Remembering the Basin Butte Pack Thanksgiving Week Massacre….

Basin Butte wolf “Little Sis”

July 22, 2014

It’s been almost five years since the Basin Butte pack was gunned down, during Thanksgiving week, in Stanley, Idaho.

I hope you will remember these wolves and the cruel, disgusting agency that took their lives. Wildlife Services must be abolished and defunded. They’re an extermination arm of the Department of Agriculture, killing millions of animals annually for agribusiness. They do horrific damage to gray wolves and other native wildlife.

I will be paying tribute this week to the wolves and wolf packs who’ve have been slaughtered in wolf hunts, by Wildlife Services, poachers and ranchers.

===

Thanksgiving Week Massacre of The Basin Butte Wolves

basin butte wolf pup 1

A Basin Butte wolf pup, 6 months old.

December 6, 2009

This is an account of Idaho’s popular Basin Butte wolves and their tragic end, as told to me by Idaho friends.

===

Thanksgiving week 2009, everyone was busy planning their holiday with family. It was a time for reflection and thanks. But over a two-day period, November 23 & 24, in Stanley, Idaho, Wildlife Services launched a covert operation that is now known as the Thanksgiving Week Massacre. Wildlife Services (WS) is a misnamed federal agency that kills wildlife for the benefit of agriculture, mainly the livestock industry.

Locals watched in horror as WS agents, in a plane and red helicopter, chased down and shot dead seven members of the Basin Butte wolf pack. Two wolves were killed on a rancher’s private property, the rest on National Forest land.  Among the Thanksgiving week victims were the pack’s mother, B171 “Alpha Fe”, her three seven-month old PUPS and three other wolves. A total of ELEVEN Basin Butte wolves have been killed since late July.

Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountain country, called the Sawtooth National Recreation Area(SNRA), was once in line for National Park status. Instead, in 1972, it became an “NRA” (National Recreation Area). As a result, cattle and sheep graze across much of the 756,000 acres. Cattle ranchers have tremendous political power in this area, which is the reason for the Basin Butte wolves demise on that fateful Thanksgiving week shoot-out.

Background:

The Basin Butte wolf pack was formed in 2006 with three adults and five pups. Wolf supporters stepped in to keep the wolves away from the thousands of cattle that summer in the high country around Stanley, Idaho. This continued for the next three years. There were no depredations in 2007, but some close calls. Sick or injured cows and calves are easy targets for wolves. Things started going to hell in 2008 after a ranch hand shot a Basin Butte wolf called “Little Sis”. She was hunting squirrels 200 yards away from a herd of cows. The cow hand was given a warning by Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game (IDFG) law enforcement, which apparently upset the hand’s boss, a powerful rancher.

Next, the pack, now consisting of 13 wolves, were seen moving toward a remote area, behind private property. Suddenly the wolves were accused of killing cows and calves belonging to the irate rancher. In July 2008, Wildlife Services convinced IDFG to give the ok to spring into their deadly trapping and killing mode. Before the 2008 grazing season was over, up to 8 Basin Butte wolves were dead. One beautiful wolf, “Uncle” – the babysitter to the pack’s pups, was mangled and crippled, shot by a Wildlife Services agent using an automatic 12 gauge.

One last winter:

The wolves had one last winter in the scenic country they called home. Many locals and visitors alike, delighted in seeing the wolves and hearing them howl. The pack was highly visible, as the Druids are in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone. The wolves were known by their given names: Alpha Fe, Papa, Bobtail, Red, Marymag, Smoky and more.

Tourists come in winter to Stanley, a tiny town of 100 people and one of the coldest places in the Lower 48, to ski, wildlife watch, snowmobile and see the Basin Butte wolves. But, it’s still tough for businesses to make it, and many locals were hoping wolf viewing would eventually bring more tourists and their dollars. Summer is the only time when tourists come in numbers, over two million people, according to SNRA staff. Wolf watching is the untapped golden egg that could make Stanley boom in the winter months, especially since much of the terrain around town is wide open. It’s perfect for setting up spotting scopes and watching wolves. But in 2009, the ranchers and Wildlife Services had other plans.  When wolf supporters scared the wolves away from cattle on public land, the ranchers went to law enforcement and complained. Surveillance cameras were set up by the local deputy to try to catch anyone driving by or stopping near the cattle, even on PUBLIC land!

The wolves were accused of killing a calf and a cow in July. Wildlife Services, who had been lurking around Stanley waiting for action, trapped and shot two yearling wolves. The angry rancher allowed WS to cross his private property, so they could access a remote area where traps could be set, mostly out of view of the public.

Then on September 1, Idaho opened their seven month-long hunting season, adding to the Basin Butte Pack’s problems. Two pack members were shot by hunters. One was the Basin Butte alpha male, and another was a pup. The little pup was shot by an employee of the rancher.

October arrived, the weather turned freezing cold, with rain and snow. The pack was accused of killing two more cows. The cows may have been sick or hurt, no one knows. With thousands of cattle, some are always on the decline but now the stage was set for an aerial massacre. You know the rest of this tragic story. Two wolves are said to have survived. They have been heard howling mournfully for their pack.

Basin Butte ”Uncle Wolf”

===

There are 71 million wildlife watchers in the United States., who generate 45 billion dollars in revenue.. Wildlife viewers come to Idaho to watch wolves and other wildlife, not livestock. Slaughtering wolves is bad for Idaho’s reputation and hurtful to state tourism.

We don’t control what ranchers do on their private land BUT the American public has the right to demand fair PUBLIC LAND policy.. This land belongs to all our citizens, not just ranchers.

Americans do not want wildlife eradicated for the livestock industry. Ranchers must be held accountable for managing their livestock.

Like any business venture, ranching has risks. If ranchers aren’t willing or able to care for their investment, without using the federal government as their own wolf extermination service, they should get their cattle off our public lands. 66% of Idaho is public land. Wolves are native to the SNRA, not cattle. Why should the wolf pay the ultimate price because of sloppy ranching practices, or be subjugated to cattle?

Myself and my friends, are BOYCOTTING Idaho products, businesses, including big game outfitters until this wolf killing madness stops.

SPEAK UP AND PROTEST THE THANKSGIVING WEEK SLAUGHTER!

Idaho Wildlife Services has a long list of wolf packs in their sights, will the killing be repeated this winter with a green light from IDFG?

Please E-Mail Idaho Governor Butch Otter and the IDFG wolf managers:

http://gov.idaho.gov/WebRespond/contact_form.html

cal.groen@idfg.idaho.gov

jon.rachael@idfg.idaho.gov

jim.lukens@idfg.idaho.gov

jim.unsworth@idfg.idaho.gov

=====================

STOP WOLF KILLING

Petition From change.org…Please sign.

http://www.change.org/actions/view/stop_wolf_killing

Photos: All Photos by Idaho WildWolf Images Copyright 2008.

Posted in: Idaho wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, aerial gunning of wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: aerial gunning of wolves, wolves in the crossfire, wolf extermination, Stanley, Idaho, Basin Butte Pack, Wildlife Services

Remembering The Hog Heaven Wolf Pack…

Hog Heaven wolf pack

February 3, 2014

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

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

===

Hog Hell: The Demise of the Hog Heaven Wolf Pack

October 23, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wolf supporters realize the unfairness of what’s happening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yellowstone_Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

===

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

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

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

I’m speechless!!

===

From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 23, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

===

The Sacramento Bee’s Exposé On Wildlife Services

Deadly Poison 1080 Compound 

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

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

First of three parts

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

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

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

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

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

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

===

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

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

Second of three parts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

===

Unforgiving Snares and How They Work

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

===

Long struggles in leg-hold device make for gruesome deaths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

===

Photo: Courtesy James Balog

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

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

Rescuing Wolf Pups/Killing Wolf Pups….

Wolf pups like this is in Idaho’ s Lolo and Selway Zones don’t stand a chance

June 2, 2012

Little wolf pups are emerging from their dens in Idaho’s  Lolo and Selway zones where the wolf hunt IS ONGOING, stretching into June. Lactating alpha mothers and their pups are sitting ducks  for “hunters”, lambs to the slaughter. So in this context I read the moving  story of the little wolf pup who was found by campers  last weekend in the Sawtooth National Forest. They assumed he was a lost puppy and called the cops who advised them to take him to a vet, where it was determined this was probably a little six-week old wolf pup. A DNA test was done, the results are pending.

There are many unanswered question surrounding this little guy, was his mother poached? Did the pack move to a rendezvous site, leaving him behind accidentally?  Of course we’ll never know. It seems unlikely a wolf mother would leave her little one behind, wolves adore their babies.

There’s a search on for his natal pack so he can be reunited with them, which becomes increasingly remote with each passing day.

“field technicians with the Wood River Wolf Project and Fish and Game have been scouring the area near where the pup was found since Sunday, searching for any signs of the pack the pup might have come from.”

Even IDFG “Regan Berkley, regional wildlife biologist” and “Randy Smith, big game manager for the Magic Valley Region” have commented on the pup.

It’s looking more and more like the little wolf will be spending the rest of his life in captivity, probably a wolf sanctuary and  personally I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, considering the wolf hating climate in Idaho.  Which brings me back to the point of this post.

It strikes me as hypocritical that IDFG managers are taking an active interest in this pup’s welfare when up North in the Lolo and Selway, pups just like him can be slaughtered along with their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.  Idaho is a brutal place to be a wolf.  Hunters snared, trapped, shot and arrowed wolves from August 30, 2011 to March 31, 2012.  The slaughter continues in the Lolo and Selway right through breeding, denning and pupping season. This is not a place where a little wolf pup wants to be.  Not only did Idaho hunters kill 378 wolves in the last seven months but Wildlife Services continues to kill wolves for agribusiness.  A wolf kill order recently went out for Flat Top Ranch, with the Little Wood Pack in trouble.  So more wolves will die.

Idaho is decimating it’s wolf population quicker then you can say lickety-split and earning a nasty reputation for itself.  It’s been just one year since  President Obama signed the budget bill/wolf delisting rider and sent the apex predators into the arms of their enemies and oh how they are delighting in slaughtering them.  Just take a visit to some of the wolf hating sites on Facebook or peruse hunting forums to see the carnage in full color. One thing about trophy hunters, they love to pose over the corpses of their prey, smiling like they’ve won the lottery. Of course they don’t just like to kill wolves, they take pleasure in torturing them.

While America sleeps, the wolves they paid millions of dollars to restore, after almost every last one of them was shot, poisoned and trapped by the 1930’s,  is on the road to extermination once again in the lower 48.

So excuse me if I think the little, lost wolf hit the jackpot by getting rescued and how sad is that? He has a better chance of surviving in captivity and having a life then ending up in a choking snare, or shot in the gut writhing in pain or sitting for days in a trap trying to chew off his own foot, thirsty and alone waiting for the trapper to come back so he can choke him to death from behind or stomp on his head and body until he kicks and crushes the life out of him. No this little boy is better off somewhere else then the hell hole that Idaho has become for wolves.

===

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lone wolf pup found near Ketchum

Campers thought animal was domestic dog

Photo: Courtesy Idaho Mountain Express, Photo Patrick Graham

     Out-of-town campers picked up a 5-week-old wolf pup last weekend thinking it was a lost dog, state officials reported.

Regan Berkley, regional wildlife biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said a couple picked up the pup on the afternoon of Friday, May 25, in the Sawtooth National Forest near Ketchum. After calling the Ketchum Police Department, the couple was advised to take the pup to a local veterinarian’s office.

READ MORE 

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005142281

====

Top photo Wolf Pup:  Fanpop

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf puppy, Sawtooth National Forest, Ketchum Idaho, IDFG, wolf persecution,  Wildlife Services, wolf hunt, Flat Top Ranch

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves: A Public Policy Process Failure By Wendy Keefover ~ WildEarth Guardians

Wolf 527, killed on Buffalo Plateau on Oct. 3. Credit: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service

May 10, 2012

This is one of the most comprehensive articles written about Wolf Wars. Please read!!! Great job WildEarth Guardians!!

===

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves: A Public Policy Process Failure

How Two Special Interest Groups Hijacked Wolf Conservation in America

By Wendy Keefover • WildEarth Guardians

Wolves, once welcomed and restored with verve in the Northern Rocky Mountains, are now killed by the hundreds by well-armed hunters. Idaho and Montana have issued over 62,000 hunting tags on a wolf population that totaled less than 1,300 individuals.

While empirical data show that wolves kill only miniscule numbers of domestic livestock and generally prey upon only the weakest native ungulates, the myth of the savage predator and the wile of lobbying groups prove stronger than truth for some important decision makers. Northern Rocky Mountain wolves go untolerated and unprotected, yet, without wolves, ecosystems are impoverished, the public is deprived of prized wildlife viewing, and decades of federal investments in wolf restoration are at risk. The Northern Rocky Mountain wolves may not long endure such intolerance.

The American West, and indeed the planet, suffers from a lack of apex carnivores. In July 2011, twenty-three biologists issued an admonition in Science with the publication of their article, “Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth.” Authors forewarn that events not previously imagined, such as changes in fire regimes, exotic species invasions, carbon sequestration, and other calamities, will befall earth’s ecosystems as a result of the loss of apex consumers—both aquatic and terrestrial.

In this report, we explore facets of wolf policy, biology and ecology. We look at the economics and human values associated with wolves, and offer five pragmatic solutions to end unfounded violence upon wolves.

READ MORE: 

http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/DocServer/Wolf_Report_20120503.pdf

===

Photo: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Biodiversity, wolf intolerance

Tags: Wolf 527

Wolf Wars, Idaho wolf hunts, Montana wolf hunts, wolf persecution, Wildlife Services, Relist Wolves

Locked And Loaded: Wildlife Services Takes Aim At Wolves & Other Predators

aerial gunning of wolves

UDATE: May 2, 2012

In light of the Sacramento Bee’s explosive expose on Wildlife Services and the lawsuit filed against the agency by WildEarth Guardians, I felt it would be important to re-post this 2009 piece.

 Remember this is a repost, reflecting what was happening in 2009,  so a few of the links are outdated but Wildlife Services hasn’t changed, they’re still doing what they’ve been doing for decades, killing wildlife.

===

October 19, 2009

Who is Wildlife Services? If you asked the majority of Americans, they probably couldn’t tell you.  It was formerly known as “Animal Damage Control (ADC)”. The agency is the extermination arm of the Department of Agriculture.

“It’s just a subsidy to agriculture.. Somehow we’ve decided  as a culture that agriculture should be subsidized through the death of animals and this agency is particularly destructive because it robs the public of wildlife and doesn’t even do that much good.” (Jay Tutchton, Environmental law clinic, University of Denver School of Law)

They have the authority  to trap, poison, shoot and aerial gun animals, done mainly for the livestock industry.  Because Wildlife Services keeps a low profile, most people have no idea their tax dollars are paying a federal agency to kill off predators and other wildlife to “protect ranching.”

If you’ve ever wondered, as I have, what’s happened to all the foxes, raccoons, beavers and coyotes, just to name a few, well now you know.  A good many of them are being blown away each year by this agency.  And most of us, have absolutely nothing to say about it.  Does that seem right to you?

The statistics are shocking:

Wildlife Services killed 1456  gray wolves nationally from 2004 to 2008.  That’s an average of 364 dead wolves per year.  They even killed 9 Mexican Gray wolves in that same time period, one of the most endangered animals in the US, they only number 52 wolves.

“The governments own figures again show that mammalian carnivores kill very few livestock (0.18%)  Of the 104.5 million cattle that were produced in 2005, 190,000 (or 0.18%) died as the result of predation from coyotes, domestic dogs, and other carnivores (USDA, 2006). In comparison, livestock producers lost 3.9 million head of cattle (3.69%) to all sorts of maladies, weather, or theft, respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving, unknown, other, disease, lameness, metabolic problems, poison (USDA, 2006)

Coyotes were the primary cattle predators — they killed 97,000 cattle in 2005, followed by domestic dogs — which killed 21,900 cattle. Wolves killed remarkably few cattle, 4,400 head, as did the felids (USDA, 2006)” http://www.goagro.org/index.html

So let’s get this straight. DOMESTIC DOGS killed more cattle than wolves!. That’s from the USDA, 2006 numbers.  Coyotes, who killed the most cattle, 97,000, which still is a very small percentage, paid dearly with their lives.  696,936 coyotes were eliminated by Wildlife Services between 2004-2008.

Truth really does put everything in perspective and when you see how little damage wolves really do compared to other factors,  it’s mind-boggling that we’re having organized wolf  hunts, management plans, aerial gunning, poisoning, denning and  trapping of wolves with whole federal and state agencies devoted to making sure the wolf population doesn’t get any bigger.  You have to ask yourself why? Can you guess?  It’s called irrational fear, intolerance of another species and appalling arrogance.

just another day for wildlife services

Photo: courtesy James Balog

“Wolves killed in Polaris, Montana in 2004 for the purposes of livestock protection. Wildlife Services agents, school children, and teacher pose with dead wolves.”

Photo Courtesy:  http://www.goagro.org/

2005

“In just one year, your tax dollars helped kill 252 gray wolves, 72,816 coyotes, 1.2 million starlings, 6,832 skunks, 330 mountain lions, 2,172 red foxes, 33,469 beavers, 356 black bears, three bald eagles and two grizzly bears. Have you heard of Wildlife Services?” (excerpt from The Exterminators)

2006

“Wildlife Service kill totals for mammals were up sharply from previous years:

  • A record number of gray wolves (278), the subject of a highly publicized reintroduction effort, were killed in numbers that are up more than six-fold since 1996;

Another 116,610 mammalian carnivores, including 87,000 coyotes, 10,000 raccoons, 2,500 bobcats, 500 badgers, and 318 black bears were taken by federal wildlife agents who also killed 1,184 house cats and 512 dogs; and

  • Approximately 50,000 animals from the rodent and rabbit families—the largest toll came from beavers (28,000), followed by nutria (2,500), and marmots and woodchucks (3,700).”

2004-2008

Click this link to see the number of  mammalian carnivores  killed by Wildlife Services from 2004 through 2008:  Beavers aren’t included on the list because they’re in the rodent family  but we know Wildlife Services kills large numbers of them each year, 28, 000 in 2006.

http://www.goagro.org/index.html

Photo courtesy James Balog/www.goagro.org

========================================

We’ve seen the brutal statistics.  How do they accomplish this mass killing of  America’s wildlife?

From all-creatures.org:

Wildlife Services utilizes killing methods that are non-selective, haphazard, and brutal, including:

Trapping and Snaring

Trapping may be the most inhumane method used by Wildlife Services. Traps can go unchecked for days, allowing the animal to suffer. When not killed outright by the trap, animals can endure physiological trauma, dehydration, exposure to severe weather, and predation by other animals. Most traps are notoriously indiscriminate, capturing almost any animal who triggers them. Non-target species found in traps include endangered species, raptors, dogs, and cats. The most commonly used trap is the steel-jawed leghold trap, a restraining device with spring-loaded jaws that clamp on an animal’s foot or leg when triggered. Leghold traps can cause fractures, self-mutilation, limb amputation, and death. A desperate animal will even try to chew off a limb to escape. Snares are primitive wire nooses that tighten around an animal’s leg or neck. When snared, an animal may struggle for days.

===

Aerial Gunning

Alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

“Wildlife Services uses helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to shoot animals from the air. In 2007, the agency killed over 37,000 animals using aircraft. An agency Environmental Assessment revealed many wounded animals may be left to die.[4] Because Wildlife Services uses snowfall to track coyotes in early spring, agents may kill pregnant or lactating females. Deaths of the latter leave pups to starve. Aerial gunning is also used for “preventative predator control,” permitting agents to shoot as many carnivores as they can prior to domestic animals entering an area. The price tag for shooting carnivores from the sky can be high: killing one coyote can cost $1,000.

===

Poisoning

M-44s

Photo courtesy USDA

In 2005, Wildlife Services used M-44, small devices that shoot cyanide gas into an animal’s mouth when triggered, to kill more than 12,700 animals nationally.

danger

Wildlife Services prefers two toxins to kill predators: Sodium Monofluoroacetate (aka Compound 1080), a rat poison developed by the Nazis during World War II, and sodium cyanide. To distribute 1080, the agency uses Livestock Protection Collars – rubber bladders attached to the neck of a goat or sheep that, when pierced, releases the poison. 1080 is so lethal a single teaspoon can kill 100 people. Wildlife Services also sets M-44 devices, spring-loaded, baited mechanisms that release sodium cyanide into the mouth of any animal who disturbs the device. 1080 and sodium cyanide present serious national security risks. The FBI has listed both as “super poisons” that are “most likely to be used by terrorists or for malicious intent.”

===

Denning

wolf pups 2

Denning is the practice of tracking carnivores to their dens then killing pups inside. Poisonous gas canisters are placed in dens to asphyxiate pups. Or government agents dig pups out and shoot, club, or decapitate them. Pups have even been burned alive in their den.

Wildlife Services’ lethal control programs ignore the importance of carnivores. As “keystone species,” carnivores play a pivotal role in sustaining ecological integrity and preserving species diversity. For example, large carnivores regulate deer and elk, as well as smaller mammal, populations. The disappearance of top carnivores triggers the loss of other species and the intricate connections among the remaining residents begin to unravel. Many carnivore species need big, wild areas to survive. Wide-ranging animals like grizzly bears are considered “umbrella” species. By protecting habitat for such predators, we save places for many more animal and plant species.””

http://www.all-creatures.org/alert/alert-20081206.html

=============================================

The Exterminators

June 7, 2007

Missoula Independent

mountain lions killed

In just one year, your tax dollars helped kill 252 gray wolves, 72,816 coyotes, 1.2 million starlings, 6,832 skunks, 330 mountain lions, 2,172 red foxes, 33,469 beavers, 356 black bears, three bald eagles and two grizzly bears. Have you heard of Wildlife Services?

http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/the-exterminators/Content?oid=1137944

========
HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Predator Defense

Support HR 4775, (UPDATE: It’s now  HR4214)“The Compound 1080 & M-44 Elimination Act”, sponsored by Predator Defense. It’s stalled in Congress and needs our help.  Please call your representative and ask them to support this important legislation.  Eliminating the use of these deadly poisons against wildlife is critical!! Barbarous methods like these do not belong in the 21st century.  Make your voice heard!!

====

Conservation groups have continually called on the USDA to end Wildlife Services’ mass killing of predators and other wildlife, yet they still operate with impunity at the bidding of big ranching.  What will it take for a policy change in Washington?

Contact President Obama and ask him to abolish this destructive agency, who is poisoning, trapping and shooting America’s wildlife.

President Obama

White House Phone Numbers

202-456-1414 (switchboard)
202-456-1111 (white house comment line)

comments@whitehouse.gov

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

====

Group Calls for End to the War on Wildlife

WildEarth Guardians

Seeks End of Aerial Gunning & Poisoning of Wildlife on Public Lands

http://idahostatejournal.com/news/national/article_3254d8c6-db91-11de-b8ab-001cc4c002e0.html

wolf pack in winter

FOR THE WOLVES, FOR THE WILD ONES

===

Photo: Courtesy The Missoula Independent

Posted in: Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Tags:  wolf intolerance, wolves or livestock, USDA, Wildlife Services, M-44, Compound 1080

Killing Wolves For Fun And The War On Wolves….

~~~
As 2011 draws to a close I’ll be revisiting a few of my early posts from 2009, when the first wolf hunts were taking place in Montana and Idaho, after the Obama administration delisted them in the Spring of that year. This was the first time wolves were hunted in the lower 48 since the last wolves were wiped out in the 1940′s.

Since 2009 the state sponsored  hunts have gotten bolder and more brutal,  with the inclusion of traps and snares, even bringing Alaskan trappers to kill wolves in Idaho’s Lolo and Selway zones, with the addition of aerial gunning.  All to harass and kill wolves who’ve done nothing wrong except try to exist.

In 2009,  wolf advocates were awaiting Judge Molloy’s decision, would he relist wolves?  The ruling came  in August 2010. Wolves were relisted in the Northern Rockies!! But the victory was short-lived.  Thanks to Jon Tester D-MT,  who inserted a wolf delisting rider into the Senate budget bill, wolves were delisted  and the bill was signed into law by President Obama. Wolves are now paying with their lives for that betrayal.

===

Killing Wolves For Fun & The War On Wolves

November 9, 2009

yellowstone wolf runnintg

Wolves have been accused of it but the predator with the reputation for killing for sport isn’t the wolf, it’s man.

I’ve often asked myself why people trophy hunt, this is especially relevant since wolves are firmly in the cross fire, with ongoing wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho.

Wolves aren’t being hunted for food. Hunters are making a personal decision to go out and kill a wolf just because it’s there.

Over 26,000 wolf tags were sold in Idaho alone to kill 220 wolves and Montana sold thousands to kill 75 wolves.  A little over kill, don’t ya think?  Add to that the hatred some people feel for wolves, it makes for an even scarier and mean-spirited climate.

alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Even before the wolf hunts began the air was charged with anti-wolf bias. The governors of Montana and Idaho inserted themselves into the negative wolf rhetoric.  Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana made a questionable statement about federal Judge Molloy, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought by environmental groups to reverse the recent wolf delisting.  The plaintiffs were asking for an injunction, to stop the wolf hunts, while the merits of the case were being decided.  Governor Schweitzer stated: ”If some old judge says we can’t (hunt wolves), we’ll take it back to another judge.”  That was a totally indefensible remark for the Gov to make. Gov “Butch” Otter of Idaho went one better. Back in 2007, before wolves were even delisted, he stated in front of a rally of camouflage wearing hunters, he was prepared to manage the wolf population down to just 100 animals. He went even further stating “. “I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.”

Should the executive officers of Montana and Idaho, use the wolf as a political football by posturing to ranching and hunting interests?  What chance does the wolf have to be treated fairly when the governors  make those kinds of statements?

The “management” or killing of wolves is sanctioned by the states of Montana and Idaho but exactly who is this benefiting?  Certainly not over the ninety percent of the non-hunting public.  Wolves and other predators are being “managed” for the benefit of a few interest groups, mainly elk hunters, ranchers and outfitters. The rest of us, who want to view wildlife in their natural state, which means “not dead”, don’t seem to count.  Our wildlife is being slaughtered for the benefit of a few. That is inherently wrong but it continues because hunting and ranching interests have powerful lobbies that seek to influence policy and it works! Unless and until the politics of the usual are replaced with the policies of change, America’s predators will suffer.

hayden pack wolves

wolf photo: SigmaEye Flicker

Montana and Idaho have decided which wildlife they consider important and which are disposable.  Predator management is just a euphemism for killing them.  Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on tracking, collaring and lethally controlling predators and other wildlife by cruel means, IE, poisoning with 1080 compound, M44s, denning and trapping.  Most of the killing is done by Wildlife Services, which is an arm of the USDA.  The lethal control of wolves is not supported by the majority of Americans but we have little input in the decision-making process. Why does the non-hunting consumer have so little influence on  how our wildlife is managed?

Although predators control ungulate populations, the states aren’t comfortable with that because they cater to the hunting and ranching lobbies, who bring millions into state coffers. This creates a conflict of interest.  Wolves compete with hunters for the same prey.  The budget of state game agencies depend on hunter licensing fees.  Is it any wonder we are having wolf hunts and wolf “management”?

As soon as predators, like the wolf, start to increase in number, the call rings out for them to be managed.   “In 2008, wolves are known to have killed fewer than 200 cattle and sheep in Montana, and 100 wolves were hunted down in response.” 

How can anyone defend that kind ”managment”? Yet Montana and Idaho contend their wildlife management practices are grounded in science.  I would like to see the science that backs wiping out 100 wolves for the death of 200 livestock?

In January 2008, before the current delisting took place, FWP issued new revised rules concerning the “management” of  gray wolves, who had been reintroduced to Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone in 1995-96.  The new rules state the feds and tribes can kill more wolves if they become a “threat” to game animals and private property.  So once again FWP is “managing” for the benefit of the few ignoring the wants of the many.

Have you ever visited Yellowstone National Park and watched the Druid Peak Pack?  They were literally the super stars of Yellowstone, sadly the pack is plagued by mange, their numbers declining, yet we are caught up in wolf hunts, which threatens them and other wild wolves in the park.  Already the famed Alpha female, 527F, of Yellowstone’s Cottonwood Pack, was gunned down a mile outside of the park, along with the Alpha male and her daughter, when the Montana hunt began.  This decimated the Cottonwood Pack and halted important research into some of Yellowstone’s most famous and studied collared wolves.

Trophy hunting of wolves only inflames passions and hatred of wolves. I won’t call trophy hunting a sport.  It’s an unfair game where the hunted aren’t acquainted with the rules. The only way it could be considered fair is if you placed the “hunter” in the woods without their high-powered rifles or high-tech bows and have them run up against a wolf with their bare hands, you know, Mano y Mano. How many “brave” hunters would be out there killing wolves for fun in that scenario?  I say the number would be ZERO.  Killing for sport is a cowardly exercise that features an uneven playing field between hunters and the hunted,  just to get a cheap thrill and rush of testosterone (yes most hunters are men).  How skillful and brave is it to kill an animal, hundreds of yards away, that has no fighting chance against you, with a scope and high-powered rifle? Trophy hunting gives all hunting a bad name!!  It’s blood lust pure and simple. Wolves shouldn’t be subjected to this in the 21st Century. We’ve already exterminated them in the West once, are we aiming for round two?

