WildEarth Guardians on wolf mission
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
June 11, 2008
Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians was formed earlier this year when Forest Guardians and Sinapu combined to become one environmental advocacy organization. Now they've set their sights on "Keeping the West Wild."
Here are some words from their current fundraising campaign:
"WildEarth Guardians is committed to weaving wolves back into the American West. In 2008, we've already taken two important steps toward restoring the beating heart of the Western Wild.
"First, in Colorado, we've launched a series of legal challenges aimed at compelling the federal government to reintroduce wolves to the Southern Rockies (which includes most of western Colorado, portions of northern New Mexico and southern Wyoming).
"Second, in the Southwest, we've initiated a legal effort to rescue the faltering Mexican Wolf recovery program, and to turn the tide against a well funded anti-wolf campaign in the region. However, the success of our efforts to weave wolves back into the landscape depends on your continued support.
"In Colorado, WildEarth Guardians filed suit this spring against a National Park Service plan to cull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park using sharpshooters. Over the past three years, the agency has received volumes of information from citizens, scientists, and WildEarth Guardians indicating that Rocky Mountain National Park needs wolves to keep the park's elk moving. Instead, the agency chose the path of timidity. ... Now, the livestock industry is lining up lawyers and "experts" to help defend the National Park Service's decision to ignore the need for wolves.
"In New Mexico, WildEarth Guardians recently filed suit against both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, charging that specific livestock industry-centric policies of these two agencies are undermining the effort to restore Mexican wolves to the Southwest.
"Not surprisingly, because we've taken direct aim at the hegemony of the livestock industry, agribusiness is ginning up the anti-wolf propaganda machine. In the last few months, we've seen several counties pass anti-wolf resolutions. We've also seen "wolf proof" bus shelters spring up in rural New Mexico, with much fanfare on the anti-wolf website Wolfcrossing.org. Wolf-proof bus shelters? We can't seem to find a single instance of gray wolves ever taking children from bus stops (or anywhere else, for that matter). As the anti-wolf hysteria becomes more shrill, the lobo teeters on the brink of extinction once again, with less than fifty individuals left in the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona.
"In the coming months, WildEarth Guardians will unveil more creative initiatives to rekindle the lobo's chances in the Southwest, and to restore gray wolves to the vast wilds of western Colorado. Without question, we will continue to meet stiff resistance from the ranching industry.
"Yet, despite the multi-million dollar propaganda and legal budget of the ranching industry, we are confident we will ultimately succeed in reviving the wild heart of the American West."
The campaign letter ends with a plea for money to "Help make sure the livestock industry and the Fish and Wildlife Service don't push the wolf over the edge of extinction."
To learn more about this organization, click on the link below.