Action Alert: Dozens of Conservation Groups Urge New Mexico Gov. Martinez to Restore Permit for Crucial Mexican Wolf-recovery Facility on Ted Turner’s Ranch

Wolf Puppy Wayne Pacelle Stock Photo

Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 15, 2015

Nationwide Movement Deplores Politically Driven Halt to Turner’s Assistance

SILVER CITY, N.M.— Forty-six conservation organizations and wolf-breeding facilities, in 13 states as well as the nation’s capital, are imploring New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to reverse the state’s Game Commission’s decision to deny Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch permission to continue housing endangered Mexican gray wolves. By providing facilities where captive-bred wolves can be acclimated to the wild before their release, the ranch’s work has been a key part of the federal Mexican wolf reintroduction program for the past 17 years.

“We find it odd and inappropriate for state government to interfere with philanthropic activities conducted responsibly by a private landowner on private lands to offset expenses that otherwise would be borne by taxpayers,” the organizations wrote in a letter sent to the Republican governor today.

On May 7 the game commission, whose members represent livestock and hunting interests, denied the Turner Endangered Species Fund a permit to continue operating its wolf-holding facilities on the Ladder Ranch, which abuts the Gila National Forest where Mexican wolves live in southwestern New Mexico. The facilities have been used since the beginning of the reintroduction program in 1998.

“Gov. Martinez should tell her game commission to quit playing politics and allow Ted Turner to continue his critically important work helping to recover the endangered Mexican gray wolf,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Reintroduction requires many helping hands, and it’s shameful that there are impeding hands as well.”

They groups also wrote that “policy decisions should not be dictated through depriving managers of infrastructure.”

“The game commission is composed of trapping, livestock and trophy-hunting representatives who apparently do not share most New Mexicans’ enthusiasm for these rare, important and beautiful wolves,” said Mary Katherine Ray of the Sierra Club, Rio Grande chapter. “They should not unilaterally be denying a permit for a facility on private land that is and has been working cooperatively in the public interest to conserve endangered wildlife.”

“The game commission has once again shown its prejudice against New Mexico’s native carnivores,” said Kevin Bixby of the Southwest Environmental Center. “But the commission’s act of ideological petulance is fiscally irresponsible, since taxpayers will now have to foot the bill for what Ted Turner was doing for free to help government biologists in the recovery of the Mexican wolf.”

Background The 157,000-acre Ladder Ranch includes five pens that can hold as many as 25 wolves. It serves as a way station for wolves released into or removed from the wild. Previously the ranch’s permit had been issued by the director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, but a November 2014 game commission rule required, for the first time, that permits used in reintroduction of mammalian carnivores be approved by the commission.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 825,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


Contact New Mexico’s governor and let her know how you feel about Ted Turner’s Ladder ranch losing its permit to house critically endangered Mexican gray wolves. It looks like the New Mexico Game Commission is playing a nasty game of politics with the lives of Mexican gray wolves.

“Playing tit for tat with an endangered species is not only unproductive; it’s petty. Yet that appears to be what the New Mexico Game Commission did last week when it declined to renew a permit that had been in place for 17 years allowing Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch in the Gila mountains to assist the federal Mexican gray wolf recovery program.”…editorial Albuquerque Journal


New Mexico Governor  Susana Martinez

(505) 476-2200

Office of the Governor 490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400 Santa Fe, NM 87501


Editorial: Game board unfairly takes aim at gray wolf protector

By PUBLISHED: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 12:02 am

Photo: Courtesy Human Society of the United States

Posted in: Mexican gray wolf, Wolf Wars, wolf recovery

Tags: Mexican gray wolves, New Mexico Fish and Game, Governor Martinez, Ted Turner Ladder Ranch, Ted Turner denied permit, playing politics with an endangered species

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ted Turner is NOT a conservationist.He operates canned hunting ranches.I don’t trust what he is doing with these wolves.


    • This project is under the supervision of USF&W, Ted Turner allows his property to be used as an intermediate zone for them to become acclimated to their new environment. In all the years this has been done, there has never been a problem to base rejecting a permit on, except for unfounded wolf hysteria this year. This project has nothing to do with whatever hunting Ted Turner has on the ranch. At least that’s my understanding?


      • Ida, that is my understanding as well. There are many problems with Turner’s ranch operations, but this is obviously not why NM Game&Fish wants to stop him from providing land for Mexican wolves. Here’s the action alert from Defenders of Wildlife:

        Mexican gray wolves were dealt an unexpected blow last week as politics reared its ugly head.

        For 17 years, Ted Turner has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to provide large fenced enclosures on his ranch for Mexican gray wolves waiting to be reintroduced into the wild. His partnership has been critical to the recovery efforts of this highly endangered wolf – but now, petty politics is threatening to sever this partnership.

        Flexing their recent self-granted power to grant or deny the state permits needed to hold wolves and other carnivores on private land for purposes of recovery and reintroduction, the New Mexico Game Commission refused to renew Ted Turner’s permit that would allow Ladder Ranch to continue to have Mexican gray wolves on its property.

        With barely 100 of these wolves left in the wild, Governor Martinez and her appointees on the New Mexico Game Commission are blatantly hamstringing recovery efforts of these wolves and playing politics with a highly endangered species.

        For 17 years, this permit has been approved – PLEASE JOIN US FOR A RALLY FOR WOLVES to demand that the Governor require the commission to approve this permit and listen to the majority of New Mexicans who want wolves in our state – not a handful of special interest groups that want to drive our wolves out of New Mexico!

        Tuesday, May 19th
        12pm – 1:30pm
        New Mexico Capitol
        Santa Fe, New Mexico

        We’ll meet at 11:45am at the Roundhouse – don’t forget to bring signs, water and anyone else who shares your love of these amazing wolves!


  2. Arizona GOP and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez fiscally responsible? I think NOT.


  3. Good! There must be something that can be done about this.


  4. Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game.


  5. I think this is critical and wrote the Governor.


  6. A couple of words say it all–live stock, hunting interests, and game commission. They are the ones calling for destruction of wolves everywhere.


  7. An email to Gov. Martinez and Game Commission have been sent in support of renewing the Ladder Ranch’s permit. It seems they’ve forgotten that the Game Commission’s website states, in bold letters under their logo: “Conserving New Mexico’s Wildlife for Future Generations”.


  8. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog.


  9. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog.


  10. Reblogged this on Coalition for American Wildbirds.


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