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2015

  • Las Cruces Sun-News

    3/12/15

    LAS CRUCES >> U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials will host a sign unveiling Sunday in the Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces.

    The event runs from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Dripping Springs Natural Area, located about 10 miles east of Las Cruces at the east end of Dripping Springs Road, according to an event news release.

    Also, some of the new signs, which mark the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, will be installed.

    The signs installation is part of a “Friends Rendezvous” project of the Conservation Lands Foundation, a group that promotes protecting and restoring public lands. Some 200 project participants will be in the Las Cruces area between Friday and Sunday as part of the project.

    Meanwhile, a “community celebration” to mark the one-year anniversary of the national monument will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Alameda House, 526 S. Alameda Blvd., in Las Cruces, according to a news release. It will feature live music. Local dignitaries and elected officials are expected to attend. The public is invited.

    The national monument was designated on May 21, 2014.

  • Las Cruces Sun-News

    3/12/15

    LAS CRUCES >> U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials will host a sign unveiling Sunday in the Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces.

    The event runs from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Dripping Springs Natural Area, located about 10 miles east of Las Cruces at the east end of Dripping Springs Road, according to an event news release.

    Also, some of the new signs, which mark the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, will be installed.

    The signs installation is part of a “Friends Rendezvous” project of the Conservation Lands Foundation, a group that promotes protecting and restoring public lands. Some 200 project participants will be in the Las Cruces area between Friday and Sunday as part of the project.

    Meanwhile, a “community celebration” to mark the one-year anniversary of the national monument will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Alameda House, 526 S. Alameda Blvd., in Las Cruces, according to a news release. It will feature live music. Local dignitaries and elected officials are expected to attend. The public is invited.

    The national monument was designated on May 21, 2014.

  • Staff Attorney Judy Calman speaks to Melissa Williams about what NM Wild is currently doing to protect wilderness.

    Listen to the podcast here.

  • Time is ticking down and there is little time left until America’s most important conservation and recreation program expires. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), created in 1964, is a little known program with an enormous impact – it protects urban, state and national parks; trails; wildlife refuges; historic sites; hunting and fishing areas; ball fields and playgrounds for all Americans to enjoy. Most of the iconic public lands we cherish were protected by LWCF from Rocky Mountain National Park and the Appalachian Trail, to our nation’s history at Gettysburg National Military Park, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, and more. But the program, and the places it protects, is threatened this year without action.

    In its 50-year history, LWCF has touched every state and 98% of counties, funding over 42,000 state and local conservation and recreation projects. It also boosts the outdoor recreation economy which is a $646 billion dollar industry supporting 6.1 million American jobs. But LWCF is unique in that it does not use a dime of taxpayer money to protect our nation’s heritage; instead it is funded through a small portion of off-shore oil and gas drilling royalties. The concept is simple: balance the depletion of one American resource -oil and gas- to protect another – our forests, water, and wildlife.

    The success of the program has come despite the fact that LWCF has only been fully funded once, with dollars intended for conservation instead going to other programs – putting outdoor recreation and conservation projects across the country on hold and at risk. If Congress does not act before September 30 of this year, LWCF will not be able to preserve lands threatened by development, make wildlife refuges and parks whole, protect drinking water supplies, and create local parks. And some in Congress want to divert even more funds from the program, or change completely the program that has worked so well for the past 50 years.  But there is hope – there are three bills pending in Congress that show the bipartisan support of the program.  These bills were offered by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Congressman Mike FItzpatrick (R-PA)calling for reauthorization of LWCF. Please join these champions of your public lands in demanding that this vital program is renewed for all Americans, before it is too late.

    CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

  • September 30, 2015

    The New Mexican

    The State Game Commission will make another important decision today about the future of wild creatures in New Mexico.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials want to release up to 10 raised-in-captivity Mexican gray wolves, a move that has been rejected by the Department of Game and Fish. That decision has been appealed to the State Game Commission, which will be deciding the matter today at a meeting in Albuquerque. (The meeting, at Embassy Suites, 1000 Woodward Place NE, begins at 9 a.m., but wolf enthusiasts plan to rally at 8 a.m.)

    Releasing more wolves into the wild is essential in adding genetic diversity to the wild population. The department should have allowed the release, and the commissioners should overturn the initial decision. That likely won’t happen, given the commission’s recent spate of decisions against carnivores.

    Commissioners’ decisions have made it easier to hunt and kill cougars and bears. They denied a permit to Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to aid in the federal wolf recovery program by providing pen space — a reversal of 17 years of a program that worked. This clearly is a Game Commission hostile to wild animals.

    Should the commission not allow the release of additional wolves, we trust that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bosses will use the Endangered Species Act to force New Mexico’s hand. Under federal law, the United States is charged with protecting the endangered wolves and striving to ensure their survival. Only 110 Mexican gray wolves are believed to be roaming in our state and neighboring Arizona.

    For the wolves to thrive, a more diverse DNA is necessary. Releasing these wolves — born in captivity but ready to take to the wilderness — is essential to the survival of a species. New Mexico is not alone in trying to block the release of these wolves; Arizona also is dragging its feet.

    Such short-sightedness on the state level must be fought by aggressive federal action. If the states won’t do the right thing by wolves, the federal government must act, using its authority under the Endangered Species Act. Humans pushed the wolf to extinction. By acting wisely, humans can restore the wolf to its rightful place. Release the wolves, with or without state approval.

    Click here for the original article

     

     

     

  • September 30, 2015

    The New Mexican

    The State Game Commission will make another important decision today about the future of wild creatures in New Mexico.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials want to release up to 10 raised-in-captivity Mexican gray wolves, a move that has been rejected by the Department of Game and Fish. That decision has been appealed to the State Game Commission, which will be deciding the matter today at a meeting in Albuquerque. (The meeting, at Embassy Suites, 1000 Woodward Place NE, begins at 9 a.m., but wolf enthusiasts plan to rally at 8 a.m.)

