Remembering Jewel…Phantom Hill Wolf Pack Female B445…Shot Dead

jewel

“Jewel” – Phantom Hill Wolf pack member B445

July 24, 2014

Here is another tragic story of a young Idaho wolf, cut down before she had a chance to live.  I’ll continue to  repost  these stories the rest of the week in remembrance of the wolves and wolf packs we’ve lost  at the hands of Wildlife Services, wolf hunts, ranching and poaching. We can’t forget them, they are why we are fighting this battle!

October 31, 2009

Jewel, a young beta female, of the Phantom Hill Wolf Pack in Idaho, was shot dead in the Eagle Creek drainage, north of Ketchum. She was only two years old but had already made her mark upon the pack. When the alpha female took an extended vacation this year, Jewel assumed “nanny duties”, caring for the pups during the alpha’s absence.

Jewel died for nothing yesterday. Here is her story from Western Watersheds Project website

Courtesy to Lynne Stone for photos and content.

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Lynne Stone documents her encounter with Jewel:

Over a week ago I was hiking north of Ketchum, when a young Phantom Hill Pack wolf trotted into view. From her appearance I knew she was B445, the most recently collared Phantom wolf. When my dog, Bo, noticed the wolf, he bounded after her, but when I called Bo back, the wolf stopped and turned around and continued to watch us with curiosity.

I had observed from afar, a few weeks before, when B445 was caught by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and collared. I watched through a spotting scope, as she woke up from being drugged, and staggered toward the rest of her pack.

jewel 1

Jewel (B445) © Lynne Stone 2007

B445 is often the nanny wolf to her younger brothers and sisters that make up this year’s pups, stepping into the role after Judith, B326 went on her adventure this year. At least three pups have been seen. There are probably more. I heard them howling recently at night and it sounded like three to four pups howling in response to the rest of the pack.

B445 was still shedding out her thick winter coat of fur when I saw her close-up. Now that weeks of rain (unusual for central Idaho!) has stopped, the weather is finally warm, and B445′s fur will soon be sleek.

During my recent eye-to-eye encounter with B445, I was never for a moment afraid. What I observed, was that B445 was very curious of us (my dog and self), as we were intruders into her pack’s territory. I thought of B445′s older sister, B326 – Judith, and how that this younger wolf, was certainly a jewel. Her beautiful silky movements, her intelligent, inquiring amber eyes — well, the name Jewel seemed to fit her.

http://www.westernwatersheds.org/issues/species/wolves/jewelphantomhillb445-jewel/

(All Idaho wolves when caught and radio-collared are given a number with the letter B preceding it.)

jewel 3

Photos and account © Lynne Stone 2009

Categories posted in: Wolf Wars,  Idaho wolf hunt

Tags: Idaho wolf hunt, wolves in the crossfire, Jewel, Phantom Hill Pack, Lynne Stone, Western Watersheds Project

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.

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Thanksgiving Week Massacre of The Basin Butte Wolves

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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.

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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”

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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

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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

Dispelling The Canadian Wolf Myth

This is an April 2010 post that deserves another look. I wrote it after the 2009 wolf hunts had finally ended. Five hundred wolves were dead.

In light of the massacre I wanted to lay waste to one of the most idiotic anti-wolf myths that has grown legs and repeated over and over by the wolf hating crowd. Its goes something like this: The government reintroduced super wolves from Canada in 1995 who are bigger, more aggressive and alien to the US, wolves who previously had never stepped one toe in the Northern Rockies until 1995.   It’s a common mantra spread by the anti-wolf crowd and is not grounded in fact. But hey why bother with pesky facts? They just get in the way of demonizing wolves.

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Dispelling The Canadian Wolf Myth

April 12, 2010

If I had a dollar every time I heard the derogatory term “Non-Native Canadian wolf”, I’d be rich.

The myth goes something like this. Wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone and Central Idaho in 1995 were a larger, non-native, more aggressive wolf then the wolves who roamed the Northern Rockies before the Western extermination. This kind of thinking and rhetoric is what fuels wolf hatred in the first place. When nasty rumors and stories get started they develop legs. Pretty soon people are repeating it as if it’s fact. My advice would be to do a little research on the history of wolves and their morphology, instead of repeating rumors and innuendo. But this myth has nothing to do with the search for truth, it’s all about demonizing wolves. Please make it your business to shed light on these fairy tales. The wolves will thank you.

I wonder how many people who make these claims have ever seen a wild wolf? I’ve been lucky to view wild wolves. One of my Malamutes, who passed away several years ago, was bigger and weighed more than any wolf I’ve ever encountered. He was 180 lbs full-grown. He was so tall he could actually eat food right off the kitchen counter. But unlike the wolf his body was stockier. Wolves have long legs, big feet and large heads, their bodies are also longer than dogs. This gives them the appearance of being bigger then they actually are. Wolves in the Northern Rockies weigh on average between 80-110 lbs. Wolves also weigh more when their bellies are full. That’s because after a kill wolves gorge on a meal because they may not eat again for several days. It’s feast or famine for the wolf. Remember, only one in ten wolf hunts is successful. They expend a great deal of energy during the hunt and very often have nothing to show for it.

