ISSUES

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.



AARLU Comments on Sonoran Monument

September 09, 2012

RE: Support for the BLM decision regarding the Lower Sonoran and Sonoran Desert National Monument Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Gentlemen:

The Arizona Alliance of Responsible Land Users (AARLU) is comprised of many organizations that support the long-standing, successful multiple use approach to managing America’s publically held lands. We have watched with great interest as the BLM labored through the development of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Proposed Resource Management Plan (PRMP) for the Lower Sonoran and Sonoran Desert National Monument (monument). The Science staff of AARLU has reviewed the above document and recommended that we stand in firm support of the PRMP, as it is a balanced management approach to an important and sizeable portion of beautiful land in southern Arizona. When implemented the PRMP, all segments of American Society have a place on this National Monument as does wildlife and wildlife habitat.

We are particularly pleased that Alternative E and the PRMP are permissive relative to hunting and recreational shooting; activities enjoyed by millions of recreationists in the American Southwest. Further, this PRMP is fully consistent with the following excerpt from the Mission Statement of the BLM, “The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for stewardship of our public lands. The BLM is committed to manage, protect, and improve these lands in a manner to serve the needs of the American people. Management is based upon the principles of multiple use and sustained yield of our Nation’s resources within the framework of environmental responsibility and scientific technology.” Recreational shooting is clearly consistent with the selection of Alternative E and the BLM Mission.

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News - August 8, 2012

Monthly Status Report:  July 1-31, 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/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.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).

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.

Read more ...

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News - July 9, 2012

Monthly Status Report:  June 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/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.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).

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.

Read more ...

CBD and AES letters to Secretary Salazar regarding the Mexican Gray wolf issue

The Arizona Elk Society partnered with many groups to send a letter (CLICK HERE TO READ THE AES LETTER) to Secretary Salazar in response to a letter from the Center for Biological Diversity dated March 29, 2012 (CLICK HERE TO READ THE CBD LETTER). The CBD letter is asking the Fish and Wildlife Service to release 24 wolves into Arizona/New Mexico this year without due process.  The Arizona Elk Society has been involved in the Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction for the last 4-5 years and is currently involved in the working group to update the plan for reintroduction of MGW to Arizona.  This is an ongoing process that will take years to finish and should not be circumventing by demands and litigation from outside influences.

One of the key issues in our mind is the fact that 90% of the historical habitat for the Mexican Gray Wolves is in Mexico and this fact is being over looked.

Game and Fish Commission votes to oppose proposal To create Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument

May 11, 2012

PHOENIX – Citing a long list of concerns, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission today (May 11) voted to oppose the proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument, which as envisioned would encompass 1.7 million acres of northern Arizona.

The Game and Fish Commission also adopted a resolution concerning the continuing and cumulative effects that special land use designations have on multiple-use lands, including effects on access, conservation efforts and wildlife-related recreation (see resolution below).

The commission pointed out that the resolution does not preempt future discussions and dialogues, but sets the appropriate stage for them.

The Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument is being proposed by the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, Center for Biological Diversity and the Wilderness Society.

The proposal encompasses 1.7 million acres of mostly public land spread across five geographical areas: the Kaibab Plateau; Kaibab-Paunsagunt Wildlife Corridor, Kaibab Creek Watershed, House Rock Valley, and the Tusayan Ranger District, south rim headquarters.

The Game and Fish Commission pointed out that the vast majority of lands in question are already public lands currently managed and conserved under multiple use concepts, primarily by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, although the proposal would also impact State Trust Lands and private holdings as well.

The issue, pointed out various commissioners, is not conserving these lands and associated wildlife habitats – that is already being done very effectively, which has led to the largest un-fragmented block of wildlife habitat in Arizona.

However, the new monument is being proposed to “preserve” and in some cases lock away these lands rather than conserve them, which could impact public access, recreation, grazing, and the ability of the commission to manage wildlife.

“It’s not as if these lands aren’t already being managed and conserved. This is really about changing the status of these lands and adding another layer of federal bureaucracy, which has far ranging implications,” said Commissioner Kurt R. Davis.

Read more ...

Conserving the Grand Canyon Watershed A Proposal for National Monument Designation

April 23, 2012

The Arizona Elk Society has partnered with groups concerned about the proposed Grand Canyon National Monument proposal from the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups. CLICK HERE to read the CBD proposal. In a nutshell the CBD proposal would like the President to designate 1.7 million acres of public land north of the Grand Canyon and including the Kiabab Plateau as a National Monument. The Arizona Elk Society and other groups have written a letter in response to personnel and agencies in charge of this piece of land.

You will notice that we have used the letterhead for the Arizona Alliance for Responsible Land Users. To be clear it is not our attempt to form a new conservation group but it does provide a vehicle that we can use in situations where multiple user groups want to sign on to a common letter without having the letter be placed on an individual organization’s letterhead. This format was suggested by Jim deVos and reflects the approach that groups like the Center for Biological Diversity uses effectively. Recall that the recent letter regarding wolf issues sent from the CBD had 30 groups signed on as did another letter to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission about changes in the lion management prescription in the Aravaipa Canyon area.

As you will note on the letter, there is a variety of organizations that have signed on to this letter and on future issues we will likely use this format again because is gives a wide variety of groups a common letterhead to use on important conservation issues. Today it was the proposed conversion of the last large block of land north of the Colorado River to a national monument, which was very likely the first of several similar proposals. Tomorrow, who knows what the issue might be but rest assured that wolves, national monuments, and more are on the agenda of radical environmental organizations and we need to have a common approach to counter these actions.