“Where The Grizzly Walks” – Sam Elliott

Thank you Sam Elliott for speaking out for the Great Bears.

Please support Vital Ground, they work to protect grizzly bear habitat.

www.vitalground.org

Mother grizzly_and cub Wiki

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Photo: Courtesy Wiki

Posted in: Grizzly Bear, endangered species

Tags: Vital Ground, Sam Elliot, protect grizzly bear habitat, grizzly bears

Published in: on April 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm  Comments (4)  

Of Wolves and Men…….

black-wolf-dominant retriever man dot com jpg

April 10, 2015

This was one of my first posts. It’s as timely today as it was almost six years ago.

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September 2009

Nature Magazine examines reasons behind wolf hatred and the systematic campaign to remove them from the lower forty-eight. It merits repeating that for thousands of years Native Americans were able to live with wolves and bears, while settlers saw them as a threat. Even the famed naturalist James Audubon partook in torturing wolves, which was particularly shocking to learn.

As noted in Michael Robinson’s “Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West”, the federal government became the wolf killing arm for the livestock industry.

By understanding the roots of wolf prejudice it’s clear to see why wolves have been demonized in American culture. The wolf has paid dearly for these attitudes. Even though the same outdated beliefs exist today, we are moving forward to a clearer understanding of the important role predators play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Man cannot continue to play god, deciding which animals are good or bad. Predators do not have ulterior motives, they hunt because that is what they are born to do and by so doing contribute to the health and stamina of their prey.

The nexus of wolf wars is the continuing presence of livestock on the Western range. This has been and will continue to be the reason wolves remain caught in the crossfire.

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From Nature Online:

The Wolf That Changed America
Wolf Wars: America’s Campaign to Eradicate the Wolf

 Wolves have been feared, hated, and persecuted for hundreds of years in North America. Before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans incorporated wolves into their legends and rituals, portraying them as ferocious warriors in some traditions and thieving spirits in others. European Americans, however, simply despised wolves. Many, including celebrated painter and naturalist John James Audubon, believed wolves ought to be eradicated for the threat they posed to valuable livestock. This attitude enabled a centuries-long extermination campaign that nearly wiped out the gray wolf in the continental United States by 1950.

Origins of Wolf Hatred

In the New World, two top predators – wolves and men – that otherwise would have avoided each other clashed over livestock. In Vicious: Wolves and Men in America, Jon T. Coleman writes:

Wolves had a ghostly presence in colonial landscapes. Settlers heard howls, but they rarely spotted their serenaders. The fearsome beasts avoided humans. People frightened them, and colonists knew this: “They are fearefull Curres,” reported Thomas Morton in 1637, “and will runne away from a man (that meeteth them by chance at a banke end) as fast as any fearefull dogge.”

Because humans and wolves frightened one another, they logically avoided confrontation, opening space between the species. But that space closed when European colonists brought horses, cattle, sheep and pigs with them over the perilous journey across the Atlantic. Without these animals – sources of food and transportation for the European settlers – the colonies would have failed. But because most early colonial communities were small, livestock often grazed on the periphery of the settlements with little protection. Their pastures abutted and bled into the wild, exposing the animals to hungry wolves in search of prey. Wolves quickly learned that docile cattle and sheep made easy meals. Suddenly, colonists found their livelihoods in danger, and they lashed out at wolves, both with physical violence and folklore that ensured wolf hatred would be passed down from one generation to the next.

Amateur and Professional Wolf Baiting

The campaign to eradicate wolves in North America began with private landowners and farmers baiting and trapping wolves. Often, colonists turned wolf baiting into both sport and protection for their livestock. Jon T. Coleman describes an incident that took place in the winter of 1814 deep in the Ohio River Valley, in which John James Audubon assists a farmer as he mutilates trapped wolves.

During the fall, a pack of wolves had robbed [the farmer] of “nearly the whole of his sheep and one of his colts.” For him, it made sense to devote his winter labor to digging pits, weaving platforms, hunting bait, and setting and checking his traps twice daily. The animals had injured him, and “he was now ‘paying them off in full.’” Audubon’s reaction to the slaying of the wolves is less understandable … The ingenious pit traps amazed him, as did the fearsome predators’ meek behavior and the childlike glee the farmer took in his work. The violence Audubon witnessed, however, did not shock him. Watching a pack of dogs rip apart terrified and defenseless animals was a “sport” both he and the farmer found enjoyable.

