Conservation Groups Petition USFWS To Monitor Northern Rockies Gray Wolves For Five More Years

Gray wolf MFWP

Center For Biological Diversity – For Immediate Release

January 5, 2016

Legal Petition Seeks Extension of Federal Monitoring for Northern Rockies Wolves

New Study: Hunting Likely Spurring Harmful Declines in Northern Rocky Wolves

VICTOR, Idaho— Five conservation groups filed a petition today requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue monitoring northern Rocky Mountains gray wolves for another five years. The existing monitoring program, which is required by the Endangered Species Act after protections are removed for a species, is set to expire in May. The monitoring is crucial to ensure that the wolf population doesn’t slip to levels at which Endangered Species Act protections are again needed.

The groups based today’s request in part on a new study in the journal Science that found the Fish and Wildlife Service and states of Montana and Idaho have underestimated the impacts and risks of aggressive hunting policies for gray wolves instituted since protections were lifted. Since federal safeguards were first stripped in 2009, more than 2,300 wolves have been killed by hunters or trappers in the two states.

“This research confirms what many scientists have been saying all along,” said Andrea Santarsiere, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Aggressive hunting of wolves is harming the gray wolf population in the northern Rockies. Left unchecked, the numbers will continue to decline — a sad fact for an animal that we fought so hard to bring back from the brink of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service clearly needs to continue to keep an eye on this situation.”

In first removing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in 2009, the Fish and Wildlife Service said that the required post-delisting monitoring period would be extended for an additional five years if any one of three criteria are met. One criterion requires an extension if a significant change in state law or management would significantly increase threats to the wolf population. Both Idaho and Montana have repeatedly increased hunting and trapping quotas in an effort to substantially reduce wolf populations, which according to the new study are almost certainly resulting in population declines.

“Antagonism towards wolves is one of the main threats that put them on the endangered species list in the first place. This has hardly changed, and the states have further demonstrated their continued aggression towards wolves by increasing killing efforts and liberalizing hunting and trapping of wolves” said Ken Cole, Idaho director for Western Watersheds Project. “The Fish and Wildlife Service should extend their oversight of wolf management by the states to ensure stable and viable wolf populations”
“As a backcountry elk and deer hunter myself, I find it appalling that in Montana hunters and trappers can legally kill up to five wolves annually, including deep within our Wilderness areas,” said Matthew Koehler, director of the Montana-based WildWest Institute. “Essentially this allows hunters or trappers to legally wipe out an entire wolf pack.”

Idaho has been especially aggressive in trying to reduce the wolf population. In 2014 the Idaho Legislature created the Idaho Wolf Control Board, allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars to killing wolves. Idaho has also contracted with the federal Wildlife Services to hunt, trap and aerially gun down wolves in the Lolo Zone and hired a professional trapper to eliminate two wolf packs in the Frank-Church-River-of-No Return Wilderness last winter. The agency has also turned a blind eye to an annual predator derby contest, in which participants win cash and prizes for killing wolves and coyotes, despite an agency policy condemning predator hunting contests as unethical.
“Idaho has been waging a war against wolves in the Lochsa and North Fork Clearwater basins, one of the wildest areas in the lower 48 states,” said Gary MacFarlane, ecosystem defense director of Friends of the Clearwater. “Further monitoring of this ill-advised program is needed.”

“The primary threat to wolves is active eradication efforts occurring throughout the Rocky Mountain distinct population segment,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands. “Continued monitoring of this still-fragile population is without question necessary and critical to the wolf’s recovery in the United States.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service has argued that the wolf population has stayed relatively constant despite hunting, but according to the new study this conclusion is questionable. Among other problems, Montana has changed its counting methodology after delisting, and Idaho continues to rely on a convoluted mathematical equation that is likely to overestimate the wolf population, making it difficult to accurately determine population trends.

“Idaho and Montana aren’t safe places for wolves right now,” Santarsiere said. “This is no time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to walk away from its duty to ensure this population survives and thrives. We know these wolves have been hammered by hunting and aggressive state policies and still need help.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Cascadia Wildlands educates, agitates, and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers full of wild salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion.

Friends of the Clearwater is an Idaho-based nonprofit conservation organization that works to protect the wildness and biodiversity of the public wildlands, wildlife, and waters of Idaho’s Clearwater Basin.

Western Watersheds Project is a nonprofit conservation group founded in 1993 with 1,500 members whose mission is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.

The WildWest Institute’s mission is to protect and restore forests, wildlands, watersheds and wildlife in the Northern Rockies.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-01-05-2016.html

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PETITION TO EXTEND BY FIVE YEARS THE POST DELISTING MONITORING PERIOD OF THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS POPULATION OF THE GRAY WOLF

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/northern_Rocky_Mountains_gray_wolf/pdfs/NR_Wolf_Petition_01-05-2016.pdf

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Top Photo: Gray wolf/MFWP

Bottom Photo: Nature – Cold Warriors

Posted in: Gray Wolf, Wolf Wars

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Western Watersheds Project, Cascadia Wildlands,Wildwest Institute, Northern Rockies gray wolves, USFWS, wolf wars, MFWP, IDFG

Nature Cold Warriors_pack traveling through snow

ACTION ALERT: The Imperiled American Wolf by Predator Defense

Black female wolf 831f Yellowstone National Park_2012 NPS

November 21, 2015

Things have gotten even worse for wolves in Montana and Idaho, since this important video was filmed. Ranchers in Montana can kill up to 100 wolves on their land and wolf kill quotas have all but been eliminated in Montana and Idaho,  during the long wolf hunting seasons. In fact Idaho’s wolf hunt seems to be open somewhere in the state the entire year, which means wolves are harassed and killed right through mating, denning and pup rearing. It’s a national outrage but the public has forgotten Montana and Idaho wolves and have accepted the wolf hunts with very little push back. Howling for Justice, Wolf Warriors and many, many other groups, including Predator Defense fought the wolf hunts tooth and nail, only to have Congress override the courts and permanently delist wolves in Montana and Idaho.

Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves were placed back on the Endangered Species List in December 2014 by US District Court Judge Berman but there is a move underway by the usual suspects,  Sen. Barrasso (Wyoming) and Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) to make an end run around the court’s ruling. They’ve introduced legislation to delist Wyoming and Great Lakes wolves. Sound familiar? This is the same tactic used in 2011 to permanently delist wolves in Montana and Idaho, by placing a wolf delisting rider/with no judicial review, into a must pass budget bill. Now wolves in Montana and Idaho are subjected to brutal annual hunting and trapping. The ability of wolf advocates to seek redress in the courts has been blocked by the wolf delisting rider. It’s outrageous and this is the same evil trick Barrasso and Johnson are trying to pull with the Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves.

