USFWS Says Wolf Recovery Is A Success Because Wolves Live…WTF???

NatureColdWarriors_3wolves

April 16, 2014

This takes the cake. In a ridiculous statement (and a foreshadowing of the way their decision on delisting wolves nationally is going to go) the USFWS said:

Gray wolf’s success means it lives

Posted: 04/12/2014 06:32:01 AM EDT

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s update on the status of gray wolves in the West, which it released last week, amounted to an implicit plug for its proposal to lift federal protections for the creature across the lower 48 states.

Wolf restoration has been an “amazing success,” the service said, and “by every biological measure the (Northern Rocky Mountains) wolf is recovered and remains secure under state management.”

The evidence: The number of breeding pairs and individual wolves remains comfortably above the agency’s minimum targets.

In fact, the service does have reason to crow, given what appears to be a reasonably stable wolf population in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming (with a smattering in eastern Washington and Oregon as well.)

Critics of delisting maintain that a sustainable wolf population should be larger than the current 1,691, and don’t trust the states to uphold their part of the recovery bargain.

We have more faith in state wildlife officials — and meanwhile trust Fish & Wildlife to intervene, as it promises, “if relisting is  ever warranted.”

Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/editorial/ci_25553138/gray-wolfs-success-means-it-lives#ixzz2z7APn7kv

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Have they even glanced at the 1,521,113 comments submitted concerning their disgusting National Wolf Delisting proposal? Have they heard of Idaho’s plan to kill most of their wolves? Do they care one whit about the thousands of wolves who’ve been killed since their delisting in 2009?  Is this the “amazing success” they’re talking about? That “by every biological measure the (Northern Rocky Mountains) wolf is recovered and remains secured under state management“? Are they saying this with a straight face? Are they joking?

hunted-the-war-against-wolves-eij

The material point is they’ve already made up their minds wolves will be delisted nationally, no matter what the public thinks because it’s not about what the American people want. It’s about what their customers want, you know the ranchers, hunters and politicians they serve.

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The Unsavory Truth Behind the Move to Take Wolves Off the Endangered List

The feds have dismissed three scientists from a wolf panel for, guess what, raising concerns about wolf delisting.

April 16, 2014 / By Tracy Ross

Just weeks after calling for the removal of gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now under fire for allegations that it intentionally excluded three prominent scientists—whose views diverged from the Service’s on delisting—from an upcoming peer review process.

In June, Fish and Wildlife called to delist gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, leaving an exception for the struggling Mexican wolf in the Southwest. Agency director Dan Ashe told the media that the gray wolf had recovered to the point that it could thrive and even enlarge its territory without federal oversight. Several wolf advocates and some members of Congress disagreed. Once wolves are delisted, their management will fall to individual states.

But in order for the delisting process to continue, federal law requires that a team of scientists evaluate the basis for the motion. As such, Fish and Wildlife hired a private contractor to select and oversee the peer review panel. According to Fish and Wildlife spokesman Gavin Shire, the agency isn’t supposed to know who the panelists are. But the Associated Press revealed that the contractor chosen to assemble the panel had provided a list of candidates that redacted their names but included their professional resumes. Armed with this information, the Service found three esteemed wolf biologists, who—and this is the key part—had expressed concern with the gray wolf delisting plan. They also, along with 16 other prominent scientists, had signed a letter expressing this concern. Shortly thereafter, Fish and Wildlife effectively “delisted” the three scientists from the panel.

The three are identified as Dr. John Vucetich, Dr. Robert Wayne, and Dr. Roland Kays. All have published extensively on the wolf and are considered preeminent experts. Yet the Center for Biological Diversity’s Bret Hartl reports that the Service rescinded their invitations because, in the agency’s words, they have an “unacceptable affiliation with an advocacy position.”

