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Tips on Writing Effective Letters to the Editor


  • Keep your letter to the maximum number of words allowed for the particular paper.  The shorter your letter, the better chance you have of getting published.  Some papers have a word counter in their submission form.  You can always type out your letter in a Word document first, which has an automatic word counter.

  • If there is a maximum of 400 words; don’t feel the need to use all 400 words

  • Be concise, make one or two points.  Don’t attempt to make too many points, this gets confusing.

  • Where you can, personalize the letter; tell a story.  i.e.  “I took my kids to the zoo and saw the endangered Mexican Gray wolves…”  “Wolves are important to me because….” Etc.

  • Thank the paper for publishing an article about wolves.  Praising the paper helps your letter get published.

  • Information on how to submit your letter can be found at the Letters to the Editor section of the paper.  Most have a submission form; some want it submitted via email. 

  • Make sure to include your name, address, and phone number for verification.  Papers will not publish your street address or phone number. Some, but not all, papers will call you for verification before publishing your letter.

  • If responding to an article, submit your letter as soon as possible and always refer to the original article or letter such as “In his letter (or article) published ___, it was alleged ___” This increases your chances of getting published.

  • You want the reader or your letter to understand the issue without digging up the original article or letter. 

  • Be polite and respectful. Be sure that your letter can be supported with facts; otherwise your credibility will be challenged.

  • If you would like us to review your letter or need samples of published letters, contact us at


  • Every article is different, and will bring up different aspects of wolves and wolf conservation for you to comment on and address.  Here is some background information that can be used as talking points in many different letters.

  • Wolves play a significant role in ecosystem health. They help keep large herd animal populations in check, which can benefit numerous other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, most notably other scavengers.

  • Scientists are still learning the full positive ripple effects that large predators contribute in nature.

  • Research suggests that where wolves are present, there is greater biodiversity.

  • Along with the ecological benefits of wolves, there are also economic benefits.

  • Wolves are lured out of Yellowstone National Park with baits and calls to be shot or trapped. For the trophy, he/she may get $200 for the pelt if it is prime.  The University of Montana conducted a Regional Economic Impact and estimated that more than $35.5 million are generated via wolf-centered ecotourism in the park's surrounding gateway communities.

  • Wolves of the Northern Rockies lost their protections through federal legislation, giving management to the states.

  • Elk numbers across the West are above management objectives and guiding services in the region brag about the success rate of trophy animals.

  • Hunters are seeing fewer elk and deer not because wolves have reduced populations, but because wolves have made their prey skittish again. Shooting from truck windows doesn’t work anymore.

  • In Wyoming,  the politicized Department of Game and Fish allows year-round wolf killing across 85 percent of the state at any time and by virtually any means, including running them over with snowmobiles and incinerating pups and nursing mothers in dens.

  • Idaho has a statewide, “wolf reduction plan” with a population goal of only 350-500 animals. Wolves are already one of the scarcest large mammals living in Idaho, even compared to other top predators. Idaho’s plan calls for lethal removal—including killing entire wolf packs—over nonlethal deterrents until the population reaches the goal of around 500 wolves.

  • In 2021, the Montana Legislature passed four aggressive wolf management bills that authorized reimbursement for wolf hunters and trappers, increased the season length for trapping, increased bag limits, and permitted formerly banned hunting and trapping methods such as neck snares, use of bait and hunting at night with spotlights

  • In every state where there are wolves and beyond, anti-wolf extremists are gaining ground on their well-funded and relentless attacks based on hysteria, misinformation, fears and myths.

  • The greatest threat to wolves is conflict with people. Though wolves pose very little threat to humans, they do occasionally prey on livestock and hundreds of wolves are killed each year. Others are hit by cars, illegally poached, or die of natural causes. And today, hundreds more are being killed during state-regulated wolf hunts.  These activities may have a serious impact on the ability of wolf populations—which have not yet fully recovered—to survive over the long term.

  • In Alaska, wolf-control supporters continue to advocate for intensive wolf-control programs to increase game populations, whether or not studies have determined that habitat is sufficient, or that decreasing wolves is necessary.

  • In New Mexico and Arizona, misconceptions and myths are the biggest problems for Mexican gray wolves, or lobos. Mexican gray wolves are responsible for less than one percent of livestock deaths each year and have never attacked a person, yet they are often resented and feared in communities near the recovery area in southern Arizona and New Mexico. While a majority of people in those states support wolf recovery, illegal killings continue to be the leading cause of death for lobos.

  • Red wolves are the most endangered and are on the brink of oblivion, decimated by gunshots, vehicle strikes and suspected poisoning.  The effort to restore the red wolf depends heavily on cooperation from private landowners and the seeds of hatred toward the wolf run deep.  As of 2023, only 15-17 red wolves remain in the wild.

  • Dan Ashe, former Director of US Fish and Wildlife sums up the war on wolves “This isn’t about elk, deer, livestock, or science, it’s just old-fashioned persecution, hatred, and cruelty.

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