Putting Out Brush Fires…

Wolf advocacy has been reduced to putting out brush fires. Every day there’s a new crisis or  new campaign to persecute wolves. It goes on and on, draining energy, sending me into dark moods, constantly on the defensive.

I cut back on posting for the last several months for precisely this reason.  It doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the bad stuff but I want to concentrate on solving this crisis, to come up with solutions.

I’m a passionate person, I guess I don’t have to tell you that. When I care about something, I throw myself into it wholeheartedly, as I did this blog, which has  given me a forum to share my passion with you, to give wolf advocates a home where your beliefs aren’t called into question every second, a place where you don’t have to defend your positions and explain why wolves are worth caring about.  I would love to bring you good news every day. To say wolves are doing just fine, that the persecution has stopped and the fairy tale ending has come true. That’s what I wish I could tell you. Unfortunately that’s not the case.

This year has been especially difficult because wolf advocates have had to watch the systematic slaughter of innocent wolves,  while feeling powerless to stop it. That is not a good way to feel. It’s a bad way to feel. And it keeps us grounded in sorrow.  The hunts took a toll on all of us. Gruesome picture after gruesome picture of dead wolves littered the Internet and still do.  The worst is knowing wolves are suffering, the horrors of the past have come home to roost.  Many wolves are tortured to death before they finally subcumb.  Where’s the “code of ethics” hunters say they live by?  Shame on all who torture and kill animals for blood lust.

I don’t want to see one more picture of a dead wolf, I don’t want to hear one more word about elk, I don’t want to hear one more word about cows. I’m sick of it. I’m so sick of it that it makes me sick.

I’m  going to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t do.   I want to feel energized again, as I did when I started this blog. Letting others dictate how I should feel about wolves or why this battle is lost or no matter what we do we can’t change things, that’s not going to be part of my thinking.

I can’t just  hope things will change I want to be part of that change.  Is there too much hoping going on and not enough doing?  I know many people like to rely on hope but doesn’t that somehow free you from having to do anything about the situation?  If you just hope things will change but don’t participate in ways to effect change,  isn’t that a cop-out?

If you love and care about wolves then you’ll want to do something about it. No amount of bad news is going to stop you. I’m not going to give up because MT FWP received a $50,000 dollar donation from the RMEF to help kill wolves. I’m not going to stop standing up for wolves because the anti-wolf crowd was successful in removing their ESA protections.

We’re in a difficult battle that’s not going very well at the moment but it doesn’t mean we should give up and go hide somewhere, pretending it’s not happening.  Let ostriches do that.

I guess what I’m trying to say is we all have a part to play. Things are bad for wolves right now but lamenting over every bit of  bad news keeps us paralyzed.  The best we can do with the bad news is to spread it around  so the uninformed can become informed and join our fight.  Those of us in the trenches already know the sad truth and that’s what gives us strength to keep moving forward in these dark times.  I know the wolf hating crowd is hoping we’ll give up and accept that wolves will be killed by the hundreds every year until they are all gone or their population will be so small and beleaguered only their shadows will remain. Well that’s not going to happen!!

So I’m moving forward. I don’t want to keep begging people in power to give me something. Nobody gives up power willingly. Dealing with the states and their wolf hating mania seems futile to me.  I believe the only way to save wolves is to bypass the states and go directly to the  feds and demand they  right the wrong of wolf delisting, which was rammed through riding on a budget bill.

But none of this will mean anything without the participation of everyday Americans, most of whom are unaware of  the wolves’ plight because the MSM won’t cover it. They’re too in love with Obama to make him look bad, so they’ve chosen to ignore it.  If it wasn’t for the Internet the story would have been completely buried.

We need to concentrate on the big picture and not get bogged down in the minutia of wolf hating policies the states are deluging us with. They’ve proved without any doubt they are incapable of caring for wolves and only want to see their numbers driven to absolute minimums based on an outdated, politically motivated, unscientific “wolf plan”  that’s 17 years old.

So put down the fire hoses, we have work to do.

RELIST GRAY WOLVES!!

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Beyond Hope

by Derrick Jensen

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/170/

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Top Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Bottom photo: Courtesy LA Times

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Activism, Howling for Justice

Tags: relist gray wolves, wolf persecution, scapegoating, fear mongering, America’s wolves

Wolf Delisting Lawsuit Briefs, Alliance For the Wild Rockies

Here are the briefs submitted to the court by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, in support of their lawsuit, challenging the wolf delisting rider.  If successful,  it would find the rider, that was attached to a must pass budget bill, unconstitutional, which I believe it to be.

What the Senate did was egregious. They allowed gray wolves to be thrown under the bus by voting for the budget  bill,  hoping to please Senator Jon Tester, who is running a tight race against Denny Rehberg, for his Senate seat in 2012. In essence Rehberg and Tester are trying to out-wolf each other and capture the  anti-wolf vote. They’re both running on the issue.

The Senate could easily have stripped the rider out of the budget bill or allowed an up or down vote on the rider, as  they did for the other two riders included in the budget bill,  Planned Parenthood and Obamacare.  Senators voted up or down on both those riders and both were defeated but they left the wolf delisting rider in place, which allowed them to vote on the budget bill with the rider still attached.

I think it was sneaky and underhanded.  In my opinion, the Senators didn’t want to “go on the record” and vote for the wolf delisting rider outright, so they tucked it away in the budget bill.  The ESA was used and abused for political gain. For the first time, a species like the wolf, who has a long history of persecution and ultimately extermination in the West, was stripped of their ESA protections. If any species deserves ESA protection, it’s the gray wolf.