READ MORE: http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/08/16/wolves-endangered-species-list-delist-panel-scientists?fb_comment_id=fbc_386534721476207_1937752_388683194594693#f5dbc27245f234

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Top Photo: Courtesy Nature: Cold Warriors

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: USFWS, national wolf delisting, absurd comments, irresponsible management, wolves are NOT recovered, stand up for wolves, Dr. John Vucetich, Dr. Robert Wayne, Dr. Roland Kays, Center For Biological Diversity

Action Alert: Comment On USFWS Wolf Delisting Proposal Today…Deadline @ 11:59 PM Tonight!!

Remote camera pictures of the Minam wolf pack in Eagle Cap Wilderness of Wallowa County. Photos taken Dec. 14, 2012. Photo courtesy of ODFW

Minam Wolf Pack in Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa County, Orgeon

UPDATE: March 29, 2014

1,392,985 comments received by the deadline. Good work everyone!!

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UPDATE: March 27, 2014

Today is the last day to comment.!! The deadline is 11:59 PM ET. Please speak for the wolves. This rule, would stop wolf recovery in its tracks, it must be revoked! Your voices could make all the difference!

PLEASE COMMENT!!!

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073

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Photo: Minam Wolf Pack ODFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: USFWS, national wolf delisting rule proposal, Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, Dan Ashe, wolf persecution,  please comment, deadline March 27

Action Alert: Comment On USFWS Wolf Delisting Proposal Before March 27th Deadline!!!

A subadult Wenaha wolf stretches in the snow in front of a remote camera in the Wenaha Wildlife Management Unit on April 13, 2013. Photo courtesy of ODFW 1

“A subadult Wenaha wolf stretches in the snow…..April 13, 2013. Photo courtesy of ODFW”

UPDATE: March 27, 2014

Today is the last day to comment. The deadline is 11:59 PM ET. Please speak for the wolves. This rule, that would stop wolf recovery in its tracks, must be revoked! Your voices could make all the difference!

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March 26, 2014

Have you commented yet?

PLEASE COMMENT!!!

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073

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Photo: Subadult Wenaha wolf ODFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: USFWS, national wolf delisting rule proposal, Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, Dan Ashe, wolf persecution,  please comment, deadline March 27

#KEEPWOLVESLISTED TWEETSTORM – Tuesday, March 25 @ 2pm PST/9pm GST

KEEPWOLVESLISTED

UPDATE: March 25 – Thanks to all who participated!!

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ERIPE LUPUS

 
#KEEPWOLVESLISTED TWEETSTORM
FINAL TWEETSTORM FOR #KEEPWOLVESLISTED
MARCH 25. 2014 
2 PM PST/ 9 PM GMT
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT RETWEETS  ( RT ) DO NOT HELP US!
JUST STEAL THE TWEET, 
DO NOT RETWEET . PLEASE 

http://keepwolveslisted.blogspot.co.uk/p/keepwolveslisted.html

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Please participate if you have a Twitter account!  Spread the word! This is our last chance to protest against the horrible USFWS national wolf delisting proposal.

If you haven’t commented yet please do. Click HERE to comment.

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Photo: Courtesy ERIPE LUPUS

Posted in: Action Alerts, Activism, Wolf Wars

Tags: TWEETSTORM, #KEEPWOLVESLISTED, March 25 @ 2pm PST,  USFWS, national wolf delisting proposal, fight for the wolves

Idaho Lawmakers Pass Bill to Kill Hundreds of Wolves

dead wolf flickr commons

Center For Biological Diversity
For Immediate Release, March 20, 2014

Idaho Lawmakers Pass Bill to Kill Hundreds of Wolves

$400,000 to Be Spent Wiping Out 500 Wolves, Setting Up Wolf-killing Board

BOISE, Idaho— The Idaho Legislature today passed House Bill 470, a bill to create a new lethal “Wolf Depredation Control Board” to administer a fund for widespread killing of wolves in the state. The bill, expected to be signed into law by Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, sets aside $400,000 in state funds to kill roughly 500 wolves, leaving just 150 in the entire state.