    Releasing more wolves into the wild is essential in adding genetic diversity to the wild population. The department should have allowed the release, and the commissioners should overturn the initial decision. That likely won’t happen, given the commission’s recent spate of decisions against carnivores.

    Commissioners’ decisions have made it easier to hunt and kill cougars and bears. They denied a permit to Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to aid in the federal wolf recovery program by providing pen space — a reversal of 17 years of a program that worked. This clearly is a Game Commission hostile to wild animals.

    Should the commission not allow the release of additional wolves, we trust that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bosses will use the Endangered Species Act to force New Mexico’s hand. Under federal law, the United States is charged with protecting the endangered wolves and striving to ensure their survival. Only 110 Mexican gray wolves are believed to be roaming in our state and neighboring Arizona.

    For the wolves to thrive, a more diverse DNA is necessary. Releasing these wolves — born in captivity but ready to take to the wilderness — is essential to the survival of a species. New Mexico is not alone in trying to block the release of these wolves; Arizona also is dragging its feet.

    Such short-sightedness on the state level must be fought by aggressive federal action. If the states won’t do the right thing by wolves, the federal government must act, using its authority under the Endangered Species Act. Humans pushed the wolf to extinction. By acting wisely, humans can restore the wolf to its rightful place. Release the wolves, with or without state approval.

    Click here for the original article

     

     

     

  • September 30, 2015

    The New Mexican

    The State Game Commission will make another important decision today about the future of wild creatures in New Mexico.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials want to release up to 10 raised-in-captivity Mexican gray wolves, a move that has been rejected by the Department of Game and Fish. That decision has been appealed to the State Game Commission, which will be deciding the matter today at a meeting in Albuquerque. (The meeting, at Embassy Suites, 1000 Woodward Place NE, begins at 9 a.m., but wolf enthusiasts plan to rally at 8 a.m.)

    Releasing more wolves into the wild is essential in adding genetic diversity to the wild population. The department should have allowed the release, and the commissioners should overturn the initial decision. That likely won’t happen, given the commission’s recent spate of decisions against carnivores.

    Commissioners’ decisions have made it easier to hunt and kill cougars and bears. They denied a permit to Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch to aid in the federal wolf recovery program by providing pen space — a reversal of 17 years of a program that worked. This clearly is a Game Commission hostile to wild animals.

    Should the commission not allow the release of additional wolves, we trust that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bosses will use the Endangered Species Act to force New Mexico’s hand. Under federal law, the United States is charged with protecting the endangered wolves and striving to ensure their survival. Only 110 Mexican gray wolves are believed to be roaming in our state and neighboring Arizona.

    For the wolves to thrive, a more diverse DNA is necessary. Releasing these wolves — born in captivity but ready to take to the wilderness — is essential to the survival of a species. New Mexico is not alone in trying to block the release of these wolves; Arizona also is dragging its feet.

    Such short-sightedness on the state level must be fought by aggressive federal action. If the states won’t do the right thing by wolves, the federal government must act, using its authority under the Endangered Species Act. Humans pushed the wolf to extinction. By acting wisely, humans can restore the wolf to its rightful place. Release the wolves, with or without state approval.

    Click here for the original article

     

     

     

  • Columbine Hondo Goldhill hikers 250x167

    Gold Hill by Jim O’Donnell

    Submit your self-guided hike and we may print it in our next book!

    New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is taking submissions for self-guided hikes in New Mexico wilderness, potential Wilderness or protected public lands. Winning entries will be included in our guide book with credit and you will get an NM Wild hat, t-shirt or mug. We’re especially interested in hike ideas within New Mexico’s newest protected lands: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Columbine Hondo and Rio Grande del Norte.

    Deadline: April 1, 2015.

    Submit to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Download the Hike Template:

    Microsoft Word (recommended)

    PDF

  • For Immediate Release
    May 16, 2015

    Community events begin with May 15 kick-off;
    Sen. Heinrich cookout on May 16

    (LAS CRUCES) – Local businesses, civic groups and community leaders have planned a week of events and celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDP), which was established by President Obama on May 21, 2014.

    The week of celebration begins May 15 with a kick-off event, 5:30 p.m. at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, sponsored by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

    In addition to the events, local businesses will be offering OMDP-related discounts and special offers throughout the week.

    All events are open to the public. Visit here for a complete listing of all events.

    In addition, local business owners have been featured in a series of short videos and profiles about what the monument means to them. These profiles and videos can be found here. Profiled businesses are also available for media interviews. Contact Carrie Hamblen at 575-496-5242 for details.

    Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Anniversary Celebrations for May 15-17:

    Friday, May 15th                                        5:30pm to 8pm                        

    OMDP Kick-off Celebration at the Farm and Ranch MuseumFeaturing a tribal blessing, the unveiling of the OMDP Achievement badge for the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, entertainment, and booths and information related to the monument.  The event will feature a “class picture” taken of all of the groups and individuals who worked to help establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

    Event co-sponsored by:  Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

    Location:  New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, NM 88011

    Cost:  Free

     

    Saturday, May 16th                                   8am to noon                                      

    OMDP daytime activities at Dripping Springs Natural Area.  Features a bird walk, meet the Hermit of La Cueva, a hike to the Eugene Van Patten Ruins, and an expert talk about the geology of the monument.  The event ends with a special 15th birthday celebration of National Conservation Lands which will include cake and hands-on activities for kids of all ages.

    Sponsored by:  Bureau of Land Management

    Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

    Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs

     

    Saturday, May 16th                                   5pm to 9pm                                       

    OMDP Big Game Cookout at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park featuring Sen. Heinrich.  Join Senator Martin Heinrich for elk tacos cooked on discos, local beer from High Desert Brewing, live music, and more.

    Sponsored by:  New Mexico Wildlife Federation     

    Location:  Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, 5000 Calle Del Norte, Mesilla, NM 88046

    Cost:  $5.00 Day use fee may apply

     

    Sunday, May 17th                                      9am to 10am                                               

    OMDP Interfaith Service at Dripping Springs.  Religious leaders from the community will come together to host an interfaith service at the La Cueva amphitheater.

    Sponsored by:  NM CAFé

    Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

    Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs

     

    For a full listing of all the week’s events, please visit:

    http://locallascruces.com/omdpweek/

    ####

     
  • For Immediate Release
    May 16, 2015

    Community events begin with May 15 kick-off;
    Sen. Heinrich cookout on May 16

    (LAS CRUCES) – Local businesses, civic groups and community leaders have planned a week of events and celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDP), which was established by President Obama on May 21, 2014.

    The week of celebration begins May 15 with a kick-off event, 5:30 p.m. at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, sponsored by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

    In addition to the events, local businesses will be offering OMDP-related discounts and special offers throughout the week.

    All events are open to the public. Visit here for a complete listing of all events.

    In addition, local business owners have been featured in a series of short videos and profiles about what the monument means to them. These profiles and videos can be found here. Profiled businesses are also available for media interviews. Contact Carrie Hamblen at 575-496-5242 for details.

    Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Anniversary Celebrations for May 15-17:

    Friday, May 15th                                        5:30pm to 8pm                        

    OMDP Kick-off Celebration at the Farm and Ranch MuseumFeaturing a tribal blessing, the unveiling of the OMDP Achievement badge for the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, entertainment, and booths and information related to the monument.  The event will feature a “class picture” taken of all of the groups and individuals who worked to help establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

    Event co-sponsored by:  Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

    Location:  New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, NM 88011

    Cost:  Free

     

    Saturday, May 16th                                   8am to noon                                      

    OMDP daytime activities at Dripping Springs Natural Area.  Features a bird walk, meet the Hermit of La Cueva, a hike to the Eugene Van Patten Ruins, and an expert talk about the geology of the monument.  The event ends with a special 15th birthday celebration of National Conservation Lands which will include cake and hands-on activities for kids of all ages.

    Sponsored by:  Bureau of Land Management

    Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

    Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs

     

    Saturday, May 16th                                   5pm to 9pm                                       

    OMDP Big Game Cookout at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park featuring Sen. Heinrich.  Join Senator Martin Heinrich for elk tacos cooked on discos, local beer from High Desert Brewing, live music, and more.

    Sponsored by:  New Mexico Wildlife Federation     

    Location:  Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, 5000 Calle Del Norte, Mesilla, NM 88046

    Cost:  $5.00 Day use fee may apply

     

    Sunday, May 17th                                      9am to 10am                                               

    OMDP Interfaith Service at Dripping Springs.  Religious leaders from the community will come together to host an interfaith service at the La Cueva amphitheater.

    Sponsored by:  NM CAFé

    Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

    Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs

     

    For a full listing of all the week’s events, please visit:

    http://locallascruces.com/omdpweek/

    ####

     
  • For Immediate Release
    May 16, 2015

    Community events begin with May 15 kick-off;
    Sen. Heinrich cookout on May 16

    (LAS CRUCES) – Local businesses, civic groups and community leaders have planned a week of events and celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDP), which was established by President Obama on May 21, 2014.

    The week of celebration begins May 15 with a kick-off event, 5:30 p.m. at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, sponsored by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

    In addition to the events, local businesses will be offering OMDP-related discounts and special offers throughout the week.

    All events are open to the public. Visit here for a complete listing of all events.

    In addition, local business owners have been featured in a series of short videos and profiles about what the monument means to them. These profiles and videos can be found here. Profiled businesses are also available for media interviews. Contact Carrie Hamblen at 575-496-5242 for details.

    Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Anniversary Celebrations for May 15-17:

    Friday, May 15th                                        5:30pm to 8pm                        

    OMDP Kick-off Celebration at the Farm and Ranch MuseumFeaturing a tribal blessing, the unveiling of the OMDP Achievement badge for the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, entertainment, and booths and information related to the monument.  The event will feature a “class picture” taken of all of the groups and individuals who worked to help establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

    Event co-sponsored by:  Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

    Location:  New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, NM 88011

    Cost:  Free

     

    Saturday, May 16th                                   8am to noon                                      

    OMDP daytime activities at Dripping Springs Natural Area.  Features a bird walk, meet the Hermit of La Cueva, a hike to the Eugene Van Patten Ruins, and an expert talk about the geology of the monument.  The event ends with a special 15th birthday celebration of National Conservation Lands which will include cake and hands-on activities for kids of all ages.

    Sponsored by:  Bureau of Land Management

    Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

    Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs

     

    Saturday, May 16th                                   5pm to 9pm                                       

    OMDP Big Game Cookout at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park featuring Sen. Heinrich.  Join Senator Martin Heinrich for elk tacos cooked on discos, local beer from High Desert Brewing, live music, and more.

    Sponsored by:  New Mexico Wildlife Federation     

    Location:  Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, 5000 Calle Del Norte, Mesilla, NM 88046

    Cost:  $5.00 Day use fee may apply

     

    Sunday, May 17th                                      9am to 10am                                               

    OMDP Interfaith Service at Dripping Springs.  Religious leaders from the community will come together to host an interfaith service at the La Cueva amphitheater.

