Wolf Wars Part 2…..Wolves Under The Gun In Montana And The Rest Of The Northern Rockies!!

A hearing was held in Helena on March 5th.

Maybe you missed it but if you care about wolves you should pay attention.

The hearing was attended by Montana FWP, Wildlife Services and the Environmental Quality Council.  

Apparently it was concluded Montana has too many wolves. After more then 500 wolves lost their lives in the Northern Rockies in 2009 and the Idaho hunt still continues, there is a cry for more wolf killing from ranchers, hunters and wolf haters. I have never seen anything like this.

Montana, the fourth largest state, with a land mass of 147,165 sq miles, can’t accommodate 450 wolves. 

Montana is 255 miles wide and 630 miles long and has a tiny human population of 967,440, ranking Montana 44th in the nation. Here’s a map of the HUGE state of Montana that can’t accommodate 450 wolves. 

Why? Because most ranchers and hunters don’t want them. Everyone else be damned. You could spend all day pointing out that wolves kill very few livestock. That ranchers lose most of their cattle, over ninety percent to weather, disease and reproductive issues, yet it wouldn’t make any difference because people who hate wolves aren’t interested in facts. They’re interested in getting rid of wolves and repeating the same tired stories about dwindling elk herds and livestock losses. 

Their very own Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation trumpeted last spring in their press release, that elk were flourishing.  Montana’s elk population grew 66% since 1984, Idaho’s 5 %. Hunters ask me where I get these numbers, don’t they read their own hunting organization numbers?  Apparently not.

In contrast to Montana, Minnesota has  3000 wolves. That’s right, THREE THOUSAND!! 

Minnesota is the 12th largest state with a land mass of  79,610 square miles, 250 to 300 miles wide by 400 miles long. A state almost half the size of Montana, with over 5 million (5,266,212) people can accommodate 5 times more wolves than the HUGE state of Montana.  

Furthermore, 40% of all wolves in Minnesota live in the Northeastern part of the state, which means 1200 wolves live in just one area of the state. Yet the entire state of Montana can’t live with 450 wolves.  How pathetic is that? 

If wolves are delisted in Minnesota they would not allow a wolf hunt for five years or maybe never. Yet Montana and Idaho couldn’t wait to get wolf hunts going mere months after gray wolves were delisted and had not been hunted in the lower forty-eight since 1974.

Minnesota’s Wolf Policy States:

There will be no public hunting or trapping seasons for wolves for at least five years. The endangered species act requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor wolves in Minnesota for five years after delisting to ensure that recovery continues. 

(Why is this not being taken into consideration in the Northern Rockies?)

In fact the Great Lakes Region, which encompasses Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan has a total population of over FOUR THOUSAND WOLVESYES FOUR THOUSAND WOLVES.  

Michigan and Wisconsin each have approx. 600 wolves. Minnesota, 3000 wolves.

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin: Total land mass 65, 498 total square miles, 260 miles wide, 310 miles long.  Human population 5,363, 375.  Gray wolves 600.  Wisconsin has 5 times the human population of Montana and more wolves.

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MICHIGAN

Michigan: Total land mass 97, 990 square miles, 386 miles long by 456 miles wide with a human population of  10,045,697.  That’s ten times the human population of Montana.  Gray wolves 600.  Michigan has more wolves then Montana in a smaller land mass with many more people.

Here’s a map of the two regions:

NORTHERN ROCKIES: 1500 wolves    

GREAT LAKES REGION: 4000 Wolves

Looking at the above statistics between the two regions don’t you find it unbelievable that the Northern Rockies, which includes the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, with their tiny human populations and huge land mass, can’t handle 1500 wolves?

Compare the Northern Rockies to the Great Lakes Region.

They have TWENTY TIMES THE HUMAN POPULATION OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES a smaller land mass,  yet have FOUR THOUSAND GRAY WOLVES.

Somehow the people of the Great Lakes Region are able to live in relative harmony with 4000 wolves. I’m sure there are conflicts but they do co-exist with a very large population of wolves. 

Yet the Northern Rockies gray wolves, a much smaller population, who have hundreds of thousands of acres of public land on which to range, are being being hammered from all sides. It’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. 

Why are Minnesota farmers and ranchers able to live side by side with wolves while the West remains so intolerant?  This question can be answered by watching Lords of Nature, which should be required viewing for all who want to understand this dynamic and care about our native carnivores.

Especially important, wolf advocates must continue to speak out about the positive effect wolves have on the ecosystem.  A new study conducted on Isle Royale demonstrates how wolf/moose predation helps enrich the soil. 

 “,,,,,carcasses of moose killed by wolves at Isle Royale National Park enrich the soil in “hot spots” of forest fertility around the kills, causing rapid microbial and fungal growth that provide increased nutrients for plants in the area”  Science Daily November 3, 2009

Even though it’s been demonstrated over and over that wolves and other apex predators are necessary to a healthy environment, the same old, tired rhetoric about them continues to be repeated. This is directly related to the chokehold the livestock and hunting lobbies have on state game policy and why state game agencies should not be managing predators.  It shows the absolute intolerance of wolves in the Northern Rockies and the dismissal of other groups such as Wildlife Watchers, who want to view wolves and wildlife alive, not dead. 

Photo: Courtesy National Geographic

We are relegated to sitting helplessly by while the states kill our wildlife in the interests of agribusiness and hunting. The wants of the few trump the wants of the many. The West’s public lands do not belong to just ranchers and hunters, they belong to all Americans and frankly this American is tired of seeing wildlife treated with so little respect and eliminated for agribusiness.

