Monthly Archives: November 2006

No Thanksgiving Day Pardon for Lynx Poachers


For more information, contact:

Rob Edward, Sinapu, 303.918.8073
Colin A. Barry, Humane Society of the United States, 303.678.9002
Bob Thompson, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 303.291.7342

Conservation Groups Up Reward For Arrest To $7,500

Denver, CO − Redoubling the effort to bring about the arrest of those responsible for killing two reintroduced Canada lynx in south western Colorado, the Humane Society of the United States committed $2,500 to the existing reward fund. With that commitment, the total reward for information leading to the arrest of the poachers now stands at $7,500. Information can be given anonymously through the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Operation Game Thief program.

Colin Barry, Colorado State Program Coordinator for the Humane Society of the United States said, “Someone has information about these deaths, and we urge them to come forward, not just for the sake of the two slain lynx, but for the protection of the entire species.” “Now that lynx have been reintroduced, Coloradans are offered a rare second chance by once again being entrusted with their protection. Sadly though, these recent deaths tell us that poachers want to take that opportunity away from us all.”

“While the President prepares to pardon a turkey for Thanksgiving this year, we hope this generous addition to the reward fund leads to the arrest of the turkeys who killed these lynx,” said Rob Edward, director of carnivore restoration for Sinapu. “Somebody has the goods on these killers, and they would get quite a holiday bonus for providing the information to break the case.”

Tips on the lynx killings can be made anonymously through the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-877-265-6648.

For further information on the recent lynx killings, please visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.


Conservation Groups Join State Agency To Offer $5,000 Reward for Lynx Poachers

Lynx chasing hare.  Eyewire Royalty Free image


Second radio-collared lynx found shot near Silverton, Colorado, in early November

Denver, CO − Responding to news that the Colorado Division of Wildlife has found a second Canada lynx dead in southern Colorado in as many weeks, a coalition of conservation groups announced today that they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the persons responsible for illegally killing these two rare wildcats.  Hoping to raise the stakes and expose the lynx poachers, the seven conservation groups committed to contribute $4,500 in addition to the $500 currently offered by the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Operation Game Thief program. The Canada lynx is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and federal law prohibits killing wild lynx.

Bob Thompson, assistant chief of law enforcement for the Colorado Division of Wildlife said,  “We are grateful to have the help of these conservation groups and their members in raising the ante.”

“The lynx is struggling for survival in Colorado,” said Jonathan Proctor, spokesperson for Defenders of Wildlife in Denver. “Every lynx that is killed sets back the recovery of this rare wild cat.”  Proctor pointed out that lynx had to be reintroduced to Colorado after trapping and habitat destruction drove the rare cat out of the state.

“Our children deserve to inherit a world where lynx and wolves again roam the wild, places where wildlife persist without persecution,” said Rob Edward, director of carnivore restoration for Sinapu.  “The people of Colorado are proud of the state’s lynx reintroduction program, and these killings are a slap in the face to us all,” said Edward.

“These poachers are stealing Colorado’s wildlife legacy from our children. It’s time for those who know who killed these animals to speak up and put an end to this thievery,” said Steve Torbit, senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.

Jacob Smith, executive director of the Center for Native Ecosystems, underscored the fact that lynx are protected under the Endangered Species Act, protections that reflect the many threats facing the survival of Canada lynx.  “These secretive cats are imperiled by ski area expansion, logging and road building in their forest homes, and numerous other threats,” said Smith.  “The last thing they need is to be gunned down by criminals.”

Local conservation groups, including Sinapu, Center for Native Ecosystems, San Juan Citizens Alliance, National Wildlife Federation, Wilderness Workshop, Colorado Wild, Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, and Defenders of Wildlife collaborated to offer this substantial incentive to anyone with information regarding the lynx killing. Defenders of Wildlife’s $1,000 contribution comes from its Endangered Species Reward Fund established in 1997 to bring illegal predator killers to justice.

Tips on the lynx killings can be made anonymously through the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-877-265-6648.

For further information on the recent lynx killings, please visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.
For more information, contact:

Rob Edward, Sinapu, 303.918.8073
Jonathan Proctor, Defenders of Wildlife, 303-825-0918
Bob Thompson, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 303.291.7342
Jacob Smith, Center for Native Ecosystems, 303.810.6017
Steve Torbit, National Wildlife Federation, 303.441.5157
Mark Pearson, San Juan Citizens Alliance 970.259.3583
Sloan Shoemaker, Wilderness Workshop, 970.963.3977
Ryan Demmy Bidwell, Colorado Wild, 970.385.9833
Michelle Zimmerman, Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, 303.913.4234

Lynx habitat plan shrinks

The federal government on Wednesday unveiled a scaled-back plan to name critical habit for lynx, designating only parts of national parks as areas where special regulations would be in place.

The decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service exempts private, state, county and tribal lands from the critical habitat designation as well as other federal lands where lynx recovery plans already are in place, such as national forests.

The rule, if it stands up in court, doesn’t affect the lynx forest cat’s status as a federally protected species under the Endangered Species Act. And Fish and Wildlife Service biologists say critical habitat designation on nonfederal lands would have been a political disaster with little or no benefit to lynx.

The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed in 2005 to set aside 18,031 square miles of land in Minnesota, Maine and the Rocky Mountains for lynx critical habitat. But the final plan Wednesday included only a 10th of that land — 1,841 square miles, all on National Park Service property where federal regulations already are in place.

The designation includes 317 square miles in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, 1,389 square miles in Glacier National Park in Montana and 135 square miles in North Cascades National Park in Washington.

Federal officials say the critical habit designation is redundant, requiring only that landowners consult with federal regulators on lynx when they are crossing paths with federal rules, such as wetland permits or federally funded projects. But that requirement already is in place simply because of the lynx’s listing as a threatened species, said Laurie Nordstrom, Montana-based lynx coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Nordstrom said county, state and private landowners vehemently petitioned the government to exclude their lands from critical habitat because of the baggage of further federal regulations. Continue reading

Sinapu celebrates 15 years of working with wildlife

Kimberly Riggs, executive director of Sinapu, in the group’s Boulder offices.
Kimberly Riggs

Photo by Paul Aiken


Sinapu, named after the Ute word for wolves, is dedicated to the restoration and protection of native carnivores and their wild habitat in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Founded in Boulder in 1991, Sinapu advances wildlife stewardship through a synergistic combination public of advocacy, public outreach, science and law and education.


Sinapu serves people who care about native wildlife and healthy wild lands in the American West. In essence, we aim to help turn the tide against cascading ecological deterioration throughout the nation, and here in Colorado, of America`s once robust wild landscapes.

Native carnivores are critical to wild nature. Consider one example: in less than a decade after the restoration of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, aspens and willows are making a comeback in many streamside areas, in turn triggering a resurgence of beavers and migrant songbirds, which need the young aspens and willows. Sinapu`s advocacy work is rooted in a keen understanding of the ecological importance of wolves — and all of the region`s native carnivores.

Because carnivores are so important to the systems they evolved with, Sinapu`s work stretches beyond wolves to embrace a variety of species including mountain lions, Canada lynx, black bears, coyotes and a variety of smaller carnivores. Sinapu`s staff and volunteers consider it an honor to serve intact ecosystems in this way.


Founded in 1991 with the overarching goal of restoring wolves to Colorado, by the late 1990s Sinapu`s mission evolved to include protecting a variety of native carnivore species in the region. Today, a staff of four lead this lean and effective grassroots organization on a budget of less than $250,000.


Sinapu fills a unique niche in the world of conservation advocacy. We are the only group in the Southern Rockies dedicated full-time, day-in and day-out to stewardship of the region`s native carnivores. As Sinapu celebrates 15 years of working for the wild, we are proud to have helped to greatly increase public awareness of the role and importance of wild carnivores. We`ve opened constructive lines of communication with ranchers who have traditionally been loath to accept wolves and other native carnivores on their land. We`ve helped reduce hunting and trapping of carnivore species, including mountain lions. We`ve also gone to court when all other avenues have failed to protect wildlife. For all of this, we couldn`t be prouder.


Sinapu does a tremendous amount of science-based advocacy work and public education — but it costs money. As a nonprofit, we constantly work to build our funding base while keeping our operating costs down. Sinapu`s efforts could not succeed without generous support from people who care about wildlife and wild places. To learn more about Sinapu, or to make a donation, please visit:

Additionally, Sinapu is seeking volunteers to serve on our board of directors, to carry out administrative projects in our Boulder office, and to assist our program staff with key campaigns as they arise. We especially desire volunteers who have experience in fundraising, grant writing, business development, and graphic design.


Sinapu`s vision spans more than decades — it spans generations. In the near-term, we`ll be forging ahead to restore wolves to the Southern Rockies, fighting to protect female mountain lions and their kittens, struggling to keep bureaucrats from opening loopholes in the state`s constitutional ban on trapping, and fostering public coexistence with large carnivores across the breadth of our magnificent region.

Sinapu will continue to carry the dream of healthy, howling wild places in the Southern Rockies. Our success is measured by the sum total of many acts of passion and generosity from supporters and volunteers who share our dream of a wilder tomorrow. We hope you will join us in bringing that dream to fruition. Together, we`ll help bestow upon our children and grandchildren a West that once again has a writhing, howling, tail wagging, elk-chasing, wild heart.


Kimberly Riggs, Executive Director, (303) 447-8655,;

Boulder Daily Camera
Nonprofit Spotlight: Sinapu
November 4, 2006