The new board will consist of members appointed and overseen by Otter, who said in 2007 that he wanted to be the first to kill an Idaho wolf after federal protections were taken away. The board will be made up of representatives of the agricultural, livestock and hunting communities. The bill does not require any members of the board to represent the wolf conservation community.

“Political leaders in Idaho would love nothing more than to eradicate Idaho’s wolves and return to a century-old mindset where big predators are viewed as evil and expendable,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The new state wolf board, sadly, reflects that attitude. The legislature couldn’t even bring itself to put a single conservationist on the board, so the outcome is predictable: Many more wolves will die.”

Congress in 2011 stripped Endangered Species Act protection from wolves in Idaho and Montana. Since then, 1,592 wolves have been killed in those states.

The bill is the latest in a series of anti-wolf actions in Idaho that could ultimately backfire and force the return Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. Other commitments made by Idaho, including promises to maintain refugia for wolves in remote areas and wilderness, have been rolled back. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game sent a hunter-trapper into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness this winter to eliminate two wolf packs. It recently announced a new predator-management plan designed to kill 60 percent of the wolf population in the Middle Fork area over the next several years, and contracted with USDA’s Wildlife Services to gun down 23 wolves in the Lolo management zone in February.

“Yet again, Idaho has put a black eye on decades of tireless work to return wolves to the American landscape,” said Weiss. “This bill sets aside $400,000 in state funds to wipe out as many wolves as legally possible in Idaho. Reducing these wolf populations to below even the absolute bare minimum sets a dangerous precedent and ensures that true wolf recovery will be little more than a pipe dream in Idaho.”

In combination with mortality from annual hunting and trapping seasons, the wolf population in Idaho is under serious threat of dropping near — or even below — minimal recovery levels that Idaho promised to maintain when wolves in the northern Rockies lost federal protections in 2011. The sponsor of H.B. 470, Rep. Marc Gibbs (R-Dist. 32), says the intent of the bill is to reduce Idaho’s wolf population to as few as 10 packs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required by its own delisting criteria to review the population if changes in Idaho law or management objectives significantly increase the threat to the population. It must then decide whether to reinstate federal Endangered Species Act protections or extend the post-delisting period for federal oversight.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 675,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/wolf-03-20-2014.html

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Photo: Dead Wolf Flickr Commons

Posted in Wolf Wars, Idaho Wolves

Tags: wolf extermination, Idaho’s brutal tactics, wolf killing board, $400,000 dedicated to killing wolves in Idaho, Governor Butch Otter, stop the wolf killing,  Idaho House Bill 470, stop the madness

Support Rep. DeFazio’s Efforts To Stop The National Wolf Delisting Rule

Imnaha Pack 5 wolf pups 2013 Oregon

“Five wolf pups from the Imnaha pack were photographed by a remote camera on July 7, 2013. The pups were approximately 2.5 months old in this photo. Photo courtesy of ODFW.”

Every day there is bad, very bad or really bad news about wolves. But “Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio” is speaking out for wolves. He wants the national wolf delisting rule revoked.

Rep. DeFazio D -Oregon and 73 other House members, who oppose the national wolf delisting rule, are urging Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to keep wolves protected under the ESA and to “rescind the proposed rule immediately”.

Thanks to Rep. DeFazio and the 73 House members who joined him. We must stop this rule.

Please comment by March 27, 2014 on the proposed national wolf delisting by clicking HERE!

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Natural Resources

Committee – Democrats
Ranking Member – Peter DeFazio

Press Release

Mar 19, 2014

DeFazio Leads 73 Members on Bipartisan Letter Urging Secretary Jewell to Maintain Critical Gray Wolf Protections

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2014

Contact: Jen Gilbreath (Resources), 202-225-4081

DeFazio Leads 73 Members on Bipartisan Letter Urging Secretary Jewell to Maintain Critical Gray Wolf Protections

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released a bipartisan letter co-signed by 73 House members urging Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to continue critical protections for endangered gray wolves. The letter comes on the heels of an independent peer review that found the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) failed to use the “best available science” when it drafted a  proposed rule that would remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states.

