Earlier this month on November 7, Rick LoBello, El Paso Zoo Education Curator and chair of Zoo’s conservation committee, reported on Sierra Club efforts to return the wolf to the wilds of Texas at the Chihuahuan Desert Conference at the El Paso Zoo. Efforts to return the Mexican wolf to the Texas wild have been ongoing since 1982 when the US Fish and Wildlife Service published the first Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. In 2006 a Defenders of Wildlife report Places for Wolves: A Blueprint for Restoration and Recovery in the Lower 48 States, Defenders reviewed existing studies of wolf suitability for the continental United States and recommended a number of areas in the southwest including Big Bend National Park.
Over the past 37 years thousands of people have shown their support for a recovery effort in Texas including over 20,000 people in El Paso who over the past two years joined an El Paso Sierra Club letter writing campaign asking Carter Smith, Executive Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife, to help gain support for such a plan. After sending ten boxes of letters to Smith and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Commissioners, there has been no response. LoBello’s report described Mexican wolf recovery advocacy in Texas since the formation of the Mexican Wolf Coalition of Texas in 1990.
The last two documented reports of Mexican wolves killed in Texas were made in 1970. One was shot from the Cathedral Mountain Ranch south of Alpine and one was trapped from the Joe Neal Brown Ranch located at the point where Brewster, Pecos, and Terrell counties meet.
Anyone wishing to help work on this project is encouraged to Join the Texas Wolf Pack.