Gunning For Four Wolf Packs In Montana….What About The Pups?

August 1, 2014

This was first posted in 2010. Wildlife Services continued to kill wolves even though 500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009,  due to the first wolf hunts held in Montana and Idaho after the Obama admin. stripped them of their ESA protections. Along with poaching and Wildlife Services, wolves continued to die in 2010 after the hunts were over. This is just a fraction of the damage Montana and Idaho have inflicted on wolves  over the last five years. Read it and weep, then get active. There’s  a time to write about tragedy and a time to do something about it.  How many more years will I have to report about dead wolves?  It’s burning a hole in my soul.

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May 5, 2010

Wolf killing season continues even though the “legal hunts” are over.

Wildlife Services and Montana FWP are gunning for four wolf packs. The Trapper Peak Pack, Miner Lakes Pack, Bender Pack and any remaining wolves from the Battlefield Pack.

Do any of these packs have pups? It’s pup season and babies are just weeks old, totally dependent on their mothers to survive. Is this how Montana FWP  intends to further reduce the wolf population by wiping out wolf pups when they kill their parents?  The situation is disgusting to say the least. What happens to these pups when their parents are killed. They are BABIES!  Do they leave them for dead, kill them along with the other members of the pack?  When is this going to end?

The Montana Wildlife Services wolf extermination squad continue  to go after wolves for livestock depredation even though wolf predation is a tiny figure in overall cattle deaths. Let’s ask ranchers how many cows they lose to disease, weather, theft and reproductive issues? They don’t want to talk about that because they don’t get reimbursed for cows killed by lighting.

People are outraged by the continued wolf killing. And the ranchers just sit back and let the feds take care of “the problem” for them. Why do Montanans owe the ranchers anything? It’s their cattle. Hire range riders, use electrified fladry, herders, guard dogs, what ever you have to do but why are federal tax dollars being used to kill wolves for agribusiness? It’s a subsidy for ranching  pure and simple.

Yes, Montana Wildlife Services has been very busy and it’s only four months into the 2010.  Read it and weep.

Stats From Montana FWP Weekly Wolf Reports:

Horse Prairie Pack….12/31 and 1/5 two wolves killed,  3/31 WS authorized to remove entire pack, 4/1, WS authorized to remove remaining two wolves,  4/21 collared female killed. (breeding pair at  end of 2009)
 
Miner Lakes Pack 1/8 two wolves killed, 2/15 authorized to remove entire pack.
 
Bender Pack 1/14 one wolf killed, 1/20 one wolf killed, 3/11 WS  gunning for last wolf in this pack
 
Fishtrap Pack 2/8 authorized to remove 1/2 the pack (up to four wolves), 4/22 WS killed wolf NW221F who was the last collared wolf remaining (was breeding pair end of 2009)
 
Camas Prairie Pack 2/4 two  wolves killed, 2/17 one wolf killed, 4/21 one wolf killed, 4/22 killed remaining collared wolf

Candy Mountain Pack 4/1 Authorized to kill two wolves  (breeding pair end of 2009)

Dry Forks Pack 4/6 Removing wolves and collaring wolves, 4/7  one wolf killed, possibly two. (breeding pair end of 2009)

Ninemile Pack 3/23  one wolf shot from helicopter (breeding pair end of 2009)

Silcox Pack 3/ 5 one pup killed (breeding pair end of 2009)

Superior Pack 4/20 two wolves killed, 4/21 alpha male killed which removed the entire pack ( six wolves killed in total)  (was breeding pair end of 2009)

Cedar Creek Pack  4/22 WS services given permission to kill five wolves from this pack, WS has killed three of those wolves

Trapper Peak Pack:  alpha male and another wolf killed 2009,  4/13 (aprox date) yearling  wolf shot by rancher, 4/23 WS authorized to kill entire pack

 3/8 one wolf killed 

3/23 three wolves killed

 4/9 Gunning for entire wolf pack near Wisdom 

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From Ralph Maughin’s Website: From April 22, 2010

March Idaho Wolf Management Progress Report released

April 22, 2010 — Ken Cole 
 28 wolves killed in control since the beginning of the year 

The Idaho Wolf Management Progress Report has been released by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. So far the report says there have been 28 wolves killed for 14 livestock animals taken. This doesn’t make sense when you consider that last month’s depredation numbers were the same as this month’s yet they report that 8 calves were taken and 10 wolves killed this month. Something didn’t get updated properly. 

