The Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project is excited to host a wolf advocacy campaign relay hike from July to October 2012 that will follow a natural dispersal corridor, connecting the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (where Mexican gray wolves currently live) to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (where we are advocating for their return). Mexican wolves are capable of traversing hundreds of miles, and need room to roam in order to establish a metapopulation structure to preserve remaining genetic diversity.
Two wolves have been documented in the Flagstaff area since the initial release of Mexican wolves into Arizona in 1998. In 2000, a female Mexican wolf wandered northward, eventually traveling over 200 miles until a vehicle struck and killed her just twelve miles north of Flagstaff on US Highway 89. In 2001, federal and state wildlife agencies reported that a radio-collared, yearling male lobo traveled from his reintroduction site in the Apache National Forest to the Mormon Lake vicinity on the Coconino National Forest south of Flagstaff. The agency biologists later tracked him moving south to Clear Creek and then eastward along the Mogollon Rim headwaters. It is possible he was following the scent of the female wolf who traveled this route before him, seeking out a mate he would never find. Our sojourner was shot and illegally killed in early 2002. As a community awareness event, the Paseo del Lobo hike offers participants a unique opportunity to learn more about little-known stories like this, as well as current efforts to help critically-endangered wolves make their way back to the wild.