The Amazing Journey and Sad End of Wolf 314F (UPDATE)

July 26, 2014

This little Mill Creek Pack wolf was another casualty of the war on wolves.

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UPDATE: October 16, 2012

I posted this story in October 2009 about an amazing little Mill Creek Pack wolf, who traveled 1000 miles from her home in Montana to a lonely hillside in Colorado, called “No Name Ridge”, where her bones were found.

Her death has been under investigation by USFWS all this time.

Finally, after almost two years,  it was announced she was poisoned by the deadly compound 1080. It is one of the horrific poisons Wildlife Services uses in its arsenal to kill our wildlife.

The organization Predator Defense has been trying for years to ban this  deadly compound along with Sodium Cyanide, used in M-44s. So far they have been unsuccessful in their bid to do so. Maybe now people will wake up and realize they must  pressure Congress to ban these deadly poisons FOREVER.

Apparently Compound 1080 is banned in Colorado, which would make 314f’s death an illegal killing.

This is a sad day for me to learn how the little 20 month old 314f  died. Her epic journey to Colorado, ended in an agonizing death at the hand of Compound 1080.

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Wildlife investigators: Poison killed Colorado wolf

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a gray wolf that strayed from the Yellowstone region into Colorado where it died in 2009 was killed by the poison Compound 1080.

The substance, also known as sodium fluoroacetate, is found in collars used to protect sheep and goats from coyotes.

Gray wolves are considered endangered in Colorado. At least two that wandered from the Yellowstone area have been spotted in the state

The wolf that died was a female from Montana’s Mill Creek pack and was collared as part of an effort to improve wolf-monitoring techniques. Her tracking collar indicated she broke from her pack and wandered about 1,000 miles to Colorado, to Eagle County.

http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110110/UPDATES01/110110026/Wildlife+investigators++Poison+killed+Colorado+wolf

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The Amazing Journey and Sad End of  Wolf 314f

Wolf1

She traveled through five states, her GPS collar registering 1000 miles.  This young Mill Creek Pack wolf  left her Montana home in September 08 and arrived in Colorado in February 09.  Her epic journey was long and precarious.  She was tracked through Yellowstone National Park, western Wyoming, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, southeastern Idaho , northeastern Utah, finally arriving in Eagle County, Colorado.

Her journey ended in February 09 on a lonely hillside in Colorado called “No Name Ridge, where her bones were found.  Nobody is saying how she died.  The investigation into her death is ongoing.

314F’s life and death reinforces the argument wolves need ESA protection,  especially when they’re dispersing  in search of other wolves or a mate.  They’re under constant pressure from the SSS mentality, which makes this young wolf’s journey so incredible.

Against all odds, this twenty month old wolf showed the world what wolves are made of. I hope Wildlife officials discover how she met her end.  If she died by human hands this person or persons should be prosecuted!

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Lonely Lady Wolf Looks For Love in All The Wrong Places

Rocky Mountain News

By Berny Morson

Published February 25, 2009 at 3:09 p.m.

Call it the power of  love.

A female wolf has wandered more than 1,000 miles through five states in search of a mate and is now in Colorado’s Eagle County, wildlife officials in Colorado and Montana said Wednesday.

The wolf, known only as 314F, set off on her lonely quest in September when, for reasons unknown, she became unhappy with the male prospects among the pack of seven animals she was born into 20 months earlier.

Since then, 314F has followed her heart from the Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone National Park through Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. She has trotted past areas where other wolf packs are known to live toward a state that has not had a wolf population for 60 years.

Montana officials follow her progress with a global positioning device on a collar that was fitted to her neck in July.

“Basically, what she’s doing is, she’s wandering around looking to see if there’s other wolves around,” said Carolyn Sime, wolf program coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Her prospects here are not good. The last confirmed wolf sighting in Colorado was a male who made his way from Yellowstone in 2004. But he was killed on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs before anyone knew he was here.

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Shane Briggs said that when wolf packs get too large, some animals leave in search of a mate with whom to start a new pack in a different area, Briggs said. That’s how the species increases its range, he said.

Before the 2004 sighting, wolves were considered extinct in Colorado. The last confirmed one had been killed in 1943.

Wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park in 1995.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/feb/25/yellowstone-wolf-travels-1000-miles-colorado/?partner=RSS

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MYSTERIOUS DEATH

News_Colorado_Wolf-300x0

Wolf 314F lies under anesthesia after being fitted with a GPS collar on July 1, 2008. The collar has tracked the wolf on an epic journey from Montana to Colorado. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks photo

Suspicion Surrounds Colorado Wolf Death

Did the epic journey of Wolf 341F from Montana to Colorado end at the hands of a human? Officials aren’t saying.

By David Frey, 9-27-09

A wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado earlier this year met its end on a hillside about 24 miles north of Rifle, according to government documents obtained by an environmental organization.

Federal wildlife law enforcement officers continue to investigate the death of a Montana wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado, nearly after a year after the wolf’s carcass was collected, raising speculation that the wolf was killed by a human.

“It’s a good question, but I’m not going to answer it,” says George Morrison, Colorado senior wildlife agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Morrison confirmed the examination of the body, called a necropsy, had been completed, but he said the results would be closed to the public until agents complete their investigation.

“It could be two weeks or as long as a year,” he says. “It’s important to us not to impede the investigation.”

Wildlife officials have refused to divulge specifics about the wolf’s condition or its final whereabouts. But Rob Edward, carnivore recovery director for WildEarth Guardians, said he discovered its final location through an open-records request seeking information about wolves in Colorado. The documents showed the last location of the wolf to be about 24 miles north of the Western Slope town of Rifle, less than two miles west of Highway 13.

“I have believed for the last couple of months that they definitely have a law enforcement angle on this,” Edward said. “Otherwise they would tell you that it died of natural causes.”

Intentionally killing a wolf in Colorado would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act and state statutes that protect endangered species.

Edward described the site as “within rifle distance of a road.” Maps show the location to be what appears to be a scrub-covered hillside in an area known as No Name Ridge, apparently on Bureau of Land Management land just north of a dirt road called Thirteenmile Road.

“That’s the way the wolves from the Northern Rockies are going to come,” Edward said. “What we have to work on is making those lands safer.”

Known as wolf 341F, the 18-month-old female made headlines for making a 1,000-mile journey from the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park to Colorado. Biologists tracked her movements using a GPS unit in a collar fitted to her neck.

Researchers said she was a member of the Mill Creek pack and wandered from the pack’s location between towns of Gardiner and Livingston, Mont., in search of a mate.

She left her pack in September 2008 and took a meandering path through Wyoming, Idaho and Utah to Eagle County. She crossed back into Wyoming, then back into western Colorado where her collar showed she stopped moving. Biologists responded and gathered her carcass to perform a necropsy.

Native wolf populations in Colorado were wiped out by the late 1930s. The last record of a native wolf killed in Colorado was in 1943. In June 2004, a radio-collared wolf from Yellowstone was found killed by a passing motorist on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs. In 2007, video footage captured an apparent wolf near Walden.