Wolf advocates and Wildlife Watchers must be more vocal. We can’t be silent any longer. Remember:

If the wolf is to survive, the wolf haters must be outnumbered. They must be outshouted, out financed, and out voted. Their narrow and biased attitude must be outweighed by an attitude based on an understanding of natural processes……David L. Mech

These are the Nation’s wolves and wildlife, yet we have almost no voice in how they are managed. I and others have already called for a boycott of Idaho potatoes and other products, maybe it’s time to do the same in Montana. What other recourse do wolf advocates have then the power of the pocketbook, since nobody seems to hear us no matter how many letters we write or phone calls we make? 

The media feeds into the anti-wolf propaganda by constantly reporting on wolf depredation as if it was so widespread when they know,Wildlife Services knows, Montana FWP knows and IDFG knows that the main predator of cattle is not the wolf but the coyote and yet even the littlesong dog kills so few cows. 

Predation on livestock is a red herring.  Yes wolves kill livestock but in very small numbers and most is due to poor animal husbandry practices by ranchers that have no incentive to change their ways since Wildlife Services acts as their own private wolf extermination service, courtesy of the taxpayer.  How many Americans know there is a federal agency that kills off our native carnivores and other wildlife for agribusiness?

Turning back to the March 5th Helena meeting, it seems war has been declared on wolves in Montana and the Northern Rockies in general. Wildlife Services will have carte blanche to kill wolves without getting approval from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks:

From the Missoulian:

In a hearing before the Environmental Quality Council, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks director Joe Maurier said federal Wildlife Services agents no longer need FWP authorization to kill wolves at or near confirmed livestock depredation sites.

The agents also will be able to immediately kill any wolves that are trapped when they return to those sites to feed on dead livestock.

Not only is Montana FWP going to allow WS to kill more wolves without first getting a directive from them but Joe Maurier, Director of Montana FWP stated:

“he expects the wolf hunting quota to be increased next season from the initial statewide quota of 75 as another way to lower the wolf population. Initial estimates put Montana’s wolf population at 500 animals this year, which is about the same as last year.”

This is not unexpected. Wolf advocates knew the states would show their true colors. I believe Montana kept their hunting quota low due to the ongoing delisting litigation. The longer this drags on the bolder anti-wolf policies become. This is why wolves need protection under ESA because the states cannot be trusted to manage them. The fact Wildlife Services has now been given increased power to kill wolves is a tragedy for wolves and the people who care about them. 

What next?  Will they be adopting the Wyoming shoot on sight plan?  At least Wyoming was honest and didn’t pretend they wanted to have a healthy wolf population.  They said outright they wanted wolves listed as predators with the ability to shoot them on sight in most of the state.  Idaho and Montana on the other hand, led everyone to believe they would be responsible stewards “managing” wolves. Well the blinders are off.

A special insincere thanks to Interior Secretary Salazar for unleashing this upon wolves by delisting them. Wolf advocates thought the election of  President Obama would put to rest the wrong headed Bush administration policies and wolves would remain protected. Instead what did we get?   Delisting of an animal that was already exterminated from the West once by the same thinking that is rampant here in the Northern Rockies today. 

Look at the sad situation the Mexican gray wolf is enduring. Only 42 animals survive in New Mexico and Arizona.  New Mexico only has fifteen of those wolves. Who is responsible for this? It’s the SSS crowd who can’t tolerate even that tiny number of wolves. Are poachers caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law?  I think not. 

Wolf advocates and all who care for wildlife wait patiently for Judge Molloy to rule on the delisting litigation. I sincerely hope his decision comes soon because wolf hatred is mushrooming exponentially.  How much worse can it get for wolves if this continues?  Nobody knows but what is happening in Montana and Idaho looks very similar to the persecution wolves endured in the 19th and 20th centuries.  SHAME!!!

The new new cause de jour of the anti-wolf crowd is the tapeworm scare, Echinococcus Granulosus. 

Even FWP has dismissed this as being of little concern and so have biologists. Yet the anti-wolf crowd will throw everything at the wall to see what sticks.

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Tapeworm in wolves causes stir, but biologists say there’s little to fear

  Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 12:00 am

 http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_9cd68b1c-0df4-5655-b5d5-4a362c5e4a51.html

Wolf advocates predicted the hysteria and persecution wolves would be subjected to  if they were ever delisted and now it’s playing out just as we thought.  Wolves need ESA protection to survive and flourish.  They cannot withstand the climate of hate that is closing in on them. 

Who will speak for them?  Will you?

“Raven, a Gray Wolf who resides at Mission: Wolf, greeting a visitor enthusiastically”

*Italics Mine

Wolf Photos: Wild Wolf Photo Journals, Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, aerial gunning of wolves, Montana wolf hunt, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Wolf Wars

Tags: Wildlife Services, wolf intolerance, wolf myths, wolves or livestock, ESA Lawsuit wolves

IDFG Memo…War Against Idaho’s Wolves??

 

Is this leaked IDFG memo their mission statement declaring War Against Idaho’s Wolves?

Reading the memo I find nothing that addresses ranchers poor animal husbandry practices, or let’s face it, non existent ones.  Even if wolves killed one livestock per day last year, that’s 365 animals, a virtual blip on the livestock mortality screen.  Over ninety percent of livestock losses are due to disease, weather and reproduction as you all know.  Predators, mainly the coyote, take many more then wolves, heck domestic dogs and vultures kill more livestock then wolves and even that is minuscule.. This obviously has nothing to do with wolf predation and everything to do with kissing  up to ranchers,who love playing the victim card to get wolves killed. It all goes back to the history of wolf persecution. Ranchers, the states and feds were behind the last Western extermination of wolves and it looks like they are leading the way in round 2. 

Will Montana and Idaho be cooperating to kill more wolves? The memo seems to point to that conclusion. 

This is exactly why wolves  need to be re-listed.  Even though it won’t stop WS, it will stop the legal hunts because I can guarantee that next year’s hunts will be increasingly brutal and quota’s will be raised by both states.

