Mexican gray wolf, © Jim Clark/USFWS

Howling for Wolves Across State Lines

Earlier this month, wolf advocates from Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado rallied to support the recovery of Mexican gray wolves in their respective states. Despite the fact that the lobo is the most endangered gray wolf in North America, the governors from the Four Corner States are attempting to undermine the recovery of this ecologically indispensable species, and subverting the will of their constituents. While Defenders of Wildlife and our passionate members took part in each of the rallies in the four states, we were especially active in New Mexico and Colorado. First on the agenda was the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Denver.

Colorado

This past November, Colorado Parks and Wildlife proposed a resolution banning Mexican gray wolves from being reintroduced into our state. Jonathan Proctor, our Rockies and Plains Program Director, attended the Commission’s meeting in Wray and, as the only member of the public present to speak, strongly stated Defenders’ opposition to the anti-wolf resolution: 

“The department’s vision statement reads: “Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a national leader in wildlife management, conservation, and sustainable outdoor recreation for current and future generations.” A ban on active wolf recovery would not make Colorado Parks and Wildlife a leader in any of these categories; rather, it would be a betrayal to current and future generations.  Colorado is better than this! We are honored to share our lands with wildlife, including the Mexican gray wolf which needs our great state to recover.”

wolf commission meeting, ©Defenders of WildlifeThe Commission was expected to vote on the anti-wolf resolution at its January meeting, so we encouraged all local wolf advocates to rally and speak out for wolf recovery in Colorado. To prepare for this fight, Defenders hosted a series of briefings to explain why Mexican gray wolves need to expand into Colorado to survive. Wolf advocates learned how to write compelling comments and testimony, and more than 50 supporters rallied with us and our partners in the conservation community at the hearing.

As expected, the pro-wolf community turned out in force to the Commission meeting. The meeting room was filled to capacity with 150 people, and 30 additional attendees were forced to stand outside the meeting room doors listening to the debate. On top of that, 100 more people waited outside the building, hoping to have the opportunity to testify.  It was fantastic to see wolf supporters dominating the turnout.

Unfortunately, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted to approve its anti-wolf resolution, which “opposes the intentional release of any wolves into Colorado,” including Mexican gray wolves. Even though this decision was a blow to Mexican gray wolf recovery, we were so inspired by the number of passionate citizens who showed their support for one of our most iconic animals.

New Mexico

At its August meeting in Santa Fe, the New Mexico Fish and Game Commission heard an appeal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, after the Commission had denied the Service’s permit to release captive wolves into New Mexico. The following month, the commission denied the appeal at its meeting in Albuquerque, and in October, the Turner Endangered Species Fund made its appeal on the denial of the permit it has held for the past 17 years to hold Mexican gray wolves at its Ladder Ranch pre-release facility. These large, fenced holding pens gave Mexican gray wolves a safe haven en route to or from the wild.

IMG_20160114_082217817At each commission meeting, we gathered with dozens of Defenders of Wildlife members to show our support for wolves. We were not allowed to speak at any of these meetings, so instead, we held signs that read, “More Wolves, Less Politics.” The message was a powerful if silent one.

When the rally before last week’s meeting began at 8 a.m., the mercury measured below 20 degrees. But despite the cold temperatures, more than 50 activists – roughly the number of Mexican wolves in the state – gathered outside to march with signs and listen to speakers comment on this pressing matter. It was heartening to see so many dedicated advocates brave the elements in support of Mexican gray wolves.

Even after the commission voted unanimously to deny the permit, we recognized that our fight was not over. Despite continued opposition from the game commission, wolf advocates have continued to make their voices heard in letters to the editor, at meetings with local elected leaders, and at rallies and meetings across our state. Without a doubt, we’ve made this an issue that the state cannot ignore.

We Want Wolves

The momentum for protecting Mexican gray wolves is strong, and together, we succeeded in raising the profile and visibility of this important issue. Defenders will keep moving forward with our wolf recovery efforts and we hope that you will continue to speak out and stand with us. The enthusiasm and dedication of hundreds of wolf supporters in New Mexico and Colorado sent a clear message from wildlife advocates that we are not giving up until lobos are home for good!

