ACTION ALERT: “House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill”

OR7 pup5

Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 24, 2016

Contact: Jamie Pang, (858) 699-4153, Jpang@biologicaldiversity.org

Release, May 24, 2016

House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill

114th Congress Has Now Launched Nearly 20 Legislative Attacks on Wolves

WASHINGTON— Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a bill to fund the U.S. Department of the Interior that includes a poison-pill rider to end federal protections for wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes and to undermine other endangered species protections. The legislative rider would undo two court decisions affirming that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly removed Endangered Species Act protections for the wolf.

The bill is the 18th attack by the current Congress on gray wolves nationwide and the 12th attack targeting wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming populations.

“This is the most extreme, anti-wolf Congress our country has ever seen,” said Jamie Pang, an endangered species campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Rather than allowing for wolf recovery to follow a course prescribed by science, a small group of politicians has repeatedly tried to undermine species protections through unrelated policy riders tacked onto must-pass federal spending bills.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes region (Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota) in 2011, and in Wyoming in 2012. In both instances federal judges overturned agency decisions for prematurely removing protections, failing to follow the requirements of the Act and failing to follow the best available science. Republican lawmakers have responded by repeatedly attempting to remove protections from wolves and open the animals up to state-regulated hunting and trapping. Since the passage of the 2011 wolf rider that removed protections from wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, there have been almost 30 legislative attacks on wolves in Congress. Already in 2016 there have been 10 legislative attacks, surpassing the number of anti-wolf bills for all of 2015.

In addition to this rider, the appropriations bill also contains language preventing the greater sage grouse from being protected under the Act, and would weaken protections for salmon and the Delta smelt in California’s Bay-Delta region.

“This shameful meddling is harmful to science, harmful to the rule of law, and harmful to our democratic processes,” said Pang. “Congressional lawmakers know that 90 percent of American voters support the Endangered Species Act, which precisely is why they have to resort to such back-door attempts at weakening the law.”

Despite overwhelming public support for the Endangered Species Act and the species it protects, there has been a greater than 600 percent increase in Republican-led legislative attacks on endangered species since the landmark ruling in Citizens United.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-05-24-2016.html

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars

Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Anti wolf, House Republicans war on wolves, poison-pill rider, Congress attack on the ESA, Wyoming wolves, Great Lakes wolves, Endangered Species Act, Take Action

Study Shows “Government-Sanctioned (Wolf) Culling Actually Results in More Illegal Killings”

Gray Wolf PHOTOGRAPH TIM FITZHARRIS_ MINDEN PICTURES NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
 A new study finds that gray wolf culls may lead to more poaching.

 When the Government Kills Wolves, the Public May Follow Suit

A new study looking at two states in the U.S. could weaken the theory that culling some large carnivores can help conserve them.

In 2005 Wisconsin wanted a permit to kill 43 endangered gray wolves. So the federal government granted it. The way it saw things, controlling wolves—which had earned a bad name by preying on livestock and pets—would increase human tolerance for the predators. By letting the state cull them, it would prevent even more wolves from getting shot by frustrated ranchers.

 Wildlife activists disagreed. In a federal lawsuit, they argued that killing the animals ran counter to the Endangered Species Act, a law meant to help conserve endangered and threatened species. The judge agreed, and the federal government was forced to revoke the permit.

Nonetheless, this argument—that legal killing helps stop illegal killing—continues to be made around the world. The United States still asserts it when it comes to grizzly bears. Both Sweden and Finland use it as a justification for controlled wolf hunting. “The philosophy that underpins wolf management is that hunting them makes them more socially acceptable to people,” says Doug Smith, senior wildlife biologist at Yellowstone National Park.

But now a new study examining wolf population growth rates in Michigan and Wisconsin shows that the opposite is true. Government-sanctioned culling actually results in more illegal killings, scientists report this week in the journal Proceedings Royal Society B.

They created this animated video to help break down the results:

 This animation was created by scientists who concluded in a new study that wolf culls result in more illegal killings of wolves.

“The idea that we need to kill to conserve large carnivores—in light of our study, it does not make sense,” says author Guillaume Chapron, an ecologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, who teamed up with Adrian Treves, a conservation biologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to research the topic.

Adding Fire to a Heated Debate

The research will likely inflame the hotly contested debate that has long pitted conservationists and biologists against agricultural and hunting interests. “I suspect there’s going to be a lot of folks weighing in on this from both sides,” says Jason Fisher, a wildlife scientist with Alberta Innovates, a research agency for the government of Alberta, Canada.

