Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project
Dedicated to bringing back wolves and restoring ecological health in the Grand Canyon region
The Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project (GCWRP) works collaboratively with partner organizations to educate and motivate the regional public to support wolf restoration. By creating meaningful opportunities for the public to learn about wolves, experience their habitat first-hand, interact with land managers and engage in public decision-making, we are making positive grassroots change to achieve improved and sustainable habitat conditions for wildlife, specifically wolves. Our goals are to compel leadership within the Grand Canyon National Park, surrounding land management agencies, and the regional community to help lead the way for the return of Mexican gray wolves, the most endangered subspecies of wolf in the world, to a suitable portion of their historic range in Arizona.
Because of the critical ecological role played by wolves, in 2004, concerned citizens and conservation leaders joined forces to form a new grassroots organization, to restore the wolf to its former range. In 2005, we were officially named the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. Wolves are native to northern Arizona but were eradicated from the region in the early 1900s as part of a wolf extermination program. The Mexican gray wolf is now considered one of the most endangered mammals in North America, with a population of only about 131 individuals in the wild of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.
We have held 103 events in the Flagstaff and Grand Canyon communities to build support for wolves and distributed information through tabling at over 127 public forums. We have worked with film festivals, artists and performers to influence hearts and minds. We have shared our message with over 40,000
people from the U.S. and abroad by tabling at the North and South rims of Grand Canyon National Park and at regional events. Over the last eight years, GCWRP has hosted over 500 people on hikes and camping trips to experience wolf habitat and wolf occupied areas of Arizona firsthand. These Paseo del Lobo excursions have been a very successful way to introduce a new group of people to the plight of the Mexican wolf, engage them in supporting the efforts of the GCWRP, and empower them to be dedicated advocates for wolf recovery.
In 2014 and again in 2017, our wolf advocates submitted over 1,000 comments on the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed rule change to the Mexican gray wolf experimental, non-essential population rule (also known as the 10j rule) and draft recovery plan. We coordinated phone banking efforts and organized carpools from around the state to help wolf supporters attend, testify, and ask questions at public meetings hosted by the USFWS on the proposed rule change and draft recovery plan for Mexican wolves. We were also able to submit a letter to USFWS on behalf of over 60 business leaders from the region that support wolf recovery in the Grand Canyon region for the economic and ecological benefits wolves could provide.
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