44 Responses to “Howling for Wolves Across State Lines”

  1. linda ward

    We need to co-exist with both flora and fauna if we are to pass on to future generations the beautiful country we’ve inherited. If left alone, nature balances life as it has done for thousands of years. When humans put their own priorities in front of the general welfare,imbalances and even extinction occurs. Why can’t humans back off and let nature take its course?..The majority of hunters have no idea what species are endangered and which could use culling..

    • Nancy

      I live in Muskoka, Ontario,Canada, an area which has wolves, bears, etc.
      There has NEVER been a documented case with evidence of any wolves ever attacking a person.
      They avoid mankind as much as possible.

    • Bea

      I am praying ever day for all animals my daugther and husbend have 3 wolfs and there beautiful i love them like kid they only kill to eat just like people kill dear and other animals they cant help it if there wild and go after other game to put enless there pined up they hert no one let them alone and real killer becuse there not

    • Alma

      We continue to DESTROY
      anything and everything that it exists Here on EARTH! So called Humans there is a very HIGH PERCENTAGE who just Don’t CARE!!!! The FEW who does CARE are trying to SAVE ALL LIVES including so called
      HUMANS!

  2. Liane Rudberg

    Really FED UP! Wolves are one of Nature’s most beautiful and wonderful species! Very misunderstood thanks to fear no gets and Hollywood films!!! It’s the humans that are making everything ugly and difficult for Nature, not the other way around! Stand up for Wolves, please!!!

    • VIVIAN

      I agree with you one hundred percent
      We need to tell better stories about wolves.
      Starting with no more Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs that we tell our children how bad wolves are.

    • Valonda

      Yes we do. We need to be the wolves voice. We need more people to get involved in this. The government and committee need to leave the wolf alone. Stop spending my tax dollars on something that naturally belongs here. Spend it on finding baby killers, drug dealers and other bad things like that. LEAVE MY WOLVES ALONE!!!!

    • Marga

      You’re so right!!!!! It’s the humans who are ugly when it comes to animals and nature!!!! Wolves are wonderful!!!!! Actually, all animals are wonderful, each in it’s own way.

  3. gerard kuehn

    humans are the problem. they are murderers of innocent wolves. wolves are wonderful loyal animals. they harm no humans! only humans do this.
    unlike humans, they mate for life. they need our help. we must stand up for them. we are the voice for them. they need us to help them. please do so in any way you can.

    • Marga

      Humans are murderers in many ways. We all have to respect life!!! Wolves are wonderful, true and loyal.

  4. Joanne Denison

    To keep the balance in nature we need wolves to control the herbivores who are quite destructive. Yellowstone has seen wonderous recovery since the wolves returned and controlled the stripping of greenery by controlling an over-abundance of herbivores. Balance is everything.

  5. Susan Fleischman

    balance our wildlife return and keep the wolves population in our parks in natural environments Natures balance!! Now
    Yellowstone is a perfect example

  6. Rick cook

    They were here first and need to be bin their old areas to stop the overpopulation of deer,elk, etc.

  7. Mauricio Diaz from Galena, IL

    Wolves are magnificent animals that restore and balance nature providing benefits to so many species of flora and
    fauna. The science is indisputable and there needs to be more education of the public to change false perceptions. Top predators create true wildness! VIVA EL LOBO!!!

  8. Nancy Gebert

    We must speak for the animals. Because the silent ones need our support and voices, we can and must be their advocates. Today let’s find a way to save the wolves. And, stop the commercials and don’t buy products that reinforce the “bad” image. Each day we can take a small step forward and “speak” for them.

  9. Robert Kuhnert

    I believe we need to keep promoting ecotourism. In my comments to the Colorado Commissioners, I included data published by westernwolves.org that referenced a 2006 study on “Wolves and Economics”. The study documented that “in the 17 counties around Yellowstone, across the four seasons, about $22.5 million are directly attributable to the presence of wolves in the park. Also, “…In the entire three state area around Yellowstone, visitors who specifically wanted to see or hear wolves generated approximately $35.5 million.

