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Group set to rally for wolves

Great Old Broads in the Silver City Sun-News, 1-21-2011


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By Christine Steele csteele@scsun-news.com

SILVER CITY - A great group of old broads is getting together Saturday morning to host a wolf parade through downtown Silver City to raise awareness about the plight of the endangered Mexican Gray Wolf and declaring 2011 "The Year of the Mexican Wolf."

They don't mind being called "old broads" - that's what they call themselves, as a local chapter of the national organization, Great Old Broads for Wilderness. The national group seeks to use "the voices and activism of elders to preserve and protect wilderness and wild public lands," its website states.

Saturday's wolf parade, followed by an education session and then an early evening gathering, will be the local chapter's first event.

About 40 to 50 women belong to the local chapter, said member Rinda Metz, who will be portraying Grandma in the parade, which leaves from Yankie Creek Coffee House on the corner of Yankie and Texas streets at 10:15 a.m. Saturday. The parade will wind through downtown Silver City and end up at the Public Library, where, at 11:15 a.m., Kim McCreery, from the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, will give a presentation on Mexican wolves and their place in the Southwest. Nancy Kaminski, from the Gila Conservation Education Center, will be on hand with her wolf trunk full of educational items. Wolf buttons for sale and a question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. The parade will feature Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma, the Wolf, along with others marching along wearing homemade wolf masks.
 
The parade and education session also coincide with the launch of the 2010 aerial wolf population survey in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, which began earlier this week, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Benjamin Tuggle, southwest regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has hailed 2011 as a "watershed year" for the lobo, and has promised there will be more wolf releases and a new recovery team assembled to write a new recovery plan for the endangered animal.

"We celebrate this renewal of commitment," a Great Old Broads flyer states. "Because the numbers of our desert lobo have been diminishing for the past four years and there is concern that our local wolf will become extinct again." …

Tuggle, who has been the regional director of the Southwest Region of Fish and Wildlife since 2006, visited Silver City in October to speak on the issue of climate change at the Third Annual Gila Symposium at WNMU. He was greeted by a peaceful protest of wolf supporters who wanted their voices heard on the issue of releasing more wolves into the wild.

At the time, the Fish and Wildlife Service had just postponed the release of eight wolves in captivity, and protesters wanted to know why, and when more wolves were going to be released.

Tuggle met with some of the protesters and several attended his talk on climate change and asked questions about the recovery plan after his session. …

Tuggle also promised that a new recovery plan was being written and would be available sometime in 2011.

For more information on Great Old Broads for Wilderness visit: www.greatoldbroads.org.

To read the full article, published in the Silver City Sun-News on January 21, 2011, and post a comment, click here.

Please submit a letter to the editor celebrating these remarkable women and their commitment to Mexican wolf recovery!

You can find many helpful tools to take action on behalf of these important, highly endangered animals in our Lobo Activist Toolkit!

Photo credits, top to bottom: Red Riding Hoods tabling for Mexican wolves in Tucson, courtesy of Jean Ossorio, wolf supporters talking to Ben Tuggle, courtesy of Jenny Robinson.