In the letter, the members write, “Because it is not based on the best available science, the proposed rule undermines decades of conservation work done to protect the gray wolf, and sets a bad precedent for future ESA delistings. Further, it would stifle gray wolf recovery at a time when conservation gains are only nascent in the Pacific Northwest, and recovery has yet to begin in California, Colorado, Utah, and the Northeast, where scientists have identified a significant amount of suitable habitat that would support wolf populations.”

The members ask Secretary Jewell and the Service to rescind the proposed rule immediately. In February, the Service released a long overdue peer review from an independent, objective panel of top experts in the fields of ecology, taxonomy, and genetics. These scientists were tasked with evaluating the proposed delisting and the science behind it. The reviewers unanimously found the Service did not use the “best available science” when they decided to remove the gray wolf from protections under the ESA. The reviewers said that the Service accepted unproven science uncritically while they disregarded conflicting data outright.

 “I’ve long said that ESA decisions should be based on science, not politics, and the experts who have reviewed the so-called science behind the proposed rule have spoken. The peer review leaves no option but for the Service to rescind the proposed rule and continue federal protections that are essential to the long-term survival and recovery of gray wolves. Continued protection under the Endangered Species Act is the only way that gray wolves will ever return to a significant portion of their range, and reclaim their place as a keystone species of American landscapes. I hope Secretary Jewell agrees,” said DeFazio

The Service’s proposed rule has generated over 1 million comments since 2013. DeFazio recently led a CREDO Mobile petition to urge the Service to rescind the rule that generated over 115,000 signatures.

A copy of the letter is below and attached.

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March 19, 2014

 The Honorable Sally Jewell Secretary U.S. Department of the Interior 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240

Dear Secretary Jewell:

Last week the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) released its peer review report for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) proposed rule to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for all gray wolves other than a small experimental population of Mexican wolves being reintroduced in Arizona and New Mexico. The findings of this independent scientific review validate concerns raised by Congress and the scientific community over the Service’s failure to use the best available science to support the gray wolf delisting proposal.  Specifically, the expert panelists noted explicitly that the rule does not currently represent the best available science, that there is not currently sufficient scientific basis for recognizing a separate “eastern wolf” as asserted in the rule, and that the rule presents no evidence excluding the gray wolf from an historic range in the eastern United States.

The Service’s claim in the proposed rule that the gray wolf has recovered and should no longer be listed as endangered hinged on the purported existence of a distinct eastern wolf. The peer review report found that the existing scientific literature provides absolutely no basis for this conclusion. Therefore, we are again asking you to direct the Service to rescind the proposed rule. As you said when speaking at the Children, Conservation, and the Future of the Great Outdoors event last June, deciding whether or not to remove ESA protection from the gray wolf “is about science, and you do what the science says.”

While we are troubled by the certainty with which the Service proceeded in this instance, even in the face of clear scientific disagreement, we are pleased that the agency finally heeded our calls for an independent peer review of the rule.  Still, we have serious concerns regarding the initial attempts to exclude top wolf experts from this process, and the resurrection of a long-dormant government journal to “publish” the study (written by four FWS employees) used to justify the rule. These actions cast doubt on Service Director Dan Ashe’s recent statement that his agency has no “desire to wring our hands and walk away from wolves.”[1]

Because it is not based on the best available science, the proposed rule undermines decades of conservation work done to protect the gray wolf, and sets a bad precedent for future ESA delistings. Further, it would stifle gray wolf recovery at a time when conservation gains are only nascent in the Pacific Northwest, and recovery has yet to begin in California, Colorado, Utah, and the Northeast, where scientists have identified a significant amount of suitable habitat that would support wolf populations.