Did you know 31% of the wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were under a year of age (juveniles) and weighed an average of 62 lbs.  31% were yearlings and weighed about 80 lbs. 62% of wolves killed in Montana’s wolf hunt in 2009 were a year old or under a year of age, in other words, PUPPIES! Shocked? Only 38% of wolves killed in Montana’s hunt were adults, weighing an average 97 lbs. The largest wolf weighed 117 lbs. Again way smaller than my Malamute. The average weight of wolves killed in the Idaho hunt was under a 100 lbs.

There is strong evidence the two subspecies of wolves that roamed the Rocky Mountains north and south of the Canadian border for tens of thousands of years (Canis Lupus Occidentalis – The Mackenzie Valley wolf) and (Canis Lupus Irremotus -The Northern Rocky Mountain wolf) mixed their genes. Some believe the Mackenzie Valley wolves bred the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf out of existence, instead of the government eliminating them.

It’s a specious argument, not grounded in science, to state Canis Lupus Occidentalis is a non-native wolf from Canada who was foisted upon the Northern Rockies region. In fact wolves know no boundaries and regularly cross back and forth between Canada and the US. There is no doubt sub-species exchanged DNA, making it almost impossible to tell how much of one subspecies is contained in another.

The number of wolf subspecies has been debated in the scientific world for some time, ranging from 24 to just 5. The one thing we do know is different subspecies of wolves mate and share their DNA. The truth is, wolves are wolves, with slight variations in height, weight or fur color.

Think how silly the notion is when you consider humans created the boundaries between Canada and the US. To wolves it’s all the same landscape. They do what wolves do, breed, form packs and when they’re old enough,  strike out on their own, looking for new territory and a mate. It’s really that simple. Wolf thy name is wanderlust.

Wolves have large territories and travel great distances to establish a place for themselves. Does anyone truly believe wolves didn’t freely cross borders before they were exterminated in the West? Invisible lines created by humans have no meaning for wolves. They go as they please, truly free yet horribly persecuted, never knowing why.

Wolves are great wanderers and can travel an average of 25 miles per day while hunting. One Scandinavian wolf, pursued by hunters, traveled 125 miles in 24 hours. Wolves have runners bodies, lean and sleek. David Mech, the wolf biologist once stated “Wolves are fed by their feet.” Covering ground, exploring, seeking new territory, is bound to the wolves’ soul.  One only has to read the tale of wolf 314f, just a year and a half old, who traveled from her home in Montana to a lonely hillside in Colorado  called No Name Ridge, where she was found dead under suspicious circumstances. She logged a thousand miles on her GPS collar during her amazing journey. Wolves are great adventurers and travelers.

Do wolf haters think there is some imaginary line at the border between Canada and the US that wolves didn’t dare cross? How ridiculous is that?

Long before the reintroduction, wolves made their way back to the US in the late 1970′s and early 80′s, dispersing from Canada to Glacier National Park,  They formed the Camas, Wigwam and Magic packs and these packs were not small, some numbering twenty to thirty wolves. Does this sound like an animal who’s afraid to cross an invisible line they’ve been navigating for thousands of years, long before Canada and the United States were even a thought?

It follows that sub-species of wolves will mix their genes and basically become a combination of both. The myth that wolves reintroduced from Canada are somehow enormous super wolves who never set foot on American soil before reintroduction, is ludicrous. If you don’t believe me listen to experts on the subject, who have worked with wolves for years and understand their morphology.

Carter Niermeyer Interview (Outdoor Idaho) Spring 2009 (Carter Niermeyer was the Idaho Wolf Recovery Coordinator for USFWS from 2000 to 2006)

Q.There are those who say we brought the wrong wolves into Idaho in 1995 and 1996, that they’re bigger wolves than the ones that were here.

CN: I have to support the science again, and specialists in morphology and genetics on wolves indicate that the wolf that was brought down from Canada is the same wolf that lived here previously. And I did some research into books on early wolves that were captured in the Northern Rockies, even as far south as Colorado during the days that wolves were being hunted down in the 1930s; and the body weights were very much the same.

So I feel that this wolf that was brought from Canada is the same species and genetics as the wolves that lived here once upon a time. I think people have to remember that the northern Rockies — we call it the northern Rockies in Idaho and Montana, but actually we’re a southern extension of the northern Rockies out of Canada — and all of those wolves in Canada have the potential and the ability to disperse. I believe what happened over the last 50-60 years is that individual wolves have come from Canada following the Rocky Mountain chain and ended up periodically in places like Montana and Idaho.