Wolf haters will stop at nothing to see wolves eliminated from the lower 48 once again, that is their ultimate goal.

Please take action and call your US Senators  and say no to any legislation that would remove endangered species protection from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming!!

Call the Capital Switchboard number and ask to speak to your Senators.

 1-866-220-0044

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Senate bill would drop protections for wolves in 4 states

Nov 12, 2015

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Two U.S. senators announced a renewed push Thursday to strip federal protection from gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming — and to prohibit courts from intervening in those states on the embattled predator’s behalf.

Legislation introduced this week would order the Department of the Interior to reissue orders from 2011 and 2012 that dropped wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming from the endangered species list.

“After over 30 years of needed protection and professional pack population management, the wolf has made its comeback,” said Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who sponsored the measure with fellow Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming. Similar legislation was introduced earlier this year in the House.

Wolves are well-established in the western Great Lakes and Northern Rockies after being shot, poisoned and trapped into near-extermination in the lower 48 states in the last century. Only a remnant pocket in northern Minnesota remained when the species was added to the federal endangered list in 1974.

Altogether, their estimated population now exceeds 5,000.

But animal protection advocates contend the wolves’ situation remains uncertain and have sued repeatedly over more than a decade over federal efforts to remove the shield provided by the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits killing them except in defense of human life.

 Wolves occupy less than 10 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states, meaning they are far from recovered, said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Even in the areas where there are wolves, they still face extensive persecution,” Greenwald said.

A federal district judge in September 2014 restored endangered status to wolves in Wyoming. A different judge did likewise for Great Lakes wolves in December, saying the states were not providing adequate safeguards.

The Senate bill would ban courts from overruling the Department of Interior again on the matter. Congress imposed a similar requirement in 2011 to prevent judges from restoring protected status to wolves in Idaho and Montana, the first time lawmakers had directly removed a species from the endangered list.

READ MORE:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/senate-bill-would-drop-protections-for-wolves-in-states/article_13d35508-1dad-56ab-bfac-4f02ebb121bc.html

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Video: Courtesy Predator Defense

Photo: Courtesy NPS

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Biodiversity

Tags: Predator Defense, biodiversity, wolf hunting, trophy hunting, wolf persecution, USFWS, Senator Barrasso (Wyoming), Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), endangered species, wolves need protection, The Imperiled American Wolf. please take action for wolves

Oregon Delists Wolves – Woefully Inadequate Wolf Management Plan To Blame

OR_Mt_Emily_male_wolf_brown_May_25_14_odfw_

November 11, 2015

There was a chance, back in 2010, to make changes to Oregon’s bad wolf management plan, which requires only 4 breeding pairs for 3 consecutive years, in Eastern Oregon, to get the ball rolling on delisting. I know I’ve repeated this many times but it infuriates me that with barely 80 wolves in the state, a population not even close to “recovery”, whatever that means, Oregon did the unthinkable.  Just five years after the state’s wolf plan was up for review, Oregon wolves were let down. Now the state is on an inexorable march toward wolf hunts. Sound familiar?

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From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 9, 2015

Oregon Strips State Endangered Species Protections From Gray Wolves 

Decision Counter to Science, State Law

PORTLAND, Ore.— Ignoring state law, as well as experts who say that Oregon’s wolves are not yet recovered, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today voted to strip gray wolves of state endangered species act protections. The commission based its decision on a controversial Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife report that leading scientists have characterized as severely flawed. The Center for Biological Diversity and allies vowed to challenge the decision in state court.

“With just 80 or so wolves in the entire state, gray wolves are nowhere near recovery,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf organizer. “Wolves deserve a real chance at recovery. I’m deeply disappointed the commission decided to blatantly ignore the science, the law and the will of the majority of Oregonians.”

Wolves were once widely distributed throughout Oregon but were eradicated from the state by a government-sponsored effort and a bounty system on behalf of livestock operators. In 1999 a wolf from Idaho made her way into the state, soon followed by several other wolves from Idaho, most of which were illegally shot and killed. The commission adopted a state wolf conservation and management plan in 2005 and in 2008 the state’s first breeding pair was confirmed. Recent estimates by state officials estimate the current population at around just 80 animals; these animals live in only 12 percent of what researchers have identified as suitable wolf habitat in Oregon, with nearly the entire wolf population located in the northeastern portion of the state.

“There’s simply no science to support the conclusion that 80 wolves is a recovered population,” said Weiss. “This is a purely political decision made at the behest of livestock and hunting interests. Oregonians expect more from their state government than kowtowing to narrow special interests.”

The Department’s chief argument for delisting is that leaving wolves listed could result in a decline in social tolerance for the species, but this assumption has been debunked by multiple peer-reviewed papers reporting that removing protections for wolves elsewhere has had the opposite effect.

“The Commission’s decision ignored the most current science and has now placed these exquisite animals at greater risk of being killed,” said Weiss.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/wolf-11-09-2015.html

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Contact the Governor of Oregon and let her know how you feel. 

Governor Kate Brown
State Capitol Building
900 Court Street NE, 160
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 378-4582

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Help Change Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan, PLEASE COMMENT BY JUNE 30, 2010

Oregon’s first radio-collared wolf just after its release, with ear tags and a radio collar. Photo taken May 3, 2009. More information: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2009/may/050409.asp

Oregon’s first radio-collared wolf just after its release, with ear                    tags and a radio collar. Photo taken May 3, 2009.

June 21, 2010

Guest Post by Katie, Oregon resident and wolf advocate.

June 21, 2010

The Oregon Wolf Management Plan is currently under a 5-year review and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments from the public until June 30th. However, before I tell you about the plan and its obstacles, here is a brief history of the Oregon wolves.

In Oregon, the last gray wolf was eradicated from the state by the 1940s. It was almost 60 years before another one was seen. The first wolf to migrate to the state in 1999 was recaptured and sent back to Idaho. In 2000, two more gray wolves made the journey, but sadly they were both killed; one by a car and one by bullet. The fact that wolves were returning was undeniable, so the state decided they needed a plan. The ODFW sat down with wolf advocates and livestock owners to decide what should be done. Though the livestock owners may have gotten more say in the plan, wolf advocates seemed glad to simply be getting wolves back in the state. The result was a wolf management plan that everyone agreed on. Oregon became one of the first states to willingly open the doors for gray wolves to return.

