- Category: Wilderness Defense
- Published: Friday, 02 October 2015 07:03
Through its Mexican Gray Wolves: Share The Land Campaign, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance strives to educate, motivate, and unite citizens around the fact that whole, intact ecosystems are necessary and desirable to existence. If we don’t learn to share the land, we will ultimately destroy it.
Here, you’ll find updates on how ordinary people are generating extraordinary ways to Share The Land, and what you can do to help promote the coexistence of humans, wilderness, wolves, and all wild life.
THE MEXICAN GRAY WOLF
What is it that makes this animal so special? The Mexican gray wolf is emblematic of the wild Southwest. Moreover, it is a keystone species, a top predator that–if populations were allowed to return to a viable size– would help maintain healthy herds of native ungulates such as elk and deer. When it comes to wolves, the vision of “thinking like a mountain” evoked in Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac still rings true today. Leopold wrote:
“Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails… I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.
“We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness. The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes, and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau’s dictum: In wildness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf, long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men.”
There are only about 50 Mexican gray wolves known to survive in the wild. They need our help now more than ever. If we want to protect New Mexico’s wild heritage, we must act now to protect the Mexican gray wolf.