Further west, in Yellowstone National Park, wolf baiting and hunting had become a lucrative profession. Paul Schullery, in his guidebook to Yellowstone wolves (The Yellowstone Wolf: A Guide & Sourcebook), describes the profession and the devastating affect it had on the Yellowstone wolf population: “At least as early as 1877, ungulate carcasses in the park were poisoned with strychnine by free-lance ‘wolfers’ for ‘wolf or wolverine bait.’ By 1880, [Yellowstone National Park] Superintendent [Philetus] Norris stated in his annual report that ‘…the value of their [wolves and coyotes] hides and their easy slaughter with strychnine-poisoned carcasses have nearly led to their extermination.’”

In the Southwest, as settlers depleted bison, elk, deer, and moose populations – the wolves’ natural prey – the predators turned more and more to picking off livestock. In states like New Mexico where cattle ranching was big business, ranchers responded by turning to professional wolfers and bounty hunters. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports, “To protect livestock, ranchers and government agencies began an eradication campaign. Bounty programs initiated in the 19th century continued as late as 1965, offering $20 to $50 per wolf. Wolves were trapped, shot, dug from their dens, and hunted with dogs. Poisoned animal carcasses were left out for wolves, a practice that also killed eagles, ravens, foxes, bears, and other animals that fed on the tainted carrion.”

Government-Sanctioned Wolf Extermination Programs   

            

Government Trapper

Towards the end of the 19th Century, wealthy livestock owners increased both their demand for wider grazing ranges and their influence over policymakers in Washington, D.C. In 1885, the federal government established the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey, initially chartered to research insects and birds. However, the livestock lobby quickly diverted the Bureau’s attention to wolves. Stockowners complained that their land was infested with wolves, calling them “breeding grounds.” They demanded the federal government secure their land for safe pasturage.

In 1906, the U.S. Forest Service acquiesced to the stockowners and enlisted the help of the Bureau of Biological Survey to clear cattle ranges of gray wolves. In other words, the Bureau became a wolf-extermination unit. Bruce Hampton writes in The Great American Wolf:

That same year [1906], bureau biologist Vernon Bailey traveled to Wyoming and New Mexico to investigate the extent of wolf and coyote depredations. Upon Bailey’s return to Washington, D.C., President Roosevelt invited him to the White House to see what he had learned. Although there is no record of their conversation, immediately following Bailey’s meeting the President, the Biological Survey recommended that the government begin “devising methods for the destruction of the animals [wolves].”

By the middle of the 20th Century, government-sponsored extermination had wiped out nearly all gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. Only a small population remained in northeastern Minnesota and Michigan. Yet the Bureau of Biological Survey was still disseminating anti-wolf propaganda as late as 1940. One poster from the time read:

According to estimates of stockmen [the Custer Wolf, pictured in the poster] killed $25,000 worth of cattle during the seven years he was known in the vicinity of Custer, South Dakota … A local bounty of $500 failed to secure his capture. A Department hunter ended his career of destruction by a skillfully set trap. Many notorious wolves are known to have killed cattle valued at $3000 to $5000 in a year. More than 3,849 wolves have been destroyed by the predatory animal work of the Department and its cooperators since the work was organized in 1915.

It was not until the late sixties, when a greater understanding of natural ecosystems began changing attitudes in the scientific community and the National Park Service, that the plight of wolves in North America began to improve.

In 1973, Congress gave gray wolves protection under the Endangered Species Act. According to Douglas Smith and Gary Ferguson, in Yellowstone National Park, where the last gray wolf was killed in 1926, “the entire [gray wolf] restoration program was guided by directives contained in the Endangered Species Act – a law created to ground a decades-old cornerstone of science that says the healthiest, most stable natural systems tend to be those with high levels of biodiversity.”