Officials say among Northern Rockies wolves, 26 out of every 100 wolves are killed, almost all of them shot by animal control officers or poachers. Among lone-dispersing wolves like this one, most are hit by cars or illegally killed.

State law does not call for wolf reintroduction, but it does protect wolves that wander into Colorado.

For wolf reintroduction advocates, this wolf’s death highlights a need for more protections.

“They’re not going to come down here and repopulate the area on their own,” Edward said, “especially if they meet that kind of fate.”

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/suspicion_surrounds_colorado_wolf_death/C41/L41/

* It’s been reported that wolf  314F’s number is actually 341F but since she is so well-known as 314F, I didn’t make any changes.

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Top Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of AGRO

Middle Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of Predator Defense

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: 314f, dispersing wolves, wolves in the crossfire, deadly compound 1080, No Name Ridge, Montana, Colorado, Mill Creek Pack

Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack…

Hog Heaven wolf pack

February 3, 2014

I wrote this post in October 2009, a month after  Howling For Justice was created and mere months after wolves in the Northern Rockies were delisted by the Obama administration. The first wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho had just gotten underway  but the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack wasn’t killed by hunters, they were wiped out by Wildlife Services in 2008.

27 members strong, with two breeding females and 15 puppies, they are now just a memory, as so many wolf packs are. Today they barely have names, they’re anonymous wolves, who live and die without any recognition. But I remember when Wildlife Services gunned down one of the largest wolf packs to roam Montana. Here’s a look back at the doomed Hog Heaven Pack. In their memory please vow to work harder than ever to stop the slaughter of wolves.

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Hog Hell: The Demise of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009

In 2008, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming killed 245 gray wolves in the name of ”livestock depredation”.

Twenty seven of those wolves were members of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, residing southwest of Kalispell, Montana, in the Browns Meadow/Hog Heaven area. They had been accused of preying on a few calves, some llamas and a bull.  The decision was made in November 08 to take out the entire pack.  Eight members of the pack had already been shot from the air by Wildlife Services.

In a three-day period, December 3rd, 4th and 5th of 2008,  the remaining 19 members of the Hog Heaven pack were gunned down, an almost unprecedented event, causing public outrage. Many articles were written  and opinions voiced, opposing the action. FIFTEEN PUPPIES AND TWO BREEDING FEMALES were among the slain.  The Hog Heaven pack was “the seventh entire wolf pack to be killed by Montana in 2008.”

The zero tolerance wolf management plan is just plain wrong and senseless, especially since cattle deaths by wolves are minimal.  Domestic dogs killed five times the number of cows than wolves in 2005.  I don’t see Wildlife Services taking out Labs and Huskies from the air?

The average number of cattle losses specific to wolf predation in these States is less than 0.7%.  This compares to an average of 1.6% of cattle losses due to predation by coyotes and an average of 90% of losses due to non-predator related causes such as health problems and disease.”

*The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), reports on cattle losses in the lower 48 States every five years.  Nationally, health issues such as respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving complications and disease were overwhelmingly the most significant causes of cattle death in 2005.  (The year for which we have the most recent detailed data.)”

“Only 0.11% (about 1/10 of 1%) of all cattle losses were due to wolf predation in 2005. Coyotes killed 22 times more cattle than wolves killed that year.  Domestic dogs killed almost 5 times as many cattle, and vultures killed almost twice as many cattle as wolves in 2005.  Theft was responsible for almost 5 times the cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.”

http://www.everythingwolf.com/news/readarticle.aspx?article=234

The Hog Heaven pack was special, one of the largest wolf packs ever recorded in Montana, (the once mighty Yellowstone Druid’s had 37 members at their peak).

Instead of trying non-lethal methods to preserve the pack, the state  eliminated them!  AND this all happened while wolves still had ESA protection!!

The anti-wolf crowd wants you to believe wolves are hanging around ranches waiting to prey on livestock, when in reality most of the miniscule depredations take place on our vast public lands, where cattle and sheep are left unprotected.

George Wuerthner, the famed ecologist, calls cows, “walking picnic baskets”. What would you do if you were a predator surrounded by an ocean of cattle and sheep?  Would you munch on them or go after more difficult prey? We already know the answer. Yet the wolf pays the ultimate price for lazy, sloppy ranching practices and the federal government’s refusal to pull public land grazing permits, even though cattle pollute streams, trample riparian zones and over graze the land.

Wolf supporters realize the unfairness of what’s happening.

In 2008, when the Hog Heaven pack was lethally removed, people spoke out:

“Gunning down an entire pack of wolves — a species that is supposed to be protected under the endangered species act — borders on criminal,” said Jerry Black of the Missoula group Wildlife Watchers.

“We are outraged by this senseless slaughter of one of nature’s most majestic animals.”

Added Whitefish resident Roger Sherman: “It seems to me the so-called ’scientific management’ of wolves boils down to simply killing them to conciliate the livestock industry.”

“Brian Vincent, communications director for the group Big Wildlife, insists that the elimination of the Hog Heaven Pack could have been avoided.”

“Why should an entire pack of wolves pay the fatal price for a situation that could probably have been avoided?” he said.

“Both agencies are acting like it’s the Wild West with all guns blazing.”

Yellowstone_Wolves

It’s too late for Hog Heaven, they’re not coming back. This unique pack, was wiped out by Wildlife Services before Montanans could react. Is it any wonder wildlife advocates question the motives behind so many wolves losing their lives for so little reason? Why are the lives of predators held so cheaply?

If the failed policies of the states and feds to “manage wolves” continue, it’s certain they will never fully recover. We’ll be left with fragmented populations of wolves, genetically isolated, constantly under the gun.

What’s behind the intolerance of wolves?  It’s certainly not because they’re killing large numbers of livestock, wolf predation on livestock is minimal.  It’s not because wolves are decimating elk populations. Elk in Montana and Idaho are strong, with numbers way up.  Idaho has 105,000 elk and Montana numbers are even higher at 150,000 plus.

Yet the war on wolves continues. This year the Sage Creek Pack and Yellowstone’s Cottonwood pack were gunned down, one wiped out by Wildlife Services and the other shot in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness at the beginning of Montana’s wolf hunt.  They join the Hog Heaven Pack and many others in the ever-increasing death toll of gray wolves.

Will it be Hog Heaven or Hog Hell for wolves in the Northern Rockies?

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Wolf photos: Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, All About Wolves, Wolf Wallpaper
Categories posted in: Montana Wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife
Tags:  gray wolf, wolves or livestock, wolf intolerance, Wildlife Services, Hog Heaven Wolf Pack, National Agricultural Statistics Service

“Montana Governor Steve Bullock and the Politics of Wolves” by Stephen Capra

Quanah Animal Edutainment

April 9, 2013

Common sense writing on Montana wolves, I  thought  it was worth sharing.

Are you listening to their howls Governor Bullock? Wolves are treasured by real Montanans who care about wild places and wilderness. Be bold! Don’t listen to the crazy rhetoric, it’s not grounded in fact.

