To the editor:
Roxane George’s letter (Wednesday, October 7, 2015) expresses concerns over Arizona Game and Fish Commission actions regarding Mexican wolf reintroduction. Having been a Commissioner for four years, often providing direction for Arizona’s Mexican wolf management, I can clearly state this Commission steadfastly supports wolf recovery. In fact, the Mexican wolf population has more than doubled in the last five years.
The Commission approves the budget for Arizona’s participation in Mexican wolf management which in 2012 and 2013 approached $500,000 annually. This funding has been critical in allowing the Department to expend nearly 23,000 hours of recovering this subspecies in the last three years.
The Commission pays heed to the need for diverse Mexican wolf genetics. In August 2015, the Commission authorized the cross-fostering of six Mexican wolf pups each year into the future. Cross-fostering has proven to be the cornerstone of successful recovery and genetic management in many wildlife species, and it has worked with the Mexican wolf. Release of naïve, captive-reared adult wolves has failed repeatedly and only results in growing opposition to Mexican wolf recovery.
As Commissioner, I am proud that no other state can boast a more successful endangered species program than Arizona and as guided by this Commission. Just because the Commission doesn’t agree with Ms. George doesn’t mean that we have taken the wrong way. In this case, actions speak louder than words, and the growing number of wolves on the landscape proves our intent.
Arizona Game and Fish Commission