In 2008, a female Idaho wolf was located in Oregon using the signals from her radio collar. The gray wolf was identified as “B-300”. To bring more attention to wolf recovery in Oregon, the members of a local environmental group, called Oregon Wild, nicknamed the wolf “Sophie”. Eventually finding a mate, Sophie soon became the alpha female of the largest pack in Oregon with 10 wolves total; the Imnaha Pack. Another pack of four wolves was also discovered in 2008. Together, the two packs made up Oregon’s known gray wolf population of 14 individuals.

The plan seemed perfect. Wolves were returning and things seemed to be going well. However, in 2009, two yearling wolves were convicted of killing 29 domestic animals from five different incidents. When non-lethal techniques failed, Wildlife Services was sent in and killed both wolves. Personally, I don’t blame the wolves, they were just pups. Being too young to hunt elk, it was either that or starve. They had no known pack and just seemed to have traveled into Oregon from Idaho on their own. It is possible that their family was killed by a rival pack, but I believe it is more likely that they were killed for “management” purposes.

Now, in 2010, history seems to be repeating itself as two more wolves are being targeted by WS. With only 14 known wolves in the entire state, killing two individuals would be a huge loss. ODFW has also issued seven kill permits to local ranchers, which could spell disaster for such a fragile population.

CURRENT PLAN

Oregon current Wolf Management Plan included three phases for population recovery:

PHASE ONE

 “Wolves may be considered for statewide delisting once the population reaches four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon…. The plan calls for managing wolves in western Oregon as if the species remains listed until the western Oregon wolf population reaches four breeding pairs.”

This means when there are four packs in eastern Oregon and four in western Oregon, wolves will be stripped of ESA protection statewide.

The average gray wolf pack size is about 8 wolves. If packs in Oregon follow the norm, then roughly 64 wolves will be present when they are delisted. A recent study suggests Oregon could support up to 2200 wolves and still maintain a healthy ecosystem. I don’t know about you, but 64 wolves doesn’t sound like recovered to me.

PHASE TWO

 “Once the wolf is delisted, more options are available to address wolf-livestock conflict. While there are five to seven breeding pairs, landowners may kill a wolf involved in chronic depredation with a permit. Five to seven breeding pairs is considered the management population objective, or Phase 2.”

Five to seven breeding pairs? Oregon currently has two breeding pairs and seven landowners have been given permits to kill wolves. Again, five to seven breeding pairs is 40-56 wolves if they are the average pack size.

PHASE THREE

“Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.”

Sound familiar? Idaho and Montana initiated hunts mere months after wolves were delisted. The difference is there were 1500 wolves in Montana and Idaho when the first hunts began. In Oregon the hunt could start with less than 100.

To read the full Oregon Wolf Management Plan, go tohttp://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf

As you can see, the Oregon Wolf Management Plan is weak and gives livestock owners plenty of tools to deal with wolf depredation. However, the Oregon Cattle Association wants more power. Since the plan is under a 5-year review, OCA is suggesting changes to the plan that will suit the cattle industry, not wolves.

OCA’S TESTIMONY

1. Delisting rules (combine the whole state and begin delisting when there are 4 breeding pairs statewide)”

Four breeding pairs would be approximately 32 wolves. Even if each pack was as big as Sophie’s that would still only be 40 wolves, which is definitely not recovered.

2. “Relocation, location, and translocation eliminated”

The current management plan allows for “problem” wolves to be relocated to the closest wilderness area. The closest wilderness area is usually where the wolf came from before it found the livestock. This part of the plan needs to be strengthened, not weakened.

3. Ownership of lands ,IE; state lands is the only lands the Oregon ESA has authority on”

They are asking to change Oregon’s ESA. Not only would this be bad for wolves, but it would also allow anyone to shoot any endangered animal if it was on their property. Remember, these are changes they want now, not when the gray wolf population is 60+, but when there are only 14 wolves in Oregon.

To see the full testimony from the Oregon Cattle Association, go to:http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf

To see the testimony from Oregon Wild, a local environmental group, go to:http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/oregon-wild-wolf-plan-review-testimony-3-12.10/

ODFW is currently accepting comments from the public about changes they should make to the plan. ODFW has not said what they are thinking of changing but the first draft is scheduled to be done some time in August. The deadline to comment is June 30th.

Email your comments to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us

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Talking Points:

 1. Make sure to let them know you want the wolf plan STRENGTHENED, not weakened. Tell them eight breeding pairs statewide are NOT enough. Mention the study that states Oregon could support 2200 gray wolves on its landscape.

 2. Wildlife officials need more options to relocate wolves. Suggest national or state parks, or larger wilderness areas.

 3. Ranchers need to do everything possible to protect their livestock before any action against wolves is even considered. Suggest proper fencing, fladery, radio collar activated sounds, guardian animals, lambing and calving sheds, frequent patrols of pastures, placing livestock in barns at night, and tracking packs to avoid placing cattle in areas where wolves are known to be.

4. Tell them wolves are more valuable alive than dead, because they are. Support this idea by stating Yellowstone Park makes $7-10 million annually from just wolves (The GYA brings in $35 million wolf generated dollars). Explain the positive impacts wolves have on the environment, like increasing beaver populations (beavers are Oregon’s state animal). Wolves keep ungulates moving, which prevents them from over-browsing vital beaver and songbird habitat. Wolves keep ungulate herds healthy by culling the weak, sick and old.

5. Tell them to increase the funding of the wolf plan. Currently the wolf plan is very underfunded and only has a few members on its management team.

6. If you don’t live in Oregon, you can choose to boycott the state if they weaken the management plan. Tell them you will not buy anything from Oregon or visit the state unless the plan is strengthened.

7.  Think of the Imnaha wolf pack and how much they need our help. Their exigence as a pack is in danger. How sad it would be to lose the only breeding pair of wolves in Oregon.

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Don’t forget to email your comments to ODFW and voice your opinion about the Oregon Wolf Management Plan.Comments@state.or.us

Sources Cited:

http://www.oregonwild.org

http://www.predatorfriendly.org/index.html

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf

http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf

http://www.yellowstonepark.com/MoreToKnow/ShowNewsDetails.aspx?newsid=132

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Top Wolf Gif: Tumblr

Middle Photo: ODFW

Middle Photo: Courtesy Rick Lamplugh

Bottom Photo: ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Ranching and Hunting, Wolf Wars

Tags: Oregon, bad wolf management plan, delisting, ODFW, ranchers, poachers, wolf dispersal

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Photos: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags  Oregon delists wolves, bad wolf management plan, wolves not safe anywhere,  fish and game agencies, wolf wars, eventual Oregon wolf hunts, Center for Biological Diversity

Will Their Voices Be Silenced Forever?