It also notes that “Additional capture efforts are planned through April.” This is noteworthy since wolves den in April. Does this mean that they have been capturing pregnant females just before denning? Usually ground trapping doesn’t occur when there is a chance of freezing temperatures due to the possibility of injury to the wolves’ feet so presumably capturing refers to aerial darting of wolves.

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This was not the purpose of the reintroduction. 

Nobody envisioned wolves would be continually killed by the state for agribusiness. Why would you reintroduce wolves in the West only to send them down the road to extinction, once again? This is slaughter pure and simple and it’s WRONG.

And again, what about the newly born pups? They are doomed along with their parents!

Wildlife officials target 3 wolf packs for attacks on stock in Big Hole Valley

 By the Associated Press | Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 9:47 pm
 

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_2fb6262e-4f54-11df-85a6-001cc4c03286.html

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State decides to kill Trapper Peak wolf pack

 Ravalli Republic | Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 12:00 am

http://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_436e6a62-57df-11df-8321-001cc4c03286.html

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Bitteroot Wolf Pack To Be Eliminated

Posted: Apr 28, 2010 4:09 PM
By Mark Holyoak

http://www.kpax.com/news/bitterroot-wolf-pack-to-be-eliminated/

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Montana, Idaho and Wyoming Wolf Policies Foreshadow Extinction

The federal authorization for each state to reduce wolves to 100-150 animals puts northern Rockies wolves on a spiral toward extinction.

By Michael J. Robinson, Guest Writer, 4-21-10

 http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/montana_idaho_and_wyoming_wolf_policies_foreshadow_extinction/C559/L559/

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Please write to Carolyn Sime and the rest of the wolf team to express your outrage over the continued killing of wolves for agribusiness:

Carolyn Sime, Helena

Montana Statewide Wolf Coordinator
(406) 444-3242 (work)
(406) 461-0587 (cell)

Click Here To Email Her:

Click Here To Contact Montana Wolf Team:

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Write to Montana’s Office of Tourism and tell them you want Montana to stop killing wolves or you won’t spend tourist dollars in the state:

Montana Office of Tourism

Mailing Address
Montana Office of Tourism
PO Box 200533
Helena MT 59620-0501

Email
mt-webmaster@visitmt.com

Phone/FAX
Phone: 406.841.2870
Fax: 406.841.2871

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Lastly, please stop eating beef!!  It’s a cruel industry and will help save wolves.  Watch Earthlings and Food, Inc. to see how much ranchers care about their cows and sheep.  It will make you sick!

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Helicopter Photo: Courtesy AGRO, James Balog

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Howling For Justice

Tags: wolf pups,  wolf slaughter, wolf persecution, killing wolves for agribusiness

 

Wolf Warriors Speak For Wolves – Yellowstone 2014

Jimmy St. Goddard 3

Jimmy St. Goddard of the Blackfeet Tribe – EESUKYAH

July 1, 2014

It took us 9 hours to drive to the rally. Most of that time was spent stopping for gas, letting the dogs out to stretch their legs and finding something to eat. No seriously, we are just very slow drivers. We got there around 9:30 am Saturday morning, sadly we didn’t make it to Bob Landis’ film on the 06 female Friday night but she was in our thoughts, what a magnificent wolf she was, no wonder everyone called her Rockstar.

Of course the weather was moody. One minute the sun was out and the next rain clouds were hovering overhead. But that’s Montana. If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute :) There was a brief thunderstorm cell that passed through in the afternoon but it was over quickly.