  Only three Democrats voted against the budget bill: e.g., Leahy , Levin and Wyden. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT) voted against it as well. President Obama then signed the bill into law with the rider attached and lo and behold, wolves were stripped of their ESA protections by budget rider.  That’s the whole sad, disgusting story.  The day the Democrats sold out wolves for Jon Tester’s Senate seat. I think he’ll be defeated because he is never going to out-do Rehberg on wolves. The entire exercise of delisting wolves was for nothing.

•Brief, May 31, 2011

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0531wolfBRF.pdf

•Statement of Undisputed Facts, May 31, 2011

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0531wolfSUF.pdf

•Reply June 21, 2011

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0621wolfREP.pdf

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Links to the briefs can also be found on Alliance for the Wild Rockies website.

Please visit AWR and give generously in support of this very important wolf litigation.

Just to remind everyone what this lawsuit it all about I included an opinion piece, which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor in April 2011, which succinctly details the delisting of the Northern Rockies gray wolf via budget rider. It explains why this action by Congress was so egregious and wrong.

The Senate’s reckless disregard for the ESA and the political delisting of wolves,  prompted the mounting of a legal challenge by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians, to seek to right the wrong done to wolves by the 112th Congress and the President.

Opinion Christian Science Monitor

True cost of budget deal will be paid in blood – of gray wolves

One of the most unfortunate riders of the recent budget deal is the decision to strip the gray wolf of the protections of the Endangered Species Act. Science has been subordinated to political instrumentalism, setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

By David N. Cassuto / April 19, 2011

Williamstown, Mass.

Many words have been spent on the budget compromise struck between Republicans and Democrats in the 11th hour a couple weeks ago, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. In the days since, details of this budget agreement have slowly emerged, but few actually know what it fully entails – and what it really means for Americans. Perhaps this is because Congress and the president appear to have had a similarly limited understanding of the nature and scope of the cuts they agreed upon.

Nevertheless, President Obama and members of Congress did know that they agreed on a few things having nothing whatsoever to do with the budget, budget cuts, or with federal spending at all. One of the most unfortunate of these “budget” agreement riders is the decision to strip the gray wolf of the protections of the Endangered Species Act. In the 37-year history of the Act, no species has ever been delisted for purely political reasons. Prior to last week, science guided such decisions. Now, science will be subordinated to political instrumentalism, setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

Read More: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2011/0419/True-cost-of-budget-deal-will-be-paid-in-blood-of-gray-wolves

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Photo: All About Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Wolf delisting lawsuit, Judge Molloy, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Jon Tester, Denny Rehberg, gray wolves, ESA, budget bill

Montana and Idaho Wolves Abandoned….

The future of wolves in Idaho and Montana.

Photo by Lynne Stone, Copyright 2011.

This is the face of trophy hunting, a wolf brutally shot to death for sport. A painful, horrific death.

Wolves don’t go quietly. Can you imagine this happening to your beloved dog?  Since wolves and dogs share 99.8 percent of their DNA, it’s not hard to do.

I know it’s disturbing but this is what Montana and Idaho wolves are facing if the deal, brokered by the “10 settling groups” and USFWS. becomes reality. Or if Congress tacks a delisting rider onto the budget bill.  Or if one of the myriad of anti-wolf bills squeaks through, all wolves could be delisted. Either way, wolves are under attack from all sides. It’s up to us to continue to fight for them.

The budget extension in Congress ends on April 8th. There could be another attempt to push a wolf delisting rider through. We have to gear up for the next  push. I know everyone is emotionally exhausted, especially since the “settlement” was revealed on March 18th but that is out of our hands, it’s Judge Molloy’s decision. We have to focus on Congress and their wolf delisting antics.

Photo by Lynne Stone, Copyright 2011

In 2010 Montana added a wolf archery and back country wolf rifle  season to their hunt. They also raised their quota from 75 to 186 wolves.  Idaho’s bag of tricks included calling, baiting and trapping wolves, allowing snares and leg hold traps.

Who knows how much worse it will get?  Idaho Governor Otter made these statements in October 2010.

Idaho Governor Rejects ESA Wolf Management

Posted on: 10/24/10

In another salvo of the wolf-wars, Idaho’s Governor Otter has ordered state wildlife managers to “relinquish their duty to arrest poachers or to even investigate when wolves are killed illegally.” Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Idaho wildlife officials are the “designated agent” for investigating wolf deaths in the state.

This means Idaho Department of Fish and Game managers will no longer perform statewide monitoring for wolves, conduct investigations into illegal killings, provide law enforcement when wolves are poached or participate in a program that responds to livestock depredations.

CLICK HERE for link to article

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Well come to think of it Montana’s Governor pretty much did the same thing.

Montana Governor States He Will Defy Federal Protections For Gray Wolves….

To remind everyone what Schweitzer said:

“First, for Montana’s northwest endangered wolves (north of Interstate 90), any livestock producers who kill or harass a wolf attacking their livestock will not be prosecuted by Montana game wardens. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) wardens will be directed to exercise their prosecutorial discretion by not investigating or citing anyone protecting their livestock.

Further, I am directing FWP to respond to any livestock depredation by removing whole packs that kill livestock, wherever this may occur.

Still further, to protect the elk herds in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley that have been most adversely affected by wolf predation, I am directing FWP, to the extent allowed by the Endangered Species Act, to cull these wolves by whole-pack removal to enable elk herds to recover.”

CLICK HERE for the link

AND we can’t forget the anti-wolf bill proposed in Idaho that would place a $500 bounty on each wolves’ head. Similar to the $150 bounty Sara Palin placed on wolves lives.

Really, Really Bad News For Idaho Wolves!!

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/really-really-bad-news-for-idaho-wolves/

Whatever the 1o “settling groups” were thinking they weren’t thinking about the welfare of Idaho and Montana wolves!

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Hunting

Managing Wildlife

Unlike what some people might believe, hunting is not an effective method to manage and conserve wildlife. When left alone, nature is very capable of keeping a good balance. Natural predators kill off the sickest and weakest animals. And in cases of overpopulation, starvation and disease are nature’s (unfortunate) way of removing the weakest and bringing back a good balance.

