AMERICANS FOR PRESERVATION OF WESTERN ENVIRONMENT, INC.
PO BOX 612
RESERVE NM 87830
Ed Wehrheim, Chair
Contact: Ed Wehrheim FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APWE CHALLENGES MEXICAN WOLF PETITION
Group Asks Is Mexican Wolf Really Worth The Cost
RESERVE, N.M. On August 11, 2009, the Tucson-based environmental litigation group, Center For Biological Diversity (CBD), filed a petition with Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
“The petition calls for taking the Mexican wolf off of its current experimental, non-essential” status and putting it on fully endangered status,” said Ed Wehrheim, Chair of Americans for Preservation of Western Environment (APWE), a citizen-based New Mexico non-profit corporation. APWE was formed in 2008 in response to the outrage of New Mexico and Arizona residents and business owners over the callous disregard for the welfare and safety of human beings by the Mexican Wolf Program.
“CBD also wants a critical habitat designation for the wolves,” Wehrheim said. “This means expansion of the existing designated Mexican wolf area, closure of our trails and roads, denying human access, and hunting and grazing restrictions. In other words, our public lands will be closed to the public. ”
The 22 page petition (with additional 10 pages of citations) claims that the Mexican wolf’s historic range is not precisely known, and that wolves can live anywhere that hosts an adequate prey base of ungulates, yet also claims that these wolves occur in an unusual and unique ecological setting.
“The only unusual and unique setting for the Mexican wolves is that this is a low human population area, so CBD figures that the people don’t matter,” Wehrheim said. “Americans for Preservation of Western Environment intends to set CBD straight on that issue.”
APWE’s first annual meeting is being held in Reserve, NM on Saturday, October 10, 2009, at 10 a.m. at the Reserve Community Center. APWE’s board will present an accounting of its work on behalf of the people who live in the Mexican wolf recovery area over the past year, and talk about plans for future actions. Everyone is welcome to attend.
“It’s not as if humans weren’t here, as if humans don’t matter,” Wehrheim said. “We’re citizens, we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, just like anyone else. We don’t intend to be run over by environmental litigation groups like CBD.”
"After ten years, more than $400,000 per wolf and untold damage to our communities, they’re trying to blame their own failure with the Mexican wolf program on us, the people who live here in the program area," Wehrheim said.
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