I want to thank Brett again for doing a wonderful job of organizing and planning the rally. The line up of speakers and panelists was amazing. In no particular order: Brett Haverstick,  Bob Landis, Mike Hudak, Doug Peacock, George Wuerthner, Catherine Feher-Elston, Jimmy St. Goddard,  Bill Chamberlain, Mike Mease, Goodshield Agular (guitar), Neil Haverstick (guitar), Brett Haverstick (Organizer Extraordinaire), George Nikas, Louisa Willcox, Nathan Varley, Oliver Starr, Anja Heister, Camilla Fox, Dr. Robert Crabtree, Bill Chamberlain. Hope I didn’t leave anyone out or misspell their names.

Jimmy St. Goddard of the Blackfeet Nation, started the rally on Saturday with a powerful presentation. In ceremonial dress, looking resplendent, he prayed, chanted and spoke for wolves.. Anyone who knows Jimmy or has heard him speak will always come away impressed. He is dedicated to the wolves and buffalo and all wildlife.

We spent Saturday morning and afternoon at Arch Park, listening to the amazing line up of speakers. I was lucky to connect with friends, some whom I haven’t seen in years.

 There were booths set up for most of the sponsors that displayed their educational material, booklets, calendars, bumper stickers, etc. The Buffalo Field Campaign had a beautiful calendar. Everyone was wearing the Speak for Wolves tees!

 We spent the evening at the Gardiner Community Center watching  films with a panel discussion at the end. The film, Exposed: The USDA Secret War on Wildlife, was particularly gruesome, focusing on the agency we’ve all come to hate- Wildlife Services. Their cruelty to animals seems to know no bounds.

In the evening on Saturday we spent the time unwinding and talking wolves.

On Sunday we took a brief trip into the park, which is always spectacular but you can’t forget going thru the Gardiner entrance that buffalo were slaughtered outside the park just a few months ago, as buffalo cows attempted to leave the park and travel to their ancestral calving grounds. Mike Mease, founder of the Buffalo Field Campaign, spoke about this travesty and how important the Yellowstone herd is. These are the last remaining descendants of the millions of wild free roaming buffalo who once covered this land like a blanket, more than 60 million, wiped out in a killing frenzy. It’s truly unbelievable.

While touring around Yellowstone we couldn’t help notice the abundance of elk, they seemed to be around every nook and cranny, many cow elk with their babies. They were  even lounging behind Arch Park in the high school field.  I think they traveled there to support the wolves.  A few people traveled to Lamar Valley and were lucky to see  wolves romping with their pups.

It was a wonderful experience and helped rejuvenate my spirits, which have taken quite the beating these last five years since wolves were delisted by Obama in 2009. Not sure why many people think  2011 was the first year wolves in the Northern Rockies were delisted, Obama removed their ESA protections mere months after he took office, along with his buddy Ken Salazar. There were wolf hunts held in Montana and Idaho starting in the Fall of 2009 and 500 wolves died. So this has been going on a lot longer than 2011, although that was the year Congress shoved Tester’s wolf delisting rider (with no judicial review) into a budget appropriations bill and all Democrats save three voted to strip wolves of the Endangered Species Protections. Quite the travesty.

Arch Park

Brett Haverstick

Brett Haverstick – Event Organizer – Thank you Brett!!!

Gardiner Community Center 5

Gardiner Community Center – Watching Films and Panel Discussion After

Gardiner Community Center6

 

Speak for Wolves 11

George Nickas, Executive Director of Wilderness Watch

Doug Peacock

Doug Peacock

Catherine Feher-Elston 2. jpg

Catherine Feher-Elston

Speak for Wolves

Neil Haverstick

Mike Mease

Mike Mease

Arch park 1

Speak for Wolves Neil 2

Well that’s all for tonight. Hope there aren’t too many mistakes but it’s 4:46 am and I’m pretty sleepy. I have lot’s of video on my phone so I’m hoping to upload it soon and share it. Or maybe I’ll put it all together in a YouTube video.

Great experience, we should do it every year and keep the momentum going!

