Saturday, April 30, 2016

More Wolves, Less Politics

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At least once a week I am privileged enough to hear one of the most rare and raw sounds: the howl of a Mexican gray wolf. The hauntingly beautiful sound pierces the sky and reminds all who listen of the wildness that surrounds us. Sadly, as evidenced by New Mexico’s decision to sue the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent the release of Mexican gray wolves into their state, that wildness is rapidly fading.

My privilege only extends so far, for the howls I rarely hear are not the howls of wild lobos reveling in freedom. They are the howls of captive lobos that reside at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY as part of the Mexican gray wolf species survival plan (MWSSP). These six lobos, each uniquely wild save the fences that enclose them, represent the future of their imperiled species. Each day they live and survive and unknowingly strive for a world with no boundaries, a world with only the open forest before them. For New Mexico to seek to prevent the release of a Mexican gray wolf pack is not only a disservice to the tireless efforts of all members of the MWSSP program but to all captive lobos as well.

New Mexico Game and Fish asserts they cannot stand idle and allow the USFWS to ignore the laws and regulations of New Mexico, but we cannot stand idle and allow New Mexico to ignore the laws of the wild. These lobos are meant to roam free on the site of their ancestors and if New Mexico refuses to grant them the freedom they deserve, it is only a matter of time before these primal creatures once again vanish from the wild landscape.

If the release of Mexican gray wolves into New Mexico is halted, the privilege I marvel at and remember fondly will become just that: a memory. Please stand with USFWS and strengthen the howls of all Mexican gray wolves so that their elusive voices may be heard by all, not just the privileged few.

Regan Downey, Youth Program Coordinator
Wolf Conservation Center

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