Since then, wolf populations throughout the country have increased. In 1995 and 1996, researchers in Yellowstone National Park released 31 Canadian gray wolves back into the wild. The event was hailed as a testament to the conservation movement’s efforts to revive wild wolf populations in America. Yet anti-wolf attitudes persist. Shortly after the release of the Yellowstone wolves a hunter shot and killed Wolf Number 10. Smith and Ferguson write about the incident: “As disturbing as the shooting itself was, more unsavory still was the reaction of a handful of locals who cheered the killing, calling it an act of heroism.”

The Wolf That Changed America

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Photos © Arizona Historical Society

Sources

Coleman, Jon T. Vicious: Wolves and Men in America. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2004.

Hampton, Bruce. The Great American Wolf. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1997.

Robinson, Michael J. Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West. University Press of Colorado, 2005.

Schullery, Paul. The Yellowstone Wolf: A Guide & Sourcebook. Worland, Wyoming: High Plains Publishing Company, Inc., 1996.

Smith, Douglas W. and Gary Ferguson. Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone. Guilford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2005.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Gray Wolf Fact Sheet. [updated January 2007; cited November 2008]

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/the-wolf-that-changed-america/wolf-wars-americas-campaign-to-eradicate-the-wolf/4312/

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Top Photo:  Courtesy retrievermandotnet

Photos: Nature Online

Video: Courtesy YouTube PBS

Posted in: Wolf  Wars

Tags:  gray wolf, wolves or livestock, wolf intolerance, Nature Online, The Wolf That Changed America, PBS

Animal Rights is ‘The social justice movement of the 21st century,’ says ‘Unchained’ Jane

Nabeki:

JVM-award Petadotorg

Jane interviewed Doug Honnold /Earth Justice in 2012 concerning Wyoming’s fight for a predator zone in the state, where wolves could be killed 24/7. They eventually got it but wolves have now been relisted as endangered in Wyoming. I’m so excited Jane has a website dedicated to animal rights. She was the only MSM journalist who covered the wolf persecution from their delisting in 2009 until she left HLN. Thank you Jane for being a voice for the voiceless, not only wolves but for all animals. You are one of my heroes.

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

http://www.advocate.com/politics/media/2015/04/06/jane-velez-mitchell-giving-voice-voiceless?google_editors_picks=true

Jane Velez-Mitchell: Giving Voice to the Voiceless

BY Trudy Ring

April 06 2015

After a stellar career in traditional broadcast journalism, Jane Velez-Mitchell is wholeheartedly embracing new media — and she’s doing it in the service of what she calls “the social justice movement of the 21st century.”

That movement is animal rights, the focus of Velez-Mitchell’s new website, JaneUnchained, and her online subscription video series, Defining Moments.

“I had been talking to animal advocates for a long time, and they were saying we need to become the media for animals,” she says. The “we” she refers to isn’t just Velez-Mitchell and her partner in life and work, Donna Dennison, but fellow activists she encourages to contribute their own news videos. “Anybody with a cell phone camera can be a photojournalist,” she says.

Well, that may be the case, but most of them don’t have Velez-Mitchell’s résumé. She spent more…

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Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 10:10 am  Comments (4)  

Trophy Hunting = Legalized Thrill Killing!

cartoon-trophy-hunt. bizzarodotcom

Speciesism‘ is the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals. …a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species….BBC Ethics Guide

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Cartoon: Bizzarodotcom

Posted in: Animal cruelty, trophy hunting

Tags: trophy hunting evils, lack of empathy, Speciesism, narcissism

Happy Easter

gray wolf pups-all-about-wolves 1

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Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: gray wolf pups

Tags: pups future uncertain, may Easter bring peace, beautiful wolf pups

Published in: on April 4, 2015 at 11:46 pm  Comments (8)  
Tags: , ,

Ode To Magnificence by Louis du Toit

ODE TO MAGNIFICENCE
(Louise du Toit — 02-24-2012)

I am wolf

I am
the true spirit
of nature
a perfect creation
walking beside you
guiding your senses
to see
the invisible

I am
a predator
preserving
the delicate balance
of nature

a sentient being
no more evil or righteous
than any other creature

born with everything
I need to survive

I am
intelligent
courageous
strong
a true survivor
devoted to my family
loyal to my pack
the defender of my territory

Mankind
has chosen me
as its enemy
lack of knowledge
brought fear
bred hatred
enveloped
in a dark cloud
of demonic imagination