The ESA does not charge the Service with restoring only as much of the endangered species as it deems politically convenient. In fact, the purposes of the Act “are to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved [and] to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species.”[2] The Service should rescind the proposed rule immediately, and continue to review the taxonomic history of wolves in the eastern United States, and other factors related to the status of endangered gray wolf populations and their associated ecosystems before removing federal protection.

Sally Jewell Letter Signatures 2http://democrats.naturalresources.house.gov/press-release/defazio-leads-73-members-bipartisan-letter-urging-secretary-jewell-maintain-critical

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Please contact Representative DeFazio and thank him for leading the charge to stop national wolf delisting. Ask what you can do to help.

Rep. Peter Defazio

Washington DC Office

2134 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

phone: 202-225-6416 hours: M-F 9-5:30pm

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Contact Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior

1. Ask the proposed national wolf delisting rule be revoked immediately!

2. Explain wolves are being persecuted and killed in 6 state wolf hunts AND by Wildlife Services and poachers.

3. Wolves inhabit just 5% of their historic range.

4. If wolves lose their ESA protections it will stop wolf recovery in its tracks.

5. The proposed wolf delisting rule is NOT based on the best available science but driven by the political agenda of ranching and hunting interests.

Phone: (202) 208-3100

E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov

Web: Feedback form

Mailing Address:

Department of the Interior

1849 C Street, N.W. Washington DC 20240

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Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Activism, Wolf Wars

Tags: stop national wolf delisting, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, Dan Ashe, USFWS, gray wolves in danger, comment on wolf delisting

Wolf Who Fled Isle Royale Was Killed By A Pellet Gun…

gray wolf wisconsin dnr wi.gov

Wolves are not safe anywhere. The poor female wolf, called Isabelle, who escaped her home on Isle Royale, was killed by a pellet gun, causing fatal injuries. The endless suffering wolves are enduring is beyond measure.

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Pellet gun killed wolf that fled Isle Royale park

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 7:37 am

Associated Press |

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — A gray wolf that fled Isle Royale National Park across a Lake Superior ice bridge and was found dead on the mainland had been shot with a pellet from an air gun, officials said Friday.

The 5-year-old female, nicknamed “Isabelle” by researchers who monitor wolves and moose on the island park, was described as a loner that had been bullied by other wolves.

She escaped this winter, seizing the rare opportunity to traverse at least 15 miles of ice separating Isle Royale from an area along the U.S.-Canadian border. Isabelle’s body was found Feb. 8 along the Minnesota shoreline on property owned by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

There were no visible wounds, and scientists initially said she apparently hadn’t been shot. But the pellet showed up during an X-ray, and a necropsy showed it had caused fatal internal damage.

The pellet was a type used typically to hunt small animals such as squirrels, said Phyllis Green, the park superintendent. That suggests the shooter may have been trying to scare off the wolf instead of kill it, she said.

Green described the wolf’s death as “a fluke thing” that resulted from the pellet striking Isabelle between two ribs and entering her chest.

“If the pellet had hit just a half-inch to the left or right, the outcome may have been less significant,” said Margaret Wild, the National Park Service’s chief veterinarian.

The Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory teamed with the park service on the necropsy.

An investigation concluded the shooting happened on tribal land, Green said. The Grand Portage Band prohibits hunting or trapping wolves on its territory but allows people to chase away or kill those creating a nuisance, she said.

Because it appears no rules were violated, the park service won’t try to identify the shooter, she said.

A message seeking comment was left with the tribal chairman’s office.

To Read More Click HERE

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Photo: gray wolf Wisconsin DNR

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Isle Royale wolf, pellet gun killed wolf, wolf persecution, gray wolf

Action Alert: Boise Wolf Supporters, Hearing Today on Wolf Control Board Bill…..

gray wolf tumblr the champion

IMPORTANT ALERT FOR BOISE AREA WOLF SUPPORTERS

 Today, Friday - March 14, 2014

A hearing is scheduled for today on H470, the Wolf Control Board bill. There will be an opportunity for public comment. Please come and show your opposition to the bill!