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

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Elk lounging on high school field behind Yellowstone entrance 1

Wolf cheerleaders!! :)

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elk cows and calves in Yellowstone on the way to the Lamar Valley 1

Yellowstone elk Cows and calves on the drive to the Lamar Valley – Speak for Wolves

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Photos Nabeki

Posted in: gray wolf, activism

Tags: Speak for Wolves, Arch Park, Yellowstone National Park, Brett Haverstick, gray wolves, wolf persecution, changing how predators are treated

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

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

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

UPDATE: March 29, 2014

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

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UPDATE: March 27, 2014

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

PLEASE COMMENT!!!

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

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Photo: Minam Wolf Pack ODFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: March 27, 2014

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

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March 26, 2014

Have you commented yet?

PLEASE COMMENT!!!

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

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Photo: Subadult Wenaha wolf ODFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars

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

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

gray wolf wisconsin dnr wi.gov

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

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Pellet gun killed wolf that fled Isle Royale park

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

Associated Press |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Read More Click HERE

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Photo: gray wolf Wisconsin DNR

Posted in: Wolf Wars

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

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

gray wolf tumblr the champion

IMPORTANT ALERT FOR BOISE AREA WOLF SUPPORTERS

 Today, Friday – March 14, 2014

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

IDAHO SENATE RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

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

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Bell: Wolf Fund Won’t Receive $2 Million

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho wolves

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

Embarrassing Press Coverage Continues For USFWS National Wolf Delisting Push…..

Wolf Pups Snoozing

Wolf Pups Snoozing

February 26, 2014

USFWS  continues to take heat over their politically transparent push to nationally delist gray wolves. They’ve never looked more inept or disingenuous as they attempt to twist the ESA into silly putty to suit their agenda.

PLEASE COMMENT!!!

Deadline Midnight March 27, 2014

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

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Feds’ postponement of wolf delisting follows embarrassing scientific review

 February 26, 2014 Earth Journal
By Ron Meador | 02/25/14
It’s too soon to tell, I guess, whether this month’s decision to take more public comment on federal wolf protections will change the policy eventually adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

But if you’re inclined to believe, or even just to hope, that sound science still has a role in such decisions — well, this embarrassing episode may be worth a closer look. The picture you’ll see is not pretty.

It’s probably fair to say that wolves are by far the biggest headache that Fish and Wildlife has been handed under the Endangered Species Act. Wolves have had ESA protections for four decades now, and for more than half that time the service has been working actively to shed its responsibilities for these worshipped and detested predators, battling an assortment of national groups at every turn.

What looked like maybe the last of those turns came in June, when FWS announced its plan to end protection of gray wolves throughout the remainder of the lower 48 where authority hadn’t already been turned back to the states.

However, such delisting decisions are legally required to be rooted in the “best available science,” and here the service had a problem: Its primary foundation for this delisting was a single paper laying out a fairly controversial re-classification of wolf species.

One species or two?

That paper, by Steven M. Chambers and three others, came down squarely in favor of seeing North American gray wolves as being of two types:

  • Those that have been recovering in the western U.S., with two populations sufficiently robust to justify their delisting in a zone of the northern Rockies and the region covering Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
  • Others of a separate “eastern” species that supposedly was native to but is now essentially extinct in 29 states west of the Mississippi.

Plenty of other wolf biologists and animal geneticists think that question is far from settled — and more than a few actually think it has been settled in the opposite direction of Chambers’ conclusion, with all gray wolves belonging to just one species.

The science of these things is complex and technical, as you might expect, rooted in DNA mapping and requiring judgments as to whether DNA differences detected among wolves are permanent or temporary, results of evolutionary divergence or interbreeding convergence, and so on.

But if the differences at the molecular level are tiny, at the policy level they could hardly be larger.

The gray wolf has Endangered Species Act protection until FWS can prove it’s no longer needed; “eastern gray wolves,” if they exist, have never been protected and presumably never will be, since virtually all of the territory that would be considered their natural range has been wolfless for a long, long time.

