Letter: Flake cries wolf
In his recent Talk of the Town (Moving Goal for Mexican Gray Wolf), Senator Jeff Flake proposed replacing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with a law favoring states and local ranchers as judges over the Mexican gray wolf. Whether science finds a seat at the table may be questionable since the wolf, icon of the Southwest, has been the boogieman of ranchers for some time. Flake’s bill would remove the wolf from the endangered list, an odd proposition considering that from the late 1990s until 2015 its numbers were only in the double digits.
Today, what some have called the most endangered gray wolf in the world, this small but strong lobo barely survives extinction. Only recently have its numbers reached 113 in the wild, higher than in recent years yet hardly a number to call viable for removal from the endangered list.
Senator Flake writes: Species management is always a delicate balancing act. . . . Let’s start, then, with our own specie, known for empathy, reverence for the earth, its people; for its plants, animals, air, water - all of which abide now in peril beneath the dome of climate change. The nostalgic TV Westerns where cowboys drove their cattle across the plains have ended and now that once trampled ground has morphed into highways, cities. The past’s abundant water (one cow needs 20-30 gallons per day), may soon dwindle. Perhaps the real wolf outside the rancher’s door?
By November 30, per court order, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will present a finalized recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf. Let officials hear from you who say no to certain death of this beloved lobo and yes to sound science, diversity, beauty. To call Senator Flake: 602-840-1891. Fish & Wildlife: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frances K. Thomas