Last chance for the wolf in Texasby Rick LoBello
It's time to stand up against the establishment in Texas and let TPWD know that you care about wolves
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 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 states 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.
Our 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 online 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. I hope that you will join the effort in any way you can. For more information on how you can get involved contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have just posted on YouTube a new video of a wild caught Mexican wolf I filmed in 1978 that few people have seen in its entirety. The 8mm silent footage may end up going down in history like so many other videos of animals that have gone extinct. I hope that never happens, but it could. The film shows one of the last wild Mexican wolves known to science before it went extinct in the wild. It was captured in 1978 in northern Mexico by the legendary trapper Roy McBride. Roy and I went to graduate school together at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas and one day when I was working as a park ranger at Big Bend National Park he invited me to come to his ranch to see one of the wolves he caught in Mexico. Roy was hired by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to capture all the wolves he could before they went extinct in a last ditch effort to save the species. Previously I uploaded some of this footage set to music where on YouTube it now has over 63,000 views. The footage I just uploaded in its entirety intentionally has no narration or music to help dramatize the fact that in Texas our conservation leaders in Austin have been totally silent when it comes to any effort to help return the wolf back to its rightful home in the wilds of West Texas. The fate of this critically endangered species hangs in the balance and today the only wolves known to Texas survive only 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, speak up for wolves.
Take action at elpasosierraclub.org.