IDAHO SENATE RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

Idaho Capitol Building in Boise, Idaho
1:30 P.M. … Room WW55
Friday, March 14, 2014

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Bell: Wolf Fund Won’t Receive $2 Million

BOISE • A bill asking for $2 million to kill up to 500 of Idaho’s wolves won’t get even half of its requested appropriation, said co-chair of the state’s budget committee.

Instead, an unexpected bailout to make up for missing federal e-rate funds to pay for the Idaho Education Network (IEN) broadband program has taken precedence, said state Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chair of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee.

“We have some flexibility when it comes to killing wolves,” Bell said. “We don’t have flexibility with IEN.”

JFAC has already approved $6.6 million out of this year’s budget to make up for past-due payments to Education Networks of America, the state’s contractor on the broadband project. It’s money the federal government was supposed to pay for the state’s school broadband program but never did.

The supplemental appropriations bill passed both houses and now just needs the signature of the governor.

“Frankly, based on our discussions with legal counsel, we are obligated for this piece,” said state Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, while debating the bill on the Senate floor. “I need to inform you that this is the first half. The second half we are still arguing and discussing and re-discussing what we do for fiscal year 2015.”

Ever since the news was announced earlier this session, multiple lawmakers expressed their frustration with the state’s Department of Administration for extending the contract with the Education Networks of America through 2019 without informing lawmakers that the broadband vendor was not receiving the federal e-rate payments.

JFAC is expected to discuss the future of IEN next week, which includes a $7.3 million request from Otter and the Department of Administration to cover the federal payments for fiscal year 2015, Bell said.

This means that the wolf bill will also be discussed next week, Bell said, but it won’t get the requested $2 million.

“It will probably get less than $1 million or closer to the $400,000 that was requested last year,” she said.

Bell was referring to a recommendation a committee submitted to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter last summer on how to fund ongoing wolf control efforts. The recommendation asked for $400,000 annually for five years to kill wolves that preyed on livestock.

Instead, Otter ignored the recommendation and requested $2 million of one-time funding to kill wolves during his State of the State speech in January.

READ MORE: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/bell-wolf-fund-won-t-receive-million/article_3c9a845e-216c-58fe-935d-a3dbfc9000ca.html

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Photo: gray-wolf-tumblr-the-champion.jpg

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho wolves

Tags: Idaho wolf wars, wolf persecution, Governor Butch Otter, Wolf Control Board bill, public comment

“Minnesota Senate committee passes bill to suspend wolf hunt”

gray wolf USFWS

March 13, 2013

Update: Apparently, just as I was posting this article the Duluth News Tribune launched their new website and the URL for the article is not working. The paper stated it would be up in the next couple of hours with a new URL, so when that happens I’ll repost the link. Sorry for any inconvenience……Nabeki

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Finally some common sense for Minnesota wolves. Thanks to bill authors “Senate Environment and Energy Chairman John Marty, DFL-Roseville; Sen. Foung Hawj, DFL-St. Paul; and Sen. Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center”. And to Howling for Wolves for their tireless work on behalf of Minnesota wolves!

A bill that would suspend Minnesota’s wolf hunt was passed by a Senate committee this afternoon.

By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune

March 13, 2014

A bill that would suspend Minnesota’s wolf hunt was passed by a Senate committee this afternoon.

The bill, passed by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, would put the hunt on hold “to study outcomes of the wolf hunt on the wolf population and to implement the wolf management plan,” according to its wording.

Minnesota has held its first managed gray wolf hunting and trapping seasons the past two years after the wolf was removed from the federal Endangered Species List. Some groups and individuals have protested the hunt and filed lawsuits trying to prevent it. None of those suits was successful.

