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:

    Thirst Elk drinking water provided by AES
  • 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.

AES Mexican Wolf USFWS Stakeholder EIS Scoping Comments

September 19, 2013

Subject: Scoping comment for Environmental Impact Statement on pending U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to revise the rule establishing the Mexican wolf in Arizona-New Mexico as a nonessential experimental population

To Whom It May Concern:

As concerned stakeholders, we write to you regarding U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) efforts to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on revision of the 1998 nonessential experimental population rule (10(j) Rule) for the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). We are particularly concerned that the EIS address the full range of issues associated with Mexican wolf recovery as well as reintroduction, and that it reflect the fact that recovery and delisting cannot be achieved without substantive progress in and contribution from Mexico. At best, Mexican wolf historical range in the United States is just a small fraction, perhaps only about 10 percent, of the historical range, the rest of which is in Mexico.

Comment period extended for proposals affecting Arizona’s Mexican wolf population

Sept. 6, 2013

PHOENIX — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a 45-day extension to the comment period for both the proposed revision to the Mexican wolf’s 10(j) nonessential experimental population rule and the proposed rule to delist gray wolves in the U.S. with an accompanying proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies of gray wolf.

The new deadline for public comment on both of these proposed rules is Oct. 28, 2013.

Those interested in submitting comments on either proposed rule should submit comments to the Service; see for more information. The comment period deadline for these two proposed rules is different than the comment and public scoping period deadline associated with the development of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the newly proposed 10(j) rule for Mexican wolf. The scoping/comment deadline for the draft EIS is Sept. 19, 2013.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be submitting comments on both proposed rules that will appropriately address feedback it receives from its constituents. One point of interest for the state and its residents is that the Service has proposed to hold public meetings on the proposed 10(j) revisions only in Washington, D.C., Sacramento, Calif. and Albuquerque, N.M., and not in Arizona where a large portion of the Mexican wolf’s Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area lies. The department is undertaking efforts with some stakeholders to help rectify these public scoping deficiencies with the Service.

More information on the comment period extension, proposed rules and how to submit comments is available at under Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073 and Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056.

The Mexican wolf reintroduction program began in 1998. The 2012 year-end population count showed a minimum of 75 wolves roaming Arizona and New Mexico, up from 58 wolves in 2011.

To learn about the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s role in the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction, visit

Stakeholder concerns about pending Service proposals to delist gray wolves, and relist the Mexican wolf

August 25, 2013

Stakeholder concerns about pending Service proposals to delist gray wolves, relist the Mexican wolf, revise the rule establishing the Mexican wolf in Arizona-New Mexico as a nonessential experimental population and to draft an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed revision to the Mexican wolf nonessential experimental population rule.

AES Comments on Environmental Impact Statement relative to the issue of Motorized Travel Management on the Tonto National Forest

March 4, 2013

Gene Blankenbaker
Forest Supervisor
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.

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News - July 12, 2013

Monthly Status Report:  June 1-30, 2013

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 or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting

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).

To view weekly wolf telemetry flight location information or the 3-month wolf distribution map, please visit  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.

Read more ...

Up to $10,000 reward offered in elk poaching case near Payson

Up to $10,000 reward offered in elk poaching case near Payson
PAYSON, Ariz. - The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Elk Society are seeking the public's help in finding the person(s) responsible for the illegal shooting of four elk in the Payson area in Game Management Unit 22.

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, and please reference OGT #12-002661. All calls will remain confidential upon request.