Click here to see Memo

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MEMORANDUM

TO: Regional Supervisors

FROM: Cal Groen, Director

SUBJECT: Response to wolf depredations on livestock

C: Fish and Game Commissioners, Jim Unsworth, Virgil Moore, Mark Collinge, Nate Fisher, Bonnie Butler

Despite our increased response to controlling wolves depredating on livestock in recent years, wolf depredation complaints continued to increase. In November 2008 the Idaho Fish and Game Commission directed IDFG “To develop and aggressively utilize all available tools and methods to control wolf caused depredation of domestic livestock.”

Responding to that directive, our control efforts have progressed as follows:

Decentralized decision-making to Regional Supervisors when authorizing removal of depredating wolves. • Extended the effective period for take orders by USDA Wildlife Services (WS) and kill permits (livestock owners) from 45 to 60 days following the most recent depredation incident.

Authorized additional WS wolf removals and extended kill permits based on recurring incidents or chronic history of the wolf pack involved.

Allowed kill permit designees to include all members of a grazing association during their entire grazing season.

 Increased authorization to remove most or all of the members of wolf packs involved in chronic depredations where there has been a history of depredations from previous years.

Developed area-specific harvest objectives for the 2009-2010 wolf hunting season to address livestock conflicts.

Authorized take orders during open hunting season when hunting proved ineffective to remedy chronic depredations.( So basically the hunters aren’t killing wolves fast enough)

Increased coordination between Montana and Idaho WS. IDFG authorized WS control actions in response to 160 confirmed and 43 probable wolf depredations on livestock during federal FY2009. These control actions resulted in removal of 107 wolves including complete, or nearly complete removal of 6 entire packs (Middle Creek, Snake River, Applejack, Falls Creek, Sage Creek, Blue Bunch) as authorized by IDFG. Fish and Game authorized the removal of the Blue Bunch pack but complete removal was not achieved during the federal FY2009 period.

Since the end of the federal FY in September 2009, IDFG has authorized the complete removal of all, or nearly all, members of 3 additional packs (Basin Butte, Steel Mountain, Sweet-Ola) in response to repeated depredations caused by these packs.  (Poor animal husbandry practices are leading to the death of wolves.  Ranchers are not held to any standard to protect their investment.  Do the American people owe ranchers a living?  This is just a welrare subsidy for ranching, using the state and feds as their own private wolf extermination service, while doing little or next to nothing to protect their livestock)

Although the Department has documented nearly 300 wolf mortalities in 2009, livestock losses continue at an unacceptable level. As a result, we need to renew our commitment to meeting the Commission’s directive to reduce livestock depredations. (Exactly what are the numbers of livestock losses? This is  tit for tat management plain and simple.  One cow , one wolf.  What other predator is subjected to this type of persecution?)

With due consideration to maintaining linkage corridors, we will recommend to the Commission increasing harvest limits in 2010 and expanding season dates in wolf zones with chronic depredations. (Here we go wolf advocates, they’re already talking about increasing “harvest limits” and expanding season dates for next years hunts.  Are they just going to make wolf hunting  year round, since the season already lasts for SEVEN MONTHS, into breeding and denning season?)

Further, in high conflict areas where a history of depredations exists, we will respond to a confirmed depredation incident more aggressively by authorizing WS to remove all involved depredating wolves.

Additionally, I am committing staff to work cooperatively with WS to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative methods, such as sterilization or other nonlethal measures, to alleviate wolf damage. We would like to keep all options available to manage wolf depredations in the future.

*italics mine

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TAKE ACTION FOR WOLVES:

PROTEST THESE PROPOSED IDFG POLICIES: 

 Click This Link

 

 

Wolf photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, howling for justice, Wildlife Services War Against Wildlife

Tags: wolf persecution, wolves in the crossfire, IDFG

For The Fallen 500….You Are Not Forgotten

Over 500 hundred wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009 and the killing continues. Hunted, persecuted, eliminated for livestock, we who love you won’t forget you and will continue to fight for the rights of your brothers that remain

For The Wolves, For The Wild Ones,

Nabeki

 

Finally Hope For Idaho’s Wolves

There is good news to report!!  Western Watersheds Project and the The Wolf Recovery Foundation are suing to prevent helicopters from landing in the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness.  

The forest service recently gave Idaho Fish & Game the green light to land helicopters up to twenty times this winter in the Frank Church Wilderness, to dart as many as twelve wolves for collaring.  The Frank Church is a designated wilderness and this violates the Wilderness Act of 1974 which states:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

The lawsuit also targets Wildlife Services for their slaughter of wolves in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, for the livestock industry. They want SNRA grazing leases pulled.

Each year cattle are trucked in to graze the SNRA.  This is a national recreation area, cattle are the trespassers here, not wolves.  But time and again wolves are subjugated to livestock. The slaughter of the Basin Butte Pack during Thanksgiving week was an example of the arrogance Wildlife Services has shown, when they gunned down seven wolves from helicopters in broad daylight, like some surreal wild west show.

Finally this out of control agency is being challenged.  Their practice of killing entire packs of wolves is a travesty. The same thing is happening right now in Montana, where four wolf packs have lethal orders on their heads.  WS is intent on completely removing The Elevation Pack, The Miners Lake Pack, The Battlefield Pack and the Mitchell Mountain Pack. This lawsuit couldn’t have come at a better time.  Wolves are dying in record numbers.

I hope this will be a new beginning for wolves, not just on the Sawtooth but in the Northern Rockies. Over five hundred wolves died in 2009 and now their howls will be heard in court.

Thank you Western Watersheds Project and The Wolf Recovery Foundation.  This has given me new hope we can finally have justice for Idaho’s wolves and in turn for all the Northern Rockies wolves.  As one of my readers stated: Please stop killing wolves!  Just stop!

To read the full lawsuit click here

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WWP & Wolf Recovery Foundation Litigates Big to Protect Wolves in Central Idaho

January 6, 2010 — Brian Ertz 

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

Groups sue to end helicopter landings in Idaho wilderness

By the Associated Press | Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 1:50 pm

http://www.missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_f9a6465c-fb04-11de-b162-001cc4c03286.html

Posted in: wolf recovery, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, biodiversity, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: SNRA, WWP lawsuit, Frank Church Wilderness, Forest Fervice, aerial gunning of wolves, intrusive collaring of wolves, wolves or livestock

Four Montana Wolf Packs Slated To Die

UPDATE: The remaining members of the Mitchell Mountain Pack could not be found by WS, so at this time, whatever remaining members are left they are not being targeted by WS, the lethal control order has expired.  Control actions also ended on the Elevation Pack and whatever members remain, are not being tracked by WS.  The Miners Lake Pack is still slated for removal  This is according to the FWP weekly wolf report 2010. 

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Sigh, the bad news keeps rolling in. According to the Montana FWP Wolf Report, WS killed 3 wolves from the Mitchell Mountain Pack on 12/31, NEW YEARS EVE!  The wolves lived on the Sieben Ranch, which is owned by the Baucus family. Lethal control orders are out on the rest of the pack. Mitchell Mountain wolves have had a kill order hanging over their heads the last couple of weeks. I had hoped, after it was reported,  more then 500 wolves have died in the Northern Rockies, that WS would stop killing wolves, especially entire packs but it hasn’t changed their plans at all.  Now four wolf packs will be wiped out in the name of livestock,  once again.  Is Secretary Salazar watching this killing spree?  Is this science backed management of wolves?  I’d like to see the science behind what’s going on.

The Battlefield Pack is also on the WS lethal removal list,  2 wolves from that pack were killed on 12/28 and they’re looking to take out the rest of this pack.  Repeat this for the Miners Lake and Elevation Packs, who lost two wolves on 12/21. Both have “lethal control” orders out on them. A wolf was killed from the Horse Prairie Pack on 12/31.

To sum up all the wolf killing:  Four entire Montana wolf packs are being slated for elimination by WS, who got the green light to do this from Montana FWP wolf coordinators.  This is on top of the 500 plus wolves already dead in the Northern Rockies and Idaho still has 8o wolves left in their hunting quota.  Wyoming has not been quiet in all this, wolves are losing their lives there as well. Sixteen wolves were killed from the Big Horn, Black Butte and Dog Creek packs.

I will continue to speak up about the wolf slaughter but wolf advocates the time is now  to step up writing letters, making phone calls, comments to newspapers, using FB, using Twitter to get the word out. Anyone and everyone that cares about wolves, please write the wolf coordinators, Montana FWP, IDFG, newspapers, the Governors of Idaho and Montana, the Secretary of the Interior, because the wolf killing continues on two fronts by Wildlife Services and the Idaho hunt. 

When you write letters or contact the media, ask why wolves are dying and for whom?  Ranching and hunting interests influence “wolf managment”, while the rest of the wildlife viewing public has literally zero input into the management of wolves. We do not want wolves slaughtered for the livestock industry or elk hunters.

How many more wolves have to die before it’s enough? 800, 900, 1000?  What’s the magic number?  Because it’s all about numbers?  Wolves are nothing but numbers now.  I never hear anything written about the wolf pups that are orphaned by these lethal actions, or what is happening to pack structure, or the loss of alphas.  This is why I continue to repeat: State Game Agencies should not be managing predators, especially wolves!!

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Montana Wolf Managers…click here

Idaho Fish and Game…click here

Wildlife Services……Jim Lukens 1-208=756-2271

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Department of the Interior: Secretary Ken Salazar

202-208-3100
E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

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

Write or Call Montana Governor Brian D. Schweitzer:

Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 200801
Helena MT 59620-0801
(406) 444-3111, FAX (406) 444-5529

Send comments:

http://governor.mt.gov/contact/commentsform.asp

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Write or call Idaho Governor Butch Otter:

208.334.2100
http://gov.idaho.gov/WebRespond/contact_form.html

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Write the Idaho tourism office:

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

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Write the Potato Commission:

http://contact.idahopotato.com/

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Write or call Idaho Fish and Game:

Headquarters Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 25
Boise, ID 83707

Headquarters Street / Walk-in Address:

600 S. Walnut
Boise, ID 83712

Telephone: (208) 334-3700
Fax: (208) 334-2148 / (208) 334-2114

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

Write or call the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners:

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

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Idaho Newspapers:

Post-Register, Idaho Falls           

www.postregister.com

e-mail to taulcore@postregister.com

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Idaho State Journal – Pocatello and SE Idaho        

305 S. Arthur, Pocatello ID  83204

Press Release E-mail: pressrelease@journalnet.com
Letters to the Editor E-mail: letters@journalnet.com 

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The Times-News       

http://www.magicvalley.com

Box 548, Twin Falls ID  83303

Phone: 733-0931
E-mail  letters@magicvalley.com

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Idaho Statesman

1200 N. Curtis Road Boise, Idaho 83706

Editorial@idahostatesman.com
P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707

News (main office)  (208) 377-6449 FAX 208/377-6449

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MONTANA NEWSPAPERS

Billings Gazette

Phone: (406) 657-1200

Toll Free: 1-800-543-2505

Postal Mail: P.O. Box 36300,

Billings, MT 59107-6300

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BOZEMAN DAILY CHRONICLE

(406) 587-4491

2820 W College St

Bozeman, MT

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The Daily InterLake

727 East Idaho, PO 7610-59904,

Kalispell MT, 59901

Tel:406-755-7000

FAX:406-752-6114

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MISSOULIAN

PO Box 8029
Missoula, MT 59807
Newsroom: newsdesk@missoulian.com
Phone: (406) 523-5240
Toll free: 1-800-366-7186
Fax: (406) 523-5294

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Bozeman Daily Chronicle

bozemandailychronicle.com

newsdesk@missoulian.com
Phone: (406) 523-5240
Toll free: 1-800-366-7186
Fax: (406) 523-5294

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

Independant Record

HelenaIR.com

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 4249
Helena, MT 59604

Newsroom:

irstaff@helenair.com

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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

Tags: wolves in the crossfire, wolves or livestock, aerial gunning of wolves

Montana FWP Thinks 2009 Wolf Hunt ‘Good Day For Montana’

 

I was shocked by the headline in the Missoulian, “FWP says 2009 wolf hunt ‘a good day for Montana’, quoting Carolyn Sime, Montana state wolf coordinator.  FWP even released a report on the hunt.  Apparently, the devil is in the details. 