    Sponsored by:  NM CAFé

    Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

    Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs

     

    For a full listing of all the week’s events, please visit:

    http://locallascruces.com/omdpweek/

    ####

  • View our monthly eNews here.

    This edition:

    2015 Wolf Stamp is Here

    Changes to Electronic Communication

    Easy Giving Through Amazon Smile

    Banff Mountain Film Festival Follow Up
     
    Rio Grande Urban Reach Float
  • The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is seeking a highly organized, self-motivated individual passionate about wilderness with excellent interpersonal and communications skills to cultivate, engage and mobilize public support for wilderness protection focused on Bureau of Land Management lands in the Carlsbad, Las Cruces and Farmington districts. Duties will include generating public comments, letters to the editor and newspaper opinion pieces; meeting with federal agency personnel, community leaders and elected officials; testifying at hearings; and making presentations to community groups.

    NM Wild is a statewide, non-governmental grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and expanding wilderness on federal public lands in New Mexico. The ideal candidate will have a variety of relevant experience which may include working with land conservation campaigns, grassroots organizing and working with diverse stakeholder groups.

    Full-Time Exempt position. Significant in-state travel. Some evening and weekend hours as needed. Bilingual highly desired. Location: negotiable, Albuquerque office preferred. Competitive salary and benefits.

    NM Wild is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees regardless of differences based on culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability or sexual orientation.

    Send cover letter and resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Guest Commentary by Judy Calman, Staff Attorney for New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
    Originally appeared at nywolf.org

    A wolf was shot and killed in Utah on December 28th. It was likely an endangered, federally protected wolf named Echo. She was the first wolf documented in the Grand Canyon in over seventy years, but even though the law is on the wolf’s side, this man will never be prosecuted for a crime. Bad policies and weak enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) ensure that at least for now, Echo’s death will be ignored by the very agencies charged with her protection.

    I’ve always loved ESA. The law is short, passionate, and eloquently considers the big picture of sustainability in a way that, unfortunately, only rarely comes out of Congress.

    In the words of Congress itself, the purpose of the ESA is to, “provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved [and] to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species…” (ESA, Section 2 (b)).

    Philosophically, I’ve always found this to be far more meaningful than levels of allowable toxins, directions for cleaning up hazardous waste, or the requirements of permits and filters. The ESA recognized that a natural ecosystem as a whole was valuable, and that even individual people could have an impact on a species’ survival. The statute surely does protect the plants and animals themselves, but it also sees the interconnections of those animals and plants with the larger biosphere.

    Because of this, in addition to establishing recovery plans and protected habitat, the ESA made “taking” (killing or harming) endangered species a federal crime which can include serious penalties like jail time and steep fines. US Courts have said repeatedly that the ESA is the highest priority for federal agencies (1). The emphasis placed on the importance of this statute by judges, members of Congress, federal agencies and advocates, has always made me feel it was one of the best tools for conservation.

    Wolves have been found to be a “keystone” species in their ecosystems, playing a critical role in the biological community’s health. The reintroduction of wolves has always been controversial. Misunderstandings and confusion about the wolves have led to unjustified fear and anger (2). Sometimes, they’ve led to murder. Wolf murder, which according to the ESA, still counts.

    For many years illegal wolf killing has been a problem, and it has been unclear how much law enforcement the Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) actually does when wolves are killed, and whether people are actually prosecuted for their actions.

    FWS has documented over fifty wolves as having been illegally shot in the past fifteen years just among Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. Another nine dead Mexican wolves have “unknown” listed as their cause of death. There are currently only around eighty three wild Mexican wolves in the United States. A little research shows quickly that despite the high number of wolf kills, and despite often knowing the perpetrator, people are almost never prosecuted for “takes” under the ESA.

    The wolves’ deaths were often gruesome, and among the files I’ve read it’s not unusual for the responsible individual to bury the wolf on their property to try to hide it from law enforcement, to attempt destruction of the $2,000 radio transmitters the wolves wear, and to lie to law enforcement about the incident. Out of all the documented Mexican wolf deaths, only one person has ever served time in jail. After that, the steepest punishment was one year of probation and a fine of ten dollars. No one else was even charged with criminal violations. These statistics are similar to those of other wolf populations.

    How could this happen? How could a law that aspired to so lofty a goal, that I and others have put so much faith in, have failed so greatly in terms of enforcement?

    It turns out, this happened chiefly through a quiet policy change put in place by the US Department of Justice, known as the McKittrick Policy.

    Every time a suspect was confronted by FWS law enforcement they consistently stated that they thought the animal they were shooting was a coyote. Theoretically this shouldn’t matter in terms of prosecution, since the ESA doesn’t require knowledge of the species in order to be convicted. It turns out this assumption no longer holds water, although by looking at the statute or at most court cases no one would be able to tell.

    Criminal laws contain “elements” that must be met in order for a defendant to be convicted. Often, these include a required mental state. For example, to be convicted of first degree murder, it must be proven that the killing was premeditated; that the defendant thought about it and planned it. If you can’t prove that, a conviction of first degree murder is not possible.

    For the first twenty years of the ESA’s history, to convict someone of “taking” an endangered species, the US Attorney was only required to prove that the person acted willfully and that an endangered species had in fact been taken. It was not necessary to prove that the person knew exactly what species it was, or that it was listed on the ESA. This means a “take” is a general, rather than a specific intent crime. That this was the intention of Congress when passing the statute was corroborated by Congressional records.

