Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dec 5 Mexican wolf public scoping meeting in Glenwood

Dec 5 Mexican wolf public scoping meeting in Glenwood
Glenwood Community Center
5:00 - 9:00 pm

US Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public scoping meeting in
Glenwood on December 5 as part of a rule change process that will
determine the future of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

Why your participation is important: background and current situation

Since its inception, the Mexican wolf program has been responsive
only to non-local environmental groups and has ignored the damage to
local families, businesses and issues. These groups have used their
large financial assets to twist the truth about the program, and have
resorted to what amounts to malicious litigation to get their way.

The wolf program has a policy of routine handling of wolves. In some
cases, "wild" wolves have been handled - trapped, examined, given
shots, collared, fed by humans - for more than one third of their
lives. Wolf and other canine experts know that this extensive
handling causes habituation (loss of fear of humans), and habituated
predators - not just wolves but bears, mountain lions, etc - are
problem predators. Essentially all the complaints of local citizens
come about because the wolves are not wild, but habituated to humans.

Mexican gray wolves are not critical to our local natural
environment. These wolves originally came from the Mexican desert -
they never were high altitude forest animals. It is true that a
healthy wolf population would keep elk and deer herds healthy and
balanced, however healthy wolves are never habituated wolves. At
this time, the wolves in the Mexican wolf program kill elk calves and
domestic animals for the sport of it, not for food.

Mexican wolves are not even endangered. Hundreds of these wolves -
all genetically related - live in zoos around the country, where they
are part of a breeding program to build the population. And contrary
to reports of dwindling wolf populations in the wild, it should be
pointed out that the "official" wolf counts omit the dozens of
uncollared wolves which are living and breeding in and near the wolf
recovery area.

This rule change is our opportunity to improve the program and shift
the Fish and Wildlife Service's focus where it needs to be: the
creation of a truly wild wolf population which is not coddled, fed
and protected, but subject to the same laws of survival as any wild
animal. Mexican wolves have the right to survive and thrive, but not
as anything other than fully wild animals and not at the high cost to
humans and wolves due to the way the program is run today.

In your comments, please tell the Fish and Wildlife Service to:

* Not change the classification from "experimental, non-essential"
to "experimental, essential" or "endangered" - there is no reason to
give wolves more protection (which causes habituation) but much
reason to make wolves stronger by forcing them to live natural
lives. Adding more protection will never make wolves wild.
* Eliminate restrictions to wolf dispersal and movements but provide
more rights for human self-protection; reduce or eliminate fines and
penalties for doing so. A truly wild animal will not be near enough
to humans to be killed by them, and a non-wild wolf should not be
part of the program.
* Cease release of any wolves which have ever been handled by
humans. Remove all wolves from the wild which have been handled by
humans and which exhibit signs of habituation or which engage in
livestock depredation.
* Never relocate, translocated or re-release any wolf to the wild
which has exhibited any habituation behavior or has killed any
domestic animals.
* Resolve livestock-wolf and pet-wolf conflicts in ways that are
fair to the humans who bear the economic and emotional costs of
domestic animal losses.
* Cease any supplemental feeding of the wolves by the wolf program;
such feeding just teaches the wolves to be human-dependant, it causes
habituation and since the meat from domestic animals is used for such
supplemental feeding, it introduces and familiarizes the taste of
domestic animals to wolves.
* Revise the Recovery Plan. Utilize real science and include
assessment of the impacts on affected human population as required by law.
* Place no cap on the number of wolves in the wild population,
however allow humans to protect themselves, their families, their
pets and other domestic animals without penalty. A wolf which
habituates human use areas is not a wild wolf, and needs to be
removed from the wild population before it teaches pack members and
its young this bad behavior.
* Provide no increase in boundaries of the Mexican wolf population
until it is proven that all current problems have been resolved.

The deadline for comments is December 31, 2007

Comments can be hand-delivered at the open house or submitted by USPS
or email. Be sure to include "Attn: Mexican Gray Wolf NEPA Scoping",
your full name and your return address in your message.

Brian Millsap, State Administrator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office
2105 Osuna NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113


Note: Other meeting dates and locations can be found at

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