Of course they’re going to be thrilled with themselves, they planned the hunt mere months after gray wolves were delisted. What are they going to say? We did a miserable job and 203 wolves are now dead in Montana between the hunt and wolves killed by Wildlife Services? 

The wolf population in the state, before all the killing started, was approx. 450-500 wolves. Is anyone considering the Montanans that are wholly against the wolf hunts? That we consider this slaughter plain and simple in the name of hunting and ranching. That over FORTY PERCENT of Montana’s wolves are dead and Wildlife Services isn’t done yet?  There are kill orders out on 22 more wolves from five packs, if they haven’t been killed already. No, the Montana hunt and shadow Wildlife Service hunt was not a wonderful success. FIVE HUNDRED NORTHERN ROCKIES WOLVES ARE DEAD.

This statement from the article caught my eye. “Others worried about the potential to wipe out entire packs.” How many packs of wolves has Wildlife Services taken out this year? I can name the Sage Creek Pack, the Big Hole Pack the Centennial pack AND they are gunning for the Mitchell Mountain, Battlefield and Pintler packs. Visit my wolf pack memorial page to see how busy they’ve been. Wildlife Services gunned down twenty seven members of the Hog Heaven Pack last year. TWENTY SEVEN WOLVES. Nine entire packs were wiped out in Montana in 2008 by WS on the orders of FWP. Are people living in dream land concerning what is happening to wolves in Montana and the Northern Rockies in general?? We didn’t need a Montana wolf hunt. WS killed more wolves this year then the hunts. The combination of the two was a double whammy to wolves. This is why State Fish and Game Agencies shouldn’t be managing wolves.

It’s a grim time for Montanans who care about wolves and it’s certainly a disaster for wolves. What in the world is there to celebrate or be happy about concerning wolves?

Posted in: Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, Montana wolf hunt, Wolf Wars, aerial gunning of wolves

Tags: Wildlife Services, Montana wolf hunt, gray wolf/canis lupus, wolves or livestock

Legacy Of A Lost Wolf

An op-ed  in the Washington Post today concentrates on the beleaguered Mexican Gray wolf, who needs help desperately but the writer also mentions Wildlife Services formerly Animal Damage Control, who kills hundreds of thousands of animals each year for agriculture.  They’ve wiped out almost 300 gray wolves in 2009 alone in the Northern Rockies.  They didn’t do this on their own, their kill orders came from IDFG and  Montana FWP  to benefit the livestock industry. 

Between Wildlife Services, the Idaho and Montana hunts, poaching, the SSS crowd (Shoot, Shovel and Shutup, for anyone who hasn’t heard this term)  and general wolf mortality, the death toll in the Northern Rockies has hit 500 wolves out of a beginning population estimated between 1500-1600 wolves.  That’s one-third of the wolf population gone!  Montana has killed 203 wolves from a population of 450-500, that’s almost half Montana’s wolves, wiped out. This is unprecedented and they’re not done yet. 

“In Western states, ranchers run cattle on hundreds of millions of acres of federal lands, supported by subsidies that as of 2005, according to a Government Accountability Office report, cost American taxpayers $123 million annually. Most disturbing to me is the Agriculture Department’s euphemistically titled “Wildlife Services” program, also operated largely for the benefit of ranchers. In 2008, this program exterminated 124,414 carnivores such as bears, wolves, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons and cougars via cruel methods including leghold traps, aerial shooting and poisoning.”

Please write and speak up about the killing of  wolves for agribusiness.  Whoever you know, if you have connections to the media, etc. any influence you might have to get this story out about wolves being slaughtered in the Northern Rockies, please use it.  If the powers that be don’t feel any push back from the public they won’t have any impetus to change.  Wolves are dying, we can’t let them fade away without fighting for them!!

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Legacy of A Lost Wolf

By Betsy KarasikSunday, December 27, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/25/AR2009122501427.html

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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

Tags: wolf intolerance, wolves in the crossfire,  Wildlife Services

500 Wolves Wiped Out In The Northern Rockies

 

December 23, 2009

Well here we are people, the total dead wolf count for the Northern Rockies has hit FIVE HUNDRED WOLVES.  That is what we have come to.  One third of all wolves in the Northern Rockies ARE GONE!!!!!  And they’re not done yet.  There are still 89 wolves left to be killed in the Idaho hunt and who knows how many more wolves will die this winter in “lethal control” actions by Wildlife Services. Montana has given the green light to take out another 22 wolves for livestock depredation.  So that’s another hundred wolves slated to die…89 + 22 = 111 adding to the 500 already dead.

From the Associated Press:

The regional wolf count was 1,650 at the beginning of the year. Since September, hunters in Montana and Idaho have claimed at least 203 of the animals, with Idaho’s hunting season slated to continue through March. Almost 300 more have been killed by government wildlife agents, ranchers, poachers and natural causes.

That figure includes deaths in Wyoming, where hunting remains banned.

Concerning the slaughter of the Basin Butte Wolves in Stanley, Idaho last month…they finally are setting the record straight.

“In Idaho, federal wildlife agents last month shot seven wolves from the Basin Butte pack near Stanley, after its members were blamed for killing 36 sheep and about a dozen cattle since July 2008.