Or Mike Jimenez (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and Wyoming wolf recovery coordinator)

Jimenez disputed claims that the wolves reintroduced from Canada in the mid-1990s are a larger, more aggressive breed than had historically lived in Wyoming.

While scientists once divided wolves into 24 subspecies, he said more recent DNA evidence shows five subspecies in North America. Further, given the fact that wolves tend to disburse hundreds of miles, he said wolves from Canada likely interbred with Wyoming wolves and vice versa before they were exterminated from the region.

“The idea that those Canadian wolves are different … the argument gets weak,” he said. “Where they transition from one subspecies to the next is totally up for grabs.”

People cling to anti-wolf myths because wolves have become scapegoats for anti-government feelings. Many anti-wolfers believe reintroducing wolves was forced on them even though bringing wolves home to the Northern Rockies was not a rogue scheme dreamed up by a few government biologists. It was supported by many Americans. In fact a poll taken in 1990 found two-thirds of Montanans supported bringing wolves back to the state. Even so, it was a huge battle that waged for decades because the same, small, vocal minority that opposes wolves today were against them then, IE: ranchers, hunters and outfitters.

The feds finally compromised and classified wolves as an non-essential experimental population, which meant they could be shot and killed for agribusiness.

The little known fact is Wildlife Services has been killing wolves for years, along with the wolf hunts in 2009/2010. Still without ESA protection wolves would NEVER have been able to make any kind of comeback. It’s been their saving grace and now sadly they are at the mercy of their enemies once again.

What’s behind the giant Canadian wolf myth that’s passed off as truth? I believe it’s fear of competition. Many hunters don’t want to share the woods or compete with wolves. They liked it when wolves were gone and elk were complacent, standing around all day, munching down aspen trees, never allowing them to get any taller than a few feet. Apparently hunters like lazy, slow elk, ones that are easier to kill.  Since the return of the wolf, elk are no longer complacent, their old nemesis is back and they know it.  I think Carter Niermeyer hit the nail on the head when he said:

“Hunters look at the wolf from many angles and perspectives, too, and I have to emphasize that I’m a hunter. Certainly wolves compete, but I don’t think they’re any excuse for not being a successful hunter. There’s tremendous numbers of game animals available to sportsman and with a little effort and sleuth, you still have great potential to collect a wild animal from hunting. I don’t know what the excuse was before wolves, but it has become the main excuse now for unsuccessful hunters. I mean, there are just so many other issues involved in why hunters are not successful, but the wolf is a lame excuse.”

It’s necessary to spread untruths about wolves to further the agenda of getting rid of them or make excuses for why a particular hunter wasn’t able to “get his elk” during hunting season. I’ve reported over and over that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation trumpeted in the their Spring 2009 press release that elk numbers were up 44% nationally since 1984, when the organization was founded. They stated the elk herds in Montana, Colorado and Utah  increased between 50-70 percent.  The Montana elk population stood at 150,000 and Idaho at 105,000.  I guess that wasn’t good news to everyone, since it doesn’t fit in with the “wolf is decimating all the elk” argument. Hunters whine that elk numbers may be up in the state but down in some areas. Ummmmmm that’s how nature works. And I hate to break it to the elk hunters but it’s not all about them. Wolf advocates opinions are being ignored. We’ve had to watch in horror as wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List and hunted almost immediately.

This was unforgivable behavior by the states and certainly didn’t earn any points with wolf supporters about the states intent to “manage” wolves fairly.  It’s not a secret  a conflict of interest exists when it comes to state game agencies “managing/killing” predators.  They want to please their customers, the hunters, who demand more game. The saddest part of this story is wolves were brought back only to be used for target practice fifteen years later.

Carter  Niermeyer states:

It’s a little late now, but I wish that when the states assume management of wolves that there could have been some kind of a moratorium where the states took the responsibility and didn’t jump right into a wolf harvest, or a wolf culling, or whatever you want to call it. It would’ve been nice, I think, to establish some credibility with wolf advocates and conservationists, environmentalists and people who appreciate wolves for other values. And just sort of get a handle on things and get a feel for managing the wolf. Because there’s this perception that suddenly we’re going from a listed animal to a hunted animal and I think a lot of the public is having a struggle with coming along with that.

The other thing I wish could happen, too, is there’d be more dialogue between the broad term wolf advocates and the Fish and Game Department and talk about these issues more openly, because the conservation groups have been a close ally in getting wolf recovery moving forward and actually being partners, and now there seems to be this falling out and a relationship that’s deteriorating.

Wolf advocates are rightly upset to see wolves hunted at all, especially freshly off the Endangered Species List.

I wonder how hunters would feel if over 40% of the elk herd was killed in one season. What would they think of a seven month-long elk hunt like the state of Idaho imposed on wolves?