Wolves _Is This Their Future_ Earth Justice

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Photo: Courtesy Earthjustice

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf persecution, wolf hunting, wolf poaching, state fish and game agencies, USFWS

Published in: on November 9, 2015 at 9:53 am  Comments (24)  

Oregon’s Bad Wolf Management Plan Coming Home To Roost (As Predicted)

Wolves Howling Tumblr Gif

November 1, 2015

 Oregon is ready to delist wolves.

Anyone who’s read the Oregon wolf “management plan” could see this coming a mile away. There was major push-back against “the plan”  in 2010 because the number of breeding pairs needed to reach delisting was and is ridiculously low. So here we are, five years later and Oregon’s woefully inadequate wolf “management plan” is ready to kick in.

Please attend the ODFW meeting in Salem, Oregon on November 9th to speak out against the plan and delisting.

“ODFW staff believe gray wolves have met the criteria to be delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (ESA) and will recommend this action to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their Nov. 9th meeting in Salem.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem. It is open to the public and public testimony will be accepted during the meeting. Consideration of wolf delisting is the only item on the agenda. Written comments will also be accepted until Friday Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. and can be sent to odfw.commission@state.or.us More information about the meeting is available at” http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/15/11_november/index.asp

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Washington state has a far superior wolf “management plan”. 

To reclassify from state threatened to state sensitive status: 12 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions.

To delist from state sensitive status: 15 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions and 3 successful breeding pairs anywhere in the state.

In addition to the delisting objective of 15 successful breeding pairs distributed in the three geographic regions for 3 consecutive years, an alternative delisting objective is also established whereby the gray wolf will be considered for delisting when 18 successful breeding pairs are present, with 4 successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington region, 4 successful breeding pairs in the Northern Cascades region, 4 successful breeding pairs distributed in the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast region, and 6 anywhere in the state.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00001/

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But Oregon only requires four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in Eastern Oregon  to “be considered for statewide delisting”.  In Western Oregon, the goal is also four breeding pairs. The plan is divided into three parts. Phase three states:

“Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.”

Even in a state as progressive as Oregon, wolves are not safe. They will eventually be subjected to a wolf hunt and probably much sooner than everyone thinks. This proposed delisting will open a wolf Pandora’s box that will never close.

But let’s be blunt, the ONLY reason wolf management plans exist is to placate ranchers and hunters. Wolves don’t need managing. What we’ve done, by bringing wolves back from the brink in the lower 48, is place them in a cage they can’t escape. Wild wolves are not free. As I type this wolves in Montana and Idaho are being hunted and trapped. And if the USFWS has their way, all wolves across the lower 48,  will lose their ESA protections.

Rick Bass put it most eloquently, when describing the untenable conditions we force wolves to live under:

MAY WE 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 & AROUND WOLVES…Rick Bass

Wolves have been poached in almost every state they disperse to with the exception of California. Remember Echo, the little wolf who traveled hundreds of miles to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, only to be shot by a trophy hunter, using the “coyote excuse“? This is one of the deadliest threats to dispersing wolves Those two words, give the shooter a perfect alibi. It’s “he said, he said”. Or “she said, she said”. The wolf is dead, it’s the shooter’s word that counts.The sad stories go on and on, we all know them. And of course, even though wolves are still “supposedly protected” by the ESA across the continental US the USFWS does virtually nothing to curb or stop poaching. Poaching investigations go nowhere,  and most poachers go unpunished. The “coyote excuse” is accepted again and again by the USFWS as gospel.  But we all know the real reason why there are few prosecutions of wolf poachers, the USFWS isn’t interested in wolves dispersing out of the Northern Rockies/Pacific Northwest or Great Lakes, to reclaim lost habitat. Wolves currently inhabit less than 5% of their former range. Yet does it come as a surprise that wolf dispersal has been stopped cold outside of the areas I mentioned?   The odds are stacked against them as they face the likes of Wildlife Services, poachers, hostile state governments, hunters and ranchers. Wolves are trapped by man-made boundaries they dare not cross. Boundaries that hold no meaning for them but ultimately contribute to their deaths.

Wolves are unique, sentient beings, incredibly smart wild dogs devoted to their families. Yet hunted wolf populations are subjected to a deadly game of annual Russian Roulette, where wolf mothers, fathers, puppies and pack mates are brutally killed in the name of “management”.

Once pack structure is disrupted, it’s very difficult to keep the family together, as the plight of the alpha male of the Lamar Canyon Pack (755m) demonstrates. After losing his mate, the iconic, 06 Female, to a hunter’s bullet in 2012, he’s still attempting to restore his pack, trying to connect with his FOURTH potential mate. We have Rick Lamplugh, the author of In The Temple of the Wolves: A Winter’s Immersion In Wild Yellowstone, for shining a light on wolf 755m’s sad story.

One Bullet Kills an Entire Pack

Apr 02, 2014 | Rick Lamplugh
Wolf 755M alpha male of the Lamar Canyon Pack_Rick Lamplugh
Wolf 755M (right) was the alpha male of the Lamar Canyon Pack seen here with 889F (left) the fourth wolf with whom he has tried to restart a pack after his mate was shot and killed outside Yellowstone Nat’l Park.
 The results of legal wolf hunt are presented to the public as palatable statistics. Officials tell us, for example, that in the 2012-2013 hunts outside Yellowstone National Park twelve park wolves were killed. Six were collared wolves that–when alive–provided valuable research data. One of those collared wolves was the famous alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack, dubbed “06” by wolf watchers.

Such statistics don’t begin to tell the whole story of the impact of one bullet on the delicate social structure of a pack, an arrangement much like that of an extended human family.

http://www.oregonwild.org/about/blog/one-bullet-kills-entire-pack

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Can you imagine, in human terms, someone randomly killing your mother, father, or children and still remaining a whole, functional family? The answer is obviously no. But because wolves are at the mercy of fish and game agencies who manage wildlife for hunters, the wolf’s family structure and what happens to those bonds is never considered. A wolf, is a wolf is a wolf as far as they’re concerned. Knock one down and they’ll just make more. How primitive, how insensitive, how backward. And that is what the wolves in Oregon are facing and what Montana and Idaho wolves are experiencing. And what the wolves in the Great Lakes were suffering until a federal judge placed them back on the Endangered Species List in December 2014. Don’t expect them to remain protected if the Obama USFWS has their wayy.

