To all those who are helping protect our endangered Mexican wolf population in the wild –Mother Nature and the wolves thank you.
The annual survey for the number of Mexican Wolves in the wild is out and the news is good
the number of wolves has risen to 58. (up from 50 last year) This includes 6 breeding pair. (up from two last year).
The story has been reported in six regional papers – all listed below. Let’s blitz them this weekend with a barrage of letters and show the editors, the public, and our elected officials the public cares about Mexican Wolves. Everything you need, including talking points, links to the articles, tips for writing, and where to send your letter, follow below.
Newspapers in both Arizona and New Mexico reported this, and I encourage you to send your letter to more than one newspaper – changing it as needed to fit that publication. This way, with one letter, you have six chances of getting published. If from Arizona, send a letter to the New Mexico papers and vice versa. Include a personal note why you, as an out of state person, care. E.g. “I often camp in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico out of chance I may hear a wolf howl,” or “A New Mexico with wolves is a place I’d visit as a tourist,” etc.
Be sure to send me a copy (BCC) so I can track what they’re printing. Pasted below is Defenders statement on the count.
Stories (by state) New Mexico Papers:
Albuquerque Journal (South): More Mexican Wolves Roam the Southwest
Santa Fe New Mexican: More Mexican Wolves in the Wild
Alamogordo Daily News More Mexican Wolves in the Wild
Las Cruces Sun-New More Mexican Wolves Thrive in the Wild
Tucson Arizona Daily Star More Mexican Wolves in the Wild
Arizona Daily Sun: More Mexican Wolves in the Wild
Sample Talking Points Pick and choose from the following, but remember: these are just ideas to get you started. Also, please USE YOUR OWN WORDS, don’t just cut and paste.
Ø Thank the Newspaper for covering the story. E.g. “Thanks to the Albuquerque Journal for the Mexican wolf story….”
Ø The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to keep more wolves in the wild by emphasizing tactics that help ranching and wolves coexist instead of removing wolves is starting to pay off.
Ø When packs are more stable they’re able to be better parents, and pups have a better chance at reaching adulthood and reproducing themselves.
Ø The increase comes as good news for these highly endangered animals, but Mexican wolves are not out of the woods yet.
Ø A population of 58 wolves is still extremely small and at risk from threats such as disease, inbreeding, or catastrophic events like the Wallow Fire, which burned through Mexican wolf habitat last year.
Ø We’re extremely fortunate that the Wallow Fire didn’t wipeout an entire generation of pups, but we can’t continue to rely on luck.
Ø The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must build on this momentum. The service should work with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to release new wolves into the wild, adding depth to the population’s gene pool and giving lobos a better shot at survival.
Ø Defenders of Wildlife is leading efforts to create coexistence programs and is seeing significant increases in interest in programs to help ranchers learn to live with wolves. These programs are expanding in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and other groups.
Ø There are wolves eligible for release in both New Mexico and Arizona. The Fish and Wildlife Service should move forward with these releases soon
Ø The Service also should move quickly to revise its out of date policy which prohibits the release of wolves directly from zoos into New Mexico.
Ø Top predators, such as Mexican gray wolves, are vital to keeping wildlands healthy and full of life. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.
Ø Citizens in Arizona and New Mexico strongly support wolf reintroduction. Over three-quarters (77%) of Arizona voters and 69% of New Mexico voters say they either strongly support wolf recovery. See Arizona survey here. See: New Mexico Survey here
Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
Below are suggestions for your letter. If you are unsure and want me to look at your letter before sending, send to firstname.lastname@example.org
· Keep it short – 150 words or less. Read the articles linked above and use the talking points above if needed. USE YOUR OWN WORDS. (Do not simply cut and paste)
· Start by thanking the paper for their story and tie your letter to the article. E.g. “Thanks to the Journal for your story, “Can bad meat deter wolves?”
· Make one or two strong points, don’t try to cover them all: space doesn’t permit.
· Provide your name, address and phone number; your full address and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.
· If you are uncertain about your letter and want suggestions, I am happy to review letters. Send to email@example.com
· Submit your letter by email, or cut and paste online (some papers prefer email, others online) at:
1. Albuquerque Journal (click here) Send letter to the Journal
2. Santa Fe New Mexican (click here) Send letter to the New Mexican
3. Alamogordo Daily New (Click here) Send Letter to Alamogordo Daily News
4. Las Cruces Sun New email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Submit Letter to the Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff) (click here) Submit Letter to the Daily Sun
6. Submit to Tucson Arizona Daily Star send email (with name and contact info) email email@example.com
· Blind copy me what you send the paper. This helps me track what they are publishing.
Provided courtesy of Scotty Johnson Defenders of Wildlife Tucson, AZ
Image courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders Library