But after the Stanley shooting, wildlife advocates argued the pack was wrongly blamed and complained of heavy-handed tactics — including firing at the predators from a helicopter in full view of town.

“This pack did not kill 36 sheep at Cape Horn in August 2008,” said Lynne Stone, director of Boulder-White Clouds Council, an environmental group based in Ketchum. “But Wildlife Services wanted to blame them, to add to the case to wipe out this pack.”

This is an outrage! Between hunting, IDGF and FWP issuing kill orders to Wildlife Services, the wolf population is being decimated while wolf supporters sit helplessly by.

Please write to the governors of the states of Montana and Idaho.  To the wolf managers in Idaho and Montana.  Write to the newspapers.  Use Facebook, Twitter, whatever you have to do to get the word out.

The fallen 500 hundred wolves are not coming back. When will this slaughter end? Remember the twenty seven member Hog Heaven Pack killed in 2008 for livestock depredation, the one size fits all reason for killing wolves? 

Is there ever any mention of what measures ranchers have taken to protect their investments?  Or who’s cattle have been killed? Or that wolves are tracked relentlessly by their collars.  Or that ranchers lose most of their cattle to disease, weather and calving?   How many more wolves will die for cattle and sheep?   

Don’t forget that wolves are dying out there this holiday season.  Please speak out and stand up for them, they have no voice!!

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Wolf death tally passes 500

By MATTHEW BROWN – and JOHN MILLER – Associated Press writers | Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:00 am

http://www.trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_15116fb8-c3e2-58af-838b-0aa28a89badd.html

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Montana Wolf Managers…click here

Idaho Fish and Game…click here

Wildlife Services……Jim Lukens 1-208=756-2271

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Department of the Interior: Secretary Ken Salazar

202-208-3100
E-Mail:
feedback@ios.doi.gov
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

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Write or Call Montana Governor Brian D. Schweitzer:

Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 200801
Helena MT 59620-0801
(406) 444-3111, FAX (406) 444-5529

Send comments:

http://governor.mt.gov/contact/commentsform.asp

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Write or call Idaho Governor Butch Otter:

208.334.2100
http://gov.idaho.gov/WebRespond/contact_form.html

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Write the Idaho tourism office:

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

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Write the Potato Commission:

http://contact.idahopotato.com/

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Write or call Idaho Fish and Game:

Headquarters Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 25
Boise, ID 83707

Headquarters Street / Walk-in Address:

600 S. Walnut
Boise, ID 83712

Telephone: (208) 334-3700
Fax: (208) 334-2148 / (208) 334-2114

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Write or call the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners:

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

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Idaho Newspapers:

Post-Register, Idaho Falls

www.postregister.com

e-mail to taulcore@postregister.com

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Idaho State Journal – Pocatello and SE Idaho

305 S. Arthur, Pocatello ID  83204

Press Release E-mail: pressrelease@journalnet.com
Letters to the Editor E-mail: letters@journalnet.com 

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The Times-News

http://www.magicvalley.com

Box 548, Twin Falls ID  83303

Phone: 733-0931
E-mail  letters@magicvalley.com

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Idaho Statesman

1200 N. Curtis Road Boise, Idaho 83706

Editorial@idahostatesman.com
P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707

News (main office)  (208) 377-6449 FAX 208/377-6449

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MONTANA NEWSPAPERS

Billings Gazette

Phone: (406) 657-1200

Toll Free: 1-800-543-2505

Postal Mail: P.O. Box 36300,

Billings, MT 59107-6300

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BOZEMAN DAILY CHRONICLE

(406) 587-4491

2820 W College St

Bozeman, MT

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The Daily InterLake

727 East Idaho, PO 7610-59904,

Kalispell MT, 59901

Tel:406-755-7000

FAX:406-752-6114

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MISSOULIAN

PO Box 8029
Missoula, MT 59807
Newsroom: newsdesk@missoulian.com
Phone: (406) 523-5240
Toll free: 1-800-366-7186
Fax: (406) 523-5294

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Bozeman Daily Chronicle

bozemandailychronicle.com

newsdesk@missoulian.com
Phone: (406) 523-5240
Toll free: 1-800-366-7186
Fax: (406) 523-5294

====

Independant Record

HelenaIR.com

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 4249
Helena, MT 59604

Newsroom:

irstaff@helenair.com

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Photos: Courtesy James Balog

Posted in: aerial gunning of wolves, wildlife services war on wildlife, wolf wars

Tags: aerial gunning of wolves, wolves or livestock, wolves in the crossfire

Stop Killing Wolves For The Livestock Industry

 

 “Throughout the centuries we have projected on to the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves.”~ Barry Lopez
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Entire Nine-Member White Hawk Wolf Pack Killed in Central Idaho by Government Gunners

April 2002

“By sometime this weekend (and it may have happened already) the entire White Hawk wolf pack of central Idaho’s Boulder-White Cloud Mountains will be dead.

Ten wolves including the pregnant alpha female who is the famous white wolf of the Sawtooth Valley will be gunned down from a government helicopter.”

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Feds OK killing of wolf pack

The Associated Press – 03/06/04 | Posted: Friday, March 5, 2004

“CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking a federal judge in Cheyenne to uphold the agency’s decision to remove federal protections for the gray wolf in Idaho and Montana while leaving them in place in Wyoming.”

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19 wolves killed in 3 days

Updated: 2:23 pm, Mon Jul 13, 2009.

The remainder of the Hog Heaven wolf pack – 19 animals – was killed this week after repeated livestock depredations west and southwest of Kalispell.

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9 wolves to be killed in Big Hole Valley

Associated Press | Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 9:10 am

“DILLON — State wildlife officials have ordered nine wolves to be killed after repeated attacks on cattle in the Big Hole Valley.