Are Canadians laughing at us when they hear the Canadian super-wolf myth? Does this mean Canadians are superior hunters, who seem to have no trouble bagging game with their Canadian monster wolves roaming the countryside?

The truth is wolves in the Northern Rockies today are the same wolves that were here before the extermination.  It’s not about how tall wolves are or how much they weigh or the color of their fur. This myth arose to turn wolves into aliens, to assert they don’t belong here, when in reality wolves have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, this is THEIR home.  In contrast to cattle, a non-native species, that destroys native grasses, releases methane and tramples the landscape. Of course I don’t blame cattle, they are just another exploited animal.

Hunters by their very nature are in the business of killing and not all hunters can shoot straight or are ethical. There are people who hunt out of their rigs, while drinking.  Gut shot deer roam the forest during hunting season, leaving blood trails until they finally collapse and die. I’ve seen deer with arrows sticking out of them, barely able to stand.

If anyone has seen Predator Derby pictures of bloody dead coyotes, or dead wolves displayed by their killers, who show  no respect, smiling like they’ve just won the lottery, understand it’s not the wolf that’s the deadliest predator. Wolves kill to survive. The cruelest predator of all is man. No giant wolf myth can compete with that!

HOWL for speaking the truth about wolves!

“May we all never be judged by anything so harshly or hold to as strict a life or unremitting of borders as the ones we try to place on and around wolves”…Rick Bass 1992 

Photo Courtesy Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Posted in: Wolf myths, Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf subspecies, wolf myths, wolves in the crossfire, wolf intolerance, demonizing wolves

The Amazing Journey and Sad End of Wolf 314F

May 31, 2012

This important story deserves a repost. The little Montana wolf didn’t have to die. She traveled so far searching for a mate, only to be poisoned for her efforts. Wildlife Services and it’s cache of deadly toxins must be abolished!!

UPDATE: January 10, 2011

I posted this sad tale in October 2009 about an amazing little Mill Creek Pack wolf, who traveled 1000 miles from her home in Montana to a lonely hillside in Colorado, called “No Name Ridge”, where her bones were found.

Her death has been under investigation by USFWS all this time.

Finally, after almost two years,  it was announced she was poisoned by the deadly compound 1080. It is one of the horrific poisons Wildlife Services uses in its arsenal to kill our wildlife.

The organization Predator Defense has been trying for years to ban this  deadly compound along with Sodium Cyanide, used in M-44s. So far they have been unsuccessful in their bid to do so. Maybe now people will wake up and realize they must  pressure Congress to ban these deadly poisons FOREVER.

Apparently Compound 1080 is banned in Colorado, which would make 314f’s death an illegal killing.

This is a sad day for me to learn how the little 20 month old 314f  died. Her epic journey to Colorado, ended in an agonizing death at the hand of Compound 1080.

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Bill to Ban Two Deadly Agents Stalled in Congress

http://www.predatordefense.org/

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From Predator Defense:

Help Us Ban Compound 1080

“From its inception, Predator Defense has fought for a worldwide ban on the deadly poison called Compound 1080. Unfortunately, our bill to ban it is stalled in Congress.”

http://www.predatordefense.org/1080.htm

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2009 Colorado dead wolf was killed by poison . . . the notorious 1080

by RALPH MAUGHAN on JANUARY 10, 2011

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2011/01/10/colorado-wolf-1080-poison/

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“Two Killers that Need to Go: The Case Against Poisoning our Wildlife and Pets”

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It’s not just used in the US. “New Zealand uses 80% of the world’s production of 1080″ compound.

1080 Compound New Zealand’s Deadly Toxic Poison of Choice

http://www.careydillon.com/unpurenzfinal/poisons.html

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The Amazing Journey and Sad End of  Wolf 314f

October 10, 2009

Wolf1

She traveled through five states, her GPS collar registering 1000 miles.  This young Mill Creek Pack wolf  left her Montana home in September 08 and arrived in Colorado in February 09.  Her epic journey was long and precarious.  She was tracked through Yellowstone National Park, western Wyoming, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, southeastern Idaho , northeastern Utah, finally arriving in Eagle County, Colorado.

Her journey ended in February 09 on a lonely hillside in Colorado called “No Name Ridge, where her bones were found.  Nobody is saying how she died.  The investigation into her death is ongoing.

314F’s life and death reinforces the argument wolves need ESA protection,  especially when they’re dispersing  in search of other wolves or a mate.  They’re under constant pressure from the SSS mentality, which makes this young wolf’s journey so incredible.

Against all odds, this twenty month old wolf showed the world what wolves are made of. I hope Wildlife officials discover how she met her end.  If she died by human hands this person or persons should be prosecuted!

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Lonely Lady Wolf Looks For Love in All The Wrong Places

Rocky Mountain News

By Berny Morson

Published February 25, 2009 at 3:09 p.m.

