeeding despite setbacks
  64. Wolf recovery now in better hands
  65. Federal agency settles wolf lawsuit
  66. Bookmans supports Arizona Coalition to save wolves!
  67. Wolves from Mexico no threat to U.S.
  68. Land of Vanishing Predators addressed at lecture
  69. Wolf recovery can succeed
  70. Survey shows support for Mexican gray wolf
  71. Poll: Most back wolf recovery
  72. Grand Canyon region can sustain wolfpacks

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