Comment to Stop Montana’s New Buffalo Firing Line!
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Posted in: Bison, Animal Cruelty, Action Alerts
Tags: Yellowstone Bison, Buffalo Field Campaign, Bison Slaughter, Montana FWP, Bison under fire
The hunt for two wolves in Wallowa County could last all summer long. That’s the latest word from Oregon Fish and Wildlife.
ODFW is now giving federal agents until the end of August to kill two members of the Imnaha pack. It’s the third time ODFW has extended the hunt.
Also new, ODFW is answering critics in the environmental community who think the agency is violating its own rules, and letting the wolf hunt drag out for too long.
ODFW has extended the wolf hunt to stop what it says is “chronic depredation” of livestock in Wallowa County. There are six confirmed cases of wolf kills so far this year, and a few more unconfirmed cases. And even though there haven’t been any new attacks since June 4, ODFW says wolves are still being spotted in the area. In last week’s announcement, ODFW said it believed the wolves were moving away from private land.
Spokesperson Michelle Dennehy says all of this is allowed under the Wolf Management Plan which says wildlife officials can kill wolves to stop repeated attacks on livestock.
Rules Remain The Same
The rules governing the hunt remain the same. USDA Wildlife Services is only allowed to kill wolves without tracking collars. That’s designed to protect the breeding pair of the Imnaha Pack. Both the alpha male and female should be wearing collars. So should three other pack members. That leaves five of the ten member pack vulnerable to being killed.
The hunting is limited to privately owned pasture land near where the earlier attacks took place, and the size of the area where hunting is allowed hasn’t changed since June 9th.
By the way, the alpha male is still missing. His collar stopped operating May 31st and ODFW has had no contact with him since then.
Ranchers Are “Cooperating”
Part of the dispute is about whether ranchers are doing everything they should to prevent wolf attacks. The wolf plan says non-lethal methods must be tried first, before wolves can be killed. The Hells Canyon Preservation Council and Oregon Wild say ranchers could be doing more. For example, they say some ranchers are leaving carcasses out in the open where they attract wolves, when they should be burying them.
Dennehy says ODFW is getting good cooperation from Wallowa County ranchers. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail she sent earlier.
“Yes carcass piles can be a problem but ODFW believes ranchers have been very cooperative in carrying out non-lethal measures. We’ll continue to work with ranchers on non-lethal measures; it’s an ongoing project.”
“Unfortunately, the non-lethal measures weren’t very effective–we have had six confirmed losses to wolves.”
Oregon Wild tells me they’re not surprised by today’s news. Rob Klavins writes…
The best that can be said now is that at least ODFW is being honest that this is essentially an open-ended kill order that won’t be rescinded until 2 of Oregon’s 14 endangered wolves are killed. ODFW has violated both the spirit and letter of it’s own Wolf Conservation & Management Plan. We have reluctantly supported the compromise plan in the belief that it would lead to science-based management of wolves that would only turn to lethal control as an option of last resort. Trying to “send a message to the pack” through revenge killings weeks later is not science-based management.
Time Running Out For Wolf Plan Comments
We’re now in our final days to comment on Oregon’s Wolf Plan. It’s undergoing a five year review period. ODFW is taking public comments until June 30, or Wednesday. Email them to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us. It will incorporate those comments into a revised plan that will be released later this summer.
ODFW WILDLIFE DIVISION STAFF DIRECTORY
Photo: Courtesy ODFW
Photo: Kabuki Courtesy Nihon Daisuki
Posted In: Oregon wolves, Wolf Wars, Ranching and hunting influence
Tags: Imnaha Wolf Pack, wolf intolerence, ODFW bows to ranching pressure
On public lands in the great western ecosystem, livestock will not have priority. The grazing of livestock will and must be subordinated to the natural order of the bison and the predator……
Former secretary of the interior Bruce Babbitt, speaking at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, January 2001
Ranching has tremendous power and influence in the West, shaping policy and politics in the region. This has effected wolves for over a century and until the balance of power shifts, wolves will continue to be caught in the crossfire.