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BOLD VISIONS CONSERVATION

This week’s Sunday Sermon Vol. 1  No. 2

Montana Governor Steve Bullock

and the politics of Wolves

 Stephen Capra

 There was a time when I use to think politics really mattered. I remember going to a rally for Senator Eugene McCarthy, as he ran for President in 1968, in Madison Square Garden, the energy and belief could really change our nation, or so I thought.

I really believed that democrats would change our country, by the end of that year our heart had been stolen by too many bullets, to many great leader’s had fallen. I think of that today with the state of affairs in Montana, a state led by ignorance, political pandering and a Governor who fancies himself progressive.

This all comes back to our heart being stolen. In this case it’s not men that have fallen, its wolves. I have watched as Montana shared in the magical return of wolves to Yellowstone, watched as tourists have flocked from around the world, watched in Lamar Valley as you could not estimate the price of cameras in a one-mile stretch, all focused on wolves. Since President Obama sold wolves out and the Endangered Species Act on a rider that ensured another Democrat would get re-elected, Senator Jon Tester, clear thinking shows us that faith in political leaders is very overrated.

Over the past few months the Montana Legislature, seemingly some of the most ill-informed, and job destroying group of people God ever put under one roof, spent the majority of their time trying to find new ways of killing wildlife. Spear-hunting was a hot topic, yes spear-hunting. Of course, new ways to kill, more jobs. Yet, when it came to wolves and bison, this group could not have enough blood on their hands. If it was not so heartbreaking, it would be funny. Listening to Montana Game and Fish talk about “responsibly harvesting” predators, none of it with any science worth discussing.

This is a group designed to kill animals, not protect. New bills are now being introduced. to allow silencers on guns to protect the precious ears of hunters; continuing to allow dead wolf members to be used as traps set to kill the rest of the family; making licenses easier and cheaper. New non-resident permits can be had for $50.

When Governor Bullock panders to the wolf hating bunch, he opens the door to killing more beautiful animals and their family units slaughtered by ignorance and by the ego that demands reelection. If Democrats do not have the guts to stand up for wolves, [by standing up I mean vocally,] publicly, and ignore the stupidity of state Game and Fish departments, there will be shooting in the dens of newborn pups. Introduction of strong and important protections for wolves must happen now and end the shameless pain of trapping once and for all. The Governor is aware that people come from all over the world (meaning serious tourist dollars) to observe wolves.

  The whining rancher scenario is a SNORE.

I believe in wolves, I love bison. I am sick and tired of Democrats that want only their reelection and refuse to acknowledge how important wildlife is to our humanity. I challenge them to causality.

 It amazes me that some people can feel nothing when confronted with wild animals. For me it is so magical, such a spiritual experience. I have seen grizzlies in the wild, wolves and bison. It is a gift; there is more than enough land to share. Throughout our history we have destroyed as a means of growth for man to feel magisterial.

 William Beebe said it so well, “When the last individual of a race of living things breaths no more, another heaven and earth must pass before such a one can begin again.”

 I was inspired in 1968. I look forward to being inspired once again, but my Democratic party and Governors like Bullock must become inspiring, must take chances, and must become a voice for those who cannot speak.

 Don’t be redundant Governor, wolves belong! Be BOLD!

Let your soul heal in the wild spirit that wolves bring to us. Amen!

http://boldvisions.businesscatalyst.com/opinion.html

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Photo:  Quanah Animal Edutainment

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: Bold Visions Conservation, Governor Steve Bullock,  Montana, stop the wolf hunts, Steve Capra

Montana “Management Agencies” Called Out On Wolf Killing Practices….

Gray wolves the wilderness classroom

Jay Mallonee, a Montana wolf biologist, with over twenty years experience studying wolves,  has been trying to pry answers out of Montana wildlife agencies for years.  He asked them to explain their wolf counting methods and how they came to the conclusions they did, since he believes their methods are seriously flawed and they have no idea how many wolves actually reside in Montana.

His published paper, Hunting Wolves In Montana, Where Are The Data?   received this response from wildlife managers:

He wrote to them again, including a CC to Governor Bullock,  still searching for answers on why they are killing wolves.

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From: Jay Mallonee <info@wolfandwildlifestudies.com>
Subject: ActionLine article about Environmental Assessment
Date: January 27, 2013 10:02:57 PM MST
To: Mike Volesky <mvolesky@mt.gov>, john.e.steuber@aphis.usda.gov
Cc: governor@mt.gov

Enclosed is a PDF of my next article for Act’ionLine, the magazine published by Friends of Animals.  For the past two years I have been a contributor to this periodical in which I have written about my 20 years of researching wolves, both in the wild and captivity.  Therefore, the subject of wolf management constantly comes up.  The article is a partial review of the environmental assessment your agency co-authored entitled “Gray Wolf Damage Management in Montana for the Protection of Livestock, Other Domestic Animals, Human Safety, and Other Resources.”

Last year I published a scientific paper that reviewed the data in the annual reports provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Their reasons for killing wolves were the same reasons used in your environmental assessment, none of which were plausible or based in science, as MFWP has always maintained.  My article will be seen by the nation within the next month or so, and I wanted you to have the opportunity to comment on it beforehand.  Perhaps you will finally provide some reasonable explanation as to how you justify the killing of Montana’s wolves based on the reasons you present.  If you do chose to make comments, please provide evidence of your claims, such as data, data collection methods, scientific methodology to determine if your premise is accurate, etc.  My opinions in the article are based on the information provided in the environmental assessment.  Therefore, if you have comments such as, “You are wrong,” or “We disagree,” they will not be taken seriously unless substantial proof is provided.

The deadline for providing comments is Friday, February 8.

Sincerely,

Jay Mallonee
Wolf and Wildlife Studies

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Again he received this response:

What should Jay conclude from their silence?  What do you conclude? That their data is flawed? That they have no sound reason for killing wolves? That wolves are suffering and dieing in Montana for nothing?

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wolf pack in snow first nation

The Inhumanity Of Wolf Management

By Jay S. Mallonee

It seems that wolf management agencies have circled the wagons to produce a new government document that tries to justify the killing of wolves in Montana, over problems that barely exist. Their Environmental Assessment (EA) is entitled “Gray Wolf Damage Management in Montana for the Protection of Livestock, Other Domestic Animals, Human Safety, and Other Resources.” The title implies that wolves have created enough property damage and safety threat to justify management unity to deal with these “problems.”

Although local tribes and the Department of Agriculture gave their input, the main architects of the EA are the two agencies most responsible for wolf management. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) creates and carries out state management policies, and the federal agency Wildlife Services (WS) does the killing. This organization has been criticized recently for their excessive slaughter of wildlife throughout the country. The EA provides the public with several potential alternatives for future wolf management, all involving varying degrees of WS involvement. As stated in the EA, the preferred option is Alternative 1, which is to continue with current management practices: kill many wolves in response to damage caused by only a few. This includes a 6-month public hunting season that involves trapping.

