Local & Regional News
Mexican gray wolf management measure passes US House
Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted July 14, 2016 by the AP
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two Western Republican congressmen have succeeded in getting legislation through the U.S. House that would shift management of the endangered Mexican gray wolf from the federal government to states.
The measure sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Steve Pearce of New Mexico was included as an amendment to a $32 billion spending bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency that passed Thursday.
The congressmen say efforts to reintroduce the wolves in the Southwest have failed. They cited the lack of an updated recovery plan, a struggling population and livestock losses.
They also pointed to a recent federal investigation that concluded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mishandled the program.
But environmentalists are worried the wolf could go extinct if the legislation gets through Congress.
Deaths of 3 Mexican gray wolves under investigation
Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Posted July 9, 2016 by the AP
PHOENIX (AP) — Three Mexican gray wolves have been found dead in Arizona and New Mexico and wildlife managers say they're investigating.
The latest monthly report on the status of the endangered predators shows a male wolf belonging to the Marble Pack was found dead in New Mexico. In Arizona, a female from the Hoodoo Pack and a single male were also found dead in June.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department didn't release any further details about the deaths in the report released Friday. The agency partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the wolf reintroduction program.
Illegal shootings, politics and legal battles have hampered the program over the years. Environmentalists want more captive wolves released, but ranchers and some local leaders are concerned about livestock losses and public safety.
The rule of No. 9: Thinking like a mountain
Flagstaff Live! (Original) Posted on June 9, 2016 by Kate Watters
Every once in a while there is a day in your life that you never want to forget. I'm thinking of one of a day in Yellowstone National Park a few winters ago that reminded me why I am committed to conservation work. I was at a leadership retreat in Montana with a group of people working for conservation organizations. We had spent days inside discussing the human side of conservation in small groups, taking notes on flip charts and scheming about how to transform our organizations to be more effective at our work. We snuck in a morning of wolf watching to break up the workshop.
The day began in the pre-dawn winter darkness. The curtain of night lifted and morning light flooded the snow-covered world, revealing animal tracks everywhere crisscrossing the snow. The landscape was alive with bison, elk and, of course, the famous Yellowstone wolves.
Wolves were historically the most prevalent species in the world, but by 1930 they had been hunted to the brink of extinction in the lower 48. The federal government listed them as an endangered species in 1974. In 1995, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured 14 wolves in Canada and released them into the 2.2 million acre Yellowstone National Park. Today the wolf-watching economy brings in $35 million in tourism each year to the region.
Wolves are people, too: Recovery is really a balancing act
Flagstaff Live! (Original) "Letters to Ducey" column posted May 5, 2016 by Nicole Walker
Dear Governor Ducey,
When I was a kid, I loved the TV show Kids Are People Too. The program advanced the revolutionary idea that kids had brains and ideas for what they wanted, usually in the form of playing an accordion, but still, the kids had direction. Volition! I hated being told what to do. I was a righteous fifth-grader. My best friend, Jeff Whiting—who is now a director on Broadway—and I protested boys and girls being separated for everything: sports, maturation programs, lining up for recess or to sit in rows at assemblies. "This discrimination must end!" we claimed although I don't think we used the word "discrimination" and I don't think the justice we were looking for was entirely selfless. Jeff and I wanted to sit by each other. Still, we felt the injustice deeply. We wanted things to be less categorical, less divided.
I-40 is a dividing line for the Mexican Gray Wolf. None are allowed to cross it. If they do, they will be removed and taken back to "their" area in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and White Mountain Apache Reservation in the White Mountains. This wolf, one of just 97 Mexican Gray Wolves, is having a hard time reestablishing his species. The pickings for females are low. He's related to most of them. Confined to this smallish space means his chances for ever being anything but a representative of a dwindling species whose genetic variation is so small that, eventually, the species will die out.