Michael Robinson explains how the livestock industry has done everything in it’s considerable power to rid the West of wolves. Their influence hangs over wolf recovery like a shroud, hampering it’s progress and causing countless wolves to lose their lives.
The article is dated but it clearly makes the case wolves are considered pests by agribusiness to be eliminated not recovered. He wrote this piece while he was finishing his ground breaking book,Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and The Transformation of the West, published in 2005.
The Livestock Industry Hamstrings Wolf Recovery
By Michael Robinson
In the early twentieth century, the livestock industry lobbied for a government-sponsored campaign to eliminate wolves from the West. Today, the livestock industry is the major obstacle to wolf recovery. Cases in the northern Rockies and the Southwest illustrate how wolf management remains highly biased in favor of stock growers, even on public lands. Wolf predation was once a significant ecological force in many western ecosystems; public lands livestock grazing is at odds both with full wolf recovery and with ecosystem restoration.
Wolves were exterminated from the American West by a concerted campaign mounted by federal hunters and funded with local, state, and federal revenues. Using poison, traps, and bullets, the government pursued each wolf with the avowed goal of wiping the species off the face of the Earth.
The livestock industry was the sole beneficiary of, and the greatest political impetus for, this campaign. Today, the livestock industry stands at the heart of the opposition to wolf recovery and has blocked, hampered, and sabotaged reintroduction programs throughout the West. Unfortunately, the industry’s political clout has profoundly shaped wolf recovery programs that are supposed to be guided by science. (*instead it’s guided by pressure from ranching and hunting lobbies)
The Northern RockiesWolf reintroduction in the northern Rocky Mountains of Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho was contested by the livestock industry and its supporters in Congress for over two decades. Under the Endangered Species Act, critical habitat for a listed species is supposed to be designated, and the species protected from being killed-whether it is reintroduced or recovering through natural recolonization. However, because of the power of the livestock industry, the plan to reintroduce wolves to parts of Idaho and Wyoming resulted in a compromise that designated the wolves as an “experimental, nonessential” population. This designation meant there would be no special protections for wolf habitat and that wolves that preyed on livestock would be killed or removed from the wild. Provisions were even made to allow ranchers themselves legally to kill wolves rather than waiting for government agents to show up and do the job.
The fact that cattle require huge quantities of water means they will always be vulnerable to wolves in the American West. For in this largely arid region, water and water-loving vegetation are so scarce, and scattered over such wide areas, that cattle must be similarly spread out, and that makes protecting them from wolves uneconomical; thus, as their forebears did, ranchers rely on federal agents to kill or remove wolves. Domestic sheep, much less numerous in the West than cattle, are even more vulnerable to predators, especially when flocks are not well protected. Thus, although wolves are a federally listed endangered species, their containment and control by the federal government constitutes one more subsidy that taxpayers provide the livestock industry in the West. (Some ranchers would no doubt happily dispense with this subsidy, as long as they were free to kill wolves at will, including putting out poison baits for them, as was common in the nineteenth century.)
Since gray wolves were released into Idaho and Wyoming in 1995, the federal government’s “Wildlife Services” has executed numerous “control actions” because of wolf-livestock conflicts, killing a few dozen wolves (now thousands of wolves) either known or suspected of attacking cows or sheep. Particularly egregious has been the capture or “lethal control” of wolves on public lands. Privately owned livestock grazing on public lands clearly take priority over endangered gray wolves, restored at public expense. In addition, somewhere between ten and twenty wolves have been killed illegally in the reintroduction areas. In most of these cases, the perpetrator was never identified or charged.
Cattle Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Posted in: Public Land Degradation by Livestock, gray wolf/canis lupus, ranching and hunting influence, Wolf Wars
Tags: Wolves or livestock, wolf intolerance, Revised 10j rule bad for wolves, cattle, wolves in the crossfire