Hunters don’t try to kill only the weaker animals. They often kill the strongest and healthiest animals. They prefer the bucks with the largest rack. The weaker and genetically inferior bucks are left to propagate the species, weakening the overall health of the herd. Killing of a large number of mature males also creates a disproportionate ratio of females to males, impacting the social structure of a herd.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article.

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Wolves are demonized for hunting elk, their natural prey but the haters forget to mention the destruction poachers do to wildlife. Wolves kill to survive, they benefit the ecosystem and provide food for other wildlife. What do these lowly slob hunters contribute?

From the Humane Society of the United States

December 29, 2010

Shocking Poaching Cases from 2010

Wildlife crimes ran the gamut from brazen to cowardly

Poaching is not only a crime of cruelty, it is a widespread but largely invisible problem. Many people have never heard the estimate that for every wild animal killed legally by hunters, another is killed illegally.

Wildlife poaching victims could total in the tens of millions annually.

Given that these offenses generally are committed in remote locations, it isn’t surprising that very few cases get solved, despite the skill and dedication of wildlife law enforcement.

You can be part of the solution by becoming aware of these crimes against wildlife and learning how to put officials on the trail of poachers.

To that end, we selected ten poaching cases out of the 56 we publicized—along with offered rewards—in 2010. The countdown provides a glimpse of the range of poaching crimes as well as the tactics some law enforcement agencies use to catch poachers.

10. Undercover investigation in Shannon County, Mo., reveals more than 400 violations

Investigators with the Missouri Department of Conservation set up a taxidermy shop as part of an investigation into illegal hunting. In July they announced that 62% of the people who came into the shop with killed animals were in violation of the law.

9. Poacher in Iberia Parish, La., shoots a threatened black bear who had to be euthanized

Louisiana black bears are a threatened species and it is illegal to shoot one. That didn’t stop a poacher who shot and wounded a female Louisiana black bear so badly that she had to be euthanized. Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division are still looking for the perpetrator(s), and The HSUS has an outstanding $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

8. Citrus County, Fla., poaching suspect posts a picture of an allegedly illegally killed deer on her Facebook page

Florida is one of the states becoming more sophisticated in their efforts to combat poaching. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Internet Crimes Unit monitors websites, online bulletin boards, and social media forums to detect criminal activity. They target those who illegally sell wildlife online or who reveal their real-world wildlife crimes via the internet. In 2010 alone, this amazing team made 177 arrests.

7. Elk slaughtered in apparent thrill killing in Grays Harbor County, Wash.

A “thrill killer” illegally shot and killed four elk near Montesanto. Strong penalties for this particularly egregious category of poaching is a top priority for The HSUS and we are working on legislation to upgrade thrill-killing penalties.

6. Black bear poached in Murray County, Ga.; cubs orphaned

In February, a female black bear was killed while hibernating in her den with her newborn cubs. It is believed that the poacher or poachers may have also taken the bear cubs. Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are still looking for tips on this case. The HSUS has an outstanding $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

5. Sea otter shot and killed in San Luis Obispo County, Calif.

A young female sea otter was found dead along the beach in Morro Bay. A necropsy revealed that she had been shot in the head with a pellet gun. Wardens with The California Department of Fish and Game are still looking for the poacher or poachers responsible, and The HSUS has an outstanding $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

4. Highly endangered red wolf killed in Dare County, N.C.

In October a red wolf, one of the most endangered wolves, was discovered dead at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife is still looking for the suspected poacher or poachers responsible for this case and two other illegal red wolf kills that took place in May 2010. The HSUS has an outstanding $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in all three killings.

3. Anonymous poacher taunts law enforcement with pictures of alleged illegal kills in Idaho

Someone who signs his messages “Poacher X” sent images of his illegal kills, including an antelope and a deer, to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game along with a letter claiming that he poached those animals in Northern Idaho and that he “plans to do all his hunting like this from now on.” The HSUS has an outstanding $2,500 reward for information leading to Poacher X’s arrest and conviction.

2. Golden eagle struck with vehicle in Sevier County, Utah; tail feathers cruelly plucked with pliers

The HSUS has an outstanding $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in a cruel poaching case that took place near Salina, Utah. The eagle was severely injured and, despite treatment at the Southwest Wildlife Foundation in Cedar City, Utah, died of his injuries.

1. Convicted felon kills officer during arrest for suspected night hunting in Adams County, Pa.

All wildlife law enforcement officers make sacrifices in their heroic efforts to protect wildlife. They work long hours and are usually paid less than other law enforcement, not to mention the risks of working in remote areas and approaching suspects who far more often than not are carrying a weapon. Those risks became a reality in the case of the tragic killing of David Grove, a wildlife conservation officer in Pennsylvania who, news reports say, was fatally shot while he was arresting a man for suspected illegal night hunting.

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news/2010/12/poaching_2010_122910.html

STAND UP FOR WOLVES!!


Photos: Courtesy of Lynne Stone, Copyright 2011

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Slob Hunters, Trophy Hunting

Tags: Montana and Idaho wolves abandoned in “settlement”, 10 “settling” groups, Idaho wolves, Montana wolves, evils of trophy hunting, slob hunters, ESA, delisting

Wolf Wars Continues, Prelim.Hearing, Missoula, Montana Today

Today wolves will be front and center in Judge Molloy’s courtroom AGAIN. I’m sure the anti-wolfers will be out in force, waving their signs, complaining about an animal most of them have never seen or ever will see in the wild. But then we all know this  crazy, unrelenting, sick campaign against wolves is at its heart, a culture war. On one side we have the passionate wolf advocates who believe wildlife  has worth, above and beyond killing them for pleasure. We want wolves protected, not a replay of 2009, when 500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies, mainly at the hands of hunters, Wildlife Services and poachers.