286_lobo_wolf-wars

Lobo wolf wars (Photo: Nature Online)

The most encouraging words come from Richard Baldes, a Shoshone and former Fish and Wildlife Service biologist on the Wind River Indian Reservation, inhabited by the Arapahoe and Shoshone tribes.  They’re managing to coexist very well with wolves and welcome Canis Lupus.  He explained the tribe’s views to High Country News in 2008:

“The tribes’ management plans are pretty simple. “The Wind River Reservation is somewhat of a sanctuary,” Baldes tells me from his porch at the foot of the Wind River Mountains. Much as they do with the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, which was instrumental in the original reintroduction, wolves play an important role in the lore and religion of Shoshone and Arapahoe people. Wolves represent a social role model, for starters: “They take care of the family,” Baldes says. “The aunts and uncles take care of the young, and they also take care of the old.”

The obvious parallels between government efforts to eradicate wolves and past efforts to eradicate Indians aren’t lost on Baldes. In fact, the resurgence of wolves is a powerful metaphor on the reservation. “The Creator put them here for a reason,” Baldes says. He chuckles to himself about the raging controversy. “People have made the issue with wolves much more complicated than it needs to be,” he says. “It’s just a nice feeling to know that these animals are back and that they’re going to be here to stay. I don’t see any reason why they won’t be here forever.”

====

Why State Fish and Game Agencies Can’t Manage Predators

 By George Wuerthner, 4-17-09
  
minn gray wolf
http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/why_state_fish_and_game_agencies_cant_manage_predators/C564/L564
===
Top Photo: kewl wallpapers
Bottom and Middle Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: trophy hunting wolves, wolves in the crossfire, Wildlife Services, Obama administration de-listing, Druid Peak Pack

Wolf B 412: A Life Snuffed Out, A Life Remembered…

B412’s story was the result of a collaboration between myself and a dedicated wolf advocate and friend.

Every wolf  killed in Idaho and Montana’s wolf  jihad is special. Because wolves are hard to observe in these states, unlike Yellowstone National Park, it’s rare any one wolf becomes familiar to wolf supporters but wolf B412, was such a wolf.

She was born in mid-April 2006, a member of the Soldier Mountain Pack, named for a beautiful mountain range north of Fairfield, Idaho, about 110 miles from Boise.  Like much of Idaho, the Soldier Mountain Pack had to contend with sheep and cattle on public land grazing allotments.

Sheep grazing may appear to be a tranquil use of meadows and forests, but sheep are helpless and cannot defend themselves against a cocker spaniel, let alone a wolf or coyote. Guard dogs are used by some sheepmen, but the ranching industry relies mostly on Wildlife Servicesto trap, snare or shoot any wolf, coyote, fox, bear or mountain lion that’s spotted anywhere near livestock.

Wolves are scorned by Idaho Governor Butch Otter and his hand-picked Fish and Game Commissioners. These men – nicknamed the death squad – are trying to reduce what’s left of Idaho’s 800 wolves, down to 200 or less.

This was the situation a little, black female wolf pup faced, along with her pack in 2006.

Soldier Mountains Where B412 Was Born

Ranchers are not required to take any measures that might help wolves survive. Example: bands of sheep, numbering 2500 ewes and lambs, are frequently herded to known wolf denning and rendezvous sites in the mountains. Ranchers have public land grazing allotments to graze cattle and sheep – land that belongs to all Americans. Sheep herders who come to America, mostly from Peru, work for $700 a month or less and live in a sheep wagon most of the year. Their pay is the same whether they protect sheep from predators like wolves, or not. If a lamb dies of illness or injury, it’s often blamed on wolves.

The result: IDFG issues a control order to remove wolves and sends Wildlife Services on a killing mission. Wildlife Services is a federal government agency, under the U.S. Dept of Agriculture. Wildlife Services, a misnomer, sends agents to trap or snare any wolf they can find, or launches an air attack using a helicopter or fixed wing airplane. Your tax dollars at work.

The Soldier Mountain Pack had chosen their home range in a spectacular mountain landscape. But some people, especially ranchers with strong political connections, have determined that wolves will not exist. Coexisting with wolves is something Idaho has no intention of ever doing under the reign of Governor Butch Otter.

The Soldier Mountain Pack was implicated in some proven and probable livestock losses. It’s uncertain what happened, but in the fall of 2008, a young, black female wolf ended up far from her home territory.

And then trouble struck. The young wolf made the mistake of putting her paw into a coyote trap. Why any civilized human traps coyotes or any other animal, is hard if not impossible to understand. But in the fall of 2008, she was caught in a trap. The result: IDFG came to the scene and fixed a radio collar on her neck. At that time, scars of other trapping encounters were evident.

Right paw – missing two toes.

The wolf was missing two toes on her right foot. She apparently had been caught in a trap set for coyotes and managed to pull the trap free from its stake, leaving the area before the trapper came back to kill her. Squished in the trap, two of her front toes eventually dropped off the rest of her paw. She was free from the trap but paid a painful price. Now she was crippled.

Soon she was tricked again by an expert trapper, as indicated by the scar above her two remaining toes. Somehow, she was able to free herself from the trap and survive. A scar is visible on her right paw above her toes.

Scar Rt. Paw From Coyote Trap. Fresh scar on left foot.
Once the wolf was radio collared, she became known as Idaho Wolf B412. She now had a sore left foot and a mangled right foot. A wolf lives by it’s feet. It would take incredible courage for B412 to survive.

Gash on left paw shows further damage from a trap

The story moves to the Spring of 2009. Wolf B412 was being monitored by IDFG agents, as they do with all radio-collared wolves in Idaho. B412 was now three years old. She whelped her first litter of pups. There were only two other adult wolves with her. We know now, she had six pups. In early summer, 2009, a calf was killed 10 miles from the location B412 had her pups. According to agency documents, the order was to kill a wolf. Apparently it didn’t matter whether it was B412 or one of the other two wolves with her.

One adult wolf was “howled” out and killed. This means that a trained agent, imitates the howl of a wolf, and when it appears, he shoots it with a high powered rifle.

B412 eventually moved several miles away. In August, a biologist working for the Sawtooth National Forest, discovered five dead wolf pups in Ditto Flat.  Law enforcement was notified and officers retrieved the pups and also found a 6th. The conclusion: canine parvo was the culprit, it was found in the remains of two of the pups. Witnesses at the sad scene stated B412 was in the area and howled mournfully for her pups.