In another policy decision that has brought sharp criticism recently, FWS has chosen to define the “natural and historic range” of a threatened species as whatever territory it occupied at the time of being listed for protection — not its historic territory. Some critics see this as an effort to rewrite the ESA by recasting its most important definition.

In-house research project

There were some other problems with the Chambers paper, too:

  • Chambers is an FWS employee. So are his three collaborators. Their work was published in an FWS journal,  “North American Fauna” without peer review. (The paper can be found here.)
  • In forming a peer review panel after publication, a private contractor hired by FWS first selected and then de-selected three national wolf experts who had signed a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell expressing doubts about the service’s move toward delisting. (Among the three was John Vucetich, known to MinnPost readers as director of the Isle Royale study of wolf/moose population dynamics.)

FWS claimed at the time that it had no role in the picking and unpicking, but a reporter for MSN News turned up an email in which the three were told by the contractor that, “I understand how frustrating it must be, but we have to go with what the service wants.”

The only way out of the ensuing embarrassment was to halt that review and arrange for a second, this one to be undertaken by five scientists chosen without the service’s knowledge or involvement, and their work was released earlier this month.

It happens that one of the five, Robert Wayne of UCLA, was also among the three bounced from the first panel. But as the panel’s report puts it:

[W]e did not avoid selecting reviewers who had previously made known their personal (as opposed to scientific) opinions on the issue. This distinction is important; it is entirely possible for a scientist to have a strong opinion on policy or a proposed action, but also for that scientist to make an impartial assessment on (for instance) the precise genetics or taxonomic techniques and data that were used.

In any case, the five were assigned to give no thought to the policy aspects of the delisting proposed by FWS but to consider only its scientific basis for making them. And its conclusions are rather stark:

  • There was unanimity among the panelists that, although there was much good scientific work in the Proposed Rule, the rule is heavily dependent upon the analysis of Chambers et al.

  • There was unanimity among the panelists that Chambers et al was not universally accepted and that the issue was “not settled.” The issues raised by Chambers et al could be definitively answered relatively soon

  • There was unanimity among the panel that the rule does not currently represent the “best available science.”

  • READ MORE: http://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2014/02/feds-postponement-wolf-delisting-follows-embarrassing-scientific-review

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Photo: wolf-pups_mythwallpaper-com

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act

Tags gray wolf, shaky science, USFWS, national wolf delisting proposal, please comment, March 27, 2014 deadline, wolf persecution

US government could drive grey wolf to extinction… By Michelle Nijhuis, OnEarth.org

gray wolf USFWS

February 15, 2014

A great article that shines a light on the “shaky  science USFWS is using to justify a national delisting of gray wolves, which could push them into a second extermination.

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Friday, Feb 14, 2014 06:00 AM MST

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is relying on shaky science to remove the animal from the endangered species list

, OnEarth.org

About 300 wolves live in the nearly 2-million-acre swath of central Ontario forest known as Algonquin Provincial Park. These wolves are bigger and broader than coyotes, but noticeably smaller than the gray wolves of Yellowstone. So how do they fit into the wolf family tree? Scientists don’t agree on the answer—yet it could now affect the fate of every wolf in the United States.

That’s because last June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing gray wolves across most of the country from the endangered species list, a move that would leave the animals vulnerable to hunting. To support its proposal, the agency used a contested scientific paper—published, despite critical peer review, in the agency’s own journal—to argue that gray wolves never existed in the eastern United States, so they shouldn’t have been protected there in the first place.

Instead of the gray wolf, the service said, an entirely different species of wolf—the so-called “eastern wolf,” a species whose remnants perhaps survive in Algonquin Park—once inhabited the forests of eastern North America. Canid biologists have argued over the existence of this “lost species” for years. Yet researchers on all sides say that even if the Algonquin wolves are a separate species, that shouldn’t preclude continuing protections for the gray wolf.

On Friday, an independent panel of five leading geneticists and taxonomists came down hard on the agency’s proposal to delist gray wolves, unanimously concluding that the service had not relied on the “best available science.” Individual panel members described “glaring insufficiencies” in the supporting research and said the agency’s conclusions had fundamental flaws.

“What’s most significant,” says Andrew Wetzler, director of land and wildlife programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council (which publishes OnEarth), “is that this is coming from a group of eminent biologists who disagree with each other about the eastern wolf—and even so, they agree that the agency hasn’t properly understood the scientific issues at hand.”

How did 300 wolves in the Canadian wilderness become central to the debate over protecting their U.S. relations? For years, the Algonquin Park wolves have been something of a scientific mystery. Their coats are typically multicolored, with reddish-brown muzzles and backs that shade from white to black. Visitors from the southeastern U.S. often note their resemblance to red wolves, which are limited to a small reintroduced population in eastern North Carolina.

As biologists began to investigate the relationships among the various North American canids, including Algonquin wolves, red wolves, coyotes, and gray wolves, they collided with one of the most basic—and vexing—questions in their field: what is a species?

“No one definition has as yet satisfied all naturalists,” Charles Darwin himself conceded in On the Origin of Species, adding that “every naturalist knows vaguely what he means when he speaks of a species.” So do the rest of us. We know that hippos are different from canaries, and that bullfrogs are different from giant salamanders. But the more alike the organisms, the trickier the species question becomes, and thanks to our modern understanding of DNA, the scientific disagreements are—if anything—more passionate today than in Darwin’s time.

In 1942, the biologist Ernst Mayr formalized the definition of a species as a group of interbreeding organisms, reproductively isolated from other interbreeding groups. That’s the definition that most of us learned in high-school biology, and it remains useful in many cases. But the advent of cheap, fast DNA analysis has exposed its limits: many apparently distinct species hybridize with one another, and few animals hybridize more enthusiastically than wolves, dogs, and other canids.

Genetic samples from the Algonquin Park wolves contain what appears to be coyote DNA, gray wolf DNA, and even domestic dog DNA, creating what Paul Wilson of Trent University in Ontario, one of the first scientists to study the Algonquin Park population, calls a “canid soup” of genetic material.

Biologists studying North American canids fall generally into two camps. Wilson and several of his colleagues in Canada support what’s sometimes called the “three-species” model: according to their interpretation of the genetic data, coyotes, modern gray wolves, and the eastern wolf are separate species that evolved long ago from an ancient common ancestor. The eastern wolf, they say, may have once ranged throughout eastern North America, and may in fact be the same species as the red wolf.

Other biologists, including canid geneticist Robert Wayne at the University of California-Los Angeles, support a “two-species” model: it posits that only gray wolves and coyotes are distinct species. According to this model, anything else—a red wolf, Algonquin wolf, or the so-called “coywolf” recently spotted in suburbs and cities—is a relatively recent wolf-coyote hybrid.

Wayne describes the debate between supporters of the two models as “long-running but very polite”—and it’s not over yet.

“People on all sides have done some very good work, but it’s an extremely complicated issue,” says T. DeLene Beeland, author of The Secret World of Red Wolves. “It gets at the heart of the species question.”

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Were it not for the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the controversy over the eastern wolf might well have stayed polite. That landmark law is, as it states, intended to protect species, and the murky definition of a species has complicated conservation efforts for jumping mice, pygmy owls, gnatcatchers, pocket gophers, and several other animals. But the debate over wolf taxonomy has become especially fierce.

When the gray wolf was placed on the endangered species list in 1967, it was defined as a single species with a historic range that covered most of the United States, from Florida to Washington state. Hunting, trapping, poisoning, and habitat loss had driven the gray wolf nearly to extinction in the continental United States, and confirmed sightings were rare.

After the species was protected, wolves from western Canada began to venture south, and beginning in 1995, some 41 wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park. They multiplied rapidly, and for the first time in decades, wolf howls were heard in the park. Today, many consider the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction one of American conservation’s greatest success stories.

In 2011, the Fish and Wildlife Service took the Great Lakes wolf population off the endangered species list. The same year, a controversial act of Congress delisted gray wolf populations in most of the Rocky Mountains, returning responsibility for wolf protection to the states. But wolves are famously energetic travelers, and these wolves didn’t stay put. In recent years, wolves from the northern Rockies have been spotted in Washington, Oregon, and northern California, and are rumored to be ranging into Colorado and Utah. Wolves from the Great Lakes have turned up in Illinois and Iowa.

Outside the northern Rockies and the Great Lakes, wolves are still protected by the Endangered Species Act, so these wanderers have raised delicate political questions. Although some states are willing to work with the federal government on wolf management, others want sole control of any wolves that turn up within their boundaries. And the White House’s slim margin of support in the Senate relies on centrist Democrats from Western states—many of whom support full wolf delisting, in part because some Western ranchers want the right to shoot wolves that menace their livestock.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for its part, wants to devote its limited money and resource to conservation of the Mexican wolf, a type of gray wolf that was reintroduced into northern New Mexico and Arizona in 1998 and continues to struggle for survival. “The time has now come for the service to focus its efforts on the recovery of the Mexican wolf,” agency director Dan Ashe said at a public hearing last year in Washington, D.C.

The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the rest of the country’s gray wolves from the federal endangered species list last June, protecting only the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies. Any gray wolves that roamed beyond the northern Rockies and the Great Lakes, it announced, would no longer enjoy endangered species protection. The delisting proposal set off a contentious public comment period that was due to end in September, after which the delisting would either be finalized or scrapped.

One part of the agency’s proposal was especially unusual: it argued that its original listing of the gray wolf, back in 1967, had been flawed. In the delisting proposal, the agency not only recognized the eastern wolf as a separate species but also concluded that its existence required a major revision to the historic range map of the gray wolf—making it far smaller than the initial listing had claimed.

Agency director Ashe argued at the hearing in Washington, D.C., last September that there is “no one set formula for how to recover a species.” The law requires only that species be safe from extinction, he said, not restored throughout its historic range, before it can be taken off the endangered species list. The two thriving populations in the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains, the agency said, were reason enough to delist the gray wolf.

But historic range has long been an important factor in delisting decisions. “If you eliminate the entire East Coast from the gray wolf’s range map, it’s just much easier to argue that wolves are no longer endangered,” says NRDC’s Wetzler.

At the D.C. hearing, Don Barry, who served as an assistant Interior secretary during the Clinton administration, took the microphone to speak for himself and two other former assistant secretaries. Barry recalled that the bald eagle, American pelican, American alligator, and peregrine falcon had been removed from the endangered species list only after returning to suitable habitat throughout most of their historic ranges.

“That is how the Endangered Species Act is supposed to work,” said Barry. By stark contrast, he said, the proposal to delist the gray wolf reflected “a shrunken vision of what recovery should mean.”

READ MORE: http://www.salon.com/2014/02/14/outrageous_the_u_s_may_take_the_grey_wolf_off_the_endangered_species_list_paper/

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Due to the “dubious science” USFWS is using to justify a national delisting of gray wolves, comments have been reopened until March 27,  2014. PLEASE COMMENT!! We are on to them and they know it!!

It looks like the USFWS comments @ regulationsdotgov has started the count over. There were over a million comments and now the counter is set @ 540. WTF? I’m going to delve into this on Monday. Meanwhile PLEASE COMMENT!

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073-43030

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Photo: USFWS

Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars, biodiversity

Tags: Flawed delisting plan exposed, USFWS push for national wolf delisting, shaky science, wolf persecution

Wolf Hell! Judge Says Idaho Can Continue Wolf Slaying In Frank Church….

gray wolf wisconsin dnr wi.gov

January 18, 2014

Idaho is wolf hell and the fires are burning hotter than ever for them now that a district judge has refused to stop the extermination of two wolf packs (Monumental and Golden) in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, after environmental groups filed a lawsuit to halt it. The wolf packs are bothering nobody, they live in a  2.4 million acre wilderness for god-sakes. BUT some elk hunters, who think Idaho is a giant game farm, want more elk to kill for themselves, hence the pressure on IDGF to eradicate even more wolves.  Who do these people think they are? Do they own Idaho’s wildlife? Apparently they do!!

