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.
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.
AES Responds to Coconino National Forest's New Forest Plan
March 17, 2014
Coconino National Forest
Attention: Forest Planner
1824 S. Thompson Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
We realize the resources and hard work it takes to finalize a new Forest Plan. The Arizona Elk Society (AES), representing 1250 members and thousands of organization supporters, appreciates the opportunity to review the Draft Forest Plan and DEIS and provide comments that will assist the Forest in making the best decision possible.
The Arizona Elk Society has been an active partner with the Coconino National Forest for many years contributing tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor directly to the Forest to complete numerous projects. The Arizona Elk Society’s mission stated below is in line with the Forest’s mission.
AZGFD Wildlife News - May 16, 2014
Drought conditions may force wildlife into local neighborhoods
Don't be surprised if you see more wild animals around town in the next few months. Drought conditions may cause creatures like elk, deer, bobcats, foxes, coyotes and even bears to wander further into town than normal, as they seek sources of food and water.
"Animals may go into search mode," says Larry Phoenix, a field supervisor with the Arizona Game and Fish Department Region 2 office in Flagstaff. "If they can't find food and water in the forests, mountains and areas where they normally live, then they head to places where these essentials can be found."
If you see wild animals in your neighborhood, you should not try to help by feeding them. That can actually wind up doing more harm than good.
"You should never provide food, cover or water for wildlife," says Phoenix. "Animals that receive help from people become habituated to human-occupied areas and can feel too comfortable around humans. That's how many human-wildlife conflicts begin, as some animals become aggressive. Often, the animals that wind up biting or attacking people were previously human-fed. This type of aggressive behavior also puts the animal's life in danger."
Here are some tips for discouraging wild animals from taking up residence in your neighborhood: