Someone Give Rocky Mountain National Park A Copy of “Thinking Like A Mountain”….

Rocky Mountain National Park would rather allow Park employees to shoot their over-browsing,  over-abundant elk population instead of bringing in wolves to do what they’ve been doing for hundreds of thousands of years, keeping elk herds healthy and in check. The stupidity of this is mind-boggling.

“Rocky Mountain National Park sometimes has so many elk that they overgraze the vegetation, leaving other animals without enough food and habitat. Few natural predators are left there, and hunting is prohibited, so little remains to keep the elk population in check.

The park launched a 20-year program in 2008 to thin the herd by having park employees and trained volunteers under park supervision periodically shoot and kill elk. The program also includes fences to protect vegetation from elk and redistributing some of the animals.”….The Australian

Park Service employees have shot 131 elk since 2008 and even allow volunteers to join in as well. Sounds like hunting in a National Park to me?

WildEarth Guardians sued the park in 2008, challenging their elk culling program. They lost that challenge and appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, who is considering the case.

The excuses the park offers, for not introducing wolves to control their burgeoning elk population, are toothless.

“Officials said reintroducing wolves to control elk numbers was infeasible. They cited a lack of support from other agencies, safety concerns of people who live nearby, expected conflicts between wolves and humans and the amount of attention that a wolf population would require of park officials.”…..The Australian

The Tenth Circuit heard arguments from the US Park Service on why wolves were not an option to control the vegetation-elk-munching-population. WildEarth Guardians countered that the wolf option was never given serious consideration or opened for public comment. The Tenth Circuit gave no hint on when they would rule.

We’re living in bizarro world, where up is down and down is up. Wolves are elk’s natural predator, they keep herds, healthy and strong by culling the weak, sick and old.  Yet instead of reintroducing them to RMNP, the US Park Service would rather have an elk cull/hunt.

Many of our national parks are facing the same fate as RMNP, out of control elk and deer populations, which destroy park vegetation. This is due to LACK OF PREDATORS, mainly wolves, who were systematically slaughtered by the US government in cooperation with ranchers in the 1900’s and are now carrying out the same slaughter in the Northern Rockies and soon the Great Lakes if litigation challenging the killing is not successful.

You would think the Park Service would have learned their lesson by now but oh no. We can’t have apex predators controlling their natural prey. That would be too forward thinking. Instead they opt for the elk/hunt cull. Look to Yellowstone for guidance RMNP and see how the park has been re-born, due to the reintroduction of canis lupus.

Someone give these people a copy of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, where he coined the phrase “Thinking Like a Mountain” and describes it this way:

“Aldo Leopold first came up with this term as a result of watching a wolf die off. In those days of Leopold’s adventures, no one would ever pass up killing a wolf because fewer wolves meant more deer, which meant great hunting experiences. However, when Leopold saw the “fierce green fire dying in her eyes” he knew that neither the mountain nor the wolf deserved this. Leopold stated in his book, A Sand County Almanac:

“Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn … In the end the starved bones of the hoped-for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers … So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the change. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.”

In this example Leopold shows that the removal of a single species can result in serious negative consequences in an ecosystem. While avoiding trophic cascades is one way to think like a mountain, there are countless other environmental actions that can be categorized under this broad and interconnected concept.”…Wikipedia Commons

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US Park Service defends refusal to use wolves in Rocky Mountain National Park

by:DAN ELLIOTT

From: AP

September 21, 2012 4:54AM

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/us-park-service-defends-refusal-to-use-wolves-in-rocky-mountain-national-park/story-fn3dxix6-1226478520463

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Top Photo: WyoFile

Bottom Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, biodiversity

Tags: Rocky Mountain National Park, closed-minded, over browsing elk herds, National Parks in need of predators, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, WildEarth Guardians, wolves, trophic cascades, Aldo Leopold, Thinking Like A Mountain, A Sand County Almanac

TAKE ACTION: USFWS Orders Killing of Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Mother…..

Mexican gray wolf photo by George Andrejko, Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Update: August 11, 2012

No word on the Fox Mountain alpha female’s fate. Keep calling and emailing. If we don’t stop this travesty her pups will be orphans, the pack destroyed and a vital, critically endangered breeding female will have been removed from the wild.

From Lobos Of  The Southwest

Call the White House, the USFWS Southwest Regional Office, and NM Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman now and tell them to keep the Fox Mountain alpha female in the wild with her pups!

White House number: 202-456-1111
US Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Regional Office: 505-761-4748 or 505-363-2797
Senator Tom Udall: 505-346-6791
Senator Jeff Bingaman: 505-346-6601

So many people have called that voicemails are filling up and it’s harder to get through, especially after 5 p.m. If you can’t get through by phone, you can email:

USFWS SW Regional Director Tuggle: RDTuggle@fws.gov

President Obama: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

Senator Udall: http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=contact

Senator Bingaman: http://www.bingaman.senate.gov/contact/types/email-issue.cfm

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FROM CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

For Immediate Release, August 9, 2012

Feds to Shoot Endangered Mexican Wolf

Conservationists Decry the Senseless Killing of the Alpha Female of the Fox Mountain Pack

SILVER CITY, N.M.— The alpha female of the Fox Mountain Pack of Mexican gray wolves will be shot due to the seven-member pack preying on four head of cattle over several months. The owners of the cattle will be fully reimbursed, but the wolf family will lose their matriarch, according to a kill-order issued Wednesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to its sister agency, U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services. Last year, only 58 Mexican wolves and six breeding pairs survived in New Mexico and Arizona , their only home in the wild.

”Instead of killing this successful wolf mother, more should be done by affected ranchers to protect their livestock,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “This kill order is a shocking return to reviled and destructive Bush administration policies toward Mexican gray wolves. Resources should be used to immediately hire a range-rider, rather than spend a greater amount of taxpayer money to shoot a radio-collared wolf in front of her pups.”

The last wolf shot in response to livestock depredations was the alpha female of the Durango Pack, killed on the Gila National Forest in New Mexico in June 2007. Her mate and pup disappeared thereafter and are presumed dead. Then-governor Bill Richardson withdrew the state’s assent to killing her and other wolves, but his message was delivered too late to save her.

“The Fox Mountain Pack is largely surviving on elk,” said Robinson. “Rare losses of livestock, whose owners are indemnified, should not be used as an excuse to resume a de facto war against the beautiful, intelligent, social and very imperiled Mexican wolf.  These pups should be allowed to grow up with their mother.”

After a decades-long wolf extermination program in the United States and Mexico carried out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 led to the rescue and captive breeding of the last five Mexican wolves in the wild in Mexico . Some of their great-grandpups were reintroduced in 1998, but the shooting of 12 wolves by the government, accidental killing of 18 more in the course of capture, and long-term incarceration of 32 other once-wild wolves has led to the population languishing and left it at risk of blinking out.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 350,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2012/mexican-gray-wolf-08-09-2012.html

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Please contact the USFWS immediately and tell them to leave this wolf mother alone. Her death will destroy the Fox Mountain Pack and for what? The feds have failed miserably to establish a healthy population of Mexican gray wolves, mainly because the wolves recovery area is packed with cows!! Now they want to kill a successful breeding female and orphan her pups???

Many ranchers  notoriously practice the Columbus method of ranching: Turning their cattle loose in the Spring and discovering them in the Fall.  Cows that drop dead  out on the range can be left to rot and of course predators will be drawn to the carcass. This teaches wolves and other predators it’s OK to feed on cattle. Yet wolves show tremendous restraint and cattle losses to wolves are infinitesimal.

The Mexican gray wolf is a critically endangered sub-species of  the gray wolf.  Should this wolf mother die over a few cows?

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FROM WILDEARTH GUARDIANS

URGENT ALERT:

Fish and Wildlife Plans to Kill a Female Mexican Wolf

Today or Tomorrow

Phone Calls Needed Now to Save Fox Mountain Alpha Female with Pups

Mexican wolf pups

  The US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to shoot the Alpha Female of the Fox Mountain Mexican gray wolf pack from the air today or tomorrow for livestock depredations. At last official count, there were only 58 Mexican gray wolves in the wild, making them the most endangered mammal in north America, and the most endangered wolf in the world. Every single wild Mexican wolf is important to the wild population.

 Please call now!!

If they kill this wolf, the USFWS will be depriving four pups born this summer of their mother, harming this family of wolves, and destroying one of only a few breeding pairs in the wild.
 
Call before it’s too late to save this wolf!

1. Please call the Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Regional Office  ( 505-248-6911) and request that he rescind the kill order for the Fox Mountain alpha female. You can also send him a polite email to  RDTuggle@fws.gov

2. Call President Obama and ask him for a stay of execution. White House number:  202-456-1111.

Following are some points to make:

  • There are fewer than 60 Mexican wolves in the wild. Eliminating even one wolf, especially a breeding female, is detrimental to the species.
  • Biologists believe this female has four pups born this spring. Killing her may doom her pups as well. Research also shows that wolves suffer trauma when their pack mates are killed.
  • The affected rancher has been paid for his losses. Killing the alpha female now is unnecessary appeasement to the public lands livestock industry.
  • The public lands livestock industry must learn to operate with wolves, and the federal government must support policies such as grazing retirement to permanently reduce wolf-livestock conflicts.
  • Killing this wolf wastes thousands of taxpayer dollars.

If you live in any of these swing states, please call the local Obama campaign office:
Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, or Wisconsin.

You can find the nearest Obama campaign office here.

http://www.barackobama.com/offices/
Your own words are best, but here’s a simple script for your call:
My name is ____________ and I live in ______________ state.I support the Mexican wolf recovery effort and I am calling to ask you to stop the killing of the Fox Mountain alpha female. With only 50-60 Mexican wolves in the wild, every one is important, and this Mexican wolf has pups born just this summer.There are many solutions to conflicts between livestock and wolves, but there are very few Mexican gray wolves.The Fish and Wildlife Service needs to release more Mexican wolves into the wild, not kill the ones already there.Include any personal reasons you have for caring about this and thank them.Please send us a message at info@mexicanwolves.orgto let us know you have called.Thank you for your work to save this Mexican wolf’s life!Photo courtesy of Endangered Wolf Center
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Photo:  Arizona Game and Fish

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Mexican Gray Wolf

Tags: Fox Mountain Pack, alpha female, orphanwolf pups, Endangered Mexican gray wolves, USFWS, WS, Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians

Wildlife Services Brutality Exposed, WildEarth Guardians Sues….

“An Arizona wildlife official photographed these heads of mountain lions killed to “protect” cattle in 1989 by Wildlife Services, formerly Animal Damage Control, and provided to the state agency for research. In 2005, Wildlife Services killed 330 mountain lions nationally.”

UPDATE: May 6, 2012

I’m pulling this post back up to the top of the blog because the SacBee posted the third part of their expose on Animal Damage Control  Wildlife Services today.  Please scroll down for link.

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It’s been a long time coming.  Animal Damage Control, better known by the misnomer Wildlife Services,  is finally getting their due.  WildEarth Guardians is suing  the agency and it couldn’t come any sooner.

From the Washington Post:

“They are asking in a lawsuit filed Monday that a federal judge in Nevada shut down the agency that spent $127 million in 2010 to exterminate more than 5 million animals.”

At the same time, in a three-part series,  the Sacramento Bee is exposing the agencies’ dark, dirty secrets.

Wildlife Services is a barbaric federal agency, the extermination arm of the USDA. They relentlessly kill America’s wildlife because agriculture considers any animal that gets in its way to be collateral damage.  This federal  goon squad shoots, traps, poisons, snares and slaughters millions of animals every year and no group of animals has suffered more than predators. The war on wolves, bears, coyotes and mountain lions has been merciless. The suffering this agency causes is immeasurable.

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The Sacramento Bee’s Exposé On Wildlife Services

Deadly Poison 1080 Compound 

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

By Tom Knudson

Published: Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

First of three parts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Tom Knudson

Published: Monday, Apr. 30, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:52 pm

Second of three parts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Unforgiving Snares and How They Work

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

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Long struggles in leg-hold device make for gruesome deaths

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

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

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

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

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

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Environmental group sues to halt killing practices of federal wildlife agency

By Tom Knudson

Published: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 2, 2012 – 10:37 pm

The federal government’s wildlife damage control program is based on outdated science and indiscriminate tools that kill many non-target animals, including protected species, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by WildEarth Guardians, a Colorado-based environmental group.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/02/4458430/environmental-group-sues-to-halt.html#storylink=cpy

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Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services range from new practices to outright bans

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By Tom Knudson
tknudson@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, May. 6, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

Last of three parts

Like many ranchers, Bill Jensen drives a pickup, shoots a high-powered rifle and loves to talk about sheep, cattle and the outdoors.

But unlike many ranchers, he no longer relies on the federal government for predator control.

Nor does the Marin County rancher have a choice. Ten years ago Marin, known for its environmental activism, halted lethal federal control and launched a program emphasizing nonlethal methods. Jensen, initially skeptical, has turned the program into a success with miles of electric fencing.

“We’ve pretty much learned how to control coyotes on our own,” said Jensen, whose losses to coyotes have declined 60 percent to 70 percent – from about 50 lambs a year when a federal trapper worked there to 15 to 20 today. “Anything that can help you 24 hours a day, like electric fencing, is a good thing.”

What’s happening in Marin County shows that ranchers can co-exist with predators without lethal federal control. It is part of a broader and varied spirit of reform aimed at finding new, less destructive ways to live with predators and other wildlife.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/06/4469067/suggestions-in-changing-wildlife.html#storylink=cpy

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Wildlife Services At Work

Thanksgiving Week Massacre of  Basin Butte Wolves

December 6, 2009

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/thanksgiving-week-massacre-of-basin-butte-wolves-stanley-idaho/

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Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/hog-heaven-or-hog-hell/

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Sage Creek Pack Wiped Out By Aerial Gunners In Montana

October 10, 2009

http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/sage-creek-pack-wiped-out-by-aerial-gunners-in-montana/

Thank you WildEarth Guardians and The Sacramento Bee for shining a very bright light on this gruesome agency that should be defunded or eliminated altogether.

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Top Photo: Missoula Independent

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: USDA, Animal Damage Control AKA Wildlife Services, Sacramento Bee, WildEarth Guardians, war on wildlife, traps, snares, 1080 compound, M-44’s, Sage Creek Pack, Hog Heaven Pack, Basin Butte Pack

ALERT: Conservation Groups File Wolf Rider Appeal to the Ninth Circuit…

Conservation groups filed an appeal to the US Ninth Circuit, on September 8, 2011, challenging the constitutionality of the wolf delisting rider.  Leading the fight is Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.  Center For Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project are also plaintiffs in the appeal.

Rider Appeal, Ninth Circuit Court, Opening Brief, Sept. 8, 2011

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0908wolfBR.pdf

What impressed me about their opening brief was the introduction. It quotes the famed ecologist and environmentalist Aldo Leopold’s Thinking Like a Mountain, from A Sand County Almanac,  In his writing, Leopold introduces the concept of trophic cascades.

“The concept of a trophic cascade is put forth in the chapter “Thinking Like a Mountain”, wherein Leopold realizes that killing a predator wolf carries serious implications for the rest of the ecosystem.”

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Thinking Like A Mountain

by Aldo Leopold

In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy: how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks.

We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.

Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddle horn. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers.

I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the
range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dust bowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.

We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness.The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes,and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau’s dictum:In wildness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf, long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men.

ALDO LEOPOLD, A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC, AND SKETCHES HERE AND  THERE, Thinking Like a Mountain, at 129–133, Commemorative edition 1989, ©1949, Oxford University Press, Inc.