On the other side of this war are the anti-wolf forces. They claim wolves have worms (OH MY), they’re Canadian, they’re killing all the elk, they’re killing all the livestock, they’re carrying off children from bus stops, chasing people around in the woods and generally just destroying lives.

Of course this is all Kabuki Theater and pure  BS. The tapeworm they’re so worked up about can be carried by all canines and since we have over 70 million dogs in this country I think they should worry about their house wolves, not the wild ones. Has there been one recorded case of a wolf biologist contracting hydatid disease in this country? I haven’t read of one.  Since wolf biologists handle wolves and wolf scat you’d think they would be dropping like flies, according to the wolf hating crowd.  But you know, facts are pesky things, they get in the way of lies and damn lies.

As for wolves being Canadian, what does that even mean? Wolves have been crossing back and forth across the invisible line that separates the US and Canada for thousands of years. When wolves were exterminated the first time around in the West, they came back to Montana on their own in the early eighties, after the dust had settled and they felt safe enough to make the trip. By that time they were protected under the ESA.  There have been wolves living and denning in Glacier National Park for thirty years, long before they were officially “reintroduced” in 95/96 to Yellowstone and Central Idaho.

Wolves don’t even come close to being a serious threat to livestock. Actually all predation accounts for just 1% of cattle losses and it’s the coyote, not the wolf who is the main predator of livestock. In 2oo9 it was reported coyotes killed 12,000 lambs and 2300 sheep in Montana, while wolves were responsible for a few hundred. I don’t want to demonize coyotes, who labor under terrible persecution themselves, just offering a little perspective on this crazy war on wolves.  Cattle losses from the little coyote “song dogs” are nothing compared to cows dying from disease, calving and weather or being carted off by rustlers. Thousands of cows even drop dead from altitude sickness. But Wolf Wars isn’t about the truth. It about bending the truth. It’s about demonizing an animal who is the least dangerous of all large carnivores. Heck, deer are more dangerous than wolves. They cause hundreds of deaths each year in auto accidents, ringing up billions of dollars in damages.

Moose kill more people than wolves. Bees kill more people than wolves. Hunters kill more people than wolves, there are at least 100 fatal hunting accidents each year in the US and Canada alone, with many more people maimed and injured. But wolves, well they haven’t killed anyone in the lower forty-eight in ONE HUNDRED YEARS. And wolves are shy creatures. They fear man, they’ve been persecuted a long, long time. They want to be as far away from people as possible. You can’t count the wolves in Yellowstone, they’re habituated. They’ve got biologists chasing them around with helicopters to collar them, visitors lined up with their viewing scopes, tracking their every move. Those wolves don’t fear people and that’s sad because if there is another wolf hunt this year, they will be sitting ducks for hunters, just like the famed Yellowstone Cottonwood Pack, who was decimated with the opening of the 2009 hunt. Yellowstone wolves don’t understand invisible park lines and regularly cross back and forth across the boundary. Hunters were literally waiting for them. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. Fair chase?

As for wolves killing all the elk, I think hunters have the wrong predator. They should be looking at themselves in the mirror. Fish and game agencies are in the business of keeping ungulate numbers high and predator numbers low.  Why? Because our wild places have been turned into giant game farms  for the pleasure of hunters who like to kill things. Their licensing fees pour into state game coffers. Whose side are these agencies going to come down on, the wolf or the hunter?

Since there are almost 400,000 elk in the tri-state area of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, I don’t think we’ll be running out of elk anytime soon. But in terms of wolves competing with human hunters for the elk killing prize, wolves don’t even come close. And wolves do elk a lot more good than man.  They cull ungulate herds and keep them healthy.

Wolf Wars is about them and us. It’s about outsiders and insiders. It’s about entitlement and egos. It’s about anti-government sentiment. It’s about machismo and dominion. It’s about pretty much everything except wolves.

So the charade plays out. The ten environmental groups who were part of a victory for wolves last summer ran scared when the anti-wolfers figured out they could run an end-round the ESA and encourage  politicians in the wolf states to do their bidding,.  So the big orgs caved and made a deal. A very bad deal I might add.  They gave up so much and got practically nothing in return. They tied their own hands and agreed not to file a lawsuit until 2o16. That is  stunning in its naiveté.

“The plaintiffs have agreed not to challenge any final rule designating and delisting any DPS prior to March 31, 2016. Further, they have agreed not to petition to list either the Northern Rocky Mountains DPS or any wolf population within the NRM DPS within the next three years.”

What makes them think there will be any wolves left in Montana and Idaho in 2016? If the states get a hold of them wolves could be gone by 2o13 or on their way out. Yet these groups were willing to make a deal with wolves’ lives, knowing the brutality that awaits them? Have they not been listening to the Governors of those states and their rhetoric, trash talking the federal wolf management plans?

A special thank you  to the four groups that refused to settle, Friends of the Clearwater, WWP, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and The Humane Society of the United States. You are heroes for standing firm and not running from a fight.

My hope is Judge Molloy will not sign off on this deal. I find it hard to believe he will, having to stay his own decision. Last August he ruled it was illegal to delist one segment of the wolf population while keeping another listed. Now he is being asked to set that aside?

Wolves are once again on the chopping block. It’s more high drama, I’m sure it will sell papers and increase ratings. For wolves the stakes couldn’t be higher. Some days I’m ashamed to be human.

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Federal Judge to Consider Gray Wolf Yet Again

Posted by George Prentice on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2011/03/23/federal-judge-to-consider-gray-wolf-yet-again

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Wolf deal faces first test before Judge Molloy

By MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press

Thursday, March 24, 2011 5:00 am

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_1f859078-55a2-11e0-b512-001cc4c002e0.html

Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: settlement, Montana wolves, Idaho wolves, ESA, Judge Molloy, wolf myths

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 3:17 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Anti-Wolf Bills Dead But I Won’t Feel Comfortable Until This Congress Goes Home…..

