Take a stand for wolves in Texas

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by Rick LoBello

The El Paso Sierra Club Return the Wolf to Texas Education Initiative is seeking volunteers to help educate and involve school children in efforts to save critically endangered Mexican wolves. The historic range of the Mexican wolf included El Paso. It was 46 years ago in December that the last two wild Mexican wolves were killed in the United States. It happened not in Arizona or New Mexico where many government officials can’t agree on how to move forward in continuing a twenty year wolf recovery effort, but in Texas, just north of Big Bend National Park. With news of both New Mexico and Arizona wanting to take control of recovery efforts from the federal government, the possibility of new wolf recovery efforts in Texas and other states takes on new meaning.

Conservation leaders in Texas need to stop ignoring the scientific facts clearly indicating the importance of conserving apex predators like the wolf. Here in the largest international city surrounded by former wolf habitat, the El Paso Sierra Club Group is taking a stand for the wolf by launching a new campaign urging Texas Parks and Wildlife to develop and execute a scientifically reviewed plan to return the wolf to the wilds of Texas to benefit the ecosystem and ecotourism. For more information on how you can get involved contact me at ricklobello@gmail.com.

The fate of this critically endangered species hangs in the balance and today the only wolves known to Texas survive in zoos. In one short century what took nature eons to perfect, came to a crashing end when the last Mexican wolves were killed in Texas. It took nearly twenty years for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to develop and execute a plan to put captive bred wolves back in the wild in 1998. Unfortunately the current effort continues to struggle because of bureaucratic meddling. Today, a little over 100 critically endangered wolves survive in parts of northern Mexico and a small area of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.

We are living at a time when Americans are showing that they are fed up with the establishment, not just in Washington, but also in State Capitals like Austin. Join the new movement to conserve our wildlife heritage, take a stand for wolves.

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