Call it the power of  love.

A female wolf has wandered more than 1,000 miles through five states in search of a mate and is now in Colorado’s Eagle County, wildlife officials in Colorado and Montana said Wednesday.

The wolf, known only as 314F, set off on her lonely quest in September when, for reasons unknown, she became unhappy with the male prospects among the pack of seven animals she was born into 20 months earlier.

Since then, 314F has followed her heart from the Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone National Park through Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. She has trotted past areas where other wolf packs are known to live toward a state that has not had a wolf population for 60 years.

Montana officials follow her progress with a global positioning device on a collar that was fitted to her neck in July.

“Basically, what she’s doing is, she’s wandering around looking to see if there’s other wolves around,” said Carolyn Sime, wolf program coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Her prospects here are not good. The last confirmed wolf sighting in Colorado was a male who made his way from Yellowstone in 2004. But he was killed on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs before anyone knew he was here.

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Shane Briggs said that when wolf packs get too large, some animals leave in search of a mate with whom to start a new pack in a different area, Briggs said. That’s how the species increases its range, he said.

Before the 2004 sighting, wolves were considered extinct in Colorado. The last confirmed one had been killed in 1943.

Wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park in 1995.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/feb/25/yellowstone-wolf-travels-1000-miles-colorado/?partner=RSS

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MYSTERIOUS DEATH

News_Colorado_Wolf-300x0

Wolf 314F lies under anesthesia after being fitted with a GPS collar on July 1, 2008. The collar has tracked the wolf on an epic journey from Montana to Colorado. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks photo

Suspicion Surrounds Colorado Wolf Death

Did the epic journey of Wolf 341F from Montana to Colorado end at the hands of a human? Officials aren’t saying.

By David Frey, 9-27-09

A wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado earlier this year met its end on a hillside about 24 miles north of Rifle, according to government documents obtained by an environmental organization.

Federal wildlife law enforcement officers continue to investigate the death of a Montana wolf that wandered from Montana and died in Colorado, nearly after a year after the wolf’s carcass was collected, raising speculation that the wolf was killed by a human.

“It’s a good question, but I’m not going to answer it,” says George Morrison, Colorado senior wildlife agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Morrison confirmed the examination of the body, called a necropsy, had been completed, but he said the results would be closed to the public until agents complete their investigation.

“It could be two weeks or as long as a year,” he says. “It’s important to us not to impede the investigation.”

Wildlife officials have refused to divulge specifics about the wolf’s condition or its final whereabouts. But Rob Edward, carnivore recovery director for WildEarth Guardians, said he discovered its final location through an open-records request seeking information about wolves in Colorado. The documents showed the last location of the wolf to be about 24 miles north of the Western Slope town of Rifle, less than two miles west of Highway 13.

“I have believed for the last couple of months that they definitely have a law enforcement angle on this,” Edward said. “Otherwise they would tell you that it died of natural causes.”

Intentionally killing a wolf in Colorado would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act and state statutes that protect endangered species.

Edward described the site as “within rifle distance of a road.” Maps show the location to be what appears to be a scrub-covered hillside in an area known as No Name Ridge, apparently on Bureau of Land Management land just north of a dirt road called Thirteenmile Road.

“That’s the way the wolves from the Northern Rockies are going to come,” Edward said. “What we have to work on is making those lands safer.”

Known as wolf 341F, the 18-month-old female made headlines for making a 1,000-mile journey from the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park to Colorado. Biologists tracked her movements using a GPS unit in a collar fitted to her neck.

Researchers said she was a member of the Mill Creek pack and wandered from the pack’s location between towns of Gardiner and Livingston, Mont., in search of a mate.

She left her pack in September 2008 and took a meandering path through Wyoming, Idaho and Utah to Eagle County. She crossed back into Wyoming, then back into western Colorado where her collar showed she stopped moving. Biologists responded and gathered her carcass to perform a necropsy.

Native wolf populations in Colorado were wiped out by the late 1930s. The last record of a native wolf killed in Colorado was in 1943. In June 2004, a radio-collared wolf from Yellowstone was found killed by a passing motorist on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs. In 2007, video footage captured an apparent wolf near Walden.

Officials say among Northern Rockies wolves, 26 out of every 100 wolves are killed, almost all of them shot by animal control officers or poachers. Among lone-dispersing wolves like this one, most are hit by cars or illegally killed.

State law does not call for wolf reintroduction, but it does protect wolves that wander into Colorado.

For wolf reintroduction advocates, this wolf’s death highlights a need for more protections.

“They’re not going to come down here and repopulate the area on their own,” Edward said, “especially if they meet that kind of fate.”

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

* It’s been reported that wolf  314F’s number is actually 341F but since she is so well-known as 314F, I didn’t make any changes.

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Top Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of AGRO

Middle Photo Compound 1080: Courtesy of Predator Defense

314F Photo: Courtesy New West

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife

Tags: 314f, dispersing wolves, wolves in the crossfire, deadly compound 1080, No Name Ridge, Montana, Colorado, Mill Creek Pack

Killing Wolves For Fun And The War On Wolves….

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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.

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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.”

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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
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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

Speechless…..

December 16, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting Regulations in the Contiguous United States

L. David Mech

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

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

Wolves Meet Their Match In Airborne Predators

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

AND

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

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

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

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

December 9, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D. J. Lentine, Ph.D.

Lewes, DE

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

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

 

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

 Posted in: Wolf Wars, Minnesota gray wolves

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

© 2009-2012  Howling For Justice

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

AP News Break: Montana governor says wolf deal dead….

Take this with a grain of salt.

Apparently the wheeling and dealing between Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Salazar over how to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections has hit an impasse, according to Montana’s Governor.

I would still advise everyone to continue to call members of Congress and the Obama admin. to express your outrage over the attack on gray wolves and the ESA.

Who knows what to believe anymore? This is a very bad soap opera which has taken more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. My head is ready to explode.

AP News Break: Montana governor says wolf deal dead….

December 6th, 2010 @ 9:30pm

By MATTHEW BROWN
Associated Press

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=13501230

 

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: bad soap opera, wolf politics, tampering with the ESA, wolves in the crossfire, wheeling and dealing

Holy Crap, My Head Is Spinning Around Backwards…

The daily, relentless attacks against wolves continues. It’s causing my head to spin around like Linda Blairs.

Now Judge Johnson has sided with Wyoming in their lawsuit against the USFWS. Wyoming wants to classify 90% of wolves in the state as predators, which means they can be shot on sight. A small buffer zone around Yellowstone would be the only place wolves would have any protection. USFWS originally helped Wyoming draft the plan and thought it was just peachy until Judge Molloy shot it down. Now they are being ordered by Judge Johnson to revisit the issue and decide if putting 90% of wolves in Wyoming in imminent danger of death is sufficient to provide connectivity of the wolf population in Yellowstone with just that small buffer zone outside the park. I hope he’s kidding? That is just ridiculous. USFWS has the option to appeal his decision. Who knows what they’ll do? It will be heard by the 10th Circuit, who is not nearly as liberal on environmental issues as the 9th Circuit.

Can you imagine all the nut jobs lining up in the kill zone in Wyoming, just waiting to make their anti-government “statement”, using wolves as scapegoats once again? It would be a real bloodbath. It makes me shudder just to think about it. What makes these people tick?

This is a circus, what did wolves ever do to anyone to deserve this?

Meanwhile the Senate Tester/Baucus bill is looming. It would strip gray wolves of their ESA protections and turn their management back over to Montana and Idaho.  Then the states can have their precious wolf hunts and make money off wolves’ lives, while still allowing Wildlife Services to kill wolves for agribusiness.  Great scheme huh?

I’m living on a strange planet where an animal has been demonized by a bunch of backward thinking wolf haters. The rest of the world must be stunned by this. Oh wait, the rest of the world hasn’t said a word except for a few lone voices crying in the distance. Where are all the big money celebs that profess to care so much about the environment and wildlife? I’m hearing this:

My soul is hurting from the daily barrage of horrible wolf news. I just want to say how much I can’t stand the wolf haters and their minions. I hope they all come back as wolves. No wait, I don’t want to insult wolves. They are made of  better stuff then that. How bout they all come back as elk being chased by wolves. Now that would be justice!!

Meanwhile back to reality:

CALL EVERY SINGLE SENATOR AND LET THEM KNOW YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THE TESTER/BAUCUS ANTI-WOLF BILL.

LET THEM KNOW YOU WILL  NEVER VOTE FOR ANY SENATOR THAT SUPPORTS THIS BILL, ESPECIALLY BAUCUS OR TESTER IF YOU LIVE IN MONTANA!!

CALL YOUR SENATORS AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS. TELL THEM YOU WILL NOT STAND FOR ANYONE TAMPERING WITH THE ESA!!

Senate Contacts:

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

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Federal judge sides with Wyoming over wolf management plan

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_611f9968-f38a-11df-b115-001cc4c03286.html

Sad, sad, sad!!

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Carousel Photo: Courtesy the Offside Celtic

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Judge Johnson, Wyoming ruling, wolves in the crossfire, again, USFWS

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 12:37 am  Comments (11)  
Tags: , , , ,

Where Is The Imnaha Alpha Male?

Imnaha alpha male 2009 ….Is he dead?

He’s been gone for over three weeks and no sign of  him, his radio collar silent. Is he the victim of ramped up wolf hysteria in Wallowa County, Oregon?  I hope he’s found quickly but it sounds like the Imnaha pack alpha male may have been a victim of  SSS (Shoot, Shovel, Stutup). 

 From My Central Oregon:

The wolf was outfitted in February with a GPS collar that is capable of tracking his whereabouts. Morgan says it’s not uncommon for a radio collar to fail, but another possibility is that the wolf is dead.

After seven wolf kill permits were issued to ranchers over five cow depredations AND Wildlife Services was given two wolf  kill permits which have been extended twice, what did ODFW think was going to happen?

You have lots of people running around with guns. There is whipped up wolf  hysteria, even an effort in the legislature to initiate a state of wolf emergency in Oregon over FOURTEEN WOLVES, is anyone surprised one of the Imnaha alphas may have been targeted?

But wait, we were told by ODFW, that won’t happen, the kill permit only allows ranchers to shoot a wolf caught in the act. I’m sorry but I live in the Northern Rockies and I know how it works. We have a wolf hater’s website talking about killing wolves with Xylitol so it’s not too far a leap to think someone targeted the alpha male, knowing that could destroy the pack.  This will make life a whole lot harder for Sophie (B-300) and her pups, the pups would about two months old now. The Imnaha pack is the ONLY breeding pair in Oregon.

I hope they find the Imnaha alpha male and find him soon. This is not only worrrisome but  if it’s proven he was killed illegally, it’s criminal.

I thought Oregon would be happy to have their wolves back after a sixty year absence but it’s the same old story. A few ranchers are holding the wolf population hostage and they get away with it because fish and game agencies go right along with it.  Does ODFW get upset when ranchers lose calves to weather, disease, reproduction or theft? I don’t see any explosive headlines about those losses. But let a wolf look at livestock cross-eyed and the situation is blown completely out of proportion.  

Oregon’s reputation has taken a hit. If the alpha male is dead, people will remember this for a long, long  time.

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Missing alpha male wolf concerns ODFW

June 19, 2010    02:27 pm

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says the alpha male is missing from Oregon’s only confirmed breeding pair of wolves.

Russ Morgan, the ODFW’s wolf coordinator, told The Observer newspaper of La Grande that the animal has been missing for about three weeks.

The wolf was outfitted in February with a GPS collar that is capable of tracking his whereabouts. Morgan says it’s not uncommon for a radio collar to fail, but another possibility is that the wolf is dead.

The Oregon Wolf Plan says four breeding pairs must be established in Eastern Oregon before the animal can be de-listed as an endangered species.v

http://www.mycentraloregon.com/news/state/ap/1235072/Missing-alpha-male-wolf-concerns-ODFW.html

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Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, gray wolf, wolves in the crossfire

Tags: Imnaha alpha male, Wildlife Services, Oregon wolves, wolves in the crossfire, gray wolf

Killing Wolves To Save Wolves? What?

May 13, 2010

I was reading the sermon, I mean article, in High Country News, on why wolf hunters are doing wolves a favor by killing them. It’s called  “One Way to Save the Wolf? Hunt It. Montana wildlife managers deem the first wolf season a success, for both hunters and hunted”

I can tell you without hesitation that the wolves slaughtered in Montana’s hunts would much rather be alive then dead. I’m positive that being blasted in the guts, dying an agonizing death is not preferable to running through the woods, alive and breathing with your pack mates. Seriously, was this written for anyone but trophy hunters, who derive pleasure from killing beauty?

The article suggests that somehow the hunts have shifted people’s perceptions of wolf hunting and the only way to build a  constituency for wolves is to hunt them. Oh the hypocrisy!  Here’s our wolf manager in chief, Carolyn Sime, warning that if we don’t kill wolves to save wolves we’re playing a dangerous game.

Sime believes that those who oppose the wolf season are playing a dangerous game. “You can have wolves as game animals, and hunters who pay to hunt them, or you go with Wildlife Services, and have the taxpayers pay for the control,” she says. Wildlife Services is the federal agency tasked with killing “nuisance” animals, including everything from feral dogs that attack people, to coyotes that threaten livestock, to birds that hang out around airports. Federal shooters killed about 145 wolves in Montana last year, out of an estimated population of 524.

So Wildlife Services is going to stop killing wolves if the state allows continued wolf hunts? Yeah right, that will happen. The truth is wolves now have to dodge bullets from wolf hunters AND Wildlife Services, who act as the ranchers private wolf extermination service.

Between the “wonderful, helpful wolf hunts” and Wildlife Services slaughtering them for agribusiness, 220 wolves lost their lives in Montana in 2009 and that’s not including poaching or SSS.  Now the state wants to almost triple the hunt quota from 75 to  216 wolves for the 2010 hunt. That means if  Wildlife Services kills as many or more wolves in 2010 and the hunts take 216 wolves, plus poaching and general wolf mortality, that could reduce the wolf population to between 100-150 wolves from the current population of 524 by the end of this year. Isn’t that great? Wolf Extermination Part Two but I digress.