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0908wolfBR.pdf

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Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

Tags: US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, wolves in peril, wolf delisting rider

Conservation Groups Seek Emergency Injunction From The Ninth Circuit To Stop Upcoming Wolf Hunts…

For Immediate Release – Aug 13, 2011
CONTACT:  Mike Garrity, Executive Director, Alliance for the Wild Rockies 406-459-5936
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Facing plans to kill hundreds of wolves in Montana and Idaho, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians are seeking an Emergency Injunction from the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the imminent hunts.
“Idaho plans to open a wolf hunting season on August 30, Montana’s wolf hunting season begins with an archery season on September 3, followed by a rifle season shortly thereafter, on September 15,” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  “Beginning in less than three weeks, hundreds of Gray Wolves that should be protected as endangered species are about to be hunted and killed.  Our only option is to seek an Injunction to stop the illegal killing of wolves.”
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“We believe that Congress violated the U.S. Constitution when Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) used a rider on an appropriation bill to overturn the Federal Court’s decision that wolves should remain protected by the Endangered Species Act,” Garrity added.
Referring to a strongly-worded decision recently issued by Montana Federal District Judge Donald Molloy, Garrity explained that “although ruling that he was bound by previous decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court, Judge Molloy was very direct in his opinions on the use of non-related riders on appropriation bills such as used by Senator Tester.  Not only did Tester circumvent the Endangered Species Act for pure political expediency, we believe that he violated the Separation of Powers upon which our government is founded by exempting his rider from judicial review.”
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As an example, Garrity offered the following quotes directly from Molloy’s decision:
    •    “The way in which Congress acted in trying to achieve a debatable policy change by attaching a rider to the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 is a tearing away, an undermining, and a disrespect for the fundamental idea of the rule of law.”
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    •    “Political decisions derive their legitimacy from the proper function of the political process within the constraints of limited government, guided by a constitutional structure that acknowledges the importance of the doctrine of Separation of Powers. That legitimacy is enhanced by a meaningful, predictable, and transparent process.”
    •    “Inserting environmental policy changes into appropriations bills may be politically expedient, but it transgresses the process envisioned by the Constitution by avoiding the very debate on issues of political importance said to provide legitimacy. Policy changes of questionable political viability, such as occurred here, can be forced using insider tactics without debate by attaching riders to legislation that must be passed.“
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“We’re continuing this battle because Judge Molloy’s ruling fully supports our contention that there is a well-established legal process that applies to every other species and that pure political expediency should not be the driving force by which of our nation’s imperiled animals and plants will or will not be protected for future generations,” Garrity explained.
The groups charge in their Complaint (attached) that the delisting rider, which was sponsored by Montana’s Democrat U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Idaho’s Republican Representative Mike Simpson, violates the U.S. Constitution because it specifically repeals a judicial decision and then exempts it from judicial review.
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“While Congress absolutely has the right to make and amend laws, the wolf delisting rider (Section 1713 of the budget law, PL 112-10) does not amend the Endangered Species Act — it circumvents the judicial process by ordering the reinstatement of the 2009 rule that delisted wolves,” Garrity continued.  “Moreover, by exempting it from judicial review it basically nullifies the Constitutional checks and balances between Congress and the Judicial Branch of government.”
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“There’s little doubt that wolves are now facing drastic policies at the state level,’ Garrity said. “Wyoming has a ‘shoot on sight’ policy, Idaho just enacted a massive “open season’ that will kill hundreds of wolves and Montana announced it will allow up to 220 of the 566 wolves in the state to be killed this year – nearly half of the wolves to be shot by hunters and an unlimited amount to be killed by government shooters and trappers.”
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“We are doing all we can to hold back the tide of wolf-killing in Montana, Idaho, and elsewhere in the Northern Rockies,” explained Garrity.  “This ecologically important species is being unfairly targeted out of ignorance and intolerance and now lack a federal shield from being killed.”
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“But in the end, this is not just about wolves, it’s about the rule of law.  If Congress can exempt this decision from judicial review, it can likewise exempt anything it does.  That not only spells disaster for endangered species, but for our entire form of government.  Judge Molloy hit the nail on the head when he said Tester’s rider is ‘a talisman that ipso facto sweeps aside Separation of Powers concerns.’”
“We agree with him,” Garrity continued, pointing to Molloy’s conclusion that reads: “If I were not constrained by what I believe is binding precedent from the Ninth Circuit, and on-point precedent from other circuits, I would hold Section 1713 [Tester's rider] is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers doctrine articulated by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Klein.”
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“We think, given the circumstances and the gravity of the Separation of Powers issue, that the Ninth Circuit will want to take a close look at the consequences of allowing Senator Tester’s unprecedented wolf rider to stand.  And we intend to give them that opportunity with our Appeal.”
Please find the request for an Emergency Injunction attached.
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Emergency Motion (August 13, 2011)

