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Wildlife:
Mexican wolf; taking; reporting

Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: SB1211
Sponsor: Griffin, Burges, D. Farnsworth, et al.
Legislative Session: 2014 Legislative Session

Wolf pup
The Mexican gray wolf remains one of the most endangered mammals in North America and the most endangered subspecies of gray wolf in the world. Just 83 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild today in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.  While their numbers have improved modestly in the past few years, they are still teetering on the brink of a second extinction in the wild.  This is just one of many reasons to oppose the anti-wolf bills.
SB1211Mexican wolf; taking; reporting (Griffin, Burges, D. Farnsworth, et al.) says that an employee of the Arizona Department of Agriculture to kill any wolf that has killed or is killing livestock, if the department has an agreement to that effect with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  They amended out the worst provisions in the bill, but it is still bad and still sends a message that killing wolves is okay.

HB2699 endangered species programs; rescission; reimbursement (Thorpe, Stevens: Gowan, et al.) contains some outrageous and inaccurate information and certainly is contrary to the provisions in the Endangered Species Act or the intent of the act -- to promote the recovery of imperiled species. It includes claims about wolves that are not based on fact or science and that is intended to scare people and certainly misinform them. The bill refers to wolves as "dangerous" and as "varmints." It says the wolves have no fear of humans and leads people to believe that most of the wolves are captive-bred wolves, when the opposite is true. Most of the wolves in the wild today in Arizona in New Mexico were actually born there. 
HB2699 directs the state to take all necessary steps to get money from the federal government to reimburse the livestock industry for any losses or impacts due to Mexican gray wolves. It goes on to say that if the federal government does not pay people for losses, then the Legislature will consider enacting legislation to prohibit Arizona's continued participation in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and require that the federal government remove all wolves from state or private land. It treats wolves as if they did not belong in Arizona and ignores the state's trust responsbility to these animals.
SB1212 appropriation; wolf recovery; litigation costs (Griffin, Burges, Crandell, et al.) appropriates $250,000 for litigation relating to expansion of the Mexican gray wolf recovery area.  This is a terrible waste of money and should be directed to programs that benefit conservation or other important issues, not diverted to try and subvert recovery of this important animal. This bill may be dead for the session.

SCR1006 Mexican wolf; population rule (Griffin) is a resolution -- a message -- that contains inaccurate information and inflammatory language on wolves. It states that the legislature opposes additional introductions in Arizona and New Mexico, unless it is determined they cannot be introduced in northern Mexico, and it says the legislature supports killing wolves that have harassed or killed livestock, pets, or people. Including people on the list with livestock and pets is a bit over the top. Wolves are not harassing, harming, or killing people. This passed out of both houses.

 

Status

05/05/2014 - SB1211 and HB2699 were vetoed by the Governor. SB1212 did not advance. SCR1006 passed.

Action Needed

Thank you for vetoing bad wolf bills!

More information

To read the bills, click on the following links SB1211, HB2699SB1212, SCR1006.

Contact

Sandy Bahr at sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org, if you have questions.

Background

  • Polling showed 77 percent of Arizona voters and 69 percent of New Mexico voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction.
  • The livestock industry has a responsibility to share public lands with wolves and other wildlife. There are many tried and true methods to avoid conflicts between livestock and wolves. Funds are available to help livestock growers implement nonlethal deterrents, better animal husbandry practices, and other innovative tools that minimize conflict.
  • If state legislators really want to help, they should redirect the $250,000 slated for lawyers toward implementation of the new Coexistence Plan -- a performance-based program co-developed by ranchers, conservationists and wildlife agencies,  which provides funds to help implement conflict-avoidance measures and “rewards” ranchers for helping to successfully raise the wolf population. 
  • Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters..
  • Wolves generate economic benefits - a University of Montana study found that visitors who come to see wolves in Yellowstone contribute roughly $35.5 million annually to the regional economy.
     
     

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