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Putting wolves on North Kaibab now might work better

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Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Editorial Posted August 22, 2014

When it comes to endangered Mexican gray wolves and restoring them to their historical range, be careful what you wish for.

On the one hand, Arizona Game and Fish and a coalition of ranching and sport-hunting groups wanted to expand the current recovery zone in the White Mountains not to the west or north but south to the Mexican border, where the subspecies originated and presumably would disperse.

On the other, several conservation groups urged federal wildlife managers to allow the wolves to roam as far north as the Grand Canyon and beyond, a range that once supported wolves.

So the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service split the difference in a way that makes neither group happy. Under the final plan released late last month, the wolves will get a dramatically expanded recovery range from I-40 south to the Mexican border across most of Arizona and New Mexico.

For the Game and Fish coalition, that is much too large a territory. Wolves, they say, don't mix with cows and suburbs, and sportsmen aren't too fond of competing with them for elk and deer trophies, either.

For the wolf advocates, it is far too little. The packs need much bigger tracts of true wilderness, and the North Rim is about as close to that as it gets in Arizona.

Wolf Expansion Long Overdue

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Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Letter to the Editor Posted on August 17, 2014 by Toni Prothero

To the editor:

I was glad to see coverage in the Daily Sun of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed rule changes for the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program. I was also heartened to hear that the USFWS recognizes the need for an expansion of the Mexican wolf range north of I-40 and the admittance that the proposed expansion is inadequate to their recovery.

I ask, then, why the Service is delaying the expansion of their range north of I-40 into suitable habitat, where there are few people and great numbers of elk and deer, and given the grave state of the population now and the precariousness of its survival? I am glad to hear that the Service is planning to get immediately back to work on updating the recovery plan. I am concerned, however, that the Service appears to be delaying the expansion of wolf range to the north till such a time that the plan is completed.

We have been waiting for this plan for decades and we can't wait any longer. The future and survival of the Mexican wolf is at stake. The USFWS needs to step up and do its job of protecting and conserving our native wildlife and landscapes. For the Mexican wolf, the time to do so is now, not at some future, unspecified time.

Toni Prothero


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


More Articles...

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

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