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.
Brett Haverstick – Event Organizer – Thank you Brett!!!
Gardiner Community Center – Watching Films and Panel Discussion After
George Nickas, Executive Director of Wilderness Watch
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,
Wolf cheerleaders!! :)
Yellowstone elk Cows and calves on the drive to the Lamar Valley – Speak for Wolves
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