Gray wolves were viewed as so destructive to livestock that by the early 20th century they’d nearly been wiped out in most of the U.S. In 1978 the U.S. listed them as endangered in all states but Minnesota. Reintroduced to the American West in the mid-1990s, they’ve been the object of fierce controversy ever since.

In 2003 the U.S. declared that some populations had recovered to the point that wolves could be considered threatened rather than endangered. This meant states would be permitted to trap and shoot wolves when they threatened humans or livestock.

But with disagreements continuing about their recovery status, the issue has bounced in and out of court. Today the species is considered endangered in most states, but in Montana and Idaho wolves can be culled and hunted. And other states can cull them in certain cases.

Does Culling Conserve a Species?

Between 1995 and 2012, wolves in Michigan and Wisconsin experienced six periods of legal culls and six stages of protection, making these states ripe for testing whether cullings help conserve large carnivores.

To test the theory, researchers Chapron and Treves used a complex algorithm to measure population growth over time, taking into account the number of wolves culled. They found that during years when culling was allowed, there was an overwhelming probability that the wolf growth rate would drop.

The researchers concluded that poaching was the only plausible explanation for the decline. They ruled out other potential factors such as wolves migrating out of state and a slowdown in reproductive rates.

So why would people get poaching fever during years that the government OKs wolf culling? It could be that people didn’t think wolves had much value or they felt the government wouldn’t enforce the law during years culling was allowed, the researchers say. Their findings corroborate a 2013 study showing that legal culls don’t reduce the inclination to poach.

Chapron and Treves hope their study will show wildlife management agencies that they need to produce evidence before justifying “leniency in environmental protections,” as they put it. Fisher agrees. “The paper showed very clearly that wolf populations are experiencing added deaths” he says. “Governments all over need a lot more and a lot better information than they currently have about wildlife populations.”

Yellowstone’s Smith says the results are disappointing in that they throw into question long-held beliefs about wolf management. “But I’m not convinced,” he says.

Smith doesn’t think the results should apply to all wolf territories, as attitudes toward wolves might be different in areas where people have always lived alongside the animals, such as Alaska and Canada. Nor is he fully persuaded that poaching accounted for the population growth decline, though he doesn’t question the researchers’ data. Indeed, another study found that less government involvement resulted in decreased poaching.

But the current study could provide more grist for pro-wolf groups who have criticized wildlife management agencies for basing decisions on politics rather than science. Wildlife Services, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that specializes in killing predators that put livestock at risk, in particular has faced criticism that its lethal control programs are not based on sound science.

And research from 2014 found that killing wolves to protect sheep and cattle actually caused the predators to kill even more livestock, contrary to a common justification for culling some large carnivores.

Chapron and Treves think their research should help guide management decisions for many large carnivores, such as grizzly bears, which could soon lose protections under U.S. law. In the meantime, the debate swirling around wolves will likely continue. “The study is going to be hugely controversial,” Fisher says.

This story was produced by National Geographic’s Special Investigations Unit, which focuses on wildlife crime and is made possible by grants from the BAND Foundation, and the Woodtiger Fund. Read more stories from the SIU on Wildlife Watch. Send tips, feedback, and story ideas to ngwildlife@ngs.org.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/160511-gray-wolf-poaching-wisconsin-michigan-endangered-species-culling/

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Posted in: gray wolves,  Wolf Wars, Wolf Poaching

Photo: Courtesy Tim Fitzharris, Minden Pictures/National Geographic

Tags: evils of wolf hunting, killing wolves, poaching, culling  National Geographic, blood does not buy goodwill

2009 Revisited – Gray Wolves in the Crosshairs

gray wolf

April 28. 2016

 In order to understand wolf persecution, as it stands today, it’s our obligation to look back and re-visit the Obama administration’s war against wolves, which started with the delisting of Northern Rockies gray wolves in the Spring of 2009, four months after the President took office. His rancher Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, wasted no time stripping wolves of their ESA protections. Idaho and Montana almost immediately proposed wolf hunts that started in the fall.

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September 16, 2009

The gray wolf stands at a crossroads in the lower 48.  Stripped of their Endangered Species status by the Obama administration,  they are left unprotected from the guns in Montana and Idaho. The first federally sanctioned wolf hunts in the Continental US are taking place as I write this.  Thanks Ken Salazar for allowing the de-listing of wolves to stand.  I thought a Democrat administration would be different, apparently it’s business as usual in wolf country.

Idaho’s hunt started on September 1st, with a quota of 220 wolves from a population of 875.  That’s one-fourth of Idaho’s wolves.  Montana’s hunt began Sept 15, 75 wolves are slated for execution. How did it come to this?

The purpose of this blog is to explore that question and try to understand why this magnificent apex predator is so misunderstood and hated, merely because they exist. I welcome your comments and opinions wolf lovers.

Meanwhile a federal judge in Missoula, Montana holds the fate of gray wolves in his hands. Thirteen environmental groups filed a lawsuit opposing the de-listing and asked Judge Molloy to grant an injunction to stop the wolf hunts, while the lawsuit was pending.

The judge issued a partial ruling on September 8th denying the injunction to stop the hunts but stated the plaintiffs opposing the de-listing were likely to prevail on the merits of the case. Small comfort for the wolf as it’s being hunted. Male, female wolves and pups of the year can be taken. Yes, apparently it’s OK to hunt PUPPIES!!

The war against wolves continues unabated.

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Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Howling for Justice

Tags: gray wolf/canis lupus, Montana wolves, Idaho wolves, wolf intolerance, wolf myths, President Obama, Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior, gray wolves delisted

Wolf Wars Begins – 2009 Gray Wolf De-Listing By Obama Administration…

Gray_Wolf_Delisting

April 26, 2016

Wolf Wars

Lets go back in time to the delisting of wolves in the Northern Rockies by the new Obama administration. It was the Spring of 2009, almost 8 years ago. Mere months after wolves were delisted Montana and Idaho planned the first organized wolf hunts, to begin in the Fall of the 2009, something unheard of for any newly delisted species. And remember before the delisting, Wildlife Services had been killing wolves and entire wolf packs since the end of the 1990’s,  for their masters, Agribusiness/big ranching/farming. Now wolves faced three foes, Wildlife Services, Wolf Hunts and Poaching.

The persecution of wolves kicked into high gear, where it’s remained until this day! 

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September 16, 2009

One of the first acts of the Obama administration was to delist wolves in the Northern Rockies.  Incredible harm and sadness has come from this completely shocking and disturbing decision, a Democrat who promised to set a new tone in Washington, turned his back on the ESA and wolves.

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PRESS RELEASE 

April 1, 2009

Alliance For the Wild Rockies

Interior Secretary Salazar Finalizes Wolf Delisting

Conservation Groups Will Challenge the Removal of Essential Federal Protections

Washington, D.C. – An advance copy of the Federal Register – released today – contains a final version of the federal government’s decision to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the northern Rocky mountains except for those in Wyoming. The delisting effort revives an effort launched by the Bush administration which was halted in January for review when the Obama administration took office. Today’s delisting decision is the second time in twelve months the federal government has removed federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies. Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, successfully sued to get the protections reinstated in July 2008.

Delisting wolves means they’ll be subject to state sponsored hunting year unless stopped by legal action. Idaho and Montana plan to allow hundreds of wolves to be shot.

The decision to lift wolf protections comes as Yellowstone Park wolves declined by 27 percent in the last year, one of the largest declines reported since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995. The northern Rockies wolf population also has not achieved a level of connectivity between the greater Yellowstone, central Idaho, and northwest Montana areas that is essential to wolves’ long-term survival.

Michael Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies said, “Independent scientists say that between 2,000 and 3,000 wolves are needed to have a sustainable, fully recovered population. After delisting, the northern Rockies wolf population may be allowed to drop to only 300 to 450 wolves. This is not managing for recovery. It is managing for the relisting of wolves.”

Wolves will remain under federal control in Wyoming because a federal court previously ruled that Wyoming’s hostile wolf management scheme leaves wolves in ‘serious jeopardy.’ The Fish and Wildlife Service in the recent past held that a state-by-state approach to delisting wolves was not permitted under the Endangered Species Act, including in their earlier decision to not delist wolves without Wyoming’s inclusion. In today’s delisting decision, the federal government flip-flops on its earlier position.

In addition to Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have refused to make enforceable commitments to maintaining viable wolf populations within their borders. On the very day the first delisting took effect in March, 2008, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a law allowing Idaho citizens to kill wolves without a permit whenever wolves are annoying, disturbing, or ‘worrying’ livestock or domestic animals. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission established rules that would have allowed 428 wolves to be killed in 2008 alone had the court not returned wolves to the endangered species list. Montana also authorized a fall wolf hunt.

Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, will send the Fish and Wildlife Service a notice that the delisting violates the Endangered Species Act tomorrow. If the agency does not reconsider the delisting rule, the conservation groups will again ask a federal court to reinstate federal Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the northern Rockies until wolf numbers are stronger and the states pledge to responsibly manage wolves.

Earthjustice represents Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Project, and Hells Canyon Preservation Council.

http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2009/interior-secretary-salazar-finalizes-wolf-delisting

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Gray wolf lawsuits filed in Montana, Wyoming

EVE BYRON – Independent Record – 06/03/09 | Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 11:00 pm


As promised, a coalition of conservation groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in Missoula Tuesday to try to halt the removal of gray wolves from the list of animals covered by the Endangered Species Act in Montana and Idaho.

In an equally expected move Tuesday in Wyoming, the state sued the federal government over its decision to retain protection for wolves in that state.

“This is not about science or biology, it’s about politics,” said Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Wyoming says they have too many wolves and the environmental groups say there aren’t enough.

“Both sides are beating each other up, and we’re in the middle of the road. The wolf recovery program made our commitments, we looked at the science and made a decision. So now we’re getting run over by both sides.”

Michael Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, says Bangs’ comment is a “straw man argument.”

“I think he’s being a little hypocritical,” Garrity said. “They said they couldn’t delist wolves before without Wyoming and now they say they can.”

The 13 groups announced their intent to sue 60 days ago, after the Obama administration in April removed gray wolves in Montana and Idaho from the list.

In Wyoming, wolves remain under federal protection because the state’s management plan classified them as predators that could be shot on sight throughout most of the state.

The ability to shoot wolves in Montana and Idaho have more restrictions on when wolves can be shot, but both states’ management plans include hunting seasons.

Critics argue that wolves don’t recognize state boundaries, and they can’t be recovered in one state while endangered in an adjacent state.

In making the delisting announcement in April, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and others with the federal government disagree, with Salazar saying in March that dropping gray wolves from the list is justified by their strong comeback in the northern Rockies, now home to 1,645 wolves in 98 breeding pairs.

An estimated 1,000 wolf pups probably were born this spring, added Bangs.

Montana has a minimum of 497 wolves with 34 breeding pairs; Idaho has 846 wolves with 39 breeding pairs; and Wyoming has confirmed 302 wolves with 25 breeding pairs.

“These numbers are about five times higher than the minimum population recovery goal and three times higher than the minimum breeding pair recovery goal. The end of 2008 will mark the ninth consecutive year the population has exceeded our numeric and distributional recovery goals,” the federal government noted in its decision to delist the wolves.

A breeding pair is defined as an adult male and female that have reproduced to create packs, and Bangs said anywhere from four to 14 wolves can be in the pack.

Yet Garrity and others argue that to ensure biological diversity of any species, about 500 breeding pairs are needed. That would equate to anywhere from 2,000 to 7,000 wolves in packs.

“That’s not just in Montana, but throughout the northern Rockies and could include Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Washington,” Garrity said. “So Montana could have the same number of wolves; they would just be spread out among the Rockies.”

The conservation groups warn in their lawsuit that delisting wolves will cause a dramatic decline in populations so they’ll never “achieve true recovery as envisioned by Congress.”

“This suit is about ensuring a successful ending to one of the greatest of all conservation stories,” said Louisa Willcox, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Livingston. “Sustainable recovery for wolves in the Northern Rockies is tantalizingly close, but we are not there yet.

“We look forward to a time when wolves can be taken off the list; but sadly, state-sponsored hunts are only going to push that finish line further away,” Wilcox added. “Until the wolf population in the Northern Rockies reaches a sustainable level, this fight will continue.”

According to the Associated Press, Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg said his state maintains the federal government has no scientific reason to reject Wyoming’s management plan, and that the government is trying to force the state to support more than its fair share of the wolf population.

This is the third attempt to take wolves off the list of protected species, and the second time a lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of NRDC, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Project and Hell’s Canyon Preservation Council.

In the first lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy stated that the federal government acted arbitrarily in delisting a wolf population that lacked evidence of genetic exchange between the sub-populations and shouldn’t have approved Wyoming’s wolf management plan because it failed to commit to manage for at least 15 breeding pairs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service then pulled its plan, but reissued it without delisting wolves in Wyoming shortly before the Bush administration left office. The Obama administration put a hold on the delisting, but upon review decided to move forward.

Tens of thousands of gray wolves once roamed North America but were trapped, poisoned and shot until near extinction in the United States. They were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973, and reintroduction efforts began in 1994.

To view the delisting rule and a copy of the environmental groups’ lawsuit, follow the links below.

The Wyoming lawsuit hadn’t been posted as of press time.

Click here to read the federal delisting rule.

Click here to read the conservation groups’ lawsuit.

Reporter Eve Byron: eve.byron@helenair.com

http://www.helenair.com/news/state-and-regional/article_bc386a4d-dc1f-5761-8e60-d798931a3dd2.html

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File Photo

Posted in:  Howling for Justice, Wolf Wars

Tags: Wolf 2009 delisting, gray wolf/canis lupus, Idaho wolves, Montana wolves,  Obama administration delists wolves, Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior, Wolf hunts planned

2009 – Obama Declares War on Wolves…

huntingwolves-why-i-did-it-blog

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Posted in: Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Photo: Why -I-Did-It-Blog

Tags: Obama Administration, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Wolf Delisting 2009, Northern Rockies, First organized wolf hunt 2009, Northern Rockies wolves delisted 2009, Idaho, Montana

 

 

Oregon’s Shame – OR4 And His Family Aerial Gunned For The Sacred Cow….

OR4 ODFW

April 3, 2016

Death rained down on OR4 and his family from the ODFW helicopter-death-ships last Thursday, March 31, 2016. I can’t imagine the terror he felt along with his mate, OR39, nicknamed Limpy, due to a damaging leg injury. It was like shooting ducks in a barrel, an old wolf and his crippled mate with their two terrified pups, trying to evade bullets coming from the sky. To me they represent every wolf who has ever been senselessly  killed for the sacred cow. Ranchers know wolves are a miniscule  threat to their bottom line, the main killer of cattle is non-predation, the main predator of cattle are coyotes and domestic dogs.  But facts don’t matter when it comes to wolves, they’re relentlessly demonized.

I can’t tell you the sadness I feel over this killing.  OR4 was a symbol of everything I thought was right about wolves returning to Oregon. He and his first mate, B-300, nicknamed Sophie, swam the Snake River from Idaho to form the first wolf pack to inhabit Oregon in sixty years. They were named the Imnaha Pack. OR4 and B-300 sired many pups, including the legendary OR7 and were the backbone of wolf recovery in Oregon.

Ranching is the single biggest threat to wolves in the Northern Rockies.  Wolves are harassed throughout their lives because of ranching and hunting. They tolerate endless collarings, just as OR4 did. It was a miracle he lived to be 10 years old, a real feat since he had several kill orders out on him during his life. Instead of  Oregon treasuring him for the amazing wolf he was, they filled him full of lead as their final tribute. This killing will forever be Oregon’s shame!

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Oregon Just Killed a Family of Wolves

Imnaha Pack Alpha Male OR4

TakePart.com 12 hours ago

The bullet he’d been dodging for many years finally caught up with the great Oregon wolf, OR4, on March 31. In the early afternoon, officials from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shot to death the patriarch of the Imnaha Pack from a helicopter over Wallowa County, an area where gray wolves dispersing from Idaho first began returning to Oregon, where they’d been killed off in the mid-20th century. Shot along with OR4 was his likely pregnant partner, OR 39, known as Limpy for an injured and badly healed leg, and their two pups.

The animals were killed for being presumed guilty of the deaths of four calves and a sheep on private pastureland on the fringes of the pack’s territory in northeast Oregon.

Rob Klavins, who has been a wolf advocate on the frontlines of the cultural and political battles that have accompanied the reemergence of wolves in the West as field coordinator for the conservation group Oregon Wild, heard the helicopters take off and knew the sound spelled doom for OR4. “It was hard for a lot of people,” said Klavins, reached on Friday at his home near the town of Joseph in Wallowa County. “Even some of his detractors had a begrudging respect” for OR4, the fourth wolf to be fitted with a location-tracking radio collar in Oregon. He weighed at least 115 pounds, the largest known wolf in Oregon at the time of his death, and survived for 10 years, three years longer than most wolves in the wild.

OR4 and his progeny have been largely responsible for the gray wolf’s intrepid return to lands where the species was long ago hunted, poisoned, trapped, burned, and otherwise chased nearly to extinction.

Cattle farmers, who receive a subsidy from taxpayers to graze their animals on vast ranges of publicly-owned land where the wolves also dwell, worry about wolves killing their property. Hunters want first shot at the game, such as deer and elk, that wolves favor. But livestock depredations in Oregon are extremely rare, and have become scarcer even as the wolf population has increased. Meanwhile, ODFW’s data shows that Oregon’s wolves are having no effect on elk, deer, and wild sheep populations. Of course, those statistics are small consolation to the rancher who suffered the loss of property in March.

