The Arizona Republic reported today that An adult pair and their three 8 month old pups were transported to release pens in the Blue Mountain Recovery Area. Another adult pair and two more pups arrived today at release pens and it is expected that two more pairs will arrive before the end of winter. Also reported is the possibility of a helicopter release of wolves inside the Blue Range Primitive Area, an area that bans motorized vehicles. No pens or strucutres can be built inside the area so the wolves would be released by helicoptor.
No cattle, sheep or people have been killed or injured by Mexican wolves.
CODY, Wyo. (AP) - A national conservation group has asked Wyoming's U.S. attorney to prosecute federal wildlife officials for setting a coyote trap that killed a suspected wolf. In a letter to U.S Attorney Dave Freudenthal, Defenders of Wildlife said Wildlife Services has violated federal rules and is to blame for the wolf's death near Cody in early December. The group claims the agency placed traps far from livestock allotments where coyote depredation might occur, failed to notify the Bureau of Land Management about the traps and did not provide documentation proving traps were necessary.
State Director of Wildlife Services Rick Phillips denied the accusations, saying the traps were placed about five or six miles away from where coyote depredation had been reported. His agency also notified the BLM about the traps, he said. Freudenthal said Wildlife Services showed "less than good judgment" about where to
place traps, but he will not prosecute because he found no evidence of criminal intent.
"There's a wide distance between good judgment and criminal prosecution," he said. An investigation to determine whether the animal was a wolf continues.
The Fish & Wildlife Service is likely correct that an effort is underway to undermine the reintroduction program, but is itself
to blame for refusing to prosecute the first killing, sending a message that killing wolves will be tolerated.
If the Government had prosecuted Mr. Humphreys for killing the first Mexican Gray Wolf, people would have second thoughts about killing another... But because Nancy Kaufman (address below) and Bruce Babbitt, refused to prosecute, others feel killing wolves is okay. I disagree strongly...
December 10, 1998 -- I just finished watching the NBC Nightly News, which ran a segment on the Mexican Gray Wolves. The segment stated that there are four wolves scheduled for release December 11th. I can only hope and pray that people like Mr. Humphreys will stay away and stop interfering in this important reintroduction program.
I firmly believe that the Mexican Gray Wolves should roam their once 'wild' territory... At one time the government paid people to shoot them, and now they are trying to make up for that with this program. It's ranchers and domestic livestock that are out of place in the Arizona/New Mexico Territory... but that's just my opinion.
My firm belief is that organized hunts are only the beginning of the problem with the reintroduction plan. People are out there shooting at coyotes, and "mistaking" the mexican wolves for coyotes. Although the wolves have been marked clearly, people seem to claim they made a mistake.
Hmmm, seems I've heard that excuse used somewhere?
FWS completed an environmental impact statement in 1996 that addresses the effects of reintroducing wolves into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Wolves were approved for direct release into the primary recovery zone in Arizona and can disperse throughout all of the Apache-Sitgreaves and Gila National Forests in Arizona and New Mexico. The purpose of the EA is to determine whether there are any significant effects associated with the proposed translocation that were not addressed in the original EIS. It will also address any
significant changes in the project that would warrant the preparation of a supplemental EIS. FWS regional director, Nancy Kaufman states that the objective in translocating wolves is to maximize the potential of reintroduced animals to succeed and to minimize the impacts of wolves on human uses of the same landscapes, such as livestock grazing and recreation. FWS Mexican wolf biologist, Wendy Brown, added that the four proposed sites within the Gila Wilderness were identified because they are remotely located, have good game populations and are not grazed by livestock.
Please write today to support this much needed redirection of the Mexican wolf recovery effort.
(1) Because impacts of wolf recovery in the Gila have already been covered thoroughly in the November, 1996, final environmental impact statement on the Mexican wolf reintroduction, another EIS is not necessary and would merely delay the time-sensitive release.
(2) The Gila Wilderness, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness and other adjoining lands in the Gila National Forest include more than 700,000 acres (over a thousand square miles) with no authorized cattle grazing. This provides a unique opportunity for wolves to thrive with a minimum of conflict with the livestock industry.
(3) Both the Pipestem Pack (already recaptured because of conflict with the livestock industry) and the Gavilan Pack (currently free but condemned to recapture from the wild) should be given another chance at freedom in the Gila Wilderness.