For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 23, 2009
For further Information, contact:
Paul Gessing 505-264-6090 or Jim Scarantino 505-256-2523
(Albuquerque)— The federal government’s wolf reintroduction plan is the very definition of big government in some rural areas in New Mexico. While the Rio Grande Foundation has not taken a position one way or the other on whether wolves should be reintroduced, its Investigative Journalist Jim Scarantino, has uncovered what appears to be a rather shocking example of misplaced priorities.
In his new report, “Does the Federal Government Value Wolves More Than Humans? The Money Says It All,” Scarantino takes a closer look at the wolf reintroduction program. Since the Mexican wolf reintroduction program was launched more than a decade ago, millions of dollars have been spent by the United States, Arizona and New Mexico governments. The goal was to reestablish a target population of 100 wolves in the mountainous areas of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona
• According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the New Mexico and Arizona game departments, by the end of 2009, these agencies estimate that their total expenditures will be approximately $20.5 million;
• According to the USFWS’ 2008 year-end survey, only 52 wolves were roaming the Arizona-New Mexico reintroduction area. This means that each living wolf cost taxpayers nearly $400,000;
• In response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Congress passed the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Act. This law set the intrinsic value of a human life at $250,000. Higher sums were paid to compensate families for the lost incomes of a love one killed in the attacks. But the value of a human life itself, without regard to that person’s ability to earn money, was set at $250,000.
“At $400,000 a wolf and rising,” Scarantino asks, “government is valuing the intrinsic value of each wolf more than its values the intrinsic value of human life. Residents in the affected areas have frequently complained that the government seems to care more about “El Lobo” than the human residents who must live with these powerful predators. With these figures, they can now point to government’s excessive and endless spending on wolves to prove their point.”
The full report is available here: http://www.riograndefoundation.org/new/articles/?EC=ReadArticle&ArticleID=305