    In the mid-1990’s, the Justice Department prosecuted a man named Chad McKittrick for killing a gray wolf. McKittrick argued that the ESA should be a considered a specific intent crime, and that the government should be required to prove knowledge of the biological identity of the species which was harmed in order to bring charges. In other words, he argued that if the government couldn’t prove he knew the animal was a wolf before he shot it (in his case he claimed he thought the animal was a dog (who goes around shooting dogs?)) it should not be allowed to prosecute him. The courts disagreed, and both the District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

    Upon preparation for taking the case to the US Supreme Court, however, the Department suddenly stated that they would no longer pursue ESA cases where they could not prove the defendant knew what species they were harming. Essentially, the Department adopted McKittrick’s viewpoint without being ordered to by a court, without going through a rulemaking process, and without a change in position by the Executive Branch. The Justice Department has adhered to this position ever since.

    Unfortunately, this policy is not only applied to wolves, but to all endangered species. There have been countless incidents of animals being killed without any repercussions, simply because the person claimed they thought the animal was actually something else. People have claimed they thought grizzly bears were black bears, that they thought condors were vultures, that they thought red wolves were coyotes, that whooping cranes were sandhills. The list goes on.

    In 2013, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to try to reverse the policy. Echo’s death unfortunately underscores this need once again. We have to decide whether it’s worth it to us to heed the ESA’s call of preserving functioning ecosystems. If it is, we need to back up our policies with education, progress, and when necessary, serious commitment to law enforcement.

    (1) Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill 437 U.S. 153 (1978)
    (2) One of many examples: in 2007, during a House Committee Hearing, US Congressman Steve Pearce stated on the record that nothing is more attractive to a wolf than the sound of a crying baby or a laughing baby, and warned that wolves would snatch babies from their cradles. He then told a fellow Congressman during the hearing that the blood of those children would “be on his hands” for supporting the wolf reintroduction project. See Congressional Record, June 26, 2007, page H7170

  • Guest Commentary by Judy Calman, Staff Attorney for New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
    Originally appeared at nywolf.org

    A wolf was shot and killed in Utah on December 28th. It was likely an endangered, federally protected wolf named Echo. She was the first wolf documented in the Grand Canyon in over seventy years, but even though the law is on the wolf’s side, this man will never be prosecuted for a crime. Bad policies and weak enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) ensure that at least for now, Echo’s death will be ignored by the very agencies charged with her protection.

    I’ve always loved ESA. The law is short, passionate, and eloquently considers the big picture of sustainability in a way that, unfortunately, only rarely comes out of Congress.

    In the words of Congress itself, the purpose of the ESA is to, “provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved [and] to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species…” (ESA, Section 2 (b)).

    Philosophically, I’ve always found this to be far more meaningful than levels of allowable toxins, directions for cleaning up hazardous waste, or the requirements of permits and filters. The ESA recognized that a natural ecosystem as a whole was valuable, and that even individual people could have an impact on a species’ survival. The statute surely does protect the plants and animals themselves, but it also sees the interconnections of those animals and plants with the larger biosphere.

    Because of this, in addition to establishing recovery plans and protected habitat, the ESA made “taking” (killing or harming) endangered species a federal crime which can include serious penalties like jail time and steep fines. US Courts have said repeatedly that the ESA is the highest priority for federal agencies (1). The emphasis placed on the importance of this statute by judges, members of Congress, federal agencies and advocates, has always made me feel it was one of the best tools for conservation.

    Wolves have been found to be a “keystone” species in their ecosystems, playing a critical role in the biological community’s health. The reintroduction of wolves has always been controversial. Misunderstandings and confusion about the wolves have led to unjustified fear and anger (2). Sometimes, they’ve led to murder. Wolf murder, which according to the ESA, still counts.

    For many years illegal wolf killing has been a problem, and it has been unclear how much law enforcement the Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) actually does when wolves are killed, and whether people are actually prosecuted for their actions.

    FWS has documented over fifty wolves as having been illegally shot in the past fifteen years just among Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. Another nine dead Mexican wolves have “unknown” listed as their cause of death. There are currently only around eighty three wild Mexican wolves in the United States. A little research shows quickly that despite the high number of wolf kills, and despite often knowing the perpetrator, people are almost never prosecuted for “takes” under the ESA.

    The wolves’ deaths were often gruesome, and among the files I’ve read it’s not unusual for the responsible individual to bury the wolf on their property to try to hide it from law enforcement, to attempt destruction of the $2,000 radio transmitters the wolves wear, and to lie to law enforcement about the incident. Out of all the documented Mexican wolf deaths, only one person has ever served time in jail. After that, the steepest punishment was one year of probation and a fine of ten dollars. No one else was even charged with criminal violations. These statistics are similar to those of other wolf populations.

    How could this happen? How could a law that aspired to so lofty a goal, that I and others have put so much faith in, have failed so greatly in terms of enforcement?

    It turns out, this happened chiefly through a quiet policy change put in place by the US Department of Justice, known as the McKittrick Policy.

    Every time a suspect was confronted by FWS law enforcement they consistently stated that they thought the animal they were shooting was a coyote. Theoretically this shouldn’t matter in terms of prosecution, since the ESA doesn’t require knowledge of the species in order to be convicted. It turns out this assumption no longer holds water, although by looking at the statute or at most court cases no one would be able to tell.

    Criminal laws contain “elements” that must be met in order for a defendant to be convicted. Often, these include a required mental state. For example, to be convicted of first degree murder, it must be proven that the killing was premeditated; that the defendant thought about it and planned it. If you can’t prove that, a conviction of first degree murder is not possible.

    For the first twenty years of the ESA’s history, to convict someone of “taking” an endangered species, the US Attorney was only required to prove that the person acted willfully and that an endangered species had in fact been taken. It was not necessary to prove that the person knew exactly what species it was, or that it was listed on the ESA. This means a “take” is a general, rather than a specific intent crime. That this was the intention of Congress when passing the statute was corroborated by Congressional records.