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfMOT.pdf

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Exhibits (August 13, 2011)

#1

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX1.pdf

#2

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX2.pdf

#3

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX3.pdf

#4

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX4.pdf

#5

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX5.pdf

#6

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX6.pdf

Top Photo: Courtesy First People

Bottom Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

Tags: Emergency injunction, US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, wolf wars, wolf hunts, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming

Don’t Give Up! Howl For Wolves In August!

Please do not despair or give up. I spoke to Gary Macfarlane of Friends of the Clearwater and an appeal is planned.. We could still win this. Judge Molloy felt his hands were tied by the Ninth Circuit precedents. He stated if it were not for that he would have found the wolf rider unconstitutional. All is not lost, try to take  some comfort in that.

We are all very tired and worn out from this battle. The haters are having their way now but that doesn’t mean we should sit and take this. Please visit Howl Across America and join a rally or organize one in your hometown. We must speak out for wolves!! It’s even more imperative now!!

Howl Across America

https://www.facebook.com/HowlAcrossAmerica

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

Friends Of Animals Petitions Court To Join Lawsuit Challenging Wolf Delisting Rider…

This is terrific news!! With Friends of Animals joining the lawsuit there will be four highly respected conservation groups going to bat for wolves.  If you noticed The Safari Club,  NRA and Montana Farm Bureau have also asked to intervene in the wolf delisting lawsuit for the other side.

Friends of Animals, a staunch supporter of animal rights, has filed a motion in Montana District Court to join the lawsuit brought by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians, that challenges the constitutionality of the wolf delisting rider. The rider was slipped into a must-pass budget bill by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) . 81 Senators then voted yes to delist wolves in a budget bill. Only three Democrats voted against it: Leahy, Levin and Wyden. Bernie Sanders of VT, an Independent, also voted no. President Obama signed the bill into law, which is no surprise since his administration has now delisted wolves twice and he hasn’t even completed his first term.  We can’t blame the Republicans for everything.

Here’s the press release Friends of Animals posted on their website:

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Friends of Animals Challenges Unconstitutional Wolf Delisting Rider

May 27, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 27 May 2011

Contact: Dustin Rhodes
Phone: (202) 906-0210

Darien, Connecticut—Friends of Animals filed a Motion to Intervene in the case Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Salazar, which challenges the constitutionality of Section 1713 of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, P.L. 112-10 (also called the “budget rider” or the “wolf rider”). The budget rider directed the USFWS to reinstate the 2007 wolf delisting rule, which removed gray wolves in all areas of the Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct Population Segment (DPS) from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The original complaint was filed by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians on May 5, 2011 and the case was recently consolidated with another case, Center for Biological Diversity v. Salzar. The complaints challenge constitutionality of this legislative enactment.

Friends of Animals’ president Priscilla Feral says,

We must do everything in our power to undo the deadly disservice that was done to gray wolves; taking them off of the Endangered Species List was not only unethical and unjust—it was unconstitutional.

The wolf delisting rider, which was included in the 2011 federal budget, was sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and was passed with a bipartisan vote of 81-19 on April 14, 2011.

http://www.friendsofanimals.org/news/2011/may/friends-of-animals-c.html

PLEASE VISIT ALL FOUR GROUP’S WEBSITES (I linked to them in this post) AND GIVE GENEROUSLY TO HELP THEM WIN THIS LAWSUIT FOR THE WOLVES!! 