The “Wolf Data Bill,” as it’s titled, also calls for an annual wolf population census and creation of an advisory wolf task force appointed by the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. It would also close tribal lands to the hunting and trapping of wolves if tribal leadership requests it.

A companion bill in the House has not been acted upon yet.

READ MORE: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/293688/

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Senate committee votes to suspend wolf hunt

Posted on March 11, 2014

by Don Davis

See more at: http://capitolchat.areavoices.com/2014/03/11/senate-committee-votes-to-suspend-wolf-hunt/#sthash.dTQhWCOf.dpuf

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Photo: USFWS

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Minnesota gray wolves

Tags: stop the wolf hunt, Minnesota, The Wolf Data Bill, Minnesota wolves, Howling for Wolves, Senate Environment and Energy Chairman John Marty, DFL-Roseville; Sen. Foung Hawj, DFL-St. Paul, Sen. Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center

How To Kill A Wolf: An Undercover Report from the Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby

Salmon Wolf and Coyote Derby From left to right Bryan Walker_Brian Ertz and Natalie Ertz

“From left to right: Bryan Walker, Brian Ertz, and Natalie Ertz”  (going undercover)

This is a much-needed expose on what wolves are being subjected to in the worst of the worst wolf killing state of Idaho. Four brave souls went undercover to shine a light on this horrific “contest”. I want to thank them for their courage and dedication to the wolves and the coyotes. Predator derbies go on all over the country, often including bobcats and foxes as well. When wolves were delisted, they became a target for these “killing contests”. California is considering a ban on predator derbies.

Warning: Graphic Photos Below

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How to Kill a Wolf

An Undercover Report from the Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby

By Christopher Ketcham

The best way to fatally wound a wolf without killing it instantly is to shoot it in the gut, preferably with armor-piercing ammunition. Unlike soft lead-tipped bullets, which mushroom inside the body cavity and kill quickly, heavy-jacketed AP ammo pierces the target and blows out the other side.

This has two advantages: The first is that, especially with a gut shot, the animal will suffer. It will bleed out slowly, run a mile or so in terrified panic, and collapse. Then it will die. The second advantage is that, if you’re hunting illegally (out of season, at night with a spotlight, or on land where you shouldn’t), there is little forensic evidence for game wardens to gather. No bullet will be found in the cadaver. Most importantly, the animal will have traveled some distance from where it was shot, so that tracing the site of the shooting is almost impossible.

I gleaned these helpful tips from a nice old man at a saloon in Salmon, Idaho, which last December was the site of the first annual Coyote and Wolf Derby. I had come to this rural town—population 3,000—to enter as a contestant in the derby. Over the course of two days in late December, several hundred hunters would compete to kill as many wolves and coyotes as possible. There were two $1,000 prizes to be had, one for the most coyotes slain and the other for the largest single wolf carcass. Children were encouraged to enter, with special awards for youths aged 10–11 and 12–14 listed on the promotional flyer. The derby’s organizer, a nonprofit sporting group called Idaho for Wildlife, advertised that the event was to be historic: the first wolf-killing contest held in the US since 1974.

Hunting for food is one thing, and in some cases hunting helps to keep overabundant species like deer in ecological check. But the reason we have too many deer in the US in the first place is simple: the steady decline of big predators like the mountain lion and—you guessed it—the wolf. The fact is that we need wolves in ecosystems. So why a killing contest to rid the land of them?

After digging into the wolf-hate literature featured on Idaho for Wildlife’s website, I wondered whether the residents of Salmon were looking to kill wolves out of spite. They hated these creatures, and I wanted to understand why.

Besides killing wolves, one of the group’s core missions, according to its website, is to “fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations who are attempting to take away our rights and freedoms under the Constitution of the United States of America.” The website also suggested that media coverage of the event was not welcome. The only way I’d be able to properly report on the derby, I figured, was to go undercover as a competing hunter. So I showed up in Salmon a few days before the event, paid the $20 sign-up fee, and officially became part of the slaughter.

