This is bad news for the struggling Mexican wolf program, but the blame is on these rural counties who for years have believed that obeying the law is optional. I am not just badmouthing them, this was heart of county secession, militia movement back in the 1990s.

Story in the Las Cruces Sun News. AP

The fact that the psychologist mention in the story, found that children in the area startled more easily now than before wolf reintroduction and were “clingy” with their parents, is just what you’d expect if their parents were telling them that there were big bad wolves all around ready to gobble them up. I expect scaring the children also results in  reports from frightened children who bring back an exaggerated story to their parents, who then reinforce the cycle of fear and recrimination.

Fear, including this irrational fear, is very contagious. There is social pathology here.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

6 Responses to Divide Wide Over Mexican Wolf Program

  1. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    I believe the only Mexican wolf I will ever see is the mounted specimen in the Sevilleta NWR visitor center just north of Socorro, N.M. There are simply too many political constraints imposed on biologists managing the reintro program.

  2. avatar Chris H says:

    Ralph,
    There is a group backed by a consortium of southwestern environmental groups called the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. As stated in the name the group is working on placing (Mexican ) wolves in the Grand Canyon Ecosystem. I lived and worked in the park in the 1980’s for several years. Personally I always thought the North Rim /Kaibab Plateau was/is excellent wolf country. The Cane Ranch grazing permit on the North Rim is held by one of the environmental groups and the the private land south of the park is in the hands of the Babbitt family. I’m sure that an issue will be made historic Mexican Wolf Territory and the taxonomic status of the wolves that previous lived in that region. However, this would be a great chance to get some wolves on the ground to stay. There are several promising PVA and feasibilty studies.
    This summer, like last they will be running an information booth on the south rim. I plan to use a couple of weeks of my vacation in June to volunteer.
    This does not to make the problems in the Blue Range go away, but it could help the recovery of the species until the law is enforced in the Blue Range. Here is the web site:http://www.gcwolfrecovery.org/index.html

  3. The Grand Canyon is one of the best potential areas for wolf reintroduction there is. THanks for the post about this group.

  4. avatar Jean Ossorio says:

    I agree with Chris that the Grand Canyon is great potential lobo habitat and fully support the efforts of the coalition. I do want to caution, however, that wolves in the Grand Canyon should not come at the expense of wolves in the historic range of C. l. baileyi in the Sky Islands of the southern Arizona and far southwestern New Mexico borderlands. To that end, some of the same groups that are members of the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, along with several others, are in the process of organizing to promote the recovery of lobos in the Sky Islands ecoregion.

    One major obstacle to getting wolves on the ground in both areas is Recommendation #5 of the Five-Year Review of the Blue Range Reintroduction Project, which would effectively extend the 10j designation “subject to management consistent with current Blue Range Reintroduction Project SOPs” (recommendation 5c) to a much larger area of Arizona and New Mexico. The effect would be to apply the current management regime to a much larger area, including the Sky Islands, where conditions for wolves are less favorable than in the Blue Range.

    From the point of view of many of us active in Mexican wolf issues, consideration of such an extension of the experimental, non-essential population area prior to action by a reconvened recovery team is premature and could well preclude Aldo Leopold’s “desert wolf” from ever reoccupying his historic range in the U. S.

    For additional information on the potential effects of the Five-Year Review Recommendations, check out
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/press/mexican-wolves-07-25-2006.html

  5. avatar robert says:

    Hey Alan. Not to fear. I don’t know where at you go to look for the wolves, but if you can hang out with me, I can help you to see one or two. I like to be quiet about it for protection of the wolves and also cause I promised the ADGF the same. When ever I get pictures of them I have to show them to the ADGF first for verification and I do willing. anyways fill free to message me here on the blog.

  6. avatar Jean Ossorio says:

    Unfortunately, the number of lobos in the wild is about to drop by another two, as one of the handful of breeding pairs, the Saddle pack alpha male and female, are about to be removed. The alpha male is a genetically valuable “tri-lineage” lobo.

    They apparently killed a calf last week–only a few weeks before the date (April 22) when one of their two depredations in the previous 365 days would have dropped out under the infamous Standard Operating Procedure 13.0.
    Had they managed to avoid the calves currently flooding their home range until the 22nd, they would have avoided removal. Too bad wolves can’t read calendars.

    Project officials will try trapping the animals, but if they fail to catch the by now trap-savvy wolves in 14 days, the aerial shooting will begin. With the removal of this pair, the number of wolves in the wild will drop to 55–the same as at the end of 2003. Meanwhile, no releases of Mexican wolves are planned for 2007.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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