    In the mid-1990’s, the Justice Department prosecuted a man named Chad McKittrick for killing a gray wolf. McKittrick argued that the ESA should be a considered a specific intent crime, and that the government should be required to prove knowledge of the biological identity of the species which was harmed in order to bring charges. In other words, he argued that if the government couldn’t prove he knew the animal was a wolf before he shot it (in his case he claimed he thought the animal was a dog (who goes around shooting dogs?)) it should not be allowed to prosecute him. The courts disagreed, and both the District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

    Upon preparation for taking the case to the US Supreme Court, however, the Department suddenly stated that they would no longer pursue ESA cases where they could not prove the defendant knew what species they were harming. Essentially, the Department adopted McKittrick’s viewpoint without being ordered to by a court, without going through a rulemaking process, and without a change in position by the Executive Branch. The Justice Department has adhered to this position ever since.

    Unfortunately, this policy is not only applied to wolves, but to all endangered species. There have been countless incidents of animals being killed without any repercussions, simply because the person claimed they thought the animal was actually something else. People have claimed they thought grizzly bears were black bears, that they thought condors were vultures, that they thought red wolves were coyotes, that whooping cranes were sandhills. The list goes on.

    In 2013, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to try to reverse the policy. Echo’s death unfortunately underscores this need once again. We have to decide whether it’s worth it to us to heed the ESA’s call of preserving functioning ecosystems. If it is, we need to back up our policies with education, progress, and when necessary, serious commitment to law enforcement.

    (1) Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill 437 U.S. 153 (1978)
    (2) One of many examples: in 2007, during a House Committee Hearing, US Congressman Steve Pearce stated on the record that nothing is more attractive to a wolf than the sound of a crying baby or a laughing baby, and warned that wolves would snatch babies from their cradles. He then told a fellow Congressman during the hearing that the blood of those children would “be on his hands” for supporting the wolf reintroduction project. See Congressional Record, June 26, 2007, page H7170

  • Guest Commentary by Judy Calman, Staff Attorney for New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
    Originally appeared at nywolf.org

    A wolf was shot and killed in Utah on December 28th. It was likely an endangered, federally protected wolf named Echo. She was the first wolf documented in the Grand Canyon in over seventy years, but even though the law is on the wolf’s side, this man will never be prosecuted for a crime. Bad policies and weak enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) ensure that at least for now, Echo’s death will be ignored by the very agencies charged with her protection.

    I’ve always loved ESA. The law is short, passionate, and eloquently considers the big picture of sustainability in a way that, unfortunately, only rarely comes out of Congress.

    In the words of Congress itself, the purpose of the ESA is to, “provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved [and] to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species…” (ESA, Section 2 (b)).

    Philosophically, I’ve always found this to be far more meaningful than levels of allowable toxins, directions for cleaning up hazardous waste, or the requirements of permits and filters. The ESA recognized that a natural ecosystem as a whole was valuable, and that even individual people could have an impact on a species’ survival. The statute surely does protect the plants and animals themselves, but it also sees the interconnections of those animals and plants with the larger biosphere.

    Because of this, in addition to establishing recovery plans and protected habitat, the ESA made “taking” (killing or harming) endangered species a federal crime which can include serious penalties like jail time and steep fines. US Courts have said repeatedly that the ESA is the highest priority for federal agencies (1). The emphasis placed on the importance of this statute by judges, members of Congress, federal agencies and advocates, has always made me feel it was one of the best tools for conservation.

    Wolves have been found to be a “keystone” species in their ecosystems, playing a critical role in the biological community’s health. The reintroduction of wolves has always been controversial. Misunderstandings and confusion about the wolves have led to unjustified fear and anger (2). Sometimes, they’ve led to murder. Wolf murder, which according to the ESA, still counts.

    For many years illegal wolf killing has been a problem, and it has been unclear how much law enforcement the Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) actually does when wolves are killed, and whether people are actually prosecuted for their actions.

    FWS has documented over fifty wolves as having been illegally shot in the past fifteen years just among Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. Another nine dead Mexican wolves have “unknown” listed as their cause of death. There are currently only around eighty three wild Mexican wolves in the United States. A little research shows quickly that despite the high number of wolf kills, and despite often knowing the perpetrator, people are almost never prosecuted for “takes” under the ESA.

    The wolves’ deaths were often gruesome, and among the files I’ve read it’s not unusual for the responsible individual to bury the wolf on their property to try to hide it from law enforcement, to attempt destruction of the $2,000 radio transmitters the wolves wear, and to lie to law enforcement about the incident. Out of all the documented Mexican wolf deaths, only one person has ever served time in jail. After that, the steepest punishment was one year of probation and a fine of ten dollars. No one else was even charged with criminal violations. These statistics are similar to those of other wolf populations.

    How could this happen? How could a law that aspired to so lofty a goal, that I and others have put so much faith in, have failed so greatly in terms of enforcement?

    It turns out, this happened chiefly through a quiet policy change put in place by the US Department of Justice, known as the McKittrick Policy.

    Every time a suspect was confronted by FWS law enforcement they consistently stated that they thought the animal they were shooting was a coyote. Theoretically this shouldn’t matter in terms of prosecution, since the ESA doesn’t require knowledge of the species in order to be convicted. It turns out this assumption no longer holds water, although by looking at the statute or at most court cases no one would be able to tell.

    Criminal laws contain “elements” that must be met in order for a defendant to be convicted. Often, these include a required mental state. For example, to be convicted of first degree murder, it must be proven that the killing was premeditated; that the defendant thought about it and planned it. If you can’t prove that, a conviction of first degree murder is not possible.