Then B412 disappeared. Her radio collar signal was not picked up on the IDFG monthly wolf survey flights. They use collar telemetry to pin point wolves’ locations.  All to0 often,  this information is shared, leading to dead wolves.

Where Was B412?

In 2011, a crippled, black collared wolf was seen in Blaine County, Idaho. It was B412, many miles from her original home. Much of Blaine County is a green, progressive, conservation-minded place. It’s one of two Idaho counties that voted for Obama. There’s a saying: I don’t live in Idaho, I live in Blaine County.

Unfortunately, the southern part of Blaine County is red neck and anti-wolf. B412 was on hostile ground near Bellevue and Carey, two tiny Blaine County villages. Those who knew B412 was in the area, didn’t say a word to anyone.

Then, in the summer of 2011, a man who had a bear baiting station caught a collared wolf on his remote camera. It wasn’t B412, but it was a gray wolf with a collar. That sent IDFG out searching for collared wolves, using an airplane, they found B412, who had been missing for nearly two years. Now that IDFG knew where she was – it was the beginning of the end for her.

Unfortunately, the enemies of wolves and all predators, continue to push to destroy wolves like B412. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has become a huge force against wolves like B412. Apparently, elk are only for humans to hunt and kill.

When two sheep and a calf were killed several miles from B412 – IDFG called out the “Wildlife Services aerial gunning squad” to find B412 and “kill any offending wolves”. It didn’t matter if  B412 was responsible for killing livestock.

Friends of B412 kept an eye on her and her four black pups.

When the pups got older and could travel, B412 moved several miles. She was well hidden in an area with plentiful food, from rodents to deer and elk.

In late August, a calf was killed on a ranch 7 miles away. It wasn’t just any ranch, it belonged to a well-known public figure, who had been in the Idaho Legislature, and was considered by some to be an environmentalist. But, it’s now clear, that the rancher has no use for wolves or any animal that threatened his cattle and sheep. Wildlife Services stations an agent next to his ranch for the entire summer.

Observers knew B412 wasn’t anywhere near the ranch at the time the calf was killed. But, she was the closest collared wolf. Because the calf was left out in the open in hot weather from Sunday morning until Tuesday – it’s no surprise coyotes, foxes, ravens, wolves, eagles and magpies – all showed up to feed on the calf carcass.

Maybe a wolf killed the calf, maybe it didn’t. Wildlife Services can only continue to exist if they declare any dead calf or lamb, cow or ewe, a wolf kill.

Tragically, on the morning of August 31st, 2011, Wildlife Services swept down upon the ranch and shot three wolves and four coyotes. B412  escaped with her life,  running into the trees. Unfortunately, her yearling son, and two pups of the year,  did not survive the gunning.

B412 was heard howling, mourning for her off spring.

Almost three months later, on Sunday, November 27th, B412 herself, was shot by a wolf hunter. She was five years old. She had crippled, maimed feet. She weighed only 83 pounds. She was shot in an area that is only accessible via a locked gate, where there is private land belonging to the same ranch that allowed the August 31st aerial killing of B412’s yearling son and two pups.

B412’s two surviving pups are orphans now, grieving for their mother. There may be 1 or 2 adult wolves with them, who will teach them to hunt and survive.  But, sadistic humans, who hunt wolves, will be targeting them.

B412 was five  years old when she was shot by a wolf hunter on Sunday, November 27, 2011. The clouds over the Little Wood River country wept, as did all who are fighting for Idaho’s wolves.

What can you do to help? Support groups who are working on behalf of wolves in the Northern Rockies. Please, before you write a check, ask organizations where they stand on wolf hunting, trapping and snaring.  Depending on their answer you can open your check book or close it! Give instead to organizations who support and defend the right of wolves to exist in peace.

Please do not buy garments, footwear or other items made from the fur of animals.

Speak out for wolves, I hope B412’s  story will move you to act. She lived a hard life, caught in three traps, leaving both front paws maimed. She lost 6 puppies to parvo and three to Wildlife Service killers.

Wolves are not just faceless, nameless numbers. They’re highly social, intelligent animals who are  suffering,  due to ignorance, hate and arrogance.

Here are a few important facts  to carry with you:

Idaho lost 86, 900 cattle to non-predation in 201o (NASS).  This includes digestive, metabolic and respiratory problems, mastitis, lameness and injury, weather, poisoning and theft. Just 75 cows were lost to wolves.  Domestic dogs and coyotes are a bigger threat to cattle. Yet wolves are treated like terrorists, tracked and hounded,  now hunted with traps and snares.  Is this what was intended for the iconic wolf , brought back from the brink in the lower 48, just 16 years ago, only to be exterminated once more?

Remember B412!!

Speak out for Idaho wolves before it’s too late!

Anti-wolf bumper stickers as seen in Hailey, Idaho. Ignorance seems to have the upper hand in Idaho when it comes to wolves.

===

Elusive wolf shot by hunter near Carey

Alpha female had survived 3 kill orders

http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005139657&var_Year=2011&var_Month=11&var_Day=30

====

CONTACT

PLEASE WRITE THE FOLLOWING MEN. IT’S ESSENTIAL YOU BE POLITE.
Do not use profanity. IDFG = Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game. These two men have considerable power over the wildlife in IDFG’s Magic Valley Region in the southern part of the state. The Region includes the towns of Twin Falls, Burley, Rupert, Buhl, Hagerman, Jerome, Gooding, Mountain Home, Fairfield, Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum, Sun Valley and Picabo.
  

Dr. Wayne Wright,  IDFG Commissioner

Magic Valley Region

===

Jerome Hansen, IDFG Supervisor

Magic Valley Region

 jerome.hansen@idfg.idaho.gov 

Points to mention – please mention if you are an Idaho resident, a current or past visitor to Idaho, or have (had) plans to visit Idaho:

•Wolves are intelligent, charismatic animals who live in families, just like us. I would like to be able to view wolves in Idaho w/o someone trying to shoot, trap or snare them.

•I am very disappointed that Wolf B412 was recently shot by a hunter in your region. This wolf endured much in her short life, including the loss of two toes to a trap, and the loss of three of her pups this past summer. Now her two remaining pups are orphaned and will probably not survive. Yet, IDFG encourages hunters to kill wolves of any age, apparently to satisfy some blood thirst, a hatred of wolves, or to sell wolf tags for $11.75. What a waste. IDFG and its commissioners should be ashamed.

•Idaho’s treatment of wolves – shooting, trapping, snaring, aerial gunning – is inhumane & has no place in a civilized society, Idaho is already looked upon as a 3rd World Country existing within the United States, and your wolf killing plan furthers this impression.