The state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks gave a trapper with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services permission to kill the remaining four members of the Battlefield Pack and five wolves from the 15-member Miner Lakes Pack.”

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Basin Butte pack killing raises same old wolf controversies

Submitted by Rocky Barker on Thu, 12/03/2009 – 10:34am.

“The helicopter gunning of seven members of the Basin Butte Pack near Stanley by federal agents even as hunters were in the field has angered wolf advocates and highlights again the polarized nature of this issue.

You might remember the Basin Butte pack as the one that delighted wolf watchers for several years as it hung around Stanley and offered the kind of opportunity to see wolves in the wild unlike anywhere but Yellowstone National Park.+

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Mitchell Mountain wolf pack north of Helena to be killed

December 8, 2009

“A wolf pack that lives north of Helena will be killed by state officials, once it was determined that the removal was necessary after the pack killed several domestic animals.”

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Just change the day and year on each of the above press releases and it’s the same old story.  Wolves killed for the livestock industry. By highlighting each wolf kill as though wolves are on some massive killing spree, it skews the picture and keeps wolf recovery hopelessly intertwined with cows.  Wolves kill very few of the 100 million cattle that graze our public and private lands but you wouldn’t know it by these headlines.  In fact the number one predator killing cattle is the coyote and even they are only responsible for a tiny percentage of all cattle death.  Most cattle losses are due to weather, reproduction and disease but those statistics are not sensational.  They don’t grab headlines or garner sympathy for ranching.

On top of the killing by Wildlife Services, wolves are being hunted in Idaho and previously Montana, until that hunt ended in November, when a quota of 75 wolves had been reached (72 killed by hunters and 3 poached).  The Idaho hunt death toll stands at 128 wolves with 92 remaining to be wiped out.

Yet Wildlife Services continues to slaughter wolves and other predators for agriculture.  They are erasing a national treasure the majority of Americans consider to be icons of the West but the wildlife viewing public has zero input on the elimination of wolves for the livestock industry.

The two videos below describe aerial gunning in Alaska but it might as well be Idaho, Montana or Wyoming because Wildlife Services does the same thing here in the Northern Rockies.  This is the ugly face of aerial gunning of wolves.

We have to speak up!!  There is a ban on aerial gunning.  Congress passed the Federal Airborne Hunting Act of 1972, prohibiting hunters from shooting animals from a helicopter or plane BUT there’s  a loophole in the law.  It allows aerial gunning for:

Predator control, permitting state employees or licensed individuals to shoot from an aircraft for the sake of protecting “land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life, or crops.”

Since 2003 Alaska has issued aerial wolf gunning permits in areas where they want to ramp up moose and caribou populations by killing the predators.

Wildlife Services uses aerial gunningto sanitize the landscape of wolves, other predators and wildlife, in the name of agriculture, by taking advantage of the aerial gunning ban loophole.

This has to stop!!  Please visit WildEarth Guardians website and sign the petition, demanding Wildlife Services stop poisoning, aerial gunning and destroying our wolves and other predators on public land.  Almost five million animals were killed last year by this agency.

Also support the PAWS ACT, HR 3663, which wouldBan Inhumane and Unsporting Aerial Gunning of Wolves.  The bill is stalled in the House of Representatives. Please call your congressman and ask them to support this bill.

The only way this will change is if the American people say no.  We don’t want wolves, cougars, foxes, coyotes, badgers, raccoons, skunks, bears, etc… slaughtered every year.  We don’t want cattle on our public lands. This is the main roadblock to wolf recovery. 

Below is the death toll for 2008 of wolves killed in Montana, for livestock depredation and a partial list for 2009. This doesn’t include Idaho or Wyoming.

Hewolf Pack 2008

Hog Heaven Pack (27 members) 2008

Willow Creek Pack 2008

Sapphire Pack 2008

Moccasin Lake Pack 2008

North Gravelly Pack 2008

Freezeout Pack 2008

Skalkaho Pack 2008

Black Canyon Pack 2008

Mussigbrod Pack 2008

Moccasin Lake Pack 2008

Partial Pack Removals 2008

Elevation Mountain Pack..4 wolves killed WS 2008

Monitor Mountain Pack….3 wolves killed WS 2008

Murphy Lake Pack..alpha fe, 2 other members killed WS 2008

Salish Pack…3 wolves killed WS 2008

Superior Pack…1 wolf killed WS 2008

Tallulah Pack….2 wolves killed WS 2008

Mitchell Mountain Pack…alpha fe killed WS 2008

Baker Mountain Pack….2 wolves killed 2008

Cougar Creek II Pack….1 wolf killed 2008

Horn Mountain Pack….3 wolves killed WS 2008

Battlefield Pack…2 wolves killed WS 2008

Brooks Creek Pack….4 wolves killed WS 2008

Flint Creek Pack….2 wolves killed by WS 2008

Pintler Pack….2 wolves killed by WS 2008

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

Sage Creek/Centennial Valley Pack 2009

Big Hole Pack 2009

Mitchell Mountain Pack (kill order out)

“Throw me to the wolves because there’s order in the pack.”
~ Red Hot Chili Peppers, Easily

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

The states should start thinking about what they are doing to wolves.  There are other voices to be heard that don’t view wolves as pests to be eliminated.  Wildlife watchers want to view wolves living and breathing, not read about them being killed for agriculture.  Wasn’t that the point of reintroduction?

Will all the hard work of the last fourteen years be wiped out by the current “management” of the gray wolf?

Montana Wolf Managers…click here

Idaho Fish and Game…click here

Wildlife Services……Jim Lukens 1-208=756-2271

Posted in: aerial gunning of wolves, howling for justice, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife

Tags: Wildlife Services, aerial gunning of wolves, wolf intolerance

Wolves Being Hammered On Two Fronts

It’s not a good time to be a gray wolf in the Northern Rockies.  They are being hunted for the first time since their reintroduction in 1995 AND 21 entire wolf packs were wiped out in 2008 by Wildlife Services, the federal agency that killed almost five million animals and birds in 08, for agriculture.