    For the first twenty years of the ESA’s history, to convict someone of “taking” an endangered species, the US Attorney was only required to prove that the person acted willfully and that an endangered species had in fact been taken. It was not necessary to prove that the person knew exactly what species it was, or that it was listed on the ESA. This means a “take” is a general, rather than a specific intent crime. That this was the intention of Congress when passing the statute was corroborated by Congressional records.

    In the mid-1990’s, the Justice Department prosecuted a man named Chad McKittrick for killing a gray wolf. McKittrick argued that the ESA should be a considered a specific intent crime, and that the government should be required to prove knowledge of the biological identity of the species which was harmed in order to bring charges. In other words, he argued that if the government couldn’t prove he knew the animal was a wolf before he shot it (in his case he claimed he thought the animal was a dog (who goes around shooting dogs?)) it should not be allowed to prosecute him. The courts disagreed, and both the District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

    Upon preparation for taking the case to the US Supreme Court, however, the Department suddenly stated that they would no longer pursue ESA cases where they could not prove the defendant knew what species they were harming. Essentially, the Department adopted McKittrick’s viewpoint without being ordered to by a court, without going through a rulemaking process, and without a change in position by the Executive Branch. The Justice Department has adhered to this position ever since.

    Unfortunately, this policy is not only applied to wolves, but to all endangered species. There have been countless incidents of animals being killed without any repercussions, simply because the person claimed they thought the animal was actually something else. People have claimed they thought grizzly bears were black bears, that they thought condors were vultures, that they thought red wolves were coyotes, that whooping cranes were sandhills. The list goes on.

    In 2013, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to try to reverse the policy. Echo’s death unfortunately underscores this need once again. We have to decide whether it’s worth it to us to heed the ESA’s call of preserving functioning ecosystems. If it is, we need to back up our policies with education, progress, and when necessary, serious commitment to law enforcement.

    (1) Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill 437 U.S. 153 (1978)
    (2) One of many examples: in 2007, during a House Committee Hearing, US Congressman Steve Pearce stated on the record that nothing is more attractive to a wolf than the sound of a crying baby or a laughing baby, and warned that wolves would snatch babies from their cradles. He then told a fellow Congressman during the hearing that the blood of those children would “be on his hands” for supporting the wolf reintroduction project. See Congressional Record, June 26, 2007, page H7170

  • July 3, 2015, 8:40 am

    A federal plan that’s supposed to help restore populations of endangered wolves doesn’t give the animals a fair chance for a real future, argues a new lawsuit filed by Western Environmental Law Center, WildEarth Guardians, Friends of Animals and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance against the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    One big issue in the litigation is just how many wolves there should be.

    The feds have been working to revise the rules governing management of both gray wolves in the northern half of the country and Mexican wolves found in New Mexico and Arizona. In January, the service released a revised rule for Mexican wolves that expands the area wolves are allowed to occupy and the area they can initially be released from captivity. It also lists the Mexican wolf subspecies separate from the gray wolf for the first time for protections under the Endangered Species Act. The target population for Mexican wolves was increased from 100 to 300-325.

    The rule allows for “take of” Mexican wolves to protect livestock and domestic dogs—as in, wolves can be shot if seen attacking either. Wolves can also be killed or removed to protect elk and deer from unacceptable impacts.

    Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest regional director for the service, said at the announcement that the increased area will allow a larger, more genetically diverse population to be established while providing “necessary management tools to address negative interactions.”

    The coalition of conservation groups that has filed the lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service and its director, Daniel Ashe, also naming Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the United States Department of the Interior in the lawsuit, argues that the plan fails to give Mexican wolves a decent chance at recovery.

    When the US Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 11 captive-bred Mexican wolves to New Mexico and Arizona in 1998, there were no Mexican wolves left in the US. In the 17 years that followed, wolves climbed slowly toward what was thought, when the plan for recovery was crafted in 1982, a goal so ambitious it might never be attained: 100 wild Mexican wolves in the US. The number of wolves in the recovered population crept slowly toward that number, hovering in the 40s and 50s for most of a decade, before finally reaching 109 in 2014.

    A scientific panel convened around 2011 estimated a healthy, sustainable and genetically diverse population of wolves would be 750 wolves in three distinct population areas, connected by corridors. The Fish and Wildlife Service itself reported in 2012 that the struggle toward recovery in part stemmed from too few wolves having been released from captivity to reintroduce the wild population.

    The population of Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona is the world’s only wild population, the groups contend, and argue that as such, it deserves protection as an “essential experimental population,” rather than its current designation as “nonessential experimental population,” which allows for more flexibility in management.

    “The problem with that is that there’s only one wild population, so losing the one wild population would mean there are no more wild ones,” Judy Calman, staff attorney with New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, tells SFR.

    As relief, the lawsuit asks the Fish and Wildlife Service to classify the population as essential, acknowledging that if these Mexican wolves are eradicated, there will be none left in the world; use the best available science, which calls for higher population counts; and further provide for the conservation of the species.

    “It doesn’t seem like recovery was really the objective,” Calman says. “It seems like a sort of political compromise among factions was the objective, and that’s just really not what Fish and Wildlife is charged with doing.”

    The lawsuit was filed Thursday, July 2, in US District Court. Hearings will take place in Tucson.

    Santa Fe Reporter

  • July 3, 2015, 8:40 am

    A federal plan that’s supposed to help restore populations of endangered wolves doesn’t give the animals a fair chance for a real future, argues a new lawsuit filed by Western Environmental Law Center, WildEarth Guardians, Friends of Animals and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance against the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    One big issue in the litigation is just how many wolves there should be.