    Doesn’t matter the issue with the Colorado Commission or Governor
    Hickenlooper, $$ talks. Ecotourism is a growing industry, we need to tout this burgeoning economic industry, that wolves are at the heart of, at every opportunity.

  10. JSG

    These beautiful sentient beings have a right to live their lives in peace! Dog are descendants from them – remember that. It is inhumane and cruel to kill these animals just so hunters can hunt the prey – crazy to me. Were is our sense of decency!

  11. Diane Wachowski

    It is very frustrating that no matter how many courts rule in favor of wolves, several state agencies start planning how they can circumvent the ruling and continue killing wolves like there were pests. We need to stand strong for wolves as they deserve a chance to be wolves and not blamed for every incident of farm or wild animals being killed, such as elks, caribou, etc. , Hunters want wolves destroyed so that they can get one elk or moose. We need to get the word out and accepted that without wolves, the weak and sick reproduce causing problems like Chronic Wasting Disease, which has decimated some deer herds.

  12. Heather Thomson-Stewart

    Wolves must be protected as they are most essential to the ecosystem.
    Also they are most alligned.

  13. Camilla Bowater

    Wolves are scientifically proven to be an essential part of the eco-system. They only kill to eat (unlike a great many humans…!!!). Those who want them dead are hunters who resent another “animal’ sharing an often too plentiful supply of dear,elk etc.and damage important vegetation ,or the occasional farm animal grazing on WILD lands because the farmer does not control or make a plan to protect them. They are not” Big Bad Wolves”.They need to eat and play and live as nature intended. Put away those guns ,traps and helicopters.. Stop murdering wolves. The keep a balance within the natural eco system.. It is the humans who are destroying it .

  14. Ann Marie Ross

    I love wolves and always have. They are so much like us and people don’t understand them. The sound of a wolf howling is the most beautiful sound in nature. I have a picture of a wolf and it says ” We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” I believe this with every fiber of my being.

  15. Brian

    “Colorado Parks and Wildlife”, “New Mexico Fish and Game Commission”, who are these disgusting examples of human beings. Are they staffed by monsters and criminals. The answer is yes, look at the USDA and it’s “wildlife services”. The staff of these mafias are the worst criminals, the stuff of nightmares and they should be exposed for what they are, domestic terrorist organizations and traitors to America.

  16. Vivian Weinstein

    I was at the Denver hearing on that awful resolution. It wasn’t needed and it shows the Parks and Wildlife commission is not a science nor humane or animal based organization. They are influenced only by large meat farmers who are destroying our rivers and polluting our wilderness and our bodies. This was convenient to ban wolves, it was backward, unscientific, hateful and cruel to back wolves into pens and waiting areas. But why doesn’t that surprise me. America bombs and kills humans all over the Middle East and when victims flee refuses a safe harbor or joins our allies in helping to pay to put them in camps or pens! Our philosophy of death is clear in every aspect of our lives. This must stop if we love our planet and its inhabitants. take a new path now or there will be no future.

  17. Selma Cooper

    Please let the wolves live in peace; nature has a way of keeping the balance and they do not need our interference!

  18. Bonnie reInhardt

    I am an animal activist for over 50 years I regularly sign petitions donate share with my Facebook friends we need to band together by signing petitions donating using the media and writing to our congressman and senators

  19. Greg Hamby

    We here in Eastern Nc are also fighting for the very endangered Red Wolf.. The ecosystem should be complete..wolves complete it..The opponents are very vocal..We must overcome them…

  20. chris wolff

    wolves are the ying and yang of the environment–keep things in balance–it was discovered when the wolves returned, plants and trees came back, as the elk and deer were not there to eat the seedlings.