In early 2008, OR4 and his mate at the time, OR2, were among the first wolves to swim the Snake River, scale enormous mountains, and establish a foothold for wolves in game-rich Wallowa County. Since then, more than 110 Oregon wolves have spread from the remote northeast corner of the state, over the Cascades, and to near the California border. Many of these pioneering wolves were spawned by OR4.

Beginning with his first pack in 2009, OR4 fathered, provided for, and protected dozens of wolf pups that survived in the Oregon wild—and made their way all the way south to California, where OR7, known as the “lone wolf, trekked in 2012. Today, OR7 has his own pack in the California-Oregon border region. The alpha female of the Shasta pack—the first gray wolf pack to make California home since 1924—is the offspring of OR4.

That OR4 lasted this long is source of wonder to those who have followed his starring role in Oregon’s gray-wolf comeback story. In 2011, a brief cattle-killing spree by the Imnaha pack had him slated for execution. A suit by Oregon Wild and other conservation groups stayed the execution order and OR4 settled into a mostly incident-free life as Oregon’s biggest and baddest-ass wolf.

There is good reason to believe OR4 was cast out of his pack early this year, and his decision to move into livestock calving ground was borne of the need of an old, slowing, and dull-toothed male—no longer able to bring down elk—to fend for his hobbled mate, to whom he was endearingly loyal, and his yearling pups.

“He was an outlaw wolf with a heart of gold,” said Amaroq Weiss, the West Coast Wolf Coordinator for the Center for Biological Diversity. Weiss recalled a 2009 video of OR4 leading his Imnaha pack up a snowy mountainside as a defining image from the early days of Oregon’s wolf recovery. “He was definitely a father figure.”

The Shasta Pack that is part of OR’s legacy will soon be coming into its second litter. It is protected by the California Endangered Species Act. In Oregon, though, wolves were removed from the endangered species list in November, which allowed OR4’s pack to be shot to death Thursday. Activists have sued to re-list the animals.

The wolf management plan that provided the legal justification for the killing of OR4, Limpy, and their pups is up for review in Oregon this year. The state has determined that the wolf population met benchmarks that allow livestock producers more lethal options when dealing with depredating wolves. Klavins and others would like to make sure the updated plan calls for every non-lethal option to be exhausted before wolves are killed.

“What was done [Thursday] was sufficient for an agency that views wildlife as agents of damage and whose primary job is to protect private interests at taxpayer expense,” Klavins said. “But it’s not good enough for a public agency whose mission is to ‘protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations,’ ” he continued, quoting from the agency’s official documents. “They need to do better. Oregonians deserve better.”

Wolf advocate Wally Sykes is one of the few to have encountered OR4 in the wild. “I was kind of initially prepared for something to happen, but the visual image of an old wolf being hunted down by a helicopter, with his hobbling mate by his side and his two freaked out pups along with him, is an ugly picture to carry in your head,” said. He said officials he spoke with were “not at all happy to have killed these wolves.” Sykes’ recording of OR4’s howl can be heard here.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/oregon-just-killed-family-wolves-181546732.html

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Nov. 12, 2009

In happier times! ODFW caught the ten member Imnaha wolf pack walking single file through the eastern Oregon woods with at least six pups!! Leading the pack is alpha female B-300.

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Posted in Oregon wolves, Wolf Wars

Photo: ODFW

Tags: OR4, OR39 (Limpy), ODFW, aerial gunning, shooting innocent wolves, OR7, Take Part, animal cruelty, Wolf wars, death of a Legend, Oregon Wild, B-300 (Sophie), Imnaha wolf pack,

A Legend, OR4, Was Shot To Death!

A Eulogy for OR-4

Mar 31, 2016 | Rob Klavins

We met three times, but I imagine that I barely registered in his life.

To him I was no more than an occasional scent on his trail or the source of a tortured imitation of a howl.

But to me, no nonhuman animal ever has been or likely ever will be as important or consequential in my life as OR4.

He escaped kill orders and poachers. He endured at least 4 collarings and he beat the odds. There aren’t many ten year old wolves out there. Today there is one less.

OR4 was shot and killed today. And it hurts. Anyone celebrating his death, the killing of his likely pregnant partner, and two of his pups, must have a hardened heart indeed.

He became a symbol for those who revere wolves as well as for those who hate them and hate the wild. Even some of the most cynical wolf haters paid him begrudging respect.