To treat wolves as disposable, never considering their family bonds and tight social order, is a grave injustice. BUT as long as they are “managed” under the iron fist of fish and game agencies, who DO NOT represent their interests, they will remain prisoners in their ancestral home.

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ODFW Believes Gray Wolf Should Be Delisted

Salem, Ore.— ODFW staff believe gray wolves have met the criteria to be delisted from the state Endangered Species Act (ESA) and will recommend this action to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their Nov. 9th meeting in Salem.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem. It is open to the public and public testimony will be accepted during the meeting. Consideration of wolf delisting is the only item on the agenda. Written comments will also be accepted until Friday Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. and can be sent to odfw.commission@state.or.us More information about the meeting is available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/15/11_november/index.asp

Wolf management in Oregon is guided by the Wolf Plan, which was originally crafted in 2005 by a broad group of stakeholders balancing competing interests. The Plan called for initiating a process to consider delisting wolves from the state ESA when eastern Oregon had a population of four breeding pairs of wolves for three consecutive years, an objective met in January 2015.

State ESA law gives the Fish and Wildlife Commission authority to list and remove species from the Endangered Species List.

http://www.mycentraloregon.com/2015/10/29/odfw-believes-gray-wolf-should-be-delisted/

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Eastern Oregon Wolves Could Be Facing Delisting In 2015

OR11_odfw

OPB | Sept. 16, 2014 2:21 p.m. | Portland

Gray wolf populations are on the rise in Oregon, but that may not necessarily be good news for the animals.

The Statesman Journal reports  that the state may have enough potential wolf couples in 2015 for the minimum requirements to delist the animal.

“We were told in the beginning that when wolves first came to the county, we were waiting for that day,” said Todd Nash, wolf committee chairman for the Oregon Cattleman Association, in an interview with the newspaper.

According to Oregon’s Endangered Species Act, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife must verify four breeding pairs in eastern Oregon for three consecutive years.

In 2012, there were six pairs and last year the organization located four pairs. It’s predicted that 2014’s count won’t be complete until early next year, but early reports show more than four couples.

By removing wolves from the state’s endangered species list, ranchers would be permitted to use lethal force to defend their animals in more situations.

According to ODFW , shooting a wolf is considered a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of $6,250 fine and a year in jail.

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/?p=27382

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Help Change Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan

June 21, 2010

Oregon Yearling Wolf Killed By Wildlife Services 2009

Guest Post by Katie, Oregon resident and wolf advocate.

June 21, 2010

The Oregon Wolf Management Plan is currently under a 5-year review and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments from the public until June 30th. However, before I tell you about the plan and its obstacles, here is a brief history of the Oregon wolves.

In Oregon, the last gray wolf was eradicated from the state by the 1940s. It was almost 60 years before another one was seen. The first wolf to migrate to the state in 1999 was recaptured and sent back to Idaho. In 2000, two more gray wolves made the journey, but sadly they were both killed; one by a car and one by bullet. The fact that wolves were returning was undeniable, so the state decided they needed a plan. The ODFW sat down with wolf advocates and livestock owners to decide what should be done. Though the livestock owners may have gotten more say in the plan, wolf advocates seemed glad to simply be getting wolves back in the state. The result was a wolf management plan that everyone agreed on. Oregon became one of the first states to willingly open the doors for gray wolves to return.

In 2008, a female Idaho wolf was located in Oregon using the signals from her radio collar. The gray wolf was identified as “B-300”. To bring more attention to wolf recovery in Oregon, the members of a local environmental group, called Oregon Wild, nicknamed the wolf “Sophie”. Eventually finding a mate, Sophie soon became the alpha female of the largest pack in Oregon with 10 wolves total; the Imnaha Pack. Another pack of four wolves was also discovered in 2008. Together, the two packs made up Oregon’s known gray wolf population of 14 individuals.

The plan seemed perfect. Wolves were returning and things seemed to be going well. However, in 2009, two yearling wolves were convicted of killing 29 domestic animals from five different incidents. When non-lethal techniques failed, Wildlife Services was sent in and killed both wolves. Personally, I don’t blame the wolves, they were just pups. Being too young to hunt elk, it was either that or starve. They had no known pack and just seemed to have traveled into Oregon from Idaho on their own. It is possible that their family was killed by a rival pack, but I believe it is more likely that they were killed for “management” purposes.

Now, in 2010, history seems to be repeating itself as two more wolves are being targeted by WS. With only 14 known wolves in the entire state, killing two individuals would be a huge loss. ODFW has also issued seven kill permits to local ranchers, which could spell disaster for such a fragile population.

CURRENT PLAN

Oregon current Wolf Management Plan included three phases for population recovery:

PHASE ONE

 “Wolves may be considered for statewide delisting once the population reaches four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon…. The plan calls for managing wolves in western Oregon as if the species remains listed until the western Oregon wolf population reaches four breeding pairs.”

This means when there are four packs in eastern Oregon and four in western Oregon, wolves will be stripped of ESA protection statewide.

The average gray wolf pack size is about 8 wolves. If packs in Oregon follow the norm, then roughly 64 wolves will be present when they are delisted. A recent study suggests Oregon could support up to 2200 wolves and still maintain a healthy ecosystem. I don’t know about you, but 64 wolves doesn’t sound like recovered to me.

PHASE TWO:

 “Once the wolf is delisted, more options are available to address wolf-livestock conflict. While there are five to seven breeding pairs, landowners may kill a wolf involved in chronic depredation with a permit. Five to seven breeding pairs is considered the management population objective, or Phase 2.”

Five to seven breeding pairs? Oregon currently has two breeding pairs and seven landowners have been given permits to kill wolves. Again, five to seven breeding pairs is 40-56 wolves if they are the average pack size.

PHASE THREE

“Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.”

Sound familiar? Idaho and Montana initiated hunts mere months after wolves were delisted. The difference is there were 1500 wolves in Montana and Idaho when the first hunts began. In Oregon the hunt could start with less than 100.

To read the full Oregon Wolf Management Plan, go to http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf

As you can see, the Oregon Wolf Management Plan is weak and gives livestock owners plenty of tools to deal with wolf depredation. However, the Oregon Cattle Association wants more power. Since the plan is under a 5-year review, OCA is suggesting changes to the plan that will suit the cattle industry, not wolves.