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Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags:  Friends of Animals, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

Published in: on May 29, 2011 at 4:32 am  Comments (24)  
Tags: ,

Press Release: Conservation Groups Challenge Wolf Delisting Rider…

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 5, 2011

 Contact:

Michael Garrity, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, 406-459-5936 or garritymichael@yahoo.com

Gary MacFarlane, Friends of the Clearwater, 208-882-9755, gary@wildrockies.org

Nicole Rosmarino, WildEarth Guardians, 505-699-7404 or nrosmarino@wildearthguardians.org

Conservation Groups Challenge Wolf Delisting Rider

Lawsuit Seeks to Restore Federal Protection to Gray Wolves in Northern Rockies

 Missoula, MT—May 5. Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians today filed suit in federal court in Montana against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for delisting wolves in Montana, Idaho, and portions of Utah, Washington, and Oregon. The Service published the delisting rule today in compliance with a Congressional budget rider passed on April 15.

 “We will not allow the fate of endangered species to be determined by politicians serving special interests,” stated Michael Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  “These decisions must be based on science, not politics, and Congress has never before removed species from the Endangered Species list by political fiat.  There is a well-established legal process that applies to every other species and pure political expediency should not be the driving force over which of our nation’s imperiled animals and plants will or will not be protected for future generations.”

 The groups charge in their complaint that the delisting rider, which was sponsored by Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Idaho Representative Mike Simpson, violates the U.S. Constitution because it specifically repeals a judicial decision. While Congress has the right to make and amend laws, the wolf delisting rider (Section 1713 of the budget law, PL 112-10) does not amend the Endangered Species Act — it circumvents the judicial process by ordering the reinstatement of the 2009 rule that delisted wolves.

“The rider goes against a bedrock principle of our democracy: checks and balances between branches of government,” said Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians.  “Legislators can’t pick off specific court decisions they don’t like.  That’s not fair for the wolf, and it’s certainly not good for our democracy.”

 The 2009 rule that delisted wolves was challenged by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and 12 other organizations on the basis that it violated the Endangered Species Act by revoking protection for wolves based on the political boundaries of state lines.  Montana Federal Judge Donald Molloy agreed with the conservation groups and determined last August that the 2009 rule was illegal and struck down the 2007 Interior Solicitor’s legal memo on which it was based.

 The current Interior Solicitor, Hilary Tompkins, revoked the illegal 2007 memo yesterday,  but the withdrawal of the illegal memo came too late for wolves in the Northern Rockies.  Those wolves are now facing drastic policies at the state level. Montana announced earlier this week that it will likely allow up to 220 of the 566 wolves in the state to be killed this year. In late April, Idaho passed a law declaring a gray wolf “disaster emergency” that gives the governor broad discretion to allow wolf killing statewide.

 Killing proposals at the local level – the Lolo Elk Management Zone in Idaho and the West Fork of the Bitterroot in Montana – would permit over half of the resident wolves to be killed. The conservation groups filing today’s lawsuit against the delisting rider are also challenging those local wolf-killing plans.

 “We are doing all we can to hold back the tide of wolf-killing in Montana, Idaho, and elsewhere in the Northern Rockies,” said Gary Macfarlane of Friends of the Clearwater, who explained that Idaho’s Fish and Game Department are planning on using aerial gunning to immediately begin killing wolves in the Clearwater basin.  “This ecologically important species is being unfairly targeted out of ignorance and intolerance and now lack a federal shield from being killed.”

 There has been widespread concern over tacking policy riders on the budget bill.  Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber sent a letter to President Obama in late April stating: “A six-month budget resolution negotiated through backroom discussions is clearly the wrong vehicle to make permanent changes to significant public policy. For nearly 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has assured decisions about our nation’s natural heritage are driven by science, fish and wildlife professionals, and public input. Removing protection for an endangered species by congressional mandate, much less through a budget bill, stands in unprecedented contrast to this history. This action erodes the integrity of the ESA, excludes important public involvement, and usurps the agency structure, based on a balancing of executive and legislative branch power, that exists to undertake important decisions affecting America’s wildlife.”