He was imperfect. He challenged us. He was loud. But he was tough and he was tenacious. He was resilient, and he was a good father.

OR4 and his partners OR2 and a wolf known as “Limpy” leave behind an unparalleled legacy. His offspring include OR7, the first pups in California in nearly a century, OR3, and wolves both known and unknown quietly living their lives and retaking their rightful place on the Oregon landscape.

He never set paw in Salem or DC, but for better and worse, he had more impact on policy and politics than any animal I know of other than Cecil the Lion.

He also leaves behind questions. Lots of questions. Questions about our future – the future of his offspring…and ours.

Above all, as I heard the helicopter take off near my home this morning, I wondered if our society will leave room for the wild on the landscape…and in our hearts.

Despite his collars and dayglo ear tags, OR4 was wild.

OR4 is dead, and we killed him.

But we’ll keep fighting for his legacy as imperfectly and tenaciously as he did.

The story of Oregon’s biggest and baddest wolf didn’t end in “happily ever after”. But the story for wolves and those of us who value the wild is still not fully written. It’s a new chapter. I’m no starry-eyed optimist. So I’ll stubbornly cling to hope and tenacity.

The alternative is surrender. OR4 was no quitter. And we shouldn’t be either.

He was loud.

And he was annoying to those who hate the wild. We should be too.

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This is a post I did in September 2011, when OR4 had a kill order out on him over a few supposed cattle deaths. The purpose of the post was to point out the absolute lunacy and hysterics that play out over wolves. Oregon ranchers lost tens of thousands of cows that year to non predation yet they were screaming to the high heavens about a few livestock losses to wolves. It’s absolute madness. Wolves aren’t even the main predator of cattle, coyotes and dogs are. But because they despise wolves and want to portray them in the worst possible light, OR4 was slated to die and now, 5 years later they slaughter a 10 year old wolf and his family in the most cowardly of fashions. I hope Oregon is happy with itself because we all know that “wolf management” in Oregon is all about keeping the ranchers happy .

OR4 was OR7’s father. They were both legends,

I say this sincerely to all wolf advocates. Please consider cutting beef out of your diet. The single biggest reason wolves are dying is because of the ranching industry. They use Wildlife Services as their personal wolf killing service. Wolves are harangued and harassed their entire lives, they have to wear horrible tracking collars, they’re constantly tracked and bothered all because of cows.

I don’t like to preach but ranching  and cows are getting wolves killed.

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51,200 Dead Oregon Cows Not Killed By Wolves! Where’s The Media?

Imnaha Pack Alpha Male OR4

September 28, 2011
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Ok, 51,200 cows died in Oregon in 2010 from non-predation causes. (NASS 2010) 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? Talk about making a mountain out of a mole-hill or big fish stories, this is the mother of all big fish stories. ODFW is planning on killing the alpha male (pictured above) and another wolf from the Imnaha Pack, for livestock losses so small, they barely register statistically. Yet incredibly large numbers of cows drop dead in Oregon every year and all we hear are “crickets”

READ MORE: 

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/51200-dead-oregon-cows-not-killed-by-wolves-wheres-the-media/

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Posted in: Oregon wolves, Wolf Wars

Photo: OdFW

Tags: OR4, wolf management/wolf slaughter, Oregon, a legend is killed, Rob Klavins, Oregon Wild

Wolves Tolerate Our Intolerance….

white wolves_whitewolfpackdotcom

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 and around wolves – Rick Bass

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Posted in: gray wolf, wolf wars

Photo: Courtesy whitewolfdotcom

Tags: gray wolf, intolerant humans, vital wolves, apex predator

Published in: on March 30, 2016 at 12:43 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , ,

Wildlife Agencies In The Bag For Hunters – Time For A Change

Gray wolf pinterest 1

Time for Wildlife Agencies to Protect Animals, Not Kill Them

In January, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game sent a helicopter into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to radio-collar wolves. This incursion violated the rules of the federally protected wilderness area. It also broke the department’s own agreement with the federal government, dating from a prior violation in which Fish and Game sent a trapper into the protected area to exterminate wolves. By the time conservationists filed suit in that 2013 incident, nine wolves in two packs were already dead.

 Idaho Fish and Game is, let’s be frank, an outlaw agency. It regards killing wolves as part of its sacred duty to protect elk for hunters. The agency is apparently clueless about the abundant evidence that strong predators make strong habitats and strong prey.