Coconino Voices: No more delays in northern wolf releases
Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Op-Ed Posted March 19, 2016 by Toni Prothero and Emily Renn
We at the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, a non-profit located here in Flagstaff, read with interest the editorial of Feb. 26, 2016 published in these pages and entitled "Top predator release requires more public education." Our mission since we were established in 2004 has been to restore wolves to the Grand Canyon region by building public support for recovery through education and outreach. We would argue that there is significant public support already in the region, in part due to the efforts of our organization and others, and that that support is based on knowledge of the benefits wolves bring to ecosystems.
A survey conducted in 2008 by Research and Polling Inc. found that 76 percent of respondents in Arizona agreed with the statement "Wolves are of benefit to the West and help the balance of nature." While it is true that many of us wolf-supporters are passionate about restoring wolves to the region, it is a passion that comes from listening to what science can tell us about the vital importance of top predators to healthy, balanced landscapes.
Each year since 2005 the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project has done extensive outreach in the region through school and public presentations and tabling at local events in Flagstaff and at the Grand Canyon. Last year alone we reached approximately 20,000 people through our education and outreach programs. We have an informed public, ready and willing to have wild wolves back in our region. The wolf hearing that the US Fish and Wildlife Service recently held in Pinetop was well attended and those speaking were overwhelmingly in support of pending wolf releases, as they have been at every opportunity to address our federal and state officials. In addition, a poll conducted in 2013 of Arizona voters by Tulchin Research found that more than 7 in 10, 72 percent, supported restoring wolves to suitable habitat in northern Arizona.
We agree with the authors that public officials need to tone down the rhetoric, and, we would add, stick to the science. We take exception, however, to the authors' "go slow" approach. The public accepts wolves and wants to see them recover. In addition, it has been 18 years since the Mexican wolf was reintroduced to Arizona and the population has struggled to gain a secure future. The first-step target of 100 wolves restored to the wild in Arizona and New Mexico set in 1982 was finally met just last year, 33 years later, only to fall below that number this year. Because of delays in new releases, the population of wild Mexican wolves is now unacceptably inbred according to experts. All Mexican wolves alive today are the descendants of just seven Mexican wolves that remained to start the captive breeding program. These factors contribute to the species becoming increasingly highly endangered. It is foolhardy to continue to delay releases and risk extinction, so narrowly avoided before.
Now is the time for more releases.
Toni Prothero is the Education and Outreach Coordinator and Emily Renn is the Executive Director of the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project
- Wolves are playing catchup
- Top predator release requires more public education
- Wolf releases prepare to expand
- Valdez: Wolves are down, GOP wants 'em out
- After rising to a record 110, count of Mexican wolves has dropped to 97 in Southwest
- Mexican gray wolf counts suspended after two darted animals die
- To understand wolves, use science
- Poaching slows Mexican wolf population recovery
- Wolf science
- Anatomy of a wolf count
- Wildlife Officials Report Four Mexican Gray Wolf Deaths in December
- A contentious backdrop
- Science, majority of Utahns support return of the Lobo
- Should Utah welcome the endangered Mexican wolf?
- Gov. Doug Ducey's hard line sets up battle over expanding Mexican wolf territory
- Column: Montini: Siding with real wolves over political ones
- Op-ed: Utah Wildlife Board’s anti-wolf rhetoric is a century behind
- Editorial: If Utah can help Mexican wolves recover, we should let them in
- Does imperiled Mexican gray wolf belong in Utah? No way, 4 states say
- Wolf reintroduction: Point/Counterpoint
- Game commissions unqualified on wolves
- New Mexico wildlife panel denies federal wolf permit appeal
- Op-ed: Hunter’s story of wolf killing is highly dubious
- Commission follows politics, not science
- Theology, biology agree on wolves
- Mexican wolves still threatened by Gosar bill
- Wolves far from in recovery
- Press Release: Mexican Gray Wolf Supporters Rally at Arizona Game and Fish Meeting
- Wolves backed by science, public
- Utah hunter who killed gray wolf won't be charged
- No charges against Utah cougar hunter who killed Echo the wandering wolf: “I had a shot and took it.”