Last year I published a scientific paper that reviewed the government’s data on wolf management in Montana and their reasons for hunting wolves: reduce livestock depredation, and concerns about the wolves‘ effect on prey populations, especially elk (www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/ researchpapers.php). Their justifications were proven to be statistically insignificant and were not consistent with their claim that science was used to reach management decisions. The EA is another version of the same thing, and describes a system in which wolves are a crop to be harvested for revenue and killed for sport. This mindset is at the core of wolf management. It uses little science and by ignoring the most current information about natural processes, wolf management fails to promote the conservation of intact ecosystems. Studies on animal emotions and intelligence are also ignored and wolf management produces an incomprehensible amount of suffering in our forests. Using the EA, let’s examine why this is true.

Who Are The Better Killers?

Those who oppose wolf management have often used morality as the basis of their arguments. They believe it is inhumane to kill wolves unless absolutely necessary, if at all. Given that hunting and trapping seasons are now in place, apparently MFWP and WS are not concerned about the morality of killing wolves. However, in the EA, they comment about wolves being taken inhumanely.

The EA states that lethal wolf management would occur regardless of whether WS is involved. Alternative 2 would require that WS use and provide advice on only nonlethal methods, although MFWP, tribes and private property owners could still kill wolves. Wildlife Services also states that the public could use less humane methods due to their frustration toward wolves and inexperience. Therefore the preferred method is to change nothing, meaning keep Alternative 1. As a result, WS would continue to remove problem wolves using the following methods: foothold traps, snares, ground shooting, denning (removing pups from the den by using “approved methods”), chemical immobilization with euthanasia, and aerial gunning.

Apparently WS believes they are better killers than a bigoted public. This coming from an agency that keeps track of the wolves they kill with symbols on the side of their planes. I would consider all of these methods to be inhumane. Even euthanized wolves had to be caught, either by foothold traps, snares, or chased down by aircraft. And it is not only physical suffering that wolves must contend with. My research has shown that the mental anguish from being chased by aircraft and shot produces its own unique suffering, such as post traumatic stress.

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From post-traumatic stress in a captive wolf to breaching whales in the Bering Sea, Jay Mallonee has studied the behavior of numerous animals. Through his business of Wolf and Wildlife Studies, he has researched the Fishtrap pack in northwest Montana for a decade and has written several scientific publications. Jay also wrote . . . Timber — A Perfect Life, an account of his sixteen-year relationship with a profound canine companion.

Please visit Jay’s website to read the full article!

http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/index.php

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Top photo: Courtesy the wilderness classroom

Bottom photo: Courtesy First Nations

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: Jay Mallonee, wolf and wildlife studies, Hunting Wolves in Montana, Where Are The Data?, how many wolves in Montana?, The Inhumanity of Wolf Management

Montana Declares War On Wolves, AGAIN!

tumblrgraywolvesjpg.jpg

I’ve always loved Montana, especially Western Montana. The Rocky Mountain Front, Bob Marshall Wilderness, The Great Bear Wilderness, Glacier National Park, The North Fork,  The Swan Range, Jewel Basin, Flathead Lake, Logan’s Pass, Going to the Sun Road, Spotted Bear, The Bitterroot Mountains and so many other wonderful places too numerous to mention.  Even its name reflects its majesty, Montana, land of mountains. Louis and Clark journeyed there on their epic exploration.

“In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned an exploration to trace the Missouri River to its source and find a water route to the Pacific Ocean.

Under the leadership of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark the Corps of Discovery covered almost 8,000 miles from St. Louis, Missouri, to the mouth of the Columbia River, returning two years later. They journeyed westward across Montana from April 1805 to September of that year. On the return trip to St. Louis in the summer of 1806, the leaders crossed Montana using two separate routes.”….

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was struck down by the power of the Sioux Nation, on a bloody Montana battlefield.

Charles_Marion_Russell_-_The_Custer_Fight_(1903)

“It is estimated that as many as 12,000 Indians, of whom 4,000 were warriors, gathered near the Little Big Horn River, in what is now Montana, to meet with Sitting Bull. The encampment included Lakota bands (Oglalas, Brules, Sans Arcs, Minneconjous, and Hunkpapas) as well as Cheyenne and Blackfeet. The Sioux had a reputation as warriors”….eyewitnesstohistorydotcom

Montana is the third largest state in the Lower Forty Eight,  it’s huge. When I was a kid I dug for fish fossils there.

During much of the Cretaceous Period (144 to 65 million years ago) a large portion of Montana was covered by the waters of a shallow, inland sea called the Western Interior Seaway. The sea was formed as west-central North America was subsiding to an elevation below sea level. As this sinking occurred the area filled with water from the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean….“formontanadotnet

I can still remember sifting through the shale rock looking for a perfect two-sided fossil, it was great adventure. My childhood memories were filled with Montana, a magnificent place where the sky never ends.

Montana is blessed with abundant wildlife and certainly plenty of room for wolves. Montanans’ should be proud to live in a state that supports all top predators in vast intact ecosystems, the grizzly, the mountain lion, the gray wolf. But sadly the state has been hijacked by people who care nothing for trophic cascades or apex predators.  They want to turn Montana into a giant elk farm for their pleasure, as if elk or any of the wildlife belong to them.

I still love Montana’s beauty but there is an ugliness that hovers there now, an intolerance that holds Montana in its grasp. Montana is killing wolves, just as they did decades ago.

“In the United States, large-scale predator control programs were carried out, with wolves hunted and killed nearly to extinction.  By the middle of the 20th century, few wolves existed in the Lower 48 states.  Only several hundred gray wolves in Minnesota remained, with a few Red wolves and an occasional Mexican gray wolf reported. Both the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf were eventually completely eliminated in the wild and prior to recent reintroduction efforts, existed only in captivity”..National Wolf Fact Sheet

The Endangered Species Act was signed by President Nixon in 1973 and by the late seventies wolves started to return home to Northwestern Montana, forming packs, some large, like the Magic Pack.

“Reports of wolves near Glacier National Park began to trickle in during the late 1970s. In 1979 a wolf was captured just north of the U.S. border in British Columbia. She was released with a radio collar. Three years later this same wolf had mated and produced a litter of eight pups. According to Hank Fischer in his book “Wolf Wars,” this pack was named the “Magic Pack” due to its tendency to appear and disappear for long periods.The Magic Pack became the first pack of wolves to inhabit the western United States in 50 years.”..Wolf Report 8/18/96

They weren’t reintroduced, they reintroduced themselves. They belong there and no hysterical elk hunter is going to tell me any different. Montana is prime wolf country and it’s their home. It’s been their home for thousands of years, before European settlers ever set foot on the continent, where Native Americans lived peacefully among them, where gray wolves co-existed with Dire wolves.

Now with wolf hysteria reaching a fever pitch, Montana has declared war on wolves once again. Ready to do the bidding of the ranching and hunting lobbies, Montana legislators aren’t satisfied that hundreds of wolves have died in the state since wolves lost their ESA protections in 2009.  They want to make life even harder for wolves. Science be damned, let politics reign. A particularly nasty piece of legislation, HB 73, sailed through the Montana Senate last week and is waiting newly elected Governor Bullock’s signature. Will he veto it? I don’t hold out much hope for that.  Again politics before science.