The derby called for hunters to work in two-person teams. In the weeks leading up to the competition I recruited pro-wolf activists Brian Ertz and his sister Natalie Ertz, native Idahoans who have worked for local conservation groups. Rounding out our teams was Brian’s friend Bryan Walker, a gnarled former Marine and an Idaho lawyer who has studied shamanism and claims to have an ability to speak with animals.

The nice old man in the bar, whose name was Cal Black, bought the four of us a round of drinks when we told him we were in town for the derby. Cal had grown up on a ranch near town, and his thoughts on wolves reflected those of most other locals we met. Salmon is livestock country—the landscape is riddled with cows and sheep—and ranchers blame wolves for huge numbers of livestock deaths. Therefore wolves needed to be dispatched with extreme prejudice. The derby was a natural extension of this sentiment.

“Gut-shoot every goddamn last one of them wolves,” Cal told us. He wished a similar fate on “tree huggers,” who, in Cal’s view, mostly live in New York City. “You know what I’d like to see? Take the wolves and plant ’em in Central Park, ’cause they impose it on us to have these goddamn wolves! Bullshit! It’s said a wolf won’t attack you. Well, goddamn, these tree huggers don’t know what. I want wolves to eat them goddamn tree huggers. Maybe they’ll learn something!”

hunters-and-kill

“Proud derby contestants displaying a pair of coyotes”

We all raised a glass to the tree huggers’ getting their due. I fought the urge to tell Cal that I live in New York part-time, and that in college Natalie trained as an arborist and had actually hugged trees for a living. Her brother, who is 31 and studying to be a lawyer in Boise, Idaho, had warned me about the risks of going undercover when I broached the idea over the phone. As a representative for the nonprofit Western Watersheds Project, which has lobbied for wolf protections, he’d attended numerous public meetings about “wolf management” in communities like Salmon. “Salmon is the belly of the beast,” he told me. “There is not a more hostile place. It’s Mordor.”

Brian’s former boss at the Western Watersheds Project, executive director Jon Marvel, has received death threats for speaking out in favor of wolves and against the powerful livestock industry. Larry Zuckerman, a conservation biologist for the pro-wolf environmental nonprofit Wild Love Preserve, suspects that it was pro-wolf-hunting residents from Salmon who fatally poisoned his three dogs. Many pro-wolf activists across the American West, especially those who have publicly opposed the ranching industry, have reported similar threats and acts of aggression—tires slashed, homes vandalized, windows busted out with bricks in the night. Idaho for Wildlife’s opinion on the situation is made clear on its website: “Excess predator’s [sic] and environmentalists should go first!”

more dead coyotes

“more dead coyotes”

Prepping for the derby, we disguised ourselves according to the local style: camo pants and jackets, wool caps, balaclavas, binoculars, and heavy boots. When he wasn’t mystically communicating with elk, Walker enjoyed hunting them. He didn’t look out of place in Salmon, carrying his M4 rifle with a 30-round magazine and a Beretta .45 on his hip. He loaned me his bolt-action .300 Win Mag with a folding bipod, while Brian carried a .30-06 with a Leupold scope. Natalie, who is tall and good-looking, was armed only with a camera and played the part of a domesticated wife “here for the party,” as she put it.

At the derby registration the night before the killing was to commence, we were so convincing that the organizers didn’t even bother to ask for our hunting licenses or wolf permits. Instead they suggested spots in the surrounding mountains where we could find wolves to shoot illegally.

READ MORE: http://www.vice.com/read/how-to-kill-a-wolf-0000259-v21n3

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Photos: Courtesy Christopher Ketchum

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Activism, Predator Derby

Tags: Salmon_Idaho, Wolf and Coyote Derby, Undercover Report, Wolf Activists, killing animals for fun and prizes, dead coyotes, wolf wars

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