    The feds have been working to revise the rules governing management of both gray wolves in the northern half of the country and Mexican wolves found in New Mexico and Arizona. In January, the service released a revised rule for Mexican wolves that expands the area wolves are allowed to occupy and the area they can initially be released from captivity. It also lists the Mexican wolf subspecies separate from the gray wolf for the first time for protections under the Endangered Species Act. The target population for Mexican wolves was increased from 100 to 300-325.

    The rule allows for “take of” Mexican wolves to protect livestock and domestic dogs—as in, wolves can be shot if seen attacking either. Wolves can also be killed or removed to protect elk and deer from unacceptable impacts.

    Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest regional director for the service, said at the announcement that the increased area will allow a larger, more genetically diverse population to be established while providing “necessary management tools to address negative interactions.”

    The coalition of conservation groups that has filed the lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service and its director, Daniel Ashe, also naming Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the United States Department of the Interior in the lawsuit, argues that the plan fails to give Mexican wolves a decent chance at recovery.

    When the US Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 11 captive-bred Mexican wolves to New Mexico and Arizona in 1998, there were no Mexican wolves left in the US. In the 17 years that followed, wolves climbed slowly toward what was thought, when the plan for recovery was crafted in 1982, a goal so ambitious it might never be attained: 100 wild Mexican wolves in the US. The number of wolves in the recovered population crept slowly toward that number, hovering in the 40s and 50s for most of a decade, before finally reaching 109 in 2014.

    A scientific panel convened around 2011 estimated a healthy, sustainable and genetically diverse population of wolves would be 750 wolves in three distinct population areas, connected by corridors. The Fish and Wildlife Service itself reported in 2012 that the struggle toward recovery in part stemmed from too few wolves having been released from captivity to reintroduce the wild population.

    The population of Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona is the world’s only wild population, the groups contend, and argue that as such, it deserves protection as an “essential experimental population,” rather than its current designation as “nonessential experimental population,” which allows for more flexibility in management.

    “The problem with that is that there’s only one wild population, so losing the one wild population would mean there are no more wild ones,” Judy Calman, staff attorney with New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, tells SFR.

    As relief, the lawsuit asks the Fish and Wildlife Service to classify the population as essential, acknowledging that if these Mexican wolves are eradicated, there will be none left in the world; use the best available science, which calls for higher population counts; and further provide for the conservation of the species.

    “It doesn’t seem like recovery was really the objective,” Calman says. “It seems like a sort of political compromise among factions was the objective, and that’s just really not what Fish and Wildlife is charged with doing.”

    The lawsuit was filed Thursday, July 2, in US District Court. Hearings will take place in Tucson.

    Santa Fe Reporter

  • July 3, 2015, 8:40 am

    A federal plan that’s supposed to help restore populations of endangered wolves doesn’t give the animals a fair chance for a real future, argues a new lawsuit filed by Western Environmental Law Center, WildEarth Guardians, Friends of Animals and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance against the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    One big issue in the litigation is just how many wolves there should be.

    The feds have been working to revise the rules governing management of both gray wolves in the northern half of the country and Mexican wolves found in New Mexico and Arizona. In January, the service released a revised rule for Mexican wolves that expands the area wolves are allowed to occupy and the area they can initially be released from captivity. It also lists the Mexican wolf subspecies separate from the gray wolf for the first time for protections under the Endangered Species Act. The target population for Mexican wolves was increased from 100 to 300-325.

    The rule allows for “take of” Mexican wolves to protect livestock and domestic dogs—as in, wolves can be shot if seen attacking either. Wolves can also be killed or removed to protect elk and deer from unacceptable impacts.

    Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest regional director for the service, said at the announcement that the increased area will allow a larger, more genetically diverse population to be established while providing “necessary management tools to address negative interactions.”

    The coalition of conservation groups that has filed the lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service and its director, Daniel Ashe, also naming Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the United States Department of the Interior in the lawsuit, argues that the plan fails to give Mexican wolves a decent chance at recovery.

    When the US Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 11 captive-bred Mexican wolves to New Mexico and Arizona in 1998, there were no Mexican wolves left in the US. In the 17 years that followed, wolves climbed slowly toward what was thought, when the plan for recovery was crafted in 1982, a goal so ambitious it might never be attained: 100 wild Mexican wolves in the US. The number of wolves in the recovered population crept slowly toward that number, hovering in the 40s and 50s for most of a decade, before finally reaching 109 in 2014.

    A scientific panel convened around 2011 estimated a healthy, sustainable and genetically diverse population of wolves would be 750 wolves in three distinct population areas, connected by corridors. The Fish and Wildlife Service itself reported in 2012 that the struggle toward recovery in part stemmed from too few wolves having been released from captivity to reintroduce the wild population.

    The population of Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona is the world’s only wild population, the groups contend, and argue that as such, it deserves protection as an “essential experimental population,” rather than its current designation as “nonessential experimental population,” which allows for more flexibility in management.

    “The problem with that is that there’s only one wild population, so losing the one wild population would mean there are no more wild ones,” Judy Calman, staff attorney with New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, tells SFR.

    As relief, the lawsuit asks the Fish and Wildlife Service to classify the population as essential, acknowledging that if these Mexican wolves are eradicated, there will be none left in the world; use the best available science, which calls for higher population counts; and further provide for the conservation of the species.

    “It doesn’t seem like recovery was really the objective,” Calman says. “It seems like a sort of political compromise among factions was the objective, and that’s just really not what Fish and Wildlife is charged with doing.”

    The lawsuit was filed Thursday, July 2, in US District Court. Hearings will take place in Tucson.

    Santa Fe Reporter

  • New Mexico State University student Grecia Nuñez talks about her outlook on the future of wilderness. New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is working on the ground to ensure that wilderness is protected now and for the future.

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