House Bill 73 lets the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks increase the number of wolves one hunter can take, allows for electronic calls, and removes a requirement to wear hunter orange outside general deer and elk season.
 
The measure also prohibits the state wildlife agency from banning wolf hunts in areas around national parks. Its swift passage would allow the changes to take effect during the hunting season that’s currently under way…missoulian

Take note Montana legislators, you’ve turned a once beloved state into wolf killing fields, becoming a smaller version of Alaska, a state who kills wolves without mercy or an Idaho clone, where it’s now legal to use wolf carcasses to bait wolves to their deaths.

Montana is a place where wolves howl but those howls could be silenced forever and the state I loved will never be the same again!

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Contact Governor Bullock and ask him to veto HB 73

Governor Steve Bullock 

406-444-3111

governor@mt.gov

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Two Big Horned Sheep Rams, Glacier National Park (Nabeki)

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Top Photo: tumblr

Middle Photo: Wiki Commons

Bottom Photo: Nabeki

Posted in: Wolf Wars,  Montana wolves

Tags: Montana, HB 73,  Wolf Wars,  Inland Sea, Fish Fossils, Sioux Nation, Custer, Lewis and Clark, wolf hunts

Governor Bullock, Don’t Buy Into The Wolf Hysteria, VETO HB 73!!

Wolfparanoia

“A typical wolf about to take your children and eat your job”..Rational Wiki

UPDATE: February 7, 2013

Well today the rubber met the road in the Montana Senate.  HB 73 was rammed through and is on its way to Governor Bullock’s desk for signing.

The Governor heard NO, NO, NO  from people all over the country and the world, concerning the wolf hating legislation.  But apparently that wasn’t enough to change his mind. It looks like he’s going to sign it and if he does we’ll know there has been little change in Helena.  Montanans, who voted for Governor Bullock, believing he wouldn’t  jump on the wolf persecution train, will be proved dead wrong.  The same-old same-old wolf hysteria,  that has nothing what-so-ever to do with science or reality,  is still permeating the Montana Capital.

“Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday indicated support for the legislation, noting it had been backed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.”

“The department did support it, and at the end of the day we need to base these decisions on science, not on politics, and allowing more than one, three wolves to be taken, it fits in with the science,” he said.

What science is he talking about? There are 2.5 million cows in Montana and wolves were responsible for just 74 losses last year.  Montana elk numbers grew 66% from 1984 to 2009 while wolves were on the landscape 14 of those years. Wolves who dispersed back into Northwestern Montana in the early eighties, have been around for over 30 years.

In case the Governor isn’t aware there are wolf and wildlife advocates in Montana who enjoy viewing wildlife ALIVE.  Millions of tourists visit Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks in hopes of  catching a glimpse of a wild wolf.

Wolf viewing generates over 35 million dollars a year in the  GYA (Great Yellowstone Area).  It makes no sense to slaughter hundreds of wolves because a small, vocal,  wolf hating minority demands it. But how do you fight a  state legislature who’s  ready and willing to persecute wolves on behalf of that minority? Do wolves have even one friend in either the Montana House or Senate?  Hunters and ranchers don’t own Montana but they sure own the politicians.

I think what the Governor really meant to say is we need to base these decisions on politics, not science!

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Legislature gives quick OK to expanded Montana wolf hunt

HELENA – A proposal to expand the state’s wolf hunt is being fast-tracked through the Legislature and shortly will be sent to the governor’s desk for his signature.

The Montana Senate on Thursday suspended its rules so it could take initial and final votes on the same day on the measure that already had overwhelmingly cleared the House. The Senate backed it 45-4.

House Bill 73 lets the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks increase the number of wolves one hunter can take, allows for electronic calls, and removes a requirement to wear hunter orange outside general deer and elk season.

The measure also prohibits the state wildlife agency from banning wolf hunts in areas around national parks. Its swift passage would allow the changes to take effect during the hunting season that’s currently under way.

The department last month abandoned efforts to shut down gray wolf hunting and trapping in an area north of Yellowstone National Park, a move originally promoted by concerns that too many wolves wandering out of the park were dying.

Lawmakers wanted to make sure such a regional closure doesn’t come up again.

Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday indicated support for the legislation, noting it had been backed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

“The department did support it, and at the end of the day we need to base these decisions on science, not on politics, and allowing more than one, three wolves to be taken, it fits in with the science,” he said.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks said it already has prepared rule changes that will allow the legislation to immediately impact what remains of the wolf hunting season ending Feb. 28.

Hunters and trappers so far this season have killed fewer than 200 wolves. Wildlife officials are hoping to reduce the animals’ population from an estimated 650 wolves to around 450. The goal is to reduce wolf attacks on livestock and help some elk herds that have been in decline due to wolf attacks. ( That sentence would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious for wolves)

Wildlife advocates have argued that the state is being too aggressive against a species only recently restored to the Northern Rockies after it was widely exterminated last century.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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“Wolf hysteria (also known as wolf persecution, or rarely, lupophobia) is the widespread public hatred of wolves, incorporating both their enduring role as folk devils, and societal attitudes favouring policies of active persecution of wolves, and opposition and resistance to policies aiming to protect existing wild populations, or reintroduce the species into former ranges where it has become extinct relatively recently. The phenomenon shares much in common with moral panics, including the use of scaremongering, unverifiable anecdotesdemonisation, exaggeration, moral highroading etc”….Rational Wiki

06 Female Earth Island Journal

Yellowstone Lamar Canyon Alpha Female (06 Female) Killed For Nothing by Hunter, 15 miles outside the park

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Contact Governor Bullock and ask him to veto HB 73

Governor Steve Bullock 

406-444-3111

governor@mt.gov

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Top Photo:  Rational Wiki

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: MT. war on wolves, HB 73, K. Flynn, T. Washburn, Montana FWP, Montana Governor Bullock, Montana  Senate

TAKE ACTION: Contact Montana Governor Bullock Concerning Wolf Killing House Bill 73

gray wolf flickr commons usfws

January 29, 2013

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of humankind.
— Mahatma Ghandi

We have doomed the wolf not for what it is but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be: the mythologized epitome of a savage, ruthless killer — which is, in reality, not more than the reflected image of ourselves. We have made it the scapewolf for our own sins.
— Farley Mowat, from the preface of the 1993 edition of his book, Never Cry Wolf

Montana is a big and beautiful state in the Northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. But… during the past two years this big and beautiful state has allowed a small number of its citizens, and others from outside the state, to persecute and kill over 300 innocent and ecologically vital wolves that lived within the state. In 2011, Montana’s own Division of Fish, Wildlife and Parks estimated the total wolf population there to be about 550 wolves.

When will the persecution and killing of these vital, innocent and beautiful wolves end? When will the humane American majority, including the many voices of humane, respectful and wildlife-loving Montanans, be heard above the brutal and heartless voices of cattlemen, animal abusers and sport killers?

There is a glimmer of hope, of positive change for wolves in Montana, and for all of us who respect and admire wolves and want them protected. Montana has a new Governor, Steve Bullock, who campaigned with reason and decency. He did not pander to the wolf haters and kept an open door to the many wolf defenders who met him.

