ahwatukee.com on Facebook
Arts & Life
- Special Sections
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Federal officials have proposed more than tripling the current number of endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest and greatly expanding the area they can roam.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday it would finalize a decision in January for changes to a reintroduction program that has stumbled through legal battles, illegal shootings, politics and other programs. The agency said its favored proposal aims to increase the genetic diversity of the wolves, and lessen impacts to ranchers and potential prey on tribal lands.
The wolves currently roam about 7 million acres of federal, tribal and private land in far eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. The proposal increases the number of sites where wolves could be released and eventually will allow the animals to disperse throughout Arizona and New Mexico south of Interstate 40 to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ranchers and community leaders in rural areas have opposed expansion efforts, saying that wolves that don't find deer and elk to feed on could turn to livestock and domestic animals instead, said Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.
"It's cruel to the animals because there is no prey base," she said. "They are doomed to failure."
Under the Fish and Wildlife proposal, livestock owners could kill any wolf that is biting, wounding or killing livestock on federal land. Pet owners could do the same on on-federal land. Deer and elk on tribal lands also would be protected.
Sherry Barrett, Mexican wolf recovery coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said the proposal creates a balance between growing the wolf population and the impacts that wolves might have on local communities.
The last count of wolves showed there are a minimum 83 in the wild. Wildlife officials said they would work toward managing a population of 300 to 325 wolves under the proposal that increases the habitat suitable for wolves by nearly four times what's available now. If the population exceeds that number, wolves could be relocated to Mexico, be placed in captivity or killed as a last resort, Barrett said.
"We have several options available," she said.
The target population likely will go up once the Fish and Wildlife Service develops a recovery plan, Barrett said. A coalition of environmental groups recently sued the agency for not crafting and implementing a valid recovery plan with measurable goals for recovery of the wolves in the Southwest.
The proposal to expand the territory for wolves was welcomed by environmentalists who said that wildlife managers need to do more to help the wolves repopulate. But it falls short of including the territory they wanted around the Grand Canyon and in the Southern Rocky Mountains, and short on the target population, said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.
"Putting them at 325 is still going to put them in grave danger," he said. "There's no science behind that."
Turkey production is at its lowest level in nearly three decades and wholesale prices are at an all-time high, but Thanksgiving cooks probably won’t see much difference in the price they pay at the stores for their frozen birds.
Arizona State University. Mill Avenue. Arizona Mills and Tempe Marketplace. These are some of the places and institutions most associated with Tempe today. While ASU and Mill Avenue both have deep roots in our town’s history, there is much more history to this desert city than we see at first glance.
If President Obama negotiates a massive new trade bill but doesn’t tell the general public about it, can it still go into effect? Can it still deplete our jobs and prosperity, the way past trade agreements like NAFTA and the recent Korean trade agreement have? Can it still lead to a destructive trade deficit?
Volunteers from the Phoenix chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) recently spent 20 hours at the Gold Bar Ranch cleaning out and repairing a 100-year-old irrigation canal to improve wildlife habitat.
In the beginning there was dirt — and roads that were mere afterthoughts of other East Valley cities. For the most part, they didn’t lead to much of anywhere, as they dustily meandered west toward South Mountain.
For the past month, students at Ahwatukee Preschool have been collecting funds to be donated to the God’s Global Barnyard organization that aids rural families with purchasing livestock.
State lawmakers voted Wednesday to let ranchers shoot the Mexican gray wolves being reintroduced to the Southwest despite their listing under federal law as endangered.
Without comment the House on Thursday gave preliminary approval to allowing ranchers and their employees to kill wolves.
State lawmakers agreed to create special exemptions from animal cruelty laws for farmers and ranchers despite complaints that it would ease penalties on those who abuse and beat farm animals to death.
KENTON, Okla. — The Oklahoma Panhandle has never been for the faint of heart.
A House panel agreed Tuesday to stiffen penalties for those who abuse pets, but only after carving out what essentially amounts to special treatment – and looser regulations – for farmers and ranchers.
Animal activists are keeping their eye on the Arizona State Legislature this session hoping to pass a few key bills to protect animals statewide.
A Northern Arizona lawmaker wants to put the state in charge of giving out federal dollars to ranchers who lose cattle to wolves.
A true story made headlines Nov. 4. A trove of approximately 1,500 works of art confiscated by the Nazis in World War II were seized in a Munich apartment. The value was estimated to be $1.3 billion by artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. The news goes on to say that determining the rightful owners of the works decades after they were either sold under duress or seized could take years.
PHOENIX — Citing everything from grazing to insects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday granted endangered species protection to two cacti found in Arizona.
Enjoy all the best fair activities including motorcross racing, live music, giant turkey legs, livestock and animal exhibitors and rides, rides and more rides. Admission is free 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 through Friday, April 12.
Wild boar — a tasty way to do a good deed.
Two kids, two pets, two jobs, too much.
The phrase “Gentle Giant” has never been more fitting than with sweet Kosmas. Yes, he weighs in at 111 pounds but he is such a mellow and gentle boy. Typical to the breed, Kosmas gets along with anyone and everything.
The cost of feeding your family is going up.
Due to the high risk of wildfire across Arizona, State Forester Scott Hunt announced that the Forestry Division will be expanding fire restrictions to include state lands in all 15 counties. Earlier this month, state lands in six southeastern counties were placed under restrictions.
The goal of Empty Bowl Pet Food Pantry is simple — keep pets in their homes.
When the Chandler Ostrich Festival first began 24 years ago, its founders didn’t just look to their fair-feathered friends for inspiration.
One of the goals at Ambassador Academy in Ahwatukee Foothills is to teach their students about social responsibility. Whether that is instilling a sense of purpose or learning to care about the environment, the students come away with a greater understanding of their place in the world, the principal said.