UPDATE: December 23, 2010. Congress has adjourned. We can breathe a sigh of relief and live to fight another day when the new Congress is sworn in!!

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All the bad wolf bills are pretty much dead in this lame-duck Congress but I’m still uneasy about any last-minute stunts the wolf haters may try to pull.  Still with the holidays fast approaching wolves may finally have a few weeks reprieve from the relentless assault that has been going on since the Obama admin. delisted them back in the Spring of 2009. It’s been a long year and a half.

So let’s relax a little and recharge our batteries because these bills will be back next year!!

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Crapo, Risch: Wolf legislation fails, won’t come up again this year

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2010/dec/21/crapo-risch-wolf-legislation-fails-wont-come-again-year/

Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: anti-wolf bills, Congress, ESA

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm  Comments (8)  
Tags: , ,

Speechless…..

December 16, 2010

I’m shocked and saddened by the article supporting wolf hunting, that appeared in the International Wolf Center (IWC) Winter  2o1o edition. 

Unbelievably, the author of the article was Dr. Mech, the renowned wildlife biologist, who founded the IWC and is vice-chair of their Board of Directors.

Not only does Dr. Mech support wolf hunts but he goes into shocking detail on how to carry them out. There is talk of harvesting wolves, killing  pregnant females, hunting wolves for their pelts, hunting pups later in the year so they don’t look like pups, leg-hold traps, baiting, calling and hiring bounty hunters. Seriously, if I didn’t know better I would have believed this article was written by a fish and game agency.

Last year, Doug Smith, the Yellowstone wolf biologist, stated wolves should be hunted later in winter when their pelts are thicker. This year we have the  pro-wolf hunting article by Dr. Mech.

Why would the IWC publish this when wolf advocates are fighting so hard to save wolves from another Western extermination? Why now when there is an all out attack on the ESA?  Why now when Mexican gray wolves are fighting for their very existence, being used for target practice in the Southwest, with six wolves killed this year alone?  Something is very wrong here. Read for yourself:

Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting Regulations in the Contiguous United States

L. David Mech

http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/resources/mech_pdfs/311Considerations4DevelopingWolfHarvesting.pdf

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Other equally upsetting articles that appeared in the same IWC issue:

Wolves Meet Their Match In Airborne Predators

(This article discusses hunting wolves with eagles!! WHAT???)

AND

Another Viewpoint: Why Hunting-Trapping Is Best Plan To Manage Gray Wolf Populations

(Trapping? I seem to remember the Feds using trappers to exterminate wolves in the West the first time around. What is the IWC thinking? This is outrageous)

http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/pdf/winter2010.pdf

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Response To David L. Mech’s “Considerations For “Harvesting” American Wolf Populations

December 9, 2010

The International Wolf Center’s mission to educate the public about wolves has taken an unlikely turn on the road to wolf conservation. Dr. L. David Mech, founder of the IWC, published an article in the Winter 2010 Magazine titled “Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting Regulations in the Contiguous United States.” In this article, Dr. Mech argues that the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act is “inevitable.” Perhaps Dr. Mech knows something we don’t. But Dr. Mech’s article goes well beyond merely accepting the “inevitable.” He expresses a clear desire to educate the public concerning the most “efficient” methods of wolf harvesting. Let’s not pretty it up, “harvesting” means killing. Dr. Mech offers elaborate detail on the presumption hunters will not kill sufficient numbers of wolves once the “novelty” wears off. For instance, Dr. Mech suggests killing pregnant females, increasing the “monetary value” of wolf pelts by educating the public about proper ways to skin wolves and designating hunts during times when wolf fur is optimal, “fair chase” as well as “trapping and snaring,” and the use of “professional trappers” who are paid per wolf killed. To further maximize kills, Dr. Mech additionally advises “guided hunts” for persons seeking a “trophy” and seeking ways to “maximize the recreational value” of wolf hunting. To “minimize public animosity” towards wolf hunting, Dr. Mech advises promoting more extensive hunting in areas where wolves threaten livestock.

The idea that there is some need to reduce wolf populations is debatable. Wolves are highly adaptable but they prefer to remain in wilderness areas outside the boundaries of human territories. Wolf populations vary but they are subject to losses due to predation, injury, illness, and other natural circumstances. It is also suggested that wolves adapt their pack size to fit the resources and make other adjustments to accommodate pack numbers.

The notion that hunters will tire of killing wolves defies the urgency with which wolves have been massacred for over 100 years to the point of their near extinction. Killing pregnant females goes well beyond killing the she-wolf and her unborn pups. Wolves form close relations within the pack, and organize themselves by specific roles. Young members are essential and killing a pregnant female can disrupt the functioning of the whole pack.

The concern that wolves threaten livestock populations is more-and-more becoming a non-issue. For example, Montana reports loss of 97 out of a population of 2.6 million cattle to wolf depredation in 2009. These cattle roamed freely on both public and private lands with little or no protection. Non-lethal methods of protecting livestock ((i.e., flag fencing, guard dogs, range riders, noise makers, electric fencing, chemical fencing, repayment for lost livestock, range riders, and good animal supervision) have been tried and proven successful. Though he does not offer any figures, Dr. Mech suggests that harvesting wolves will save the cost of using non-lethal methods of protecting livestock. This ignores the obvious cost to organize and regulate hunts, particularly to monitor use of fair chase practices and seek out and deal with poachers.

Dr. Mech argues that paying professional trappers is not “bounty” hunting because they would be directed to kill specific numbers of wolves in specific locations, rather than permitted to seek out and kill wolves at random. This may be a technical argument but makes little practical difference. Trapping and snaring are less than “fair” and cause unnecessary suffering.