Now, Governor Bullock quickly has the opportunity to demonstrate that he is indeed a man and a leader who respects ecology, healthy ecosystems and the importance of natural predators, including wolves.

The Montana House of Representatives just passed House Bill 73, that is intended to accelerate the torture and massacre of the remaining wolves in Montana. This wicked legislation would allow each sport killer to kill more wolves, reduce the cost of out of state licenses to kill wolves, allow sport killers to use electronic calls of wolf pups in distress, allow killing of wolves on the perimeter of Yellowstone National Park with no buffer zone and on and on.

The facts speak for themselves:
There are approximately 2,500,000 cattle in Montana. In 2011, just 74 cattle were confirmed to be taken by wolves. 74 out of 2,500,000. That tiny tiny number is statistically zero. But, pathetic cattlemen continue to spread hysterical lies about wolves killing their  non-native cattle in numbers too numerous to count. These same cattlemen rely on the ignorance and apathy of the general public and the media, so they can continue their demonetization and slaughter of America’s native wolves and coyotes and mountain lions and bison and wild horses and prairie dogs and anything else that moves.

As for elk, the principle prey of wolves in the Rockies, Montana had 90,000 elk before wolves returned to their native homeland in Montana. Today with wolves back on the land, the state of Montana estimates the current elk population at 140,000. More wolves equals  more elk and the elk are much healthier now that wolves are keeping them on their toes, just as nature intended.

Wolves are vital, innocent, highly social, intelligent and family-oriented beings. It is humans that are the mass killers of wolves and every other animal they can shoot, trap, poison and destroy. It is ignorant and violent humans who must be managed and restrained, and who must finally learn to live on this Earth respectfully and with compassion for non-human beings who have as much right as humans to live and prosper across the planet we share.
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This week’s WOLF DEFENDER ACTION is to contact Montana’s new Governor, Steve Bullock. Please be respectful and polite. Gov. Bullock is brand new to his position and has taken no action to hurt wolves.

Ask Governor Bullock to put an end to the persecution and massacre of wolves in Montana. Ask him to veto Montana House Bill 73. Ask the governor to be the first governor in the Rocky Mountains to show compassion, decency and respect for living wolves, in Montana and throughout the Rockies. Ask Gov. Bullock to acknowledge the indispensable and positive role, wolves and every other natural predator performs in every healthy ecosystem. Ask him to protect America’s wolves.

Here are three ways to contact Governor Steve Bullock:
(Please be polite and respectful and consider doing all three. I was told he reads letters that are mailed to him directly.) 

1. By Phone: 1-406-444-3111
2. By EMail:   governor@mt.gov
3. By US Mail:
Governor Steve Bullock 
Office of the Governor 
PO Box 200801 
Helena, Montana 59620

Thank you, for Montana’s and America’s ecologically vital and beautiful wolves,

Robert Goldman
Protect America’s Wolves!
http://signon.org/sign/protect-americas-wolves

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Montana Seeks More Aggressive Wolf Hunting

January 29, 2013

Even as Wyoming’s wolf management policies are under fire in the courts again, a bill that would prevent the closure of wolf hunt areas near Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks before the quota is reached, allow multiple wolf licenses and generally expand wolf hunting in Montana has been unanimously approved in the Montana House of Representatives and now moves on to the Montana Senate for consideration there.  The bill would allow hunters to purchase more than one wolf tag and use electronic calls to lure the animals. It also reduces the price of a nonresident wolf license from $350 to $50.

http://jacksonholeradio.com/?p=12486

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HOUSE BILL NO. 73

INTRODUCED BY K. FLYNN, T. WASHBURN

BY REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS

Click HERE To READ

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Photo: Flickr Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: MT. war on wolves, HB 73, K. Flynn, T. Washburn, Montana FWP, Montana Governor Bullock

Will You?

This post is dedicated to all wolves who’ve suffered and continue to suffer brutal, senseless deaths in the name of blood sport and agribusiness.

The brutal war against America’s wolves wages on?

Will you be silent?

Will you fight for them?

Will you allow this to continue?

Will you organize in your hometown?

Will you hold a protest?

Will you work to end public land grazing?

Will you write letters to the editor?

Will you write to the Infamous 81 US Senators  who voted to delist wolves in the Northern Rockies via budget rider?

Will you tell those Senators you WILL NOT VOTE FOR THEM on November 6 because of their betrayal? 

Will you boycott all wolf states that hold trophy hunts or kill wolves for agribusiness?

Will you boycott Yellowstone National Park to send Wyoming a message?

Will you spread this message to everyone you know?

Will you be a true Wolf Warrior?

Will you?

Minnesota

Minnesota: Court rejects bid to block wolf hunt

Associated Press
Posted:   10/10/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT
Updated:   10/10/2012 07:26:03 PM CDT
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_21741958/court-rejects-bid-block-minn-wolf-hunt
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Trapped doomed wolf

Wisconsin

Wolf hunt to start Monday

Updated: Thursday, 11 Oct 2012, 5:53 PM CDT
Published : Thursday, 11 Oct 2012, 5:53 PM CDT

http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/local/green_bay/wolf-hunt-to-start-monday

Hearing on use of dogs in wolf hunt will be Dec. 20

By Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel
Oct. 6, 2012

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/hearing-on-use-of-dogs-in-wolf-hunt-will-be-dec-20-2q74b6b-172979611.html

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Wisconsin and Minnesota

Wisconsin, Minnesota ready for first wolf hunts

By STEVE KARNOWSKI and TODD RICHMOND | Associated Press – Wed, Oct 10, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/wisconsin-minnesota-ready-first-wolf-hunts-175306321.html

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Stand up for wolves! This photo made the Los Angeles Times! (Mato Woksabe)

Michigan

Michigan State Representative Proposes Wolf Hunt

by Outdoor Hub Reporters on August 21, 2012

submitted by: Agnieszka Spieszny

http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/michigan-state-representative-proposes-wolf-hunt/

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Fox Mountain wolf pups 2008 (Mexican Wolf Inter-agency Field Team)

New Mexico

Wanted Mexican gray wolf on the run in NM captured

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press
Updated:   10/10/2012 07:14:31 PM MDT
http://www.alamogordonews.com/ci_21747896/gov-martinez-relocate-mexican-gray-wolf-pack

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Gov. Martinez: Relocate Mexican gray wolf pack

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press
Posted:   10/11/2012 03:05:16 AM MDT
http://www.alamogordonews.com/ci_21747896/gov-martinez-relocate-mexican-gray-wolf-pack
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This is the hate wolves face

Montana

On the hunt in wolf country: Expanded Montana season begins Monday

7:13 AM, Oct 11, 2012

 http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20121011/LIFESTYLE05/310110010/On-hunt-wolf-country-Expanded-Montana-season-begins-Monday

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Wolf trapped waiting to die

Idaho

Idaho’s wolf hunt season now open all year

By Kimberlee Kruesi

The Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho) staff

Sun, 07/22/2012 – 8:23am

http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/07/22/idaho-s-wolf-hunt-season-now-open-all-year

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Senseless Slaughter

Wyoming

Open Season in Wyoming Threatens Wolf Recovery

08 OCTOBER 2012, 8:56 AM

http://earthjustice.org/blog/2012-october/open-season-in-wyoming-threatens-wolf-recovery

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USFWS

Feds opt not to extend special protection to Mexican gray wolf

Posted Oct 11, 2012, 11:37 pm

Cale OttensCronkite News Service

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/101112_mexican_gray_wolf/feds-opt-not-extend-special-protection-mexican-gray-wolf/

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Wedge Pack alpha male being collared, the collar allowed sharpshooters to find and kill his pack .  Then they shot and killed him.

