Thursday, June 4, 2015

Managing wolves means better data

June 03, 2015 
To the editor:

Thank you for publishing this article in the Arizona Daily Sun and providing opportunities for local residents to learn more about the Mexican gray wolf population and related challenges to increasing the diversity and overall fitness of this endangered species. I am a science educator, wolf advocate, as well as a hunter of several game species in the state of Arizona. I understand and acknowledge the difficulty of developing, implementing, and maintaining a management plan for Mexican gray wolves in our region.

I appreciate the work and collaboration between state and federal agencies, but a new and updated management plan that is based upon sound and accurate science is necessary and very much overdue. Managing predator species in a state that relies heavily on revenue from game tags can create conflict from invested stakeholders, but again this shouldn't be a reason for NOT having accurate scientific data be the basis of the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan. Anyone who spends time in the outdoors should be able to identify, based off of simple observation, that the natural world won't thrive unless it is in a state of balance and equilibrium. Releasing more captive Mexican gray wolves into the wilderness of the southwest is crucial for the recovery of this keystone species.

I strongly encourage local residents, state and federal agencies, and all stakeholders to support a management plan that is based upon scientific data, facts, evidence and conclusions instead of personal interest.