Dr. Mech recommends increases in wolf pelt value, to also improve numbers taken. This reduces the wolf to little more than a commodity, not unlike bludgeoning baby seals for making fur hats or fining live sharks to make soup. Dr. Mech additionally recommends killing wolves for “trophies” and encourages “recreational hunting” of wolves. This clearly places the killing of wolves in the arena of a sport, and not some public service related to necessary thinning wolf populations.

Wolves are of little threat to us, and they serve an invaluable purpose. Without wolves balance is disrupted in wilderness areas, which can ultimately lose the ability to sustain plant and animal species from the top down to the bottom of the food chain. Wolves are known to prey on the old, sick and weak animals, which serves to promote the health of elk, caribou, moose and other species. Wolves, even in the great numbers of their distant past, rarely caused harm to humans. It is believed that cavemen followed wolves to learn to hunt, and wolves continue to play an indispensable role in the environment we depend upon for survival. Dr. Mech’s advice sets us back at least 50 years, and is unconscionable at a time when we have come so close to finding enduring solutions to peaceful cohabitation with wolves.

D. J. Lentine, Ph.D.

Lewes, DE

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Please contact the IWC and tell them what you think of this egregious betrayal of wolves.

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International Wolf Center
1396 Highway 169
Ely, MN 55731-8129
Phone: (218) 365-4695
Fax: (218) 365-3318
TTY Relay Service – (800) 855-2880

 

Top Photo: Courtesy First Nation (Daniel J. Cox)
Bottom  Photo: Courtesy First Nation

 Posted in: Wolf Wars, Minnesota gray wolves

 Tags: IWC, wolves in the crossfire, Dr. Mech, wolf hunting, ESA

© 2009-2012  Howling For Justice

Published in: on December 16, 2010 at 1:16 am  Comments (87)  
Tags: , , , ,

Wolf Warriors FundRazr For Northwest Montana Murdered Wolves

Wolf Warriors created a reward fund for the two murdered wolves that were found in Northwest Montana on November 6, 2010. One was discovered near Olney and the other in the North Fork of the Flathead.

From New West:

Two Wolves Shot in Northwest Montana; Reward Offered

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials are looking for information about two wolves found dead in the Flathead National Forest.

By New West Staff, 11-16-10

   
 
 
 

From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service:

On Nov. 6, 2010, two wild gray wolves were found dead in separate locations on the Flathead National Forest in northwestern Montana. One wolf was found dead along Coal Creek Road, while the body of the other dead wolf was recovered in the Miller Creek area. Both animals appeared to have died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Killing a wolf is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act, is investigating the wolves’ deaths. There is a reward of up to $2,500 is for information leading to the identification and prosecution of the person or persons involved in the killing of these wolves. If you have information regarding this case, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Great Falls, Montana at 406-761-2286 

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

Poaching has been increasing due to the toxic atmosphere surrounding wolves in the Northern Rockies. The fire has been stoked by the anti-wolf crowd.
 
Idaho stopped their “management” of wolves turning everything over to the feds.  Maybe they hoped USFWS wouldn’t be able to handle the workload for the law enforcement end of things, which means wolves could be killed and there wouldn’t be the man power to investigate each incident.

Wolf Warriors wants to send a message, with this fund-raiser, that wolf supporters are behind our federally protected wolves and want the poachers caught. We hope this money will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. It’s also our way to show support for wolves. It’s egregious beyond belief that wolves are being shot and left in plain sight.  Apparently whoever is doing this is confident they won’t get caught and want to thumb their noses at law enforcement and wolf supporters, thinking they can get away with this without any consequences. Lets prove them wrong and show that wolves have tremendous support in the Northern Rockies and around the world.

Thanks to everyone who’s donated and shown support and care for wolves, we really appreciate it!

To donate to the reward fund please visit Wolf Warriors on FB. Here’s the link:

http://www.facebook.com/WolfWarriors

Then Click On FundRazr…which I’ve circled in red.

OR

CLICK HERE and it will take you directly to the FundRazr Page:

Here’s to catching, prosecuting and convicting the poacher(s)!!

PS. I’m going to be offline starting tomorrow for the next couple of days but will be back soon. HOWLS

 

Posted in: Wolf Warriors

Tags: Wolf Warriors Reward Fund, murdered wolves, ESA

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm  Comments (13)  
Tags: , ,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving dear readers, Wolf Warriors. 

Remember the wolves and give thanks they are still protected under the ESA. Vow to fight for them this year and defeat all challenges to weaken their protections!!

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

Photos: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: Happy Thanksgiving, ESA, holiday

Published in: on November 25, 2010 at 1:53 am  Comments (9)  
Tags: , ,

More Dead Wolves…

Does it ever end? I’d like to wake up someday and hear good news about wolves. That all the haters had a change of heart and realized wolves were a vital part of our ecosystem, just like our other apex predators. But alas that would take a miracle.

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Two Wolves Shot in Northwest Montana; Reward Offered

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials are looking for information about two wolves found dead in the Flathead National Forest.

By New West Staff, 11-16-10

   
 
 
 

From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service:

On Nov. 6, 2010, two wild gray wolves were found dead in separate locations on the Flathead National Forest in northwestern Montana. One wolf was found dead along Coal Creek Road, while the body of the other dead wolf was recovered in the Miller Creek area. Both animals appeared to have died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Killing a wolf is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act, is investigating the wolves’ deaths. There is a reward of up to $2,500 is for information leading to the identification and prosecution of the person or persons involved in the killing of these wolves. If you have information regarding this case, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Great Falls, Montana at 406-761-2286.

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

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Wolf Warriors will be taking donations for a reward to catch these wolf killers. We will be posting the information on how to donate very soon.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

This little Oregon Wenaha male wolf was shot dead soon after he was collared.