Washington

Killing entire wolf pack is in nobody’s best interests

Published: October 12, 2012

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/10/12/2725979/killing-entire-wolf-pack-is-in.html
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Oregon Weneha wolf killed by poacher

Oregon 

Court Stays Execution of Two Oregon Wolves

SALEM, ORE Oct 06, 2011

http://www.oregonwild.org/about/press-room/press-releases/court-stays-execution-of-two-oregon-wolves/?searchterm=imnaha

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California

Journey In California, The First Wolf  Confirmed In The State Since the 1920’s

And then there’s Journey (OR-7). The One Bright Spot In This Miserable War On America’s Wolves

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oregon Wild Talks Wolves On AM Northwest

Wildlife and Wildlands Advocate Rob Klavins stopped by KATU-TV’s AM Northwest to talk about Journey and Oregon’s wolves.

http://www.oregonwild.org/about/press-room/press-releases/oregon-wild-talks-wolves-on-am-northwest

Calif. agrees to study protections for gray wolf

JASON DEAREN, Associated Press
Updated 5:35 p.m., Wednesday, October 3, 2012

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Calif-agrees-to-study-protections-for-gray-wolf-3917467.php#ixzz29AmZ5vLU

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Photos: Photobucket, USFWS, ODFW, Wolf Wallpaper, Flickr Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho wolves, Montana wolves, Wyoming wolves, Minnesota wolves, Wisconsin Wolves, Michigan wolves, Oregon wolves, Washington wolves, California wolf

Tags: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Mexican gray wolf, Fox Mountain alpha captured, Fox Mountain pack, Wenaha Pack wolf poached,  wolf trapping torture,  OR-7, retire grazing leases, stop killing wolves, Wedge Pack gone, Wyoming predator zone, boycott wolf killing states, Imnaha Pack

Wild Mexican Gray Wolf Pups (USFWS)

Alert: Montana Proposes To Turn Day-To-Day Wolf Management Over To Wildlife Services!!!

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse for Montana wolves, with the approval of trapping and no quotas during the upcoming 2012/2013 wolf hunt, now the state is proposing to turn the day-to-day management of wolves over to Wildlife Services!!

I’m speechless!!

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From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 23, 2012

Montana to Give Wolf Management to Federal Agency With Legacy of Wolf-killing

SILVER CITY, N.M.— The state of Montana is proposing to turn most day-to-day management of wolves over to Wildlife Services — the same U.S. Department of Agriculture agency responsible for exterminating wolves throughout the West before they gained federal protection in the 1970s.

In a draft protocol released this month to address wolf-livestock conflicts, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks proposes transferring its authority to decide which wolves will be killed for livestock depredations to Wildlife Services, the federal agency that has killed millions of animals — including thousands of wolves — as part of its work to eradicate and suppress animals considered livestock predators or agricultural pests. The state would retain jurisdiction over public hunting seasons; unlike citizen hunters, Wildlife Services is not limited in where, or how many wolves, it can kill.

“Montana proposes to hand over key decisions on wolves, including how many will survive above a barebones minimum number, to the very federal agency that originally wiped out the West’s wolves,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, a group that has advocated for western wolves for more than 20 years. “With no one looking over its shoulder, a secretive branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, partially funded by the livestock industry, will once again serve as prosecutor, judge and, most especially, executioner.”

According to the proposal, Wildlife Services will respond directly to ranchers’ complaints of cattle killed by wolves and could initiate aerial gunning of the animals it deems guilty, informing Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks of how many it has killed only later. Wildlife Services is funded not only by federal appropriations but by matching funds from livestock associations and/or the state and local counties.

Wildlife Services’ only constraints would come if the wolf population drops below 150 animals or 15 breeding pairs. At the end of last year, 653 wolves, including 39 breeding pairs, survived in the state.

A series of investigative articles this spring by Sacramento Bee reporter Tom Knudson found that just since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed millions of animals using methods that are inhumane, illegal and ignore science. In his 2005 book Predatory Bureaucracy: the Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West, the Center’s Michael Robinson documented multiple instances of the agency circumventing or outright breaking rules intended to protect wildlife.

“Putting Montana’s wolves fully in Wildlife Services’ hands will mean two things,” said Robinson. “More wolves will die, and fewer people will know why.”

Background
As a result of hunting and trapping in Idaho and Montana that was intended to drastically reduce wolf numbers, 545 of the 1,900-plus wolves in the two states have been killed over the past year. Additional wolves have been killed by Wildlife Services under criteria loosened since the removal of wolves from the endangered species list in May 2011.

In its decision last year to circumvent the Endangered Species Act and delist wolves by attaching a rider to a budget bill, Congress bypassed the Act’s requirement to adhere to the best available science. Federal courts had previously ruled that wolf delisting was illegal because the Fish and Wildlife Service disregarded scientific findings that wolves in Yellowstone National Park could become genetically isolated and that the wolf population still occupied only a small portion of its historic range.

Wolves are vital to their ecosystems. By deterring elk from browsing on cottonwood sprigs in low-visibility areas alongside rivers, the return of wolves has resulted in more stream side trees, benefiting beavers, fish and songbirds. By controlling the numbers of coyotes, the presence of wolves has led to increased numbers of foxes and pronghorn. Wolves also provide carrion from their leftovers, which is relied upon by scavenging animals such as badgers, eagles and bears.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2012/wolves-08-23-2012.html

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The Sacramento Bee’s Exposé On Wildlife Services

Deadly Poison 1080 Compound 

The killing agency: Wildlife Services’ brutal methods leave a trail of animal death

By Tom Knudson tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

First of three parts

The day began with a drive across the desert, checking the snares he had placed in the sagebrush to catch coyotes.

Gary Strader, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stepped out of his truck near a ravine in Nevada and found something he hadn’t intended to kill.

There, strangled in a neck snare, was one of the most majestic birds in America, a federally protected golden eagle.

“I called my supervisor and said, ‘I just caught a golden eagle and it’s dead,’ ” said Strader. “He said, ‘Did anybody see it?’ I said, ‘Geez, I don’t think so.’

“He said, ‘If you think nobody saw it, go get a shovel and bury it and don’t say nothing to anybody.’ “

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450678/the-killing-agency-wildlife-services.html#storylink=cpy

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Wildlife Services’ deadly force opens Pandora’s box of environmental problems

By Tom Knudson tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Apr. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

Second of three parts

Like the prow of a ship, the Granite Mountains rise sharply from the creamy-white playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Here, in rugged terrain owned by the American public, a little-known federal agency called Wildlife Services has waged an eight-year war against predators to try to help an iconic Western big-game species: mule deer.