OCA’S TESTIMONY

1. Delisting rules (combine the whole state and begin delisting when there are 4 breeding pairs statewide)”

Four breeding pairs would be approximately 32 wolves. Even if each pack was as big as Sophie’s that would still only be 40 wolves, which is definitely not recovered.

2. “Relocation, location, and translocation eliminated”

The current management plan allows for “problem” wolves to be relocated to the closest wilderness area. The closest wilderness area is usually where the wolf came from before it found the livestock. This part of the plan needs to be strengthened, not weakened.

3. Ownership of lands ,IE; state lands is the only lands the Oregon ESA has authority on”

They are asking to change Oregon’s ESA. Not only would this be bad for wolves, but it would also allow anyone to shoot any endangered animal if it was on their property. Remember, these are changes they want now, not when the gray wolf population is 60+, but when there are only 14 wolves in Oregon.

To see the full testimony from the Oregon Cattle Association, go to: http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf

To see the testimony from Oregon Wild, a local environmental group, go to: http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/oregon-wild-wolf-plan-review-testimony-3-12.10/

ODFW is currently accepting comments from the public about changes they should make to the plan. ODFW has not said what they are thinking of changing but the first draft is scheduled to be done some time in August. The deadline to comment is June 30th.

Email your comments to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us

=======

Talking Points:

 1. Make sure to let them know you want the wolf plan STRENGTHENED, not weakened. Tell them eight breeding pairs statewide are NOT enough. Mention the study that states Oregon could support 2200 gray wolves on its landscape.

 2. Wildlife officials need more options to relocate wolves. Suggest national or state parks, or larger wilderness areas.

 3. Ranchers need to do everything possible to protect their livestock before any action against wolves is even considered. Suggest proper fencing, fladery, radio collar activated sounds, guardian animals, lambing and calving sheds, frequent patrols of pastures, placing livestock in barns at night, and tracking packs to avoid placing cattle in areas where wolves are known to be.

4. Tell them wolves are more valuable alive than dead, because they are. Support this idea by stating Yellowstone Park makes $7-10 million annually from just wolves (The GYA brings in $35 million wolf generated dollars). Explain the positive impacts wolves have on the environment, like increasing beaver populations (beavers are Oregon’s state animal). Wolves keep ungulates moving, which prevents them from over-browsing vital beaver and songbird habitat. Wolves keep ungulate herds healthy by culling the weak, sick and old.

5. Tell them to increase the funding of the wolf plan. Currently the wolf plan is very underfunded and only has a few members on its management team.

6. If you don’t live in Oregon, you can choose to boycott the state if they weaken the management plan. Tell them you will not buy anything from Oregon or visit the state unless the plan is strengthened.

7.  Think of the Imnaha wolf pack and how much they need our help. Their exigence as a pack is in danger. How sad it would be to lose the only breeding pair of wolves in Oregon.

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Don’t forget to email your comments to ODFW and voice your opinion about the Oregon Wolf Management Plan. Comments@state.or.us

Sources Cited:

http://www.oregonwild.org

http://www.predatorfriendly.org/index.html  

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf  

http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf  

http://www.yellowstonepark.com/MoreToKnow/ShowNewsDetails.aspx?newsid=132 

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Top Wolf Gif: Tumblr

Middle Photo: ODFW

Middle Photo: Courtesy Rick Lamplugh

Bottom Photo: ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Ranching and Hunting, Wolf Wars

Tags: Oregon, bad wolf management plan, delisting, ODFW, ranchers, poachers, wolf dispersal

For The Wolves……

gray wolf flickr commons usfws

December 15, 2012

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Photo: USFWS Flickr Commons

Video: Courtesy YouTube

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wolf Warriors

Tags: over 600 dead, wolf slaughter, fight back, get active, save America’s wolves

Wolf Killing Time Upon Us Once Again

Echo NPS

Echo murdered by trophy hunter – 2015

Sadly it’s wolf killing time again in Montana and Idaho. They’ve suffered under the Obama admins. delisting since 2009. Thousands have died and continue to be murdered by trophy hunting thrill killers. Montana now allows individual ranchers or farmers to kill up to 100 wolves annually.

“Private landowners may kill up to 100 wolves a year they believe are threatening livestock, dogs or people under a new state law that doesn’t count toward Montana’s wolf-hunting season.”

The good news is Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan wolves are once again protected under the ESA due to a ruling in December 2014 by “U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell.  Judge Howell stated their removal from the ESA was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.”

Federal judge: Great Lakes wolves return to endangered list

By John Flesher, Associated Press5:52 p.m. EST December 19, 2014

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A federal judge on Friday threw out an Obama administration decision to remove the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list — a decision that will ban further wolf hunting and trapping in three states.

The order affects wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where the combined population is estimated at around 3,700. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped federal protections from those wolves in 2012 and handed over management to the states.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday the removal was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.

Unless overturned, her decision will block the states from scheduling additional hunting and trapping seasons for the predators. All three have had at least one hunting season since protections were lifted, while Minnesota and Wisconsin also have allowed trapping.

More than 1,500 Great Lakes wolves have been killed since federal protections were removed, said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, which filed a lawsuit that prompted Howell’s ruling.

“We are pleased that the court has recognized that the basis for the delisting decision was flawed, and would stop wolf recovery in its tracks,” Lovvorn said.

“The science clearly shows that wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes region, and we believe the Great Lakes states have clearly demonstrated their ability to effectively manage their wolf populations,” Shire said. “This is a significant step backward.”

Wolf advocates applauded the ruling Friday.

“We filed the lawsuit to relist the Great Lakes population of wolves,” said Jill Fritz, coordinator of Michigan’s Humane Society of the United States. “It was based on the assertion that the Great Lakes states had proven they could not responsibly manage wolves when they were delisted in January 2012.”

Jodi Habush Sinykin, an attorney for Midwest Environmental Advocates, which supports science-based wildlife management, said the decision should serve as a clear signal of caution to people who would destroy the nation’s wolves.

Minnesota Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said agency attorneys will study the ruling before determining its effect on state wolf policy.

“On face value we’re very surprised. We didn’t even know it was coming to a conclusion here,” Landwehr said. “It’s an unusual turn of events.”

Lansing State Journal reporter Louise Knott Ahern contributed to this report.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2014/12/19/great-lakes-wolves-ordered-returned-endangered-list/20655023/

Click HERE to read the court’s decision!

