The population of Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico increased by 10 percent in 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says.
In 2012, the service counted 75 of the wolves in the two states. Last year, though, an aerial survey counted at least 83 wolves — 37 in Arizona and 46 in New Mexico. Those counts are considered to be minimums, since some wolves may not have been spotted.
The Mexican wolf is the smallest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America. It nearly became extinct in the U.S. in the 1970s due to hunting and conflicts with livestock operations. The Fish and Wildlife Service has been reintroducing wolves in Arizona and New Mexico since 1998, and the current population in the recovery area is entirely wild-born.
Given that all the wolves descended from only a handful of released wolves, the service says future releases will need to address genetic issues within the wild population.
For more information about the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, click here.
“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy … rejoice, for your soul is alive.” — Eleanora Duse
You clearly were feeling blue this week. In a good way. Thank you, as always, for your amazing Friday Fotos submissions — and for your varied and creative takes on the theme of “blue” from all over our beautiful state.
Have a great weekend!
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The Winter Olympics open today in Sochi, Russia. With that in mind, we thought we’d share something our editorial intern, Kirsten Kraklio, found while paging through some old issues of Arizona Highways. In the May 1965 issue, a letter to the editor (the section was then called Yours Sincerely) ran as follows, under the headline Blacklisted in Moscow:
… Enclosed you will find a copy of an “Einziehungsprotokoll Nr. 219158″ of the East German postal authorities. In plain English this means they confiscated twelve magazines and some additional travel folders I mailed to my father-in-law, who lives in Dresden. One of these magazines was published by you (Grand Canyon edition of Arizona Highways).
As you know, the magazine is without politics, therefore the confiscation was outrageous and unreasonable. As publishers of the magazine, I believe that you must be interested in unrestricted circulation within the postal systems, so please let’s do something about this! A letter of protest by you to the Russian Embassy and the U.S. and East German postal authorities might help. If no success, a request for retaliatory action by the U.S. Post Office against East German magazines to this country might be the answer.
Now, we’re not sure what kind of “retaliatory action” Walter had in mind, but here’s then-Editor Raymond Carlson’s response:
It is difficult for us to read the minds of those behind the iron curtain. Shortly after we received this letter from Mr. Schroeder, we were startled to read in our morning newspaper in a New York Times News Service dispatch from Moscow that we were blacklisted in Russia for the heinous crime of being “subversive” and for “propagandizing” and “glamourizing” the American way of life. Tsk! Tsk! Ivan! Things have changed since Ol’ Joe Stalin sat in the driver’s seat in the Kremlin. Ol’ Joe was on our mailing list (courtesy one of our American readers who also included Harry Truman on his Christmas subscription list) for years (and with no repercussions) and his daughter was a self-paid subscriber. The dispatch was printed in many newspapers throughout the country (and our warmest thanks to the hundreds of readers who sent us clippings) and drew some unusual responses. The Tucson Chamber of Commerce wired an invitation to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. inviting (via courtesy T.W.A.) three top Russian travel writers to visit Arizona and see for themselves whether we are subversive to anyone in telling the colorful story of Arizona.
Carlson also included a lengthy excerpt of a speech given on the floor of the U.S. Senate by then-Senator Paul Fannin, who had previously served as Arizona’s governor. Fannin referenced the report and called Arizona Highways “one of the handsomest magazines published.” “Once you are hooked on Arizona Highways it is habit forming,” he added. “You begin to believe and then you want to go, go, go. … Yes, the Russians would do well to keep it out of their country.”
Things have changed a lot since then. Enjoy the Olympics, everyone!
File this one under “making the best of a bad situation”: Water levels at Lake Powell are at their lowest since 2005 because of a depleted snowpack, but the low water is allowing the National Park Service to improve a popular boat shortcut on the lake.
Castle Rock Cut connects the lake’s Wahweap and Warm Creek bays. The cut has been excavated several times since Lake Powell was created in the 1960s, but it’s been closed since February 2013 due to low lake levels. Without it, boaters have to go through Antelope Point Marina to get between the two bays — adding about 10 miles and an hour of travel time to each trip.
So the Park Service is excavating the cut again, and this time, it plans to remove 70,000 cubic yards of material and lower the cut by another 20 feet — allowing boats to use it when Lake Powell’s water levels go up again.
A Glen Canyon National Recreation Area spokeswoman told the Arizona Daily Sun that the work, which began January 21, will take about four months and cost $1.6 million.