First wolf-conservation stamp grant

Wolf Stamp

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is excited to announce that it has awarded its first Conservation Wolf Stamp Grant to filmmaker and conservationist Elke Duerr for her Wild Wolf Film project.

Wolves in Danger - Congress may strip Mexican Wolves of endangered protection


Nearly a year ago, the official tally of the Mexican wolf population was just 42 animals in Arizona and New Mexico. Some had puppies this summer and a new count will take place soon to see how many survived. Our wolves could be thriving and we know nature needs them, but in the meantime, 6 of the 42 perished this year, all but one under suspicious circumstances.

NM Game Commission adopts disappointing cougar and bear rules, but the wolf area trapping ban is approved.

On October 28, we were disheartened that the New Mexico Game Commission voted to adopt an arbitrary cougar quota of 742. This number was recommended by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in an 11th hour move to make their previous recommendation more palatable to the public. Initially, the agency wanted a quota of nearly 1000 dead cougars but the outcry was so vocal and numerous they felt compelled to tone it down.

Club Protests NM Game Commission plan to double Cougar/Bear Kill Quotas

October 20 - The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, Wild Earth Guardians, and Animal Protection of New Mexico have sent a letter to the New Mexico Game Commission protesting the plan to double kill quotas for bears and cougars in New Mexico. The letter is attached.

Also, Sierra Club members in New Mexico have sent 100's of e-mails to each of the game commissioners protesting this plan.

State plans could decimate cougars and bears

MountainLion © 2006 Larry Allen

New Mexico Game and Fish is proposing to drastically raise the number of bears and cougars that can be killed every year. It wants to increase the number of bears that can die from 406 to 733, apparently based on anecdotal evidence that people are seeing “a lot” of bears.Please help ensure that these plans are not enacted by contacting Game Commissioners and the Director of NM Game and Fish. Ask that the cougar and bear rules that are the result of years of progress in carnivore management stay as they are.

Please attend the next Game Commission meeting at 9 a.m. Oct. 28 at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso.

Senators Bingaman & Udall Introduce Bill to Transfer Valles Caldera to National Park Service - Update

Valles Caldera

August 5 - U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today announced that a bill he introduced with Senator Tom Udall to transfer management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service has cleared its first hurdle. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed it.

The Chapter has been strongly supporting the effort by Caldera Action to transfer management of the Valles Caldera from the Valles Caldera Trust to the National Park Service, which has the experience and resources to better manage the Preserve. We are delighted to announce that on May 27, Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall introduced legislation to transfer the management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service.

Governor Richardson Issues Trapping Restrictions in Lobo Country

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

"By prohibiting traps and snares to protect our beleaguered lobos, Governor Richardson has again shown tremendous leadership to help wolves gain recovery," stated Mary Katherine Ray, Wildlife Chair of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club. "Wolves bring millions of tourism dollars to Yellowstone. Directing the Department of Tourism to examine the potential for wolf tourism in New Mexico will benefit not only our wolves but also the economy of the Gila region and New Mexico," she added.

Chapter Petitions to Stop Trapping of Wolves in the Gila

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierran Club, Wild Earth Guardians, and the Southwest Environmental Center have sent a petition to the US Forest Service and the US Fish & Wildlife Service to stop trapping and snaring of wolves in the Gila National Forest.

Innovative Strategies for ESA Species Management: Promises & Pitfalls

Aerial view of middle Rio Grande floodplain

by Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair

The recent Tenth Circuit ruling voiding a decade of litigation challenging A federal agencies' ESA approach well illustrates (see article this page), often process can overwhelm substance when it comes to species management. Not only can technical legal issues swamp more philosophical disagreements over land and water use priorities or the best methods for helping an endangered species like the Rio Grande silvery minnow recover from the verge of extinction, but politics among regional "stakeholders" can often drown out sound science.

Federal Appeals Court Rules on Middle Rio Grande, Minnow Issues - Prior Expansive Pro-ESA Rulings Voided

Rio Grande near Albuquerque

On April 21st, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit finally issued its ruling involving a crucial issue for Endangered Species Act (ESA) "consultations" on federal water project operations, and federal agency activities in general.

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