Mere months after the Obama Administration’s Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, delisted wolves in the Northern Rockies, Idaho and Montana initiated wolf hunts. Now wolves are running for their lives from hunters AND Wildlife Services, in the escalating War On Wolves.

As a rancher, landowner, and member of the Cattlemen’s Association, Salazar comes from the old school generation, which believes prairie dogs are nothing but worthless pests and wolves are only seen as vicious animals that prey on cows and sheep. We need an Interior Secretary, who can make wildlife management decisions based on science, not politics, or personal bias.”

Montana and Idaho’s rush to hold wolf hunts so soon after wolves were delisted, speaks volumes about wolf politics in the West.  Compare Minnesota, who has 3000 wolves and a much smaller land mass then Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Yet game managers in the “North Star State” have said if or when the wolf was ever delisted in Minnesota, they would wait FIVE YEARS, with lots of public comment, before even considering a wolf hunt or whether to have one at all.  That is sound management, reasonable management.  The western states could learn something from Minnesota about living with wolves.

Montana’s hunt ended on November 17.   Seventy two wolves fell to hunter’s bullets and three more were poached in the North Fork of the Flathead.  But wolves are still in trouble in Montana.  Wildlife Services has been give the green light from Montana FWP to take out the Mitchell Mountain wolf pack, who’s territory encompasses the Sieben Ranch, north of Helena.  The ranch is owned and run by John Baucus, brother to Senator Baucus.  This is a huge ranch, approx 125,000 acres bought by Henry Sieben, in 1897.  The Mitchell Mountain wolf pack killed guard dogs on the Sieben ranch, which is part of the pack’s territory.  It’s well known dispersing wolves, at this time of year, can be aggressive toward dogs, who they consider competition.  For that an entire wolf pack must die???

Recent letter writing campaigns, initiated by Defenders of Wildlife, NRDC and other environmental groups, have appealed to  President Obama and Ken Salazar to call of the guns, yet the message seems to have fallen on deaf ears. 

Wildearth Guardians filed a petition to ask President Obama to issue an executive order ending the poisoning and aerial gunning of our carnivores on public lands.

WildEarth Guardians asked President Barack Obama to issue an Executive Order and/or that the Departments of Interior and Agriculture develop an administrative-rulemaking process to implement a new management paradigm for native carnivores on the Nation’s public lands.

The petition highlights the science documenting the critical role that carnivores play in ecosystems and also asserts that lethal control methods reflect an outdated value system that inappropriately elevates livestock production above wildlife.”

Wolves are being hammered on two fronts in Idaho and Montana.  Hunters killed 122 wolves in Idaho, with 98 more slated to die in the hunt.  Idaho Fish and Game commissioners, extended the wolf hunt, FOR THE ENTIRE STATE, minus the three closed zones,  through wolf breeding and denning season.  A SEVEN MONTH LONG HUNT, ending March 31, 2010.   

Meanwhile Wildlife Services continues their deadly toll on wolves in the Northern Rockies.  In 2008, TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR WOLVES were killed by WS for the livestock industry.   8 packs in Idaho, 9 packs in Montana and 4 packs in Wyoming, all dead in ONE YEAR.  Why the carnage?  Ask ranchers how many cattle they lose to reproduction, disease and weather?  Heck, 75,000 cattle die each year across the West from ALTITUDE DISEASE.  Are wolves responsible for that too? 

It’s not wolves killing all the cattle.  In 2005 carnivores were responsible for just 0.18% of cattle deaths but that fact doesn’t seem to matter.  The states monitor wolves like they are dangerous criminals.  Data is constantly collected from private citizens or hunters about wolf sightings. Ranchers report suspected wolf kills on livestock, WS tracks wolves with flyovers, trapping and collaring and even track and howl surveys.  The states spend thousands upon thousands of dollars harassing a species that just want to roam and be wolves.  When are we EVER going to talk about what’s best for wolves or the people that care about them and want to view them in the wild?  When??

How many ranchers leave their cattle and sheep to graze on public lands and don’t monitor them? Why aren’t wolves given any quarter on the land they’ve roamed for thousands of years?  This is THEIR HOME…not cattle, who are being raised for food. These are not beloved family pets but animals slated to die a cruel death in a slaughterhouse and end up on someone’s dinner plate as hamburger.  This is the very reason I don’t eat meat.  The easiest way to become a vegetarian is to watch an undercover slaugtherhouse video.  I can tell you it’s much more graphic and disturbing then wolf predation. 

The first rule of business is protect your investment.  It’s the rancher’s responsibility to watch over their livestock in wolf country, not the American taxpayer, who picks up the tab for Wildlife Services war on wolves and other wildlife.

The lawsuit, brought by environmental groups to restore gray wolf protections, is making it’s way through federal court in Missoula, Montana and scheduled to be heard sometime after the first of the year.  It can’t come soon enough for me.  Judge Molloy stated the plaintiffs will likely prevail on the overall litigation,  even though he denied the injunction to stop the hunts.

In the meantime, wolves are dodging  hunters bullets in Idaho while the ever present threat of Wildlife Services hangs over them.  How did things get so bad so quickly?  Can anyone even imagine how much worse it could get if we don’t speak out and stand up for wolves?

Contact the wolf managers and let them know you’re not happy with current wolf policy and would like to see a new paradigm where wolves are valued for their contribution as apex predators, not viewed as a nuisance to be managed for the livestock industry!

Montana Wolf Managers…click here

Idaho Fish and Gameclick here

Wildlife Services……Jim Lukens 1-208=756-2271

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: howling for justice,  Idaho wolf hunt, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, wolf wars

Tags: aerial gunning of wolves, wolves or livestock, wolf extermination, wolf myths

 
 
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