And I highly doubt the Idaho hired gun or guns is just going after two wolf packs. Who in the heck really knows whats going on in that vast wilderness? They could be killing or have already killed wolves from other packs.

Judge Edward J. Lodge’s ruling allows the outrageous trapping and killing of wolves, by a state hired hunter/trapper, to continue. It’s bad enough Idaho allows a year round wolf hunt in some areas of the state or that Wildlife Services and poachers continue to kill them. Now wolves are being trapped and slaughtered in a protected wilderness.

“Hiring a bounty hunter to kill wolves in one of America’s crown-jewel wilderness areas, just to make sure there are more elk for hunters to kill, is one more example of the deeply sad, cruel and reactionary nature of Idaho’s ‘management’ of wolves,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director. “This outrageous slaughter is a clear reminder of why all of our country’s wolves need the protection of the Endangered Species Act.”……Center For Biological Diversity

We can lay this debacle at the feet of the Obama administration and Congress. Mere months after Obama took office he and his rancher Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, delisted wolves in Montana and Idaho. Those wolves have been in the cross-hairs of brutal state management ever since and the bloodshed has spread to Wyoming and the Great Lakes.

The environmental groups plan to appeal the ruling to the 9th Circuit but that could be a lengthy process, meanwhile wolves continue to suffer and die. The only solution to the savage wolf killing, that’s gripped the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes, is to place gray wolves back on the Endangered Species List!

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Judge Lodge Issues Ruling Allowing Wolf Extermination in Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

U.S. District Judge for Idaho Edward J. Lodge has issued a ruling denying plaintiffs’ case against an ongoing plan to eradicate two wolf packs in Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The judge ruled that plaintiffs are unlikely to prevail based on the merits of the case because the US Forest Service’s decision to allow Idaho Department of Fish and Game to use the cabin and airstrip at Cabin Creek was not a final agency action that is reviewable. The US Forest Service claims that it is still evaluating the wolf eradication plan and that it has not taken a final agency action. The Judge also ruled that the removal of wolves in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness does not constitute irreparable harm because the actions don’t irreparably harm the species as a whole.

So far the trapper has killed 9 wolves.

Read more: http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/01/17/judge-lodge-issues-ruling-allowing-wolf-extermination-in-frank-church-river-of-no-return-wilderness/

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Definition of Wilderness (from the 1964 Wilderness Act)

(c) an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which(1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has  at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

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Posted in: Wolf Wars

Photo: Wisconsin DNR

Tags: wolf wars, wolf trapping, wolf persecution, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, WWP, Ralph Maughan, DOW, WWP, CBD, Wilderness Watch, Wilderness Act, Judge Lodge, Idaho, Idaho elk hunters pressure IDFG, 1964 Wilderness Act

Wolves Work Hard For Their Dinner…..

Wolves don’t carry AR-15 assault rifles, drive expensive rigs, ATV’s or snowmobiles. They don’t use traps, snares, bows, poison, bait or wounded animal calls to catch their prey. Wolves are fed by their feet (Russian Proverb). They use their wits, incredible stamina and sense of smell as pack members join together in cooperation to feed their family. They may travel twenty to forty miles to find food, longer if necessary. Even then, their hunting success rate is low, just one in ten wolf hunts results in a meal. Can you imagine how hard life is for them under the best of conditions? Now they face even greater obstacles to stay alive. Hunted and demonized, by an unrelenting campaign to drive them back to extinction in the lower 48.

Howl for them, we are their voice!

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Posted in: Biodiversity, gray wolf, Wolf Wars

Video: Courtesy YouTube, Wolf Hunting – Attenborough -Life of Mammals – BBC Earth

Tags: gray wolf, wolf pack, howling wolf, David Attenborough, wolf hunt success rate, wolf persecution

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