Just to set the record straight, I’m outraged about what is happening to wolves and I know I speak for other wolf advocates. We haven’t given up or thrown in the towel. We’re waiting to see if Judge Molloy relists wolves and puts a stop to the hunts. I do not and will never condone killing wolves for sport. I think it’s disgusting, brutal, unnecessary blood lust. Anyone that kills animals for sport has my utter contempt.  The only thing in the entire “Love a wolf/Kill a wolf” article I agree with is the second paragraph.

From the High Country News:

“Montana’s first-ever wolf season was viewed with horror by many environmental groups, and by many people who have celebrated the charismatic predator’s return to the Northern Rockies. The hunt was simply too much, too soon, they said; it would kill off the alpha males and females that are the primary breeders and break the slowly building matrix of genetic diversity that is key to the long-term health of the returning populations. They predicted that leaderless wolf packs would go after even more livestock, leading to more wolf-killing by the federal Wildlife Services. The wolves’ positive effects on the ecosystem — keeping coyote numbers in check, scattering elk that were overgrazing their winter ranges — could be reversed.”

Hunting a species mere months off the endangered species list?  That’s responsible “management”?  The state of Montana rushed to sell wolf tags and make a buck off wolves lives, they sold 15,603 tags which generated $325,916 for state coffers. All this to kill 75 wolves.

Now Montana is proposing to increase the wolf hunt quotas after only recently giving Wildlife Services full discretion  to kill wolves for agribusiness.

Is there any doubt wolves need ESA protection in this hostile environment?  This is why states should NOT be “managing” wolves. It’s an obvious conflict of  interest because the state game agencies, that are in charge of wolves, receive money from hunter’s licensing fees. Get it?

Oh but wait, I forgot, we’re killing wolves to save wolves. Yeah right. Tell that to the wolves.

The most disturbing part of this piece was the Montana FWP wolf manager and wildlife biologist, Mike Ross’s account of killing a six year old male wolf.  That couldn’t be construed as exploiting  his position as a wolf manager? I mean he doesn’t study Montana’s wolves for a living and know where every single wolf pack resides in the state or anything.  He’s just a hunter having a hell of a good time killing a wolf.  Nobody should be outraged by this? Right?  Uh-huh.

Here’s the breathless account of  shooting a wolf to death:

“I’m 48 years old, and I’ve been hunting since I was 9, and I’ve never had a more exciting day of hunting in my life,” Ross says. Ross had a coveted permit, one of only five issued, drawn by lottery to hunt bull elk in what may be the world’s best elk country. “My girlfriend, Colleen, and I saw some pretty good bulls, but I was looking for at least a 340 (Boone and Crockett). We heard wolves howling in the morning, and after lunch … 10 wolves came out on an open ridge, flopped down in the sun, kind of belly-up. Colleen said, ‘Let’s go after them.’ “

The two hunters crossed the river and climbed up to where they could see across to the ridge. “But they were gone,” Ross says. The wolf pack was hidden in a patch of timber above them when Ross “howled them up.” “The woods just opened up,” Ross says, “howls everywhere, coming down on us, just wild, and I thought for a second, ‘How many bullets do we have?’ Then there were wolves below us, too.” Ross howled again, and a big male wolf stepped from the timber above them. “He moved around us, and when he came out in the open, I shot him.” The 6-year-old male wolf was black and weighed 117 pounds. Ross remains awed by the experience. “If you went out there a hundred times and tried to do something like this, you couldn’t do it. It was hunting, you know, where everything comes together all of a sudden. I think those wolves were in a competitive situation with another pack, and they came in like coming into a gang fight. I’ll never forget it.” Ross says that he “got quite a bit of flak for shooting a wolf, people saying I exploited my job. I don’t want anybody to think that. I was out hunting, I had a wolf tag, and we got into them. That’s all.”

Wow that was thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat reading that. That wolf should be so grateful that Ross killed him and had such a great and awesome time doing  it.

Excuse me but should one of Montana’s wolf mangers be bragging  about his special moment killing a wolf? Does anyone else find this concerning?  After all isn’t his job “managing”, studying and tracking wolves, supposedly looking out for them? Yet he describes killing a wolf as if he’d just had an out-of-body experience. Is this who we want managing wolves in Montana? I feel so much better knowing one of Montana’s wolf managers enjoys killing wolves.  That’s just swell.

“If you went out there a hundred times and tried to do something like this, you couldn’t do it. It was hunting, you know, where everything comes together all of a sudden. I think those wolves were in a competitive situation with another pack, and they came in like coming into a gang fight. I’ll never forget it.” Ross says.”

Epic Fail…

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Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: Montana wolves,  Howling for Justice, Wolf Wars

Tags: cavemen, chest thumping, trophy hunting, wolves in the cross fire, wolf persecution, Montana wolf hunts

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