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USFWS wants to delist gray wolves across the lower 48, which would put all wolves in serious jeopardy. USFWS can’t protect wolves now, while they’re still listed, as Echo’s death  and many other gray wolves, who continue to be poached, affirms. The USFWS repeatedly allows trophy hunters to use the tired “I thought it was a coyote excuse ” when poaching endangered wolves. But that comes as no surprise.  Do you think the USFWS gives a damn about wolves or their protection?  They’re too busy looking out for  agribusiness interests, not wolves

So the never-ending battle for canis lupus continues. Montana and Idaho wolves are once again running for their lives.

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WOLF HUNT/POACHING 2015/2016

HUNT

Idaho – 4

Montana – 12

Wyoming (Protected ESA)

Wisconsin (Protected ESA)

Minnesota (Protected ESA)

Michigan ( Protected ESA)

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POACHED

Oregon – 2 (‘Sled Springs Pair’)

Utah – Echo

Illinois – 2

New Mexico – 1 Ernesta AF1126

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OTHER

North Carolina – 1 endangered red wolf shot by landowner

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Photo: Echo – Courtesy NPS

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves, Idaho wolves

Tags: ESA, gray wolf hunt, Montana, Idaho, Judge Howell, Echo, wolf persecution, wolf hunts, ‘Sled Springs Pair’, wolf poaching, thrill killing, Ernesta AF1126

Demonizing Wolves

gray wolf dnr wi.gov

September 19, 2015

Here we go again, a wolf supposedly killed a cow in Washington state, on federal land and it makes headlines but what the media never reports is how well-behaved wolves are and what a non-threat they are to ranching or farming.

In 2010, 51,200 cows died in Oregon from non-predation causes. (NASS 2010). That’s right, FIFTY ONE THOUSAND! This should be front page news, right? When wolves are involved in miniscule livestock losses they make the front pages of local media. So what about those 51,200 cows that weren’t killed by wolves? Where are the headlines?  We hear nothing but this.

Oregon had 1,300,000 cattle at the beginning of 2011. Wolves were accused, specifically the Imnaha pack, of 14 cow losses in 1.5 years. Oregon was ready to kill several members of the Imnaha pack over it, including the alpha male OR4, who is OR7’s father. But no exposure about the thousands and thousands of cows keeling over in Oregon from all manner of things, not wolf related such as:

Digestive problems

Respiratory problems

Metabolic problems

Mastitis

Lameness/injury

Other diseases

Weather related

Calving problems

Poisoning

Theft

(NASS 2010) National Agricultural Statistics Service

Meanwhile in 2009  “federal agents associated with the USDA’s Wildlife Services program killed 114,522 mammalian carnivores (including 480 wolves; 82,097 coyotes; and 477 domestic dogs)…… It spent $121 million that year.”  

In a state like Montana, with around 2.5 million cows, ranchers may lose 50 to 60 THOUSAND cattle  annually to non-predation and on average between 60 to 80 to wolves. That is what we’re talking about here folks. Wolf predation on cattle is so overblown it’s ridiculous. Except the media and wolf haters never miss an opportunity to report on any cow killed by a wolf. What incredible hypocrites.

The press exploits wolves for ratings, pure and simple. They know the fringe wolf haters love to read negative articles about wolves. But consider that wolves aren’t even in the running as a true threat to livestock. Coyotes and domestic dogs are the number 1 and 2 predators of livestock followed by mountain lions, then other predators (bears, bobcats or lynx, foxes, wolves, ravens, eagles, vultures ) Wolf predation on cattle is so low they don’t even have their own category but are lumped in with other predators who do miniscule damage. Non-predation, like respiratory illness, reproductive issues, weather, hell even altitude sickness kill thousands upon thousands of cattle every year but we don’t hear about that. You know why, because it doesn’t fit into the anti-wolf agenda in the West and it doesn’t increase ratings.

In reality wolves are extremely shy animals and would prefer to stay as far away from people as possible. And if wolves do kill a few cows or sheep each year it’s mostly because many ranchers don’t practice sound animal husbandry. They use the Columbus method of ranching,  “Let em loose in the Spring and discover em in the Fall”. Those cattle are out there roaming around in remote wilderness areas, not protected, not watched and usually on public land grazing allotments. Hey ranchers, pen up your cattle and stop blaming wolves if they take a cow now and then because you practice careless ranching. That land belongs to the American people and it’s about time the feds start retiring grazing allotments and allow wolves to roam on public land without having to bump into cattle. Wolves should trump cows on public land anyway.  Yet even with millions of cattle out there for the taking, wolves show incredible restraint and prefer to diet on their natural prey of elk and deer. That’s the kind of self-control they’re capable of but rarely get credit for.

So shame on the press for reporting on every single little misdeed they think wolves have committed when the real truth is the biggest threat to cattle is non-predation and being slaughtered for food.

Here’s a post I did  on the Washington Wedge Pack, who were eventually murdered for this very type of persecution.

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ACTION ALERT: Washington Wedge Wolf Pack Targeted For Death..

September 22, 2012

“State hunters are ramping up their efforts to kill wolves in northern Stevens County, and now don’t plan to stop until they’ve killed off the Wedge Pack.

“The attempt now is to remove the entire pack,” said WDFW wolf policy coordinator Steve Pozzanghera this morning.

The agency is loading up its toolbox for the effort to take out the eight to 11 members of the livestock-depredating group, including tasking more marksmen, trappers and biologists to the area; hunting over not only calf carcasses but roadkilled deer; hunting at all hours with a fuller array of weaponery; bringing in USDA Wildlife Services for “technical assistance” on snaring; and possibly bringing local law enforcement into the hunt.

“If we’re unsuccessful, we will consider aerial gunning,” Pozzanghera adds”

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/tag/columbus-method-of-ranching/

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Photo: Wisconsin DNR

Posted in: gray wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: Wolf persecution, demonizing wolves, non-predation cattle losses,  poor animal husbandry practices, get cows off public land, Wedge Pack, WDFW

 

Echo’s Killer Won’t Be Charged – The Feds Let Him Off On The “Coyote Excuse”

Echo NPS

Echo

Shock, shock! Once again the “coyote excuse” is used by a trophy hunter to dodge any charges for killing an endangered wolf. The Utah hunter who senselessly gunned down Echo won’t be held accountable for her death because according to the USFWS:

 “We didn’t find anything to refute the hunter’s statement,” Rolince said. 