In Memory Of All The Wolves Killed For Nothing.

Photo: Courtesy Defenders of Wildlife

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf poaching, North Fork of the Flathead, USFWS, ESA, apex predators, reward

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm  Comments (35)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Action Alert: The Assault On The Endangered Species Act Has Begun…

Are we going to sit by and let politicians use wolves to further their political ambitions? Are we going to allow them to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections? HELL NO!!

Are we going to protest “conservation hunts” proposed by Montana FWP? HELL YES!!

Get ready Wolf Warriors, the assault on the ESA has begun and we better be ready to fight. That means calling every senator and congressman, as many times as necessary, to defeat any and all attempts to remove gray wolves’ ESA protections. It may mean organizing  pro-wolf rallies across America to show support for wolves. 

There are so many new schemes in Montana and Idaho to kill wolves, it’s hard to keep up with them all .  I’ll try to give you a comprehensive look at the shenanigans.

Since the anti-wolf bunch lost in court they’ve been tying themselves in knots trying to figure out ways to kill (manage) wolves and circumvent the ESA. 

There’s been coalition building by Montana FWP with ranching and hunting lobbies, to find ways around Judge Molloy’s ruling. There’s wolf hysteria in Idaho County, Idaho, asking the Governor to allow wolves to be shot on sight.(that was tried once before).

The latest and most popular assault on gray wolves is coming from the legislative branch. Montana’s Representative Denny Rehberg (who has a dead, stuffed wolf in his DC office) along with Utah’s Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, are signing onto the anti-wolf House Bill 6028, which aims to strip wolves of their ESA protections. The bill was drafted by a Texas Congressman, lord only knows why, since there are no wolves in Texas. But it’s fairly obvious this is a political ploy to garner support from the “hook and bullet crowd”, right before the November elections.

Even though there is very little chance HR 6028 will pass the House THIS YEAR, it shouldn’t be ignored, because it will certainly be introduced again next year. The current Congress is lame duck and when it expires on December 31, 2010, all bills in committee will be moot. But that doesn’t mean the threat will disappear because the new Congress will likely be majority Republican, making it a more favorable climate to continue the war against gray wolves and assault on the ESA.

HR 6028:

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit treatment of the Gray Wolf as an endangered species or threatened species.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PROHIBITION ON TREATMENT OF GRAY WOLF AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES OR THREATENED SPECIES.

Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

‘(4) The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) shall not be treated as an endangered species or threatened species for purposes of this Act.’

Rehberg also drafted his own legislation: (Remember this is the man with the dead, stuffed wolf in his DC office. CLICK HERE to see it.)

 Rep. Rehberg’s Anti-Wolf Bill (Draft):

http://rehberg.house.gov/uploads/DRAFT_WolfBill.pdf

He also conducted a survey to ask Montanans how they feel about wolves. I think you can guess the results. I’m sure every hunter, outfitter and rancher answered the survey, clearing their cookies over and over.

Rehberg thinks the support of ranching and hunting lobbies gives him cover to move forward with his anti-wolf agenda, presuming they are speaking for all Montanans. This of course is ridiculous. People are distracted by the bad economy, they might not be paying attention to the wolves’ plight. I’m sure Rep. Rehberg is counting on that.  

Our voices may be drowned out by the rabid wolf haters but please take the time to tell Denny Rehberg just what you think of stripping gray wolves of their ESA protections.  I urge all Montanans who support wolves to continue to answer the survey.

Rep. Rehberg’s “wolf” survey, CLICK HERE

He’s also going to hold meetings on his anti-wolf bill. Can you just imagine what will go on? The wolf hating crowds will show up in droves. Then he can preach to the choir and run back to DC to say Montanans want somethin done about those dang wolves.

This is a slippery slope, if we allow wolf haters to tamper with wolves’ protections, then grizzly bears are next. All animals shielded under the ESA will be in trouble. I believe groups like the Safari Club, The Cattlemen’s Assoc. and  Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife  are behind this push. They would love to see the ESA dismantled, leaving our wildlife at their mercy.

As if the House bills aren’t bad enough, Montana Senators Tester and Baucus,  joined by Idaho Republicans Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, are also pushing to have wolves stripped of their ESA protections:

From the Seattle pi:

Idaho’s U.S. senators will introduce a measure to lift Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in Idaho and Montana, as well as portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

The bill Idaho Republicans Mike Crapo and Jim Risch plan to introduce on Wednesday is a response to a federal court order in August that restored protections.

Senator Baucus (D) has been in the Senate since 1978 and before that he served in the House starting in 1975. THAT’S THIRTY FIVE YEARS. He’s a career politician, what the heck ever happened to term limits?

Personally I think he jumped into this because there are lots of ranchers and hunters in Montana that he wants to please. Also he played a large role in writing the wildly unpopular health care bill, which among other things, robs Medicare of 500 billion dollars and guts Medicare Advantage, a very popular plan for over 10 million seniors. What better way for Baucus to distract voters before the November election, then to demonize wolves? He earns points with the anti-wolf groups and takes the focus off health care, which no Democrat wants to talk about. Well, Democrats don’t want to admit they are the ones that delisted wolves, not George Bush, even though he tried hard enough. I read that on Bush’s last day in office, he tried to delist wolves. So sad.

Wolves are an easy target, they don’t vote, don’t pay taxes and are voiceless.

Sentator Baucus quoted in 8Kpax.com:

“This debate on wolves has gone on long enough. I’m working to craft a bill that will put wolves in our state back in our control once and for all, because nobody knows how to better manage wolves in Montana than Montanans,” Baucus said. “In the meantime, the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do the right thing and allow all Montana ranchers protect their livestock regardless of arbitrary boundary lines.”