Like countless
other earthlings
I am shamelessly
persecuted

My true destination
will only become visible

when humans
discard their
imaginary fear
false legends
phantasmal myths

to seek the truth

Wolves in lamar valley_ Earth Justice

Video: Courtesy Louise Du Toit

Photo: Courtesy Earthjustice

Posted in: Biodiversity, gray wolf

Tags: Ode To Magnificence, Animal Rights, gray wolf, Louise du Toit, biodiversity

Poachers Hunt Endangered African Animals – This Woman Hunts Poachers

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

http://tv.bamargera.com/this-woman-hunts-poachers/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=buffer&aYIq36DCfKYqwjrC.01

Kinessa Johnson is a US Army veteran who served for 4 years in Afghanistan, this week she arrived in Africa to take on a different kind of enemy. Her new mission is, as she puts it, “We’re going over there to do some anti-poaching, kill some bad guys, and do some good.” She is now enlisted with Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife (VETPAW) as an anti-poaching advisor. VETPAW is a not-for-profit organization that employs US Veterans to help protect African wildlife from being illegally hunted and captured.

Ms. Johnson and her team of fellow Vets arrived in Tanzania on March 26th and began their work. She has already noticed a decrease in poaching activity in her team’s immediate area because their presence is known. Which is easy to understand, who would want to fight it out with a battle proven warrior like Johnson? Her team’s primary focus will…

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Published in: on March 31, 2015 at 11:00 pm  Comments (17)  

Mark Your Calendars–Say NO to Trophy Huning!

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

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Published in: on March 28, 2015 at 11:03 pm  Comments (3)  

Wolf Dad Takes His Hungry Pups For A Stroll With Brown Bears Near By….

“Alpha male wolf plays with and regurgitates food for 4 pups in a high density brown bear (grizzly) feeding area of the Katmai coast, Alaska. filmed by naturalist guide Brad Josephs”

Looks like dad has his hands full with four hungry pups. Watch how he regurgitates food for them as they lick his mouth. They just can’t get enough. He’s one dedicated alpha male and there are brown bears around too.

Alpa male with his pups Katmai Alaska Courtesy Brad Josephs

Wolves are the parents, the mothers, the fathers, the brothers and sisters that we always hoped we could be….Ed Bangs, Former Wolf Recovery Coordinator, USFWS

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Video: YouTube Courtesy Brad Josephs

Photo: Screen Grab Courtesy Brad Josephs

Posted in: Coastal gray wolves, Brown Bears,  Biodiversity

Tags: wolf pups, wolf dad feeds pups, Katmai Coast Alaska, Coastal wolves, Coastal brown bears, biodiversity, Brad Josephs

Speak For Wolves: Reforming Wildlife Management in America – Part 2

download
Speak for Wolves is a project that aims to educate, inspire and organize citizens to work towards reforming wildlife management in America. Join fellow wildlife advocates on August 7-9 at the Union Pacific Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana for Speak for Wolves 2015.
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The second of the five keys to reforming wildlife management in America.

2. Remove Grazing From All Federal Public Lands

 Grazing is the most ecologically damaging form of land use in the arid America West. Research has proven that non-native livestock is responsible for soil compaction, destruction of wetlands and riparian zones, a decrease in water retention and aquifer recharge, soil erosion, flooding, a net-loss of biodiversity and large amounts of methane gas. Livestock grazing contributes to the spread of harmful invasive plant species, which greatly affects the West’s historic fire regime. To make matters worse, the American taxpayer heavily subsidizes destructive grazing practices every year to the tune of tens, if not, hundreds of millions of dollars. At the very least, the federal grazing fee ($1.69 cow/calf pair) must be substantially raised to recoup administrative costs, voluntary grazing retirement (grazing permits are bought out by conservation groups) needs to be enabled on all federal public lands, and Congress must cease the use of legislative riders to handicap the ability of federal agencies, and the public, to use our public land laws to asses the cumulative impacts of harmful grazing.
 adult wolf from the Snake River pack odfw

Top photo: Courtesy Speak for Wolves

Bottom photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: gray wolf, Biodiversity, Activism

Tags: Speak for Wolves, Reforming Wildlife Management, state fish and game agencies, gray wolf

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