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

Echo Arizona Game and Fish

Echo

March 4, 2015

Wolves are one of the most social animals on earth, they’re right up there with us, the Great Apes, dolphins, lions, elephants, etc. Their lives are about family. Wolves may disperse from their natal packs between 1-3 years of age but it’s an individual choice. When they do decide to leave they’re prepared to do whatever it takes to find a mate and claim new territory. And that’s when the trouble begins for them.

There’s a reason wolves have been unable to reclaim lost habitat in most of their former range, they’re killed before they have a chance. The Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, Great Lakes and Southwest, where critically endangered Mexican gray wolves  struggle to increase their numbers, are the only areas of the country where gray wolves are successfully breeding and raising pups. BUT in 2009, when wolves in the Northern Rockies were delisted by the Obama administration, their recovery took a very dark turn. Until recent court decisions relisted wolves in Wyoming and then the Great Lakes, they suffered the same fate as their wolf brothers and sisters in Montana and Idaho.

Wolves are hunted with extreme animus, tortured by leghold traps, snares, arrows, bullets, many gut shot to prolong and increase their pain. The ultimate sadism directed at wolves was legalized in Wisconsin, as a twisted form of  dog/wolf fighting. It allowed the use of up to six dogs per trophy hunter to track and trail wolves. It’s not a stretch to believe some hunters let their dogs tear into the wolves, once they were cornered, delivering an even more grisly, frightening and painful death. That’s been put on hold for now, due to  recent court decisions but members of Congress, pandering to agricultural and hunting interests, are already scheming to make an-end-round the courts and pass legislation similar to the 2011 budget bill delisting rider, that removed wolves in Montana and Idaho from the endangered species list.

Life is hard for wolves in this country. The dream of wolf reintroduction has turned into a nightmare for hunted wolves. Idaho’s beleaguered wolf population faces endless wolf hunts that stretch through breeding, denning and pupping season. Hunting quotas have all but been removed in most of Montana and Idaho.  In the Treasure State up to a hundred wolves  can be killed by a single private landowner.

The situation for hunted wolves is not a success story but a tragedy. When wolves attempt to disperse, as Echo did, they usually end up DEAD.

Another barrier to wolf recovery is Wildlife Services, a ghastly federal agency, funded by American tax  dollars. They act as the Department of Agriculture’s killing arm,  destroying millions of animals annually, including  hundreds of wolves. It’s agriculture’s personal hit man-tag-team. Click here, here and here to read the Sac Bee’s expose of this hellacious agency.

Is it a surprise then that wolf recovery has been stopped in most of the country, outside of the areas I’ve mentioned? The odds are stacked against wolves 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.

One of the deadliest threats to dispersing wolves is the “coyote excuse”.  As I stated in part one, using those two words, gives 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.

What’s so striking about the wolf killings in Kentucky and Kansas  is wolves had been absent from those states for decades and specifically in Kentucky, for 150 years. Instead of celebrating the return of the wolf, she’s shot dead.

The USFWS should be prosecuting these people, to send a message that killing endangered wolves IS NOT OK. Instead they let “hunters” off with the “coyote excuse”. I don’t care what the “coyote hunters” say, if they kill an endangered wolf they should be prosecuted, period! That will send a signal to these numbskulls that shooting endangered wolves has consequences.  But the USFWS continues to fail wolves, they don’t take the killings seriously. It’s pretty clear USFWS is  not interested in gray wolf recovery, that’s why they’re pushing for a national delisting.

And why is it OK to kill coyotes? It’s not.  I’ve seen one too many horrific images of dead coyotes, killed for fun, killed for nothing. Coyotes undoubtedly need protection as well.

It’s a slap in the face to wolf and wildlife advocates that the agency charged with protecting wild wolves looks the other way when wolves are killed with impunity, meting out almost no punishment, even though the ESA clearly states:

– authorizes the assessment of civil and criminal penalties for violating the act or regulations; and

– authorizes the payment of rewards to anyone furnishing information leading to arrest and conviction of ANY violation of the act or any regulation issued there under.

A mockery has been made of the ESA concerning wolves. it’s a joke to think they’re protected, when time and again they’re killed as they attempt to disperse, just as Echo’s sad story proves.

Unless and until the American people stand up to the Interior Department and Congress, nothing will change. The system is broken and corrupt and needs a complete overhaul.

Here are a just a few examples of what happens when wild wolves dare to disperse from their natal packs, in search of a mate and new territory. It’s the wolf version of Russian Roulette.

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UTAH

Echo shot dead by coyote hunter using “coyote excuse”.

Her death was a tragic blow to wolf recovery, being the first confirmed wolf to inhabit the Grand Canyon in 70 years.

First Gray Wolf Spotted At Grand Canyon In 70 Years Shot Dead By Hunter

POSTED ON FEBRUARY 12, 2015 AT 2:59 PM UPDATED: FEBRUARY 13, 2015 AT 8:54 AM

Officials have confirmed that the first gray wolf seen around the Grand Canyon in 70 years was killed in December by a hunter in southern Utah after he mistook it for coyote. The three-year-old female, named “Echo” through a contest held with hundreds of schoolchildren, was the first gray wolf to be spotted in the region since the 1940s. After being collared in Wyoming in early January 2014, the wolf had ventured at least 750 miles into the new territory — further evidence that gray wolf populations are coming back from the brink of extinction after decades of reckless killings.

“The fact Echo had ventured into new territory hopefully signifies that there is still additional habitat where this vulnerable species can thrive and survive,” Nidhi J. Thakar, deputy director of the public lands project at the Center for American Progress, told ThinkProgress.

The coyote hunter who shot Echo, and whose name has not been released, reported the killing to authorities as an accident. Gray wolves are on the Endangered Species Act and it is illegal to kill them anywhere in the U.S. except Idaho and Montana, eastern Washington and Oregon, and northeastern Utah. According to the