Right Senator Baucus. Wolves were responsible for 97 cow losses in Montana in 2009 from a population of 2.5 million cattle. Sounds like a huge emergency. What a joke. Thousands of cows drop dead every year from weather, disease and reproduction. Coyotes and domestic dogs are the main predators of cows.(NASS 06) There are also cattle losses from theft. I don’t think 97 cow losses are going to cause anyone to go broke, especially when ranchers are reimbursed for every confirmed minuscule wolf kill.

To put the tiny number of cattle losses to wolves in perspective:

“A total of 19,400 cattle and 43,600 calves were lost in Montana due to non-predators. The value of non-predator losses was $40.0 million. The value of cattle losses were $21.9 million and calf losses amounted to $18.1 million. The leading causes of non-predator cattle losses were unknown, 4,200 head; other, 3,500 head; and respiratory with 3,100 head. The leading causes of calf losses were calving problems, 11,300 head; weather related, 10,200 head; and respiratory with 7,800 head.” (NASS 06)

Hmmmm, I wonder why ranchers have such a big interest in wolf losses, since, as you can see, cows are dropping like flies from non-predators related causes. Yet Wildlife Services has the nerve to run around Montana, Idaho and Wyoming killing hundreds of wolves for predation. A whole federal bureaucracy has grown up around killing wolves. Wildlife Services continually targets wolves, using traps, gunship helicopters, they’re proposing to gas wolf pups in their dens and sterilize alpha pairs. All for what? 97 cows?

There’s more. Montana FWP filed a petition with USFWS asking them to allow “conservation hunts” of a PROTECTED SPECIES. Here are are the ugly details.

From KAJ18.com:

HELENA – Montana wolves may be back on the endangered species list, but that didn’t stop the state from petitioning the government to hold its own wolf hunt this fall.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks applied for a permit to allow for a conservation hunt and requested that federal authorities deliver a permit by early November.

FWP Administrator Dave Risley said the 28-page application is allowed under specific sections of the Endangered Species Act.

“FWP seeks authorization to create a conservation hunt to relieve population pressures and associated biological, social, and political pressures that currently jeopardize support of wolf recovery in Montana,” Risley said.

FWP joined in a federal lawsuit in defense of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 decision to delist wolves in Montana and Idaho, but not in Wyoming.

District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula reinstated federal protections of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains on Aug. 5.

At least 525 wolves live in Montana right now, and FWP wants to reduce the population to about 450 by the end of the year.

The wolf population in the Northern Rocky Mountain Recovery Area, which comprises parts of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, was estimated to be at least 1,706, with 242 packs, and 115 breeding pairs at the end of last year.

The conservation hunt would be modeled on what Montana planned for this hunting season that had a statewide quota of 186 wolves across 13 management units.

This is the key sentence in the article: “FWP seeks authorization to create a conservation hunt to relieve population pressures and associated biological, social, and political pressures that currently jeopardize support of wolf recovery in Montana,” Risley said. 

Social and political pressures? Those are telling words.  They want to hunt an endangered species because of social and political pressures? The pressure is certainly on them from special interests to have a wolf hunt. They are all crying in their beer because the hunts were halted. Hunting a protected species to relieve political and social pressures is not science and it makes them look ridiculous and desperate. Getting hysterical over a tiny population of 520 wolves in a huge state like Montana would be laughable if it wasn’t so deadly serious for wolves. Minnesota has 4500 wolves, almost nine times the number in Montana.

Wolves are not even close to being recovered in the Northern Rockies.  Hundreds died after the delisting. Alphas were slaughtered along with their pups, entire wolf packs destroyed. There have been no studies on the effect that killing had on Montana’s wolves, or any other wolves in the Northern Rockies for that matter, yet the state is begging to have another wolf hunt THIS YEAR, to slaughter more wolves to relieve political and social pressures? They are proving to everyone why Montana cannot manage wolves without prejudice. This is why the ESA was created, to shield a species like the wolf, who suffers from tremendous scapegoating and persecution.

The war against wolves in the Northern Rockies has only escalated since they won back their protections on August 5th, 2010. There are new plots to circumvent the ESA popping up almost daily. We have to focus on the threats I’m discussing in this post and the ones yet to come.

We cannot allow ranchers, hunters and outfitters to dictate policy concerning our wildlife. They are pushing the state game agencies to kill wolves and weaken the ESA. Now the politicians are posturing for votes by bad mouthing wolves. We have to stand up to these recent attacks. Wolves are completely vulnerable. We are their only voice.

I’m again posting the links to Congress, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. Please make it your duty to call and write not only your own legislators but as many names as possible. Find out where they stand, don’t let them off the hook. We must let them know wolves have tremendous support in this country and we DO NOT WANT THEM GUTTING THE ESA.  There can be no more important issue facing wolves and wolf advocates. We can’t let wolves down or no protected species will ever be safe again.

“The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret….It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”…….Dr. Schweitzer

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US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

US SENATE

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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Bill would exempt Idaho wolves from protections

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/50310528-68/idaho-wolves-bill-protections.html.csp

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Baucus pushes feds on wolf issue

http://www.kpax.com/news/baucus-pushes-feds-on-wolf-issue/

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Reps. Jim Matheson, Jason Chaffetz want states to manage wolves

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700067578/Reps-Jim-Matheson-Jason-Chaffetz-want-states-to-manage-wolves.html

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Wolf Bill

Bill Would Prohibit Wolves from Federal Protections

http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/bill_would_prohibit_wolves_from_federal_protections/19073/

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Risch, Crapo want Congress to delist ID, MT wolves

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_id_gray_wolf_endangered.html

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Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: ESA, threats to the ESA, stand up for wolves, wolf persecution, wolf hatred, Wildlife Services, Montana FWP, Senator Baucus, Senator Tester, Rep. Rehburg

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