Restore wolves to the Grand Canyon region!
Sierra Club volunteer Sarah R. sends the following message:
The Mexican gray wolf, commonly referred to as “lobo”, is in grave danger, once again. The Mexican gray wolf is a subspecies of the grey wolf, and is the most endangered type of wolf in the world. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have proposed a new recovery plan that will threaten the lives of this already dwindling population.
The new recovery plan specifically restricts the wolves to the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area and a region bounded by Interstates 10 and 17. If the wolves venture outside of this area, whether to set up new territories or not, they can be captured and returned. This is a flaw in the plan because scientists believe that some of the most suitable habitats for Mexican gray wolves are in the Grand Canyon region. Capturing the wolves can be traumatizing for them as well as dangerous.
Another issue with the plan is that the USFWS wants to re-designate the wolves as an experimental, non-essential population. This means that the only wild population of these wolves is not considered to be important to the survival of the species. There are currently 75 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, and the USFWS claims, “That even if all of the 75 wolves in the wild are wiped out this is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of recovery of Mexican wolves in the wild.”
The recovery plan is extremely flawed, and is likely sentencing the wolves to death rather than helping to restore them to their natural habitats. The plan is ignoring the science, and restricting the wolves to an area that may not even sustain them. Residents of Arizona want to see the wolves restored to the Grand Canyon so it seems odd that USFWS would propose a plan that restricts them from entering the canyon. Recent polls show that 87% of residents in Arizona and New Mexico are in favor of these wolves returning to the wild (azstar.net).
As a student volunteer with the Sierra Club, and a lover of wildlife, I see the importance of not losing such a unique and valuable species. These wolves are beautiful creatures and do not deserve to be restricted from an area that was once their own. We attempt to control the wild in so many ways, and restricting these wolves should not be a part of that.
The wolves cannot speak for themselves, and need us to do it. These are an extremely unique species that we should not risk losing. These wolves are a symbol in the southwest and have been here much longer than we have. Without our help they may not be around much longer.
By taking action we may be able to help these wolves and change this recovery plan. The period for public comment on the plan is until December 17th, 2013. There will also be a hearing on Tuesday December 3rd, 2013 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. It will be at the Hon-Dah Conference Center located at 777 Highway 260 in Pinetop, Arizona. Please refer here for more information on commenting and attending the hearing.
Please help keep these wolves truly wild!!