The Arizona Elk Society, in support of our mission, is committed to:
- Conserving and enhancing wildlife habitat in Arizona.
- Protecting and promoting our hunting heritage.
- Promoting sound wildlife management and habitat through partnering with government agencies and other organizations.
- Implementing special programs for youth education regarding conservation, hunting and outdoor activities.
- Informing the general public about issues concerning wildlife conservation, as well as scientific and biological wildlife and habitat management.
As we identify key issues, the Arizona Elk Society will provide more background information and a sample letter to enable our members and others to voice their position to the decision makers on that issue.
AES Comments on Environmental Impact Statement relative to the issue of Motorized Travel Management on the Tonto National Forest
March 4, 2013
Tonto National Forest
2324 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85006
The Arizona Elk Society, P. O. Box 190, Peoria, Arizona 85380, is providing these comments to assist the Forest Service in developing an appropriate Environmental Impact Statement relative to the issue of Motorized Travel Management on the Tonto National Forest. On February 2, 2012, the AES provided comment on the EA relative this issue, which you have on file.
Deciding how to manage our national forest is challenging; a fact we recognize. Parts of Society want few regulations on appropriate uses of the forest, while the polar opposite viewpoint wants highly restricted management that precludes many of the uses that currently are practiced. Effective management lies somewhere in between.
The position of the AES is that traditional uses of the forest should be allowed unless there is a measurable adverse impact on the natural community of the forest. We believe the management focus should be on the maintaining or enhancing resource values and maintaining traditional uses and use areas should remain as they have been managed unless resource degradation dictates otherwise. For those that want the wilderness experience, there are millions of acres in Arizona that are managed thusly, including many areas on the Tonto. The law of the land dictates multiple uses on forestlands unless designated otherwise by law or Executive Order.
Up to $10,000 reward offered in elk poaching case near Payson
The Arizona Game and Fish Department's Operation Game Thief Program is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. An additional reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Arizona Elk Society for information leading to a conviction in the case.
Anyone with information regarding this case can call the Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form atwww.azgfd.gov/thief, and please reference OGT #12-002661. All calls will remain confidential upon request.
Arizona Game & Fish Files to Intervene in Lead Lawsuit
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
As Seen on The Outdoor Wire
The Arizona Game and Fish Department today filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit recently filed against the Kaibab National Forest by the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and Center for Biological Diversity. The groups want the U.S. Forest Service to place a mandatory ban on hunting with lead ammunition in northern Arizona.
The authority governing hunting regulations rests only with the state and Arizona Game and Fish believes that voluntary, cooperative efforts to reduce lead available to condors is the best approach for long-term success of the condor program. The department also believes that a mandatory ban could create a backlash against condor conservation and hinder future endangered species' re-introductions if the original condor reintroduction agreements are changed by court order.
"A lead ammunition ban in Arizona is not the answer. We've grown accustomed to seeing these litigious groups in the courtrooms, yet seldom are they seen in the trenches and almost never with the dirt of hard conservation work under their fingernails. These groups have ignored the absolutely critical role that cooperation and on-the-ground involvement play in a successful wildlife conservation program," says Director Larry Voyles of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. "A court-forced ban could result in important condor conservation partners withdrawing from the reintroduction effort."
None of the groups that filed the lawsuit have actually participated in on-the-ground condor conservation efforts, despite numerous invitations to join the cooperative partnership that oversees condor conservation in Arizona and Utah.
Federal government targets sportsmen's dollars to reduce deficit - Conservation of wildlife resources and your outdoor recreation heritage is at risk!
October 24, 2012
“The Greatest Story Never Told” is the mantra being extolled by the nation’s wildlife conservation community in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Fund (WSFR). Farsighted and forward-looking sportsmen worked with Congress in 1937 to pass the Pittman-Robertson Act, whereby excise taxes on hunting equipment flow into a trust fund that is one of the most significant sources of funding for state wildlife conservation efforts. Subsequent amendments of the act and passage of the Dingell-Johnson Act and the Wallop-Breaux Act have since added excise taxes from fishing equipment, archery tackle and motorboat fuel to grow the funding available for wildlife conservation. By law, your dollars are allocated to each state to support important conservation work on the ground and to keep critical wildlife programs going. Since 1939, the State of Arizona has integrated these funds, along with dedication of license-based revenues, into the core of our financing for wildlife conservation. With these resources, the state has been able to restore elk and bighorn sheep populations, construct and operate boat ramps and shooting ranges, restore native trout species, develop a modern hatchery program and continue conservation of our wildlife heritage.
Your funds have been untouched in the 75 year history of the WSFR fund and have been used only for conservation. In order to participate in the program and receive these funds, each state and territory made legal, binding commitments that these funds (and license fees) would be used only for wildlife conservation in specific, approved programs. Ironically, the current administration’s Office of Management and Budget has decided that your funds must be withheld (sequestered) under provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2012. While this action only keeps funds from being allocated to state wildlife agencies (for now) and does not in and of itself divert your funds, it does set the stage for future Congressional action which could sweep these funds from the trust accounts into the federal treasury. The fact that this diversion is occurring during the 75th anniversary of the WSFR Act is the ultimate irony. Federal agencies charged with the fiduciary protection of this trust fund are now the architects of the only authorized diversion in the fund’s history.
Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News - October 5, 2012
Monthly Status Report: September 1-30, 2012
The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and in New Mexico on the Apache National Forest (ANF) and Gila National Forest (GNF). Non-tribal lands involved in this Project are collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA). Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website athttp://www.fws.gov/southwest/
To view weekly wolf telemetry flight location information or the 3-month wolf distribution map, please visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf. On the home page, go to the “Wolf Location Information” heading on the right side of the page near the top and scroll to the specific location information you seek.
Please report any wolf sightings or suspected livestock depredations to: (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653. To report incidents of take or harassment of wolves, please call the AGFD 24-hour dispatch (Operation Game Thief) at (800) 352-0700.
Numbering System: Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) indicate wolves younger than 24 months or pups. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate alpha wolves.
Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an established territory. In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.
September 2012 AARLU Mexican Gray Wolf Letter
September 28, 2012
The Honorable Ken Salazar,
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.Washington DC 20240
Dan Ashe, Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
On May 18, 2012, many of the undersigned organizations that comprise the Arizona Alliance of Responsible Land Users (AARLU) were advised that Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director of the Southwest Region of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service cancelled the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Team meeting scheduled to begin on June 6, 2012, in part, to further evaluate issues related to the role of Mexico in the recovery of Mexican gray wolves. We stand united in supporting Dr. Tuggle for this decision. We are also aware of the firestorm created by this decision beginning with the complaint of scientific and scholarly misconduct charges leveled by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility dated June 7, 2012. While this was the first such complaint, clearly it has not been the last. We concur that indeed there has been unprofessional behavior and possibly scholarly misconduct related to Mexican wolf recovery but unfortunately, we believe that it is the result of actions by the Science and Planning Subgroup (SPS). We will elaborate on these concerns later in this document.