Deadline to Comment to Stop Wolf Reintroduction has been Extended!
Due to the recent federal government shutdown, the U.S. Forest and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has extended the deadline for submitting your objections to the USFWS's plan to reintroduce wolves into several Arizona counties. The USFWS also intends to maintain the Mexican gray wolf as "endangered." The new deadline is 12/17/2013. Also, on 12/03/2013 the USFWS will hold two public meetings in Pinetop, AZ. The Public Informational Meeting will be from 3:30 - 5:00 pm, The Public Hearing will be from 6:00 - 8:30 pm. Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop (at the junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73). Click HERE for further details. Please attend!
Believe me, if these wolves are introduced into Gila, Coconino, Navajo, and Graham counties, livestock, wildlife, pets, humans, and the economy will be seriously, negatively affected! Click HERE and HERE for background.
There are two issues:
The first relates to the proposed changes to the Mexican wolf experimental nonessential population rule. This expands the boundaries. Comment HERE. You will see where to comment in the top right corner.
The second relates to the continued listing of Mexican gray wolves as an endangered subspecies in the Southwest. Comment HERE.
WHAT TO WRITE
You don't need to be eloquent or follow the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service onerous suggestions for what to say. What's needed is for Arizonans to stand up and speak out against both the Reintroduction and the Reclassification.
You could write the following:
"Please do not release anymore wolves in Arizona. Navajo County can state unequivocally that there are demonstrable significant and substantial negative impacts on small counties and small businesses (family owned ranchers) directly due to the Mexican Gray wolf program. These significant and substantial negative effects would only multiply by the implementation of the 10-J Rule without proper mitigation. The counties affected by the wolf program commented on the prospects of this occurring in the 1998 EIS; these significant and substantial adverse effects have occurred and continue to devastate small family ranch businesses and small county governments. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ignored the 1998 county comments.
The USFWS cannot accurately assess or determine the significant and substantial negative effects of their proposed 10-J rule alternatives or actions without working directly with the counties. Furthermore, the USFWS is required to work with the affected county governments due to the counties' fiduciary legal responsibilities to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens pursuant the US Constitution 10th Amendment through exercising their police powers According to Black's Law Dictionary:
[The exercise of] police powers is the authority conferred by the American constitutional system in the Tenth Amendment, US Constitution, upon the individual States, and, in turn, delegated to local government, through which they are enabled to establish...adopt laws and regulations to...secure generally the comfort, safety, morals, health, and prosperity of its citizens by preserving the public order, preventing a conflict of rights in the common intercourse of its citizens, and insuring to each an uninterrupted enjoyment of all the privileges conferred upon him or her by the general laws.
There is no such thing as "a few wolves." Wherever wolves have been released, they have bred and grow into packs that devastate ungulates, livestock, and the economy. They become habituated and become a threat to people. The forests of Arizona are populated with people. They are not remote. The Mexican wolf is not "endangered." Rather, they endanger animals, humans, and property wherever they are released."
Oregon Wolf Education. This site educates people on how the Canadian Grey Wolf is impacting life in Eastern Oregon. This story continues to change as these apex predators increase and multiply in the rural areas of the Pacific Northwest. Peruse the website and learn about their experience with these predators, the agencies called to manage them, and the impact to their private property rights.
Two Wolves Kill 176 Sheep near Victor, Idaho . It's a myth that wolves kill only the weak. They kill whatever they're in the mood to kill. It's like a party.
Alpine, Arizona. Please read the following email sent to Navajo County Supervisor Sylvia Allen. Do you and your family want to live like this?
Subject: Alpine Wolf Experience – 10/17/2013
"My name is (Gila Watch removed name), and I have a cabin that was my residence for 5 years in Alpine, Arizona.
The first summer that I owned the home, I was staying there with my 3 year old daughter and my cousin and her 5 children - ranging in age from 1 1/2 to about 10. We ran into an animal track at our neighbors house and took a photo of it down to the Forest Office. We were told that it was a wolf track and that we should contact the Wolf Project. We did, they came out and met with us and told us that there was a female wolf in our area. She was disconnected from her pack for some reason. They told us we should be cautious when the children were outside.
A few afternoons later we saw the wolf chasing a group of elk along the road and witnessed the wolf get kicked by one of the elk. It was obvious that the wolf was hurt.
A few afternoons later, the Wolf Project came to our door to alert us that the wolf had been eating dog food off of neighbors back yards and that they believed the wolf had been injured and was hungry. We were told not to allow our children to play outside. I inquired about protecting our children, if I could shoot the wolf if we felt threatened. We were told that we could only fire if we were in imminent danger. We were told they were tracking the wolf and that they would handle the situation. We were told that it would be resolved within a day or two.
As days passed, we would take the children away from the home -- 6 kids having to play inside all day in a 700 sq ft cabin? Each evening, the Wolf Project would sit in front of my house with their tracker. We talked to them about every night because we would walk out and engage them in conversation. We were told that the wolf was "living in my backyard" and that the kids were indeed not safe to play outside. We were told that they were taking every measure to secure our safety. Night after night, they sat in their car with a tracking device. Finally, one night, we heard a shot. We thought maybe they had shot the wolf. When we talked with them, they had shot into the air, with the wolf in sight to try and scare it. This didn't work. The wolf remained.
One night, we arrived back to the cabin at about dusk. As we were unloading kids and all of their "stuff" we received a phone call from a family member that the wolf was in our front yard. When we turned and saw her we realized she was in a pranced position. We were terrified. The kids were out of the car....is it quicker to get them back in the car or in the house? We were yelling (loudly) at the older kids to get the younger kids in the house. The wolf did not react in fear of our voices in any way. We got into the house and called the Wolf Project. They came. They took out their trackers and told us we were safe because the wolf had gone back to the mountain (directly behind our house).
At this point, we had more than 2 weeks of the Wolf Project sitting in front of our house and it was obvious that they were not going to do anything about the issue and that even taking our children away for the day was not going to solve the problem.
We left the mountain. 2 weeks later, we received a phone call that the wolf had indeed been removed....but, not by the Wolf Project. An intermediary of some sort between the Wolf Project and the government had removed the wolf. The wolf was taken to a vet...healed and released away from our home. This did not make me feel safe.
As I lived in Alpine, I feared for my children being out of my sight in my front yard. The Wolf Project offered no assistance. They did nothing to assure that our children were safe.
I met a man who investigated wolf related killings of cattle, etc.for the government. I asked him if in that situation I could have shot the wolf and been safe from prosecution. He said that if the wolf had turned at all when I fired and the bullet had not hit him directly on, showing imminent danger, I could have indeed been prosecuted.
I am not sure how it is possible that the Wolves' rights out weigh the safety of our children."
See Wolves versus Buffalo. Think twice before believing that a pack of wolves won't take on humans.