AZ Legislation Threatening Mexican Wolf Recovery Can Still Be Stopped! (updated 2/21/14)
At last count, only 83 Mexican gray wolves persisted in the wild. The wild population is at tremendous risk due to its small size and genetics.
On Feb. 3, the Arizona Legislature’s Committee on Government and the Environment passed legislation and a resolution to push this tiny, critically endangered population of wolves even closer to extinction.
Legislation by AZ State Senator Gail Griffin (SB 1211) will encourage Arizona residents to trap and kill Mexican gray wolves in violation of federal law.
A second bill (SB 1212) appropriates $250,000 for state litigation to impede federal efforts to recover Mexican wolves.
And as if that weren’t enough, the Senate passed, by a vote of 18-11, a concurrent resolution against Mexican wolf recovery (SCR 1006). We can still stop these bills. Please contact your AZ State Legislators and urge them to oppose these bills!
Critically endangered Mexican gray wolves are native to Arizona and are an important part of our natural heritage. By restoring these beautiful, intelligent animals, we can eventually restore the balance to our state’s wild lands and achieve economic benefits from wolf focused eco-tourism. We can still stop these outrageous bills from becoming state law. Please contact your legislators today!
Tell them politely that you expect them to oppose these bills that embarrass Arizona, waste taxpayer money and fly in the face of overwhelming majority public support for wolf recovery. Additional talking points include:
Polling showed 77% of Arizona voters and 69% of New Mexico voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction.
The livestock industry has a responsibility to share public lands with wolves and other wildlife. There are many tried and true methods to avoid conflicts between livestock and wolves. Funds are available to help livestock growers implement nonlethal deterrents, better animal husbandry practices, and other innovative tools that minimize conflict.
If state legislators really want to help, they should redirect the $250,000 slated for lawyers toward implementation of the new Coexistence Plan -- a performance-based program co-developed by ranchers, conservationists and wildlife agencies, which provides funds to help implement conflict-avoidance measures and “rewards” ranchers for helping to successfully raise the wolf population.
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..
Wolves generate economic benefits - a University of Montana study found that visitors who come to see wolves in Yellowstone contribute roughly $35.5 million annually to the regional economy.
You can find contact information for your AZ Legislators here.
If you live outside AZ, but still want to help, you can find a list of all AZ legislators and their contact info here.
To read the legislation (SB1211) that encourages more killing of endangered wolves, click here.
The bill to appropriate $250,000 for Arizona to litigate against Mexican wolf recovery (SB1212) is here.
You can read the inflammatory, misleading resolution against wolves (SCR 1006) here.
Please act today to stop these outrageous bills from moving forward!