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Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project

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Big Lake Howliday Campout Weekend 2014

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Big Lake Howliday Campout Weekend
August 8, 9, 10 and 11, 2014

Due to an unforeseen change of important events for Mexican wolves, we have RESCHEDULED the Big Lake Howliday Campout to the weekend of August 8-11, 2014.

We deeply apologize for any inconveniences this change of dates may cause you in arranging your travel plans, but we sincerely hope you can still join us at Big Lake. Thank you!

Join the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project for a fun-filled weekend learning about and celebrating the return of Mexican wolves to the wild. This year marks the 16 year anniversary of the first releases of Mexican wolves back into the wild in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.

Where: Apache Trout Campground Fir Group site at Big Lake in the Apache National Forest, Arizona.


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When: Friday, August 8th, 2014 starting at 3:00 pm through Monday, August 11th at noon. If you can, please plan your trip to stay through the USFWS hearing on Mexican wolves at the Hon-Dah Conference Center near Pinetop, AZ (about 1 hour drive east of Big Lake) on Monday, August 11th from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.

Suggested Donation is $50 per person* (to help us cover the cost of the meals and the camp ground group site). Visit our Donation page here. All activities during the weekend are free. Weekend registration is required through the registration form below (registration is now closed). *Please note that the suggested donation is cheaper than what it would cost to reserve a camp site and pay for food for a weekend trip on one's own, but we may have some limited sponsorships available to help cover the costs for participants that may not be able to afford the suggested donation. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Please bring your own personal camping equipment and comfortable clothes for hiking in and appropriate for high elevation weather during the Monsoon season.  Here is a list of pdfRecommended Personal Camping Supplies16.37 KB to bring with you.

Meals included in the weekend for registered participants: Dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, Breakfast on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings, and a pack-your-own brown bag lunch spreads for lunches on Saturday and Sunday.  All the meals served will be vegetarian and we will make an effort to accommodate vegan, gluten-free diets, and food allergies that are indicated by filling out our registration form (registration is now closed). Please Bring Your Own Beverages of choice.

Optional Weekend Activities include:
- morning bird walks
- wildlife tracking workshops with wildlife tracking experts
- a hike to the "Green Fire" site where Aldo Leopold had his epiphany about wolves
- hikes on the Paseo del Lobo trail
- Evening talks by a wolf conservationists and biologists

Sorry, no dogs are allowed (besides service dogs) to join us at the campground or on the activities this year. We are huge fans of companion dogs, but because we will be camping and hiking in areas occupied by Mexican wolf packs and other wildlife, we want to minimize our disturbance to the wolves and their new pups. Thank you for your understanding!

Please check back to this site for more information and event details as they are updated. Please contact Emily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (928) 202-1325 if you have any questions.

Please note that camp sites spots and meals will only be provided to those people who register! The registration form has now been closed in preparation for the event.
Thank you!

 

 Many thanks to these sponsors for helping to support the Big Lake Howliday weekend!

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 Kaibab Vet Clinic logo

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Please contact Emily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would be interested in helping to sponsor this great campout!

Act Now! US Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Doom Mexican Wolves!

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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

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