- Removing wolf protection will be lethal
- Gosar bill is wolf in sheep’s clothing
- More killed by cows than wolves
- Managing wolves means better data
- Why not simply release more wolves?
- Cross-fostering pups a partial solution
- Wolf adoption becomes part of species recovery plan
- Release more wolves from captivity
- Missouri site helping effort to repopulate US wolves
- Press Release: A Celebration of Our Environment!
- Opinion: The wolf’s journey ends in Utah
- Lessons From the Brief, Lonesome Life of Echo the Wolf
- Press Release: Endangered Mexican gray wolf population reaches 109
- Wolf killed in Utah was animal from rare Arizona sighting
- Press Release: Confirmed - Echo, the First Wolf in Over 70 years at Grand Canyon, Is Dead
- What's a wolf to do? Go vegan, apparently
- Wolves get more area to roam in Ariz., N.M.
- OPINION: Who has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf?
- Hoooowl no! Canyon wolf may have been killed
- Press Release: Grand Canyon Wolf Named “Echo” in World-wide Contest
- Rules allowing wolf kills loosened
- Study: Wolf kills might not work
- Press Release: Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Rule Would Hinder Species Recovery
- Gray Wolf Near Grand Canyon’s North Rim Endured Long, Harrowing Journey
- Press Release: DNA Tests Confirm First Wolf in Over 70 years is Living near Grand Canyon’s North Rim
- Wolves, livestock have coexisted elsewhere
- Gray wolves return to Grand Canyon?
- Gray Wolf Spotted in Grand Canyon for First Time in Decades?
- Wolf-like animal seen roaming in northern Arizona
- Like fox guarding the henhouse
- Wolves, antelope can co-exist
- Putting wolves on North Kaibab now might work better
- Wolf Expansion Long Overdue
- Feds: No wolves to roam in Grand Canyon
- Federal Plan Would Expand Wolf Territory in Arizona, New Mexico
- Let wild wolves roam in wilderness
- Editorial: Game and Fish Should Wait For Full Wolf EIS
- State: No Mexican gray wolves for Flagstaff area
- Guest Column: Game and Fish plan makes it easier to kill wolves
- Guest Opinion: Game and Fish can't be trusted with wolf program
- Wild Battle Rages Over Wolves, Wilderness And Politics Of Extinction
- Brewer vetoes bill letting ranchers kill endangered wolves on federal lands
- Wolves make the elk herd strong
- State Legislature Attempts to Limit Federal Wolf Reintroduction
- Alpha wolf pack sighted in Flagstaff
- Wolf Wanderers blog post
- Letter to the Editor: Thorpe's wolf story too one-sided
- Anti-wolf bills clear case of over-reaction
- House should listen to public on wolf issue
- Bob Thorpe trims wolf proposal
- Legislators work to cap gray wolves in Arizona
- Denying federal authority costly, inconsistent
- Wolves are in the crosshairs, thanks to Sen. Gail Griffin
- Thorpe takes up cause of Arizona ranchers losing cattle to wolves
- Wolf plan reignites passions
- National Wolf Awareness Week Event to Affect the Future of Wolves in AZ
- Mexican gray wolf: Where the wild things aren’t
- New study forecasts genetic risks to wolves in western US unless dispersal can connect isolated populations
- Letter to the Editor: Writer's wolf argument holds water
- Coconino Voices: Wolves deserve wider range
- Letter to the Editor: Let wolves roam more widely
- Editorial: Wolf expansion plan needs more details
- Wolves to roam toward Flagstaff?
- Arizona Endangered Wolves Still On The Brink
- Press Release: Scientists Call on Obama Administration to Keep Gray Wolves Protected Under Endangered Species Act
- Sedona Lecture Series focuses on Mexican Gray Wolf – April 8
- Howling-Good Films: Wild and Scenic Film Festival Visits Flagstaff and Benefits Local Wolf Recovery Project
- 15 Years of Mexican Gray Wolves: Celebrate or Sob?
- Arizona commission backs request to remove wolves from endangered list