With rifles, snares and aerial gunning, employees have killed 967 coyotes and 45 mountain lions at a cost of about $550,000. But like a mirage, the dream of protecting deer by killing predators has not materialized.

“It didn’t make a difference,” said Kelley Stewart, a large-mammal ecologist at the University of Nevada, Reno.

For decades, Wildlife Services, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has specialized in trapping, poisoning and shooting predators in large numbers, largely to protect livestock and, more recently, big game.

Now such killing is coming under fire from scientists, former employees and others who say it often doesn’t work and can set off a chain reaction of unintended, often negative consequences.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/30/4452212/wildllife-services-deadly-force.html#storylink=cpy

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Unforgiving Snares and How They Work

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/30/4452212_a4452108/wildllife-services-deadly-force.html

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Long struggles in leg-hold device make for gruesome deaths

By Tom Knudson
tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 15A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

No tool in Wildlife Services’ arsenal kills more non selectively – or slowly – than the leg-hold trap.

Since 2000, more than 90 species of wildlife have died by mistake in agency traps, including pronghorn antelope, mule deer, river otters, swift foxes, badgers, porcupines and federally protected bald eagles, government records show.

But whether animals are caught accidentally or not, they often struggle for days and die of exposure, injuries and other causes long before a trapper returns to the site.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/28/4450686/ex-trapper-leg-hold-device-probably.html#storylink=cpy

And this is the agency  Montana is going to entrust Montana wolves?

I’m proposing a write-in campaign to the 81 Senators who sold wolves out in the Northern Rockies and delisted them via budget rider. All US Senate Democrats voted for this horror except three, Wyden, Leahy and Levin. I will have more on the write-in campaign soon. We must hold them accountable for what they did and let the world know that Democrats, who say they support the ESA, betrayed wolves, while President Obama signed the bill into law. Obama has delisted wolves twice since he took office, a feat even George Bush couldn’t accomplish.

Now is the perfect time to hold them responsible for throwing wolves under the bus. There’s an election in just 2 1/2 months. We must demand they correct the terrible wrong perpetrated against wolves, letting them know wolves must be placed back on the Endangered Species list, where they won’t be subjected to wolf hunts and brutal state management.  We can remind them if they choose to do nothing we won’t pull  be pulling the lever for them come November.

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Photo: Courtesy James Balog

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife

Tags: Wildlife Services, persecution of Montana wolves, MFWP, stand up for wolves, Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity

Kalispell Hearing Today on Wolf Trapping Proposal and Other Bad Stuff….

A charade is playing out today in Kalispell, Montana, where the last of the hearings on the 2012/2013 wolf killing proposals will be held by Montana FWP. They want to trap wolves, abolish quotas in the state and well, kill lots of wolves.

From the Ravalli Repubic

Trapping wolves, allowing the taking of up to three wolves, using electronic calls, lengthening the hunt and eliminating quotas are among the proposals to be introduced at Thursday’s Wednesday’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission meeting.

Read the gory details here.

These are the “objectives” for decimating the wolf population, taken from the Montana FWP website. My comments are in blue.

MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES:
 
1. Maintain a viable and connected wolf population in Montana.
Translation: Kill more wolves.
 
2. Gain and maintain authority for State of Montana to manage wolves.
Translation: We can’t allow those wolves to live wild and free, now can we? 
 
3. Maintain positive and effective working relationships with livestock producers, hunters, and
other stakeholders.
Translation: Cater to the hunters and ranchers, the non-consumptive user be damned.
 

4a. Reduce wolf impacts on livestock.

Fact: In 2011, 74,800 Montana  cows were lost to non-predation,  including  Digestive problems, Respiratory problems, Metabolic problems, Mastitis, Lameness/injury, Other diseases, Weather, Calving problems, Poisoning, Theft, Other non-predator, Unknown non-predator while just 74 to wolves, out of a population of over 2 million cows. 


4b. Reduce wolf impacts on big game populations.
Fact: Elk populations  have remained stable in the state at 150,000 elk since 2009. That is a 66% increase since 1984, according to the RMEF 25th anniversary press release in 2009. 
 
4c. Maintain sustainable hunter opportunity for wolves.

Translation: Now we are getting to the real truth.

 
 
4d. Maintain sustainable hunter opportunity for ungulates.
Translation: See 4c
 
5. Increase broad public acceptance of sustainable harvest and hunter opportunity as part of
wolf conservation.
Translation: Wolf hunters want to kill wolves. The license fees are an added bonus.
 
6. Enhance open and effective communication to better inform decisions
Translation: Uh-huh
 
7. Learn and improve as we go.
Translation: Kill more wolves.

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 Montana continues to claim they know how many wolves actually reside in the state when Jay Mallonee, a Montana wolf biologist with over twenty years experience studying canis lupus,  has repeatedly challenged them on this:

From Wolf and Wildlife Studies

“Management agencies have claimed that the recovery and public hunting of wolves is based in science. A review of their statistics demonstrated that data collection methods did not follow a scientific protocol which resulted in flawed and often incorrect data. Consequently, agencies do not know the total number of wolves in Montana, a major reference point used by wolf managers. Therefore, the quotas proposed for public wolf hunts are completely arbitrary, and management decisions in general have not been based on facts. This has produced a wolf management system that lacks scientific perspective and does not utilize what is known about the wolves’ role in sustaining healthy ecosystems. Instead, the absence of verifiable data suggests that management decisions are often based on opinion and politics rather than science.”

I’m sure the trapping and trophy hunting communities  will be well represented, chomping at the bit to make sure Montana allows them to kill, kill and kill more wolves, especially using the medieval torture device, the leg-hold trap.


I can pretty much guarantee that no matter what happens in Kalispell today wolves will be trapped and killed in the coming Montana 2012/2013 wolf witch hunt.

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 Wolf Meeting Planned For Flathead

FLATHEAD COUNTY

By Scott Zoltan

POSTED: 10:10 pm MDT June 10, 2012

KALISPELL, Mont. — On Wednesday it’s the Flathead’s turn to host a meeting on a proposed trapping season for wolves, and an extended general hunting season. There would also be no statewide quota under the proposed rules.

FWP is considering a general season that would run from September 1 to February 28 in 2013. There would be quotas set up in two areas near Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

Hunters would still have to report harvests within 24 hours, and the FWP would reserve the ability to shut down the season in certain areas to prevent overharvest.

FWP officials have already held meetings in Billings, Bozeman, Missoula and Great Falls, but they’re still hoping for a large turnout at Kalispell’s meeting.

“It’s really important that people do get their voices heard,” said FWP Spokesman John Fraley.

The open-house meeting will start at 7:00 pm on Wednesday at the Flathead Valley Community College Arts and Technology building.

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/31178263/detail.html

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Photo: Courtesy Ann Sydow Wolf People Pup

Posted in: trapped wolves, Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

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