But let’s not pick on Idaho. What happened there fit seamlessly with the entire long history of wildlife agencies manipulating the environment for the benefit of hunters. In truth, that kind of game management dates back at least to Charlemagne and Genghis Khan, and it persists today in the names and the mind-set of the many wildlife agencies that still call themselves fish and game departments.

Predator control tends to get the headlines. But these agencies also engage in large-scale alterations of the landscape—by clearing forests, conducting prescribed burns, building water catchments, removing shrubs from wetlands, and other means—to benefit game animals, with little or no regard for how this will affect all the other non-game species living in that habitat. And the habitat in question is huge. In Scotland, for instance, 58 percent of the total land area is managed for hunting, mostly upland birds. In Slovenia, it’s 94 percent of the total land area.

The widespread character of this land management caught the attention of Travis Gallo, a doctoral candidate in conservation biology at Colorado State University. He was also interested in how much money goes into game management, especially compared to what other nongame species get. Hunting licenses in the United States contributed $790 million to wildlife programs in 2013, and special duties and taxes on hunting gear, via the Wildlife Restoration Act, added another $550 million.

Gallo’s original idea was that, even if this funding results in a one-sided focus on game animals, there might be inadvertent benefits for nongame wildlife too. Like a lot of people in Colorado, he’s a hunter himself, for deer and elk, and “I really wanted to find some synergy,” he said. What he found instead, he reports in a new study in the journal Biological Conservation, is that hardly anybody even bothers to ask the question.

A broad search of the scientific literature revealed just 26 studies “that directly evaluated the effect of game management practices on non-targeted wildlife.” The effect was positive 40 percent of the time and negative 37 percent of the time, more or less what you would expect by chance.

On the positive side, for example, wildlife agencies removed shrubs from wetlands in the Great Lakes to create habitat for sharp-tailed grouse, a game bird. But that inadvertently also benefited birds like LeConte’s sparrow and the sage wren, which also require open wetland habitat. Water catchments in Arizona turned out to benefit native bats more than the mule deer and other game species for which they were intended. On the negative side, the United Kingdom manages habitat for fallow deer, roe deer, and the Reeves’s muntjac (a deer species native to China), and this inadvertently causes sharp declines in native British birds such as the common nightingale, the willow warbler, and the chiffchaff. Managing for overabundant elk at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming nibbles down cover that would otherwise harbor migratory shorebirds and songbirds.

In the new study, Gallo and his coauthor, Liba Pejchar, note up front that they aren’t “advocating that hunting be reduced or prohibited on either public or private lands.” They rightly note that a lot of habitat and species now survive only because of hunters. In the United States, big game hunters launched the conservation movement in the late 19th century, just in time to save the bison from extinction. They drove through the passage of the Lacey Act, which remains our fundamental law against illegal wildlife and plant trafficking. They played a major role in creating some of our most important national parks.

But that doesn’t mean the hook-and-bullet mentality should be ruling our wildlife agencies today, if only as a matter of their own self-preservation. The number of people identifying themselves as hunters (and paying those license fees) is sharply declining, down to just 13.7 million in 2012. But in the same survey, 71.8 million Americans said they were wildlife watchers. One way to get wildlife agencies to broaden their focus to nongame animals would be for those wildlife watchers to begin to take over the funding. That is, you and I should be stepping up to pay a special wildlife tax on our binoculars and our birdfeeders, the way hunters do on their guns.  That was the gist of the Teaming With Wildlife Act of 2009, but it went nowhere in Congress.

The other important take-home message from the new study, said Gallo, is that wildlife agencies need to do real science on how game management impacts nongame species. In particular, they need to investigate the likely compounding effect when they combine outdated predator control programs with unscientific habitat manipulations.

That is, wildlife agencies need to grow up, stop distorting the landscape for the recreational interests of one narrow interest group, and start practicing holistic management for the benefit of entire ecosystems.

http://news.yahoo.com/time-wildlife-agencies-protect-animals-not-kill-them-165133283.html

elk-hunter

“Time for Wildlife Agencies to Protect Animals, Not Kill Them”

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Please sign and share!

Keep Wolves Protected, and Defend the Endangered Species Act

http://takeaction.takepart.com/actions/keep-wolves-protected-and-defend-the-endangered-species-act?cmpid=tp-rss

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Posted in: Gray wolf, Wolf Wars Animal Cruelty

Top Photo: Gray wolf Pinterest

Bottom Photo: Takepartdotcom

Tags: Wildlife agencies, killing not saving, hunters, wildlife watchers, wolves, IDFG, animal cruelty

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

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