 “We’re back in court for two reasons,” concluded Garrity.  “First and foremost, it’s to continue to protect wolves from indiscriminate slaughter.  Second, someone has to stand up when the basic tenets of our government are under attack by unscrupulous politicians and that would be the Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.”

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Environmental groups sue government over wolf delisting

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110505/NEWS01/110505006/Environmental-groups-sue-government-over-wolf-delisting?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Frontpage|s

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Photo: Courtesy Wolfgang Art Gallery free wolf photos

Posted in: Action Alerts, gray wolf

Tags: challenging wolf delisting rider, wolves going back to court, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians

ACTION ALERT FROM AGRO….STAND UP FOR WOLVES!!

Thanks to WildEarth Guardians and Wendy Keefover-Ring for allowing me to post the AGRO (A Coalition To End Aerial Gunning of Wildlife) alert.

This alert reminds people the battle to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections is still looming.

Wolves won’t be safe until this lame-duck Congress adjourns. When the new Congress is sworn in next month, the fight to save wolves will begin all over again. Wolves cannot lose this battle. Please stay vigilant!!

Again, thanks to WildEarth Guardians and Agro for all they do for wolves and other wildlife!!

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A Coalition To End Aerial Gunning of Wildlife

 
Stand Up for Wolves

The media reported this week that Interior Secretary Salazar is taking a sledgehammer to the Endangered Species Act and wolf recovery efforts, vowing to support federal legislation to strip wolves in the Northern Rockies of ESA protections. He also plans to eliminate safeguards for grizzly bears in Yellowstone.

With this move, Salazar is surpassing James Watt, Gale Norton, and Dirk Kempthorne as the worst Secretary of Interior.  Ever.

Tell President Obama to stand up for wolves, grizzly bears, science, and the rule of law.

Mr. Salazar has lost court cases over wolves and grizzly bears and is now willing to play dirty tricks to get his way.

Mr. Salazar is ignoring federal court rulings that order him not to substitute politics for science. He is forgetting – or exposing as fraud – his pledge to scientific rigor and house-cleaning at Interior.

The tragedy here is that the nation’s foremost protector of endangered species, the Interior Secretary, is choosing instead to cater to the likes of Governor Butch Otter of Idaho, an infamous wolf-hater.

It’s worse, though, as legislative stripping away of federal protection for wolves and grizzlies in the Northern Rockies would be a blow not only for these important apex carnivores, it would set a dangerous precedent for wolves and grizzlies elsewhere – and any other animal considered “inconvenient.” It would also undermine the Endangered Species Act’s very foundation.

President Obama must act.

We can’t overstate how bad this legislation – and administrative support of it – would be. Not even the trio of previous anti-nature Interior Secretaries have gone this far.  Never before has Congress enacted an amendment to the Endangered Species Act stripping a single species of federal protection.

In addition to Obama, your U.S. federal legislators also need to oppose legislation that removes necessary safeguards to protect our wildlife.

The Endangered Species Act is supposed to safeguard species based on biological need, not political favor. Every day WildEarth Guardians sees the wisdom in this firewall, as the most endangered types of wildlife are often the most persecuted. The list of animals reviled by ranchers and extreme hunting groups is long: wolves and grizzlies would soon be joined by prairie dogs, kangaroo rats, massasauga rattlesnakes, and carnivores of all stripes.

Tell President Obama that he must stand up for wolves, grizzlies, and the Endangered Species Act. His administration must not back efforts for a legislative end-run of the courts. Rather, his Interior Secretary should focus on coming into compliance with the law, in defense of endangered species.

P.S. United States legislators generally only accept emails from their constituents.  To send an email to your Senators and  Representatives  click here.

 http://goagro.org/
 
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Photo: Courtesy First People

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act

Tags:  WildEarth Guardians, AGRO, gray wolves, Assault on the ESA, Ken Salazar, Butch Otter,  scapegoating wolves

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