National Wolf Awareness Week Focuses on Expanded Effort To Restore and Protect Wolves Around the U.S.

(10/12/1998) - More than a dozen states declare October 18 - 24 Wolf Awareness Week

Defenders of Wildlife has intensified its work to educate Americans about the effort to restore and protect wolves around the country as the Washington-based conservation group kicks off the third annual Wolf Awareness Week -- on October 18. This year, at Defenders' request, more than a dozen states have declared October 18-24 Wolf Awareness Week, and related events are slated in a number of them.

Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen says, "National Wolf Awareness Week highlights our fierce determination to restore and protect wolves in Yellowstone and other places. This year, 1998 has seen both battles and celebrations related to wolf restoration. We oppose those who want undermine the future of the wolf in America, and we will proudly tell our children and grandchildren about the legacy we are leaving them."

The governors of New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana, Nevada, Alabama, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Utah, New Mexico, Washington, South Carolina, Nebraska, Illinois, New Jersey and Arkansas have all signed proclamations to recognize the third week in October as Wolf Awareness Week. Defenders of Wildlife plans to celebrate National Wolf Awareness Week with a number of events, including:

In Albany, New York, on Tuesday, October 20, Defenders of Wildlife sponsors the Mission Wolf tour, with ambassador wolves Sila and Merlin, to educate the public about wolf behavior and to promote restoration of the predators to the Adirondacks.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Heritage Ranchers and Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics will join Defenders on October 17 in celebrating the return of the Mexican wolf. They are launching the Wolf Country program, spearheaded by ranchers who accept wolf recolonization on private lands, refuse lethal and non-selective predator control and allow agencies access to monitor and manage the species. Under the Wolf Country program, these ranchers publicize their "wolf-friendly" beef. The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Albuquerque Biological Park beginning at 11:30 a.m. and will include speaker presentations, a kid's howling contest, live music, and more!

At the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, October 21-23, Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen and Senior Program Associate Nina Fascione will participate in a conference on wolf biology, civic democracy and obligations to future generations sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Schlickeisen will highlight the success of Defenders of Wildlife's wolf compensation fund in a panel discussion on the lessons learned from wolf restoration. Reintroduced wolves have not posed major depredation problems for livestock owners, and Defenders of Wildlife's Wolf Compensation Fund has reimbursed ranchers for losses in the few cases of livestock predation. Fascione will describe Defender's Adirondacks Citizen Participation Program in her address on the interests and concerns of local residents. Defenders supports restoration of the wolves to their natural habitat in the New York's Adirondack Mountains.

In Seattle, Washington, from November 12-14, Defenders of Wildlife will present a two-day conference, Restoring the Wolf. This forum on wolf biology, management and recovery will convene scientists, wolf activists, natural resource agency personnel and the general public.

Defenders of Wildlife also will continue litigation against the American Farm Bureau Federation's death sentence for the Yellowstone wolves. Defenders is appealing a decision favoring the Farm Bureau which, if not overturned, will result in the killing of more than 150 gray wolves.



Ken Goldman, 202-682-9400 x221
Nina Fascione, 202-682-9400 x227 (Program)