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Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project

Action Alerts

Enter Now: Grand Canyon Wolf Naming Contest!

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Open to children and youth under 18 years old - deadline Thursday, December 4, 2014North Rim Wolf-NPS via Crumbo

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed, through DNA tests on scat, that there is a female northern Rockies gray wolf on the Kaibab National Forest, near the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

This brave female is the first wolf in this area for more than 70 years! This historic and cause for celebration!

We think this amazing pioneer inhabiting an area where wolves once thrived deserves a special name. That's why groups from all over the west are working together on this contest!

You must be under age 18 to enter. If you would like to help name this unique animal and be part of his or her story, please fill out the form here with your parent or legal guardian*: http://goo.gl/forms/WqfkUrdtTl

The deadline to enter is December 4, 2014

The winning name will be announced by Monday, December 8, 2014.

Background information:

The Kaibab Plateau has forested lands with elevations up to 9,000 feet, surrounded by the sage, grasslands and canyons of lower elevations. It is bordered on the south by the Grand Canyon, on the east and west by tributary canyons of the Colorado River, and on the north by plains that are dissected by the tiers of uplifted cliffs of the Grand Staircase.

Wolves were once native to this part of the Grand Canyon region, but were wiped out by a federal extermination program in the early 1900's. Scientists say this area is great habitat for wolves.

Mexican gray wolves, a subspecies of gray wolves, live in Arizona and New Mexico but the government won't allow them to live north of Interstate 40. Gray wolves from the northern Rocky Mountains are mostly in states north of Utah and Colorado and are bigger than Mexican gray wolves, or lobos.

westernunitedstates-mapGray wolves are legendary for traveling long distances, and this wolf would have have traveled hundreds of miles from her home in Wyoming or another Rocky Mountain state through Utah and into Arizona.

Gray wolves are currently federally protected under the Endangered Species Act in Arizona. If this is a wolf, the government should do all in its power to protect her or him.

Wolves are intelligent, feeling animals who often live in families (packs) with their mates, siblings, and pups. Sometimes, like this animal, they travel long distances from their original family to find a mate and start a family of their own.

Enter the contest here.

Thank you for helping!

*The information entered in the form will not be used for any commercial purpose or shared with anyone not involved in the contest except for publicity about the contest.closeup GC wolf AZGF

Photos courtesy of National Park Service staff and AZ Game and Fish Department

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.

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.


Here are some of the ways you can help:

If at all possible, attend a hearing in August. It is crucial that we demonstrate tremendous public support for Mexican wolf recovery. More hearing details are posted below and here.

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.

Ask everyone you know to act for Mexican wolves before it's too late.

Share the hearing information on Facebook:
Arizona hearing event on Facebook
New Mexico hearing event on Facebook

Copy and paste this alert into an email and send it to your networks.

Download flyers and post them in Southwest Cities and Towns.

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.

Save the Lobo in Hon-Dah/Pinetop, AZ Aug 11 and Truth or Consequences, NM Aug 13!

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Save the Lobo in Hon-Dah/Pinetop, AZ on August 11 and
Truth or Consequences, NM on August 13!

Speak Out at Public Hearings to Save the Lobo from Extinction

Sixteen years after they were reintroduced, only 83 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild. The wild lobos have undergone dangerous genetic deterioration due to government and private shooting and trapping, along with a freeze on releases of new wolves from captivity.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed changes to Mexican wolf management —two good changes and many more that will worsen the lobo’s already-tenuous plight.

The FWS will hold public hearings on its proposal on Monday, August 11 at Hon-dah, near Pinetop, Arizona and on Wednesday, August 13 in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  They must listen to all those speaking up for and against the lobo.

The Koch brothers, secretive anti-conservation and anti-labor billionaires, have teamed up with anti-wolf special interests to influence the government and doom the Mexican wolf.  

You and other supporters of the Mexican wolf are all that will stand between extinction and survival for these critically endangered, beautiful, intelligent animals.  Please speak up for the lobo at a hearing in August.

Hearing Dates and Locations:

Carpools will be organized for both locations. Click here to sign up for ride sharing.

Arizona - August 11, 2014
Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, near Pinetop, AZ 85935
(3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73)

The annual Big Lake Howliday Campout has been rescheduled for August 8-11 so that lobo supporters can go from there to the hearing at Hon-Dah. Go to www.gcwolfrecovery.org for more info.

New Mexico – August 13, 2014
Civic/Convention Center, 400 W 4th Ave, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901

We will have activities and refreshments for wolf supporters at both locations starting by 2 p.m. – check back at www.mexicanwolves.org for updates as the date gets closer!

The public hearings will be held from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

A critical mass of supporters at these hearings can turn the tide for the Mexican gray wolf.  Please save the date and spread the word!

I am essential wolf photo by WCC

Help bring Mexican wolves back to the Grand Canyon region!

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Mexican gray wolves, a critically endangered species with only about 83 individuals in the wild, need the Grand Canyon region's habitats and our northern Arizona wildlands need wolves.

A recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal will finally allow Mexican wolves to roam beyond the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area into more of Arizona and New Mexico, but would still impose arbitrary boundaries at I-40. Even this much expansion is loudly opposed by some state and county representatives who want to see the Mexican wolf reintroduction fail. It's time for our County's representatives to come out in support of Mexican wolf recovery!

Please email or call them, using these talking points:
• Wolves are an important part of our natural heritage and have been missing from northern AZ for too long.
• I, and 72% of my fellow citizens, support restoring wolves to suitable habitats in northern AZ, which holds some of the best remaining places for wolves.
• Research has shown that wolves bring tremendous ecological and economic benefits to the areas in which they are restored.
• I urge you to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that you support Mexican wolf recovery and the restoration of wolves to their natural role in northern AZ's Grand Canyon region, including north of I-40.

County Supervisors:
Art Babbott-D1, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (928) 679-7151
Liz Archuleta-D2, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (928) 679-7152
Matt Ryan-D3, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (928) 679-7163
Mandy Metzger-D4, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (928) 679-7154
Lena Fowler-D5, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (928) 679-7751

Thank you for giving Mexican wolves a voice in their future!

Act to keep endangered species protections for wolves

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Public Comment Period open until March 27, 2014

This January the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published the scientific peer review of their proposed rule to remove gray wolf protections nation-wide. The scientists were unanimous that USFWS has not used the best available science. But the good news is that even the flawed rule proposes recognition and separate protection for the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi).

Even better news is that both USFWS and the scientists agree our lobos are a distinct sub-species of the gray wolf.

Mexican gray wolves (lobos) are at the brink of extinction. Only 83 were found in the wild at the end of 2013.

THESE BEAUTIFUL, ESSENTIAL WOLVES CAN'T WAIT WHILE THE USFWS FIGURES OUT WHAT TO DO WITH GRAY WOLVES AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL: USFWS can and must "decouple" the lobos from the other gray wolves and expedite a separate listing of the Mexican gray wolf subspecies as endangered.

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