  21. Marcy

    It starts by educating the public and electing progressives to the legislative bodies and for governor’s. These are the people that recommending hateful, anti-science legislation to ban any and all efforts by the US. FWS to have the Mexican Grey Wolf reestablished in our Western States (CO, NM, AZ, UT). If we don’t do something about electing progressives (DEMOCRATS), every Republican will not move on this issue and as we’ve have seen, will move backwards on all efforts to protect ALL wildlife. Governor’s promote ranchers to sit on these Commissions. IT’s time to take our Elections serious if we truly support Wildlife, and endangered species to thrive in the West.

  22. Harry Pilkington

    Our furry, four-legged friends out there need our LOVE and Respect for all that they do for the Earth and its various ecosystems … without them, our spirits would fade!

  23. Barbara Kelly

    Saving our precious wolves is my passion. The politicians and the ranchers and hunters are narrow minded in trying to pass anti-wolf laws. Wolves are a vital link in our wildlife!

  24. GABRIELA VARGAS MARTÍNEZ

    LAS ORGANIZACIONES Y GOBIERNOS SON DE FORMA DETERMINANTE RESPONSABLES DE LAS ESPECIES, HABLANDO HOY ESPECIALMENTE DE LOS LOBOS; YO VIVO EN MÉXICO, LUGAR QUE TENÍA UNA GRAN VARIEDAD DE ESPECIES, UNA GRAN VARIEDAD DE ÁREAS NATURALES; MÉXICO ERA IMPRESIONANTE Y RICO EN VIDA SALVAJE. SUS GOBIERNOS Y SU IGNORANTE POBLACIÓN DECIDIÓ CREER EN IDEAS ABSURDAS Y AÚN CREEN CASI TODOS QUE LOS ANIMALES SON INFERIORES Y ESTÁN EN EL PLANETA PARA BENEFICIO DE EXPLOTACIÓN DEL SER HUMANO. HOY POR HOY YA NO TENEMOS LOBOS, NO HAY OSOS GRIZZLY Y EN POCOS LUGARES HAY ZORROS; NOS QUEDAMOS SIN FAUNA POR LA DECISIÓN DE UNOS CUÁNTOS EN SUS INTERESES ECONÓMICOS Y POR LA TERRIBLE IGNORANCIA DE LAS MAYORÍAS. ESPERO SINCERAMENTE ESTO NO LE PASE AL MUNDO!!!

  25. GABRIELA VARGAS MARTÍNEZ

    I LIVE IN MEXICO, AND IN MY OPINION SAY WITH SADNESS THAT DECISION BY A FEW FOR THEY ECONOMIC INTEREST AND BY THE VAST MAYORITY IN THEIR IGNORANCE; NO LONGER WE HAVE WOLVES, BLACK BEARS, GRIZZLY BEARS, FOXES AND A VARIETY OF SPECIES THAT ABOUND IN OUR LAND. I WISH WITH ALL MY STRENGTH TO FLOURISH NATURE IN THE WORLD; PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THE HUNTING, KILLING, TRAPS; AND NOT PERMIT KIDNAP SPECIES LEAVING IN PEACE WITHIN ITS BEAUTIFUL NATURE.

  26. Masuda

    Interesting to note that at the vast rate in which out ecosystem is being violated and poisoned, we are all doomed.

  27. Arwyn Heilrayne

    we will eventually kill our ancestors because we had things more conveniently.

  28. Lauri

    If we kill off just one species, we kill ourselves. There is purpose to every living animal (though I have doubts about some humans) in which is necessary to sustain our ecosystem.

  29. nawaz niazi

    we have to save all creature ./\ due to bio diversity we breath normel so love all

  30. Sheryl Schroeder

    It’s up to US to stand up for these animals who have no voice or vote. We need to be very active now. It’s crucial! SAVE WOLVES!

  31. Alicia MIchel Gutierrez "Frederick"

    Please SAVE THE WOLVES, por favor SALVEN A LOS LOBOS,
    Last January I was in Frisco Colorado, and I saw a pick up with Wolfs and Coyotes dead, I into in fight with the Killer.

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