Prosecutors tasked with making the final decision didn’t have evidence to prove the hunter knew he was shooting a wolf, meaning they fell short of reaching the burden created by the long-standing McKittrick policy, said U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch.

Under that policy, hunters who kill wolves get off unless authorities can prove they knew they were shooting a wolf.

So let me get this straight, the USFWS will not hold this person accountable for killing an endangered wolf because they can’t prove he didn’t know it was a coyote? Are they freaking kidding me? How many times will the “coyote excuse” be used to kill endangered wolves? There is no way to tell if a person is lying about this. Of course he’s going to try to save his own skin by saying  he didn’t know it was a wolf.  The “coyote excuse” is used all the time.

This coyote killing hunter didn’t just kill any wolf but the first wolf to disperse to the Grand Canyon in 70 years. This wolf didn’t belong to him. This hunter robbed the American people, he seemed to think it was his right to kill. And I don’t believe for one second he didn’t know it was a wolf. Wolves are distinctive, they’re large and tall, easily distinguishable from coyotes. And BTW, it’s not OK to kill coyotes either.

How about this USFWS, if anyone shoots an endangered wolf they get jail time period! Forget the excuses!

This is why the USFWS wants to delist wolves nationally, so hunters can shoot any wolf, anytime, anywhere. This will stop wolf recovery in its tracks. Exactly what the USFWS and Obama administration wants.

Echo was special, she traveled hundreds of miles to reach the Grand Canyon, searching for a mate and was murdered by a trophy hunter.

The USFWS is a joke when it comes to wolves. They’ve done almost nothing to protect them. A complete disgrace.

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Hunter who killed wolf seen at Grand Canyon won’t be charged

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah hunter who killed the first gray wolf seen near the Grand Canyon in seven decades won’t face criminal charges because he thought he was shooting a coyote, U.S. Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday.

The federal agency’s investigation concluded the hunter didn’t intentionally shoot the wolf, which is protected in Utah under the Endangered Species Act. The man, whose name was not released, realized his mistake after he saw the dead animal and immediately reported it to authorities, according to a news release. In Utah, anybody can hunt coyotes.

The 3-year-old female wolf — named “Echo” in a nationwide student contest — captured the attention of wildlife advocates across the county because it was so rare to see the animal near the Grand Canyon.

The wolf was shot in December in southern Utah. The Fish and Wildlife Service did DNA tests to confirm the wolf was the one seen roaming near the Grand Canyon’s North Rim and nearby forest earlier that year.

Fish and Wildlife officials said in the release that the case is a good reminder that all hunters should “identify their target before pulling the trigger.”

Investigators spoke with a hunter the man was with, reviewed other records and went in with their “eyes wide open” to make sure the man was being honest in saying he didn’t know it was a wolf, said Dan Rolince, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assistant special agent in charge of law enforcement for the region.

“We didn’t find anything to refute the hunter’s statement,” Rolince said.

Prosecutors tasked with making the final decision didn’t have evidence to prove the hunter knew he was shooting a wolf, meaning they fell short of reaching the burden created by the long-standing McKittrick policy, said U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch.

Under that policy, hunters who kill wolves get off unless authorities can prove they knew they were shooting a wolf.

That makes the burden of proof too high and undercuts the protections of the Endangered Species Act, said Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity. He is one of many wildlife advocates who called the wolf’s death heartbreaking and said they wanted the hunter prosecuted. They said the animal could have helped wolves naturally recover in remote regions of Utah and neighboring states.

Robinson argues the policy should be changed.

“You can get a ‘Get out of jail free card’ by saying the magic words,” Robinson said. “Those are: ‘I thought it was coyote.'”

Robinson also laid blame on Utah state officials for not doing more to inform the public that the wolf may be roaming through the state.

State officials have said they are planning to address that by teaching hunters how to tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote during an orientation for a county program that offers people $50 per coyote. The man who shot this wolf was not registered for the program, officials said.

The wolf had worn a radio collar since January 2014.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/07/10/grand-canyon-gray-wolf-killed-hunter-no-charges/29988397/

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Killing Echo: The “Mistaken Identity” Excuse, Part One

February 27, 2015

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/killing-echo-the-mistaken-identity-excuse-part-one/

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Killing Echo/Killing Wolves: – “Mistaken Identity and Other Excuses: Part Two

March 4, 2015

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/killing-echokilling-wolves-mistaken-identity-and-other-excuses-part-two/

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Photo: Courtesy NPS

Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars

Tags: USFWS fails Echo, “coyote excuse”, no punishment for killing Echo, Grand Canyon, senseless slaughter, Utah trophy hunter

 

ACTION ALERT: “Mexican Gray Wolf Supporters to Rally at Capitol”

Mexican gray wolf pups Lobos of the Southwest

From Center For Biological Diversity 

For Immediate Release, May 18, 2015

Activists Will Urge Gov. Martinez to Reverse Game Commission Stance, Grant Reintroduction Permit to Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch

SANTA FE, N.M.— Wildlife supporters, including local activists from the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance,  Animal Protection of New Mexico and WildEarth Guardians, will rally tomorrow, Tuesday, at noon at the state capitol to ask Gov. Susana Martinez to allow Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch in Sierra County to continue housing Mexican gray wolves as part of the reintroduction of these endangered animals. Earlier this month, the state game commission denied the ranch’s permit request, ending the facility’s 17 years of Mexican wolf conservation work. From Center For Biological Diversity For Immediate Release, May 18, 2015

MAY 19 RALLY FOR THE MEXICAN GRAY WOLVES:

WHAT: Members of the public will rally at the New Mexico State Capitol (a.k.a. the Roundhouse), in Santa Fe to protest the New Mexico Game Commission’s politically-based refusal to renew a permit for the Ladder Ranch to hold wolves as part of the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program.

When: Noon to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday

Where: East side (front) of the Roundhouse

Visuals: Attendees will have signs and banners. Speakers will include former Santa Fe Mayor David Coss; former federal Mexican wolf recovery coordinator David R. Parsons; Michael Robinson, author and wolf activist with the Center for Biological Diversity in Silver City; and Roxane George of Mexicanwolves.org.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 825,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/mexican-gray-wolf-05-18-2015.html

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Photo: Courtesy Lobos of the Southwest

Posted in: Mexican gray wolf, action alert, activism, Howling For Justice

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Critically endangered Mexican gray wolf, Ted Turner Ladder Ranch, Governor Martinez, protest to reinstate Ladder Ranch permit, New Mexico, May 19, 2015

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