•The indiscriminate killing of wolves of any age, as advocated by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game and the IDFG Commissioners, is spotlighting Idaho as a backwater state, that you wouldn’t want to visit, let alone call home. The wolf snaring and trapping season is a danger to anyone who has dogs or small children.

•Ranchers are being irresponsible in protecting their livestock from predators and IDFG is encouraging this by willingly ordering the slaughter of any wolves that might exist within miles. There is no accountability whatsoever on the part of sheep or cattle ranchers. I will no longer eat beef or lamb that comes from Idaho.

•IDFG’s management of wolves has drawn attention to the mismanagement of ranchers and their livestock. Like never before, public lands ranching is under scrutiny and I for one support, the removal of all livestock from my public lands. IDFG used to stand up for wildlife, now it appears you are but another pawn for the powerful cattle and sheep ranches.

•IDFG’s war on wolves – with the goal of killing by any means possible – all but 200 wolves in the state, has also drawn attention to big game outfitters who have made it clear they dislike wolves. I will never hire an outfitter who hunts wolves. I will boycott any business that supports the hunting of wolves. I will urge my friends and family to boycott Idaho until IDFG changes it’s campaign against wolves.

Sincerely,

===

Gov. Butch Otter

Phone: 208-334-2100

Fax: (208) 334-3454

===

Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/about/commission/members.cfm

Panhandle Region

Tony McDermott
mcmule@msn.com

===

Clearwater Region

Fred Trevey
fred.trevey@idfg.idaho.gov

===

Southwest Region

Bob Barowsky
bbarowsky@fmtc.com

===

Southeast Region

Randy Budge
rcb@racinelaw.net

===

Upper Snake Region

===

Salmon Region

Gary Power
gpower@centurytel.net

===

Idaho Fish and Game

IDFG Director Virgil Moore:

(208) 334-3771

virgil.moore@idfg.idaho.gov

===

Jon Rachael, IDFG Wildlife Dept.

(208) 334-2920  

jon.rachael@idfg.idaho.gov

Idaho Fish and Game General Numbers Click Here

===

Idaho tourism office

http://www.visitidaho.org/contact/

===

Write the Potato Commission

http://contact.idahopotato.com/

===

Photos: Courtesy of  Idaho WildWolf Images Copyright 2011

Top Wolf Photo: Courtesy Animal Pictures Archive

Elk Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho Wolves

Tags: B412, Soldier Mountain Pack, black wolf,  Idaho, Wildlife Services, IDFG, wolf hunt, traps and snares, aerial gunning, Flat Top Ranch

ACTION ALERT: Montana Proposes Extending Wolf Hunt Among Other Things…Submit Comments Today, 11/28/11, by 5pm!!

Today is the deadline to submit your comments!!

Montana wants to extend the wolf hunt past the December 31, 2011 deadline to January 31, 2011, to give hunters more time to kill the entire 220 wolf quota. What a great group of people running the show over there.

AND they want to allow private hunters to kill wolves for miniscule depredations on livestock, replacing Wildlife Services. So basically there would be a mini wolf hunt year round in Montana. Private hunters, hand selected by the rancher, (most likely their relatives or buddies) would be called in to kill wolves. Montana is big on taking out entire packs of wolves for a few depredations. In 2010, FWP authorized the removal of twelve wolf packs.

Comment Deadline today.  Please speak out for the wolves!!!

“Comments can be submitted through 5 p.m., Nov. 28.”

Click the on the link  to comment.

Wolf Season Refinements

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/opportunityForPublicComment/proposedWolfSeasonRefinements.html

“Submit comments by mail to: FWP-Wildlife Bureau, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.”

PROPOSALS

PROPOSED WOLF SEASON EXTENSION

This specific proposal extends the current wolf hunting season through January 31, 2012 or until the specific WMU quotas are met, whichever is first. See the 2011 wolf regulations from the Hunting home page at the fwp.mt.gov website for specific quotas and other elements of the wolf hunting season. Based upon rate of harvest, the Commission may consider other season extension dates.

===

PROPOSED PROCESS TO ALLOW WOLF DEPREDATION REMOVALS BY HUNTERS FOR 2012 AND 2013

Elements of this proposal include those listed below.

• To enhance timeliness, livestock producers would identify the hunters to be authorized.
• Livestock producers must allow a reasonable amount of no-fee wolf hunting access during the wolf hunting season.
• Hunters must have a valid wolf license.
• Hunters must report any kill within 12 hours.
• Hunters are meant to complement existing efforts by landowners and USDA Wildlife Services.
• This hunter option is not required but may be implemented with coordination by livestock producers, USDA Wildlife Services and FWP.
• This hunter option is available whenever there is no need to specifically identify the age, sex, color or identify of any wolf prior to lethal removal.
• All lethal removals by livestock producers, USDA Wildlife Services and/or hunters must be consistent with FWP lethal removal prescription.

http://fwp.mt.gov/fwpDoc.html?id=53303

===

Photo: Courtesy Flickr Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: private hunters to replace WS?, Wildlife Services, Montana ranchers, wolf persecution, wolf wars, livestock depredation red herring, Montana FWP

More Dead Wolves….

Government trappers kill two wolves on CB Ranch

“Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Lou Royce said a black female was caught in a trap and euthanized Sunday on the CB Ranch.

The wolf was wearing a collar.

Another wolf in the Divide Creek pack was killed earlier.

The kill permit that was issued following the death of a calf a few weeks ago allowed for up to four wolves to be killed from that pack.”

http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/local/5f00a05c-9630-11e0-8992-001cc4c03286.html

So up to four wolves can be killed for the death of one calf, when Montana lost 74,800 cattle to non-predation in 2010? Really?

 Several wolf advocates on this blog pointed out the word euthanize was used to describe the killing of these wolves.

“Rhonda writes: Euthanasia : the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.”

“John writes: By the way, love* the word they used “euthanised”…don’t they mean “trapped and shot”?
(*sarcasm)

Killing perfectly healthy animals for miniscule livestock losses is NOT euthanasia in my book. Prettying up the language doesn’t make the act less brutal.

I guess you can’t kill lightning, disease, reproductive issues with guns and traps. And you don’t get reimbursed for them either!

NON PREDATION is the major cause of cattle loss in Montana, that is a fact. Predators are only a blip on the radar screen. But yet we have special wolf units that track these animals down like they’re terrorists, lay traps for them…are they baited? Then it seems the media has to report on each and every one of the 87 cattle/wolf depredations, that took place in Montana in 2010. like they are front page news. Remember there are approx. 2.5 million cows in Montana people.

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER CATTLE DEATHS?  WE WANT TO KNOW HOW EVERY ONE OF THE 74,800 NON PREDATION CATTLE LOSSES OCCURRED!!

Photo:  kewl  wallpapers.com

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf trapped and killed, more dead wolves,  Wildlife Services, NASS,  euthanasia?

Published in: on June 16, 2011 at 3:10 am  Comments (21)  
Tags: , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,534 other followers

%d bloggers like this: