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.
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.
Arizona Elk Society Wildlife Water Management Program 2015
For several decades, development of waters to benefit wildlife populations has been a key management practice but the program has been challenged due to largely hypothesized adverse impacts such as the spread of diseases, increased predation, competition of other ungulates, and expansion of non-native pollinators (Rosenstock et al. 1999). One of the first references for the need to construct wildlife waters is found in one of the first texts on wildlife management (Leopold 1933) where the author stated that water was one of the three key components of wildlife habitat. While the practice of developing wildlife waters was unchallenged for many years, Broyles (1995) was one of the first who suggested that there was no supporting documentation that wildlife waters provided benefit to wildlife and in fact proposed that there were potential negative impacts associated with their development.
Opposition Letter to elected Officials about the threat of the President designating the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument Proposal
April 22, 2015
President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. Obama,
As concerned conservationists, we have received and reviewed the recent Conserving the Grand Canyon Watershed A Proposal for National Monument Designation prepared by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, and the Wilderness Society and we the Arizona Elk Society and our membership and supporters stand united in the opposition of this proposal. Within the above mentioned document, the proponents of this proposal attempt to justify designation of 1.7 million acres on the Arizona Strip as a National Monument but we believe much of their logic is fatally flawed. We will provide specific information about the management issues the proponents present but first want to point out that the area north of the Grand Canyon is both intensely and appropriately managed by the various state and federal agencies with statutory management authority for the area.
We also believe that the American public has the right to use and enjoy our natural heritage in diverse ways. Some people enjoy the wilderness experience and some enjoy other forms of recreation such as hunting, legal off-highway vehicle use, or just enjoying the beauty and solitude that the Arizona Strip and Kaibab Plateau has to offer. To meet the demands for all users of the land, we believe a diversity of management approaches is necessary. Changing the current management direction in the area being proposed for monument status would limit the ability of many legitimate recreationists without clear justification or benefit.
Endangered Species Updates - March 31, 2015
Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
March 1-31, 2015
The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), and New Mexico. 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 atwww.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf. Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visitingwww.azgfd.gov/signup. This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose. The Reintroduction Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).
AZG&F Wildlife News - December 19, 2014
Arizona Game and Fish Department and critics share common goal in effort to restore Mexican wolves
While the federal government develops revisions to the 10(j) rule for Mexican wolf recovery, the Arizona Game and Fish Department continues fulfilling its mission of restoring a self-sustaining population of wolves to Arizona through its dedicated, unwavering on-the-ground field management. Biologists are preparing to begin the annual winter population count that will determine the minimum number of wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.
Recently, at a public meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, several members of the public and environmental organizations chose to provide public comment on Mexican wolf recovery. It was of particular interest to the commission and department because it reflected some similarity in long-term goals.
“It was interesting to hear comments from a number of wolf advocates stating their goal of recovering the Mexican wolf. While there is some apparent disagreement on exactly what recovery means to each group and how to accomplish it, we do share a common goal of recovering the Mexican wolf. It seems that there is a place for dialog and working together,” said Jim deVos, assistant director for wildlife management at Arizona Game and Fish. “The commission and department have played an integral role in returning the Mexican wolf to its historic range in Arizona since before wolves were even released into the state. We are committed to continuing that role to establish a self-sustaining population of wolves.”
The commission reaffirmed its commitment to wolf recovery by asking the department to continue working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a 10(j) rule for Mexican wolf recovery. The commission wants a mutually acceptable rule that not only considers increased wolf numbers, but also the need to maintain healthy populations of all other wildlife species and consider the socio-economic impacts to those that live, work and recreate on the same land where wolves live.
“The department has a trust responsibility to manage all wildlife species, including Mexican wolves, but we must manage all of those species in balance. We should not allow the wolf population to grow to a point where it threatens the persistence of other species. That would be a dereliction of our duties,” said deVos.
Game and Fish biologists are responsible for monitoring wolves, assisting wolves with injuries, addressing citizen concerns and all aspects of daily management of the Mexican wolf reintroduction effort.
Game and Fish biologists will spend part of December and January conducting aerial surveys looking for individual wolves and packs. Results of the surveys are usually complete by early February. The department expects the 2015 count to reflect a healthy increase in the Mexican wolf population for the fourth year in a row. At last count, there were at least 83 wolves in Arizona and New Mexico when before 1998 there were none.
For more information on the Mexican wolf reintroduction effort, visit www.azgfd.gov/wolf.
What is the Four Forest Restoration Initiative?
Overview and History
The Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) includes over 30 stakeholder groups and the Forest Supervisors and staff of the Coconino, Kaibab, Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The 4FRI landscape spans 2.4 million acres across the Mogollon Rim of Northern Arizona and is the largest landscape scale restoration project selected by the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program or CFLRP (Established under section 4003(a) of Title IV of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009). Information about the 4FRI Stakeholder Group (SHG) can be found at http://www.4fri.org/. Information about the work of the United States Forest Service 4FRI activities can be found at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/4fri
Endangered Species Updates - May 17, 2014
Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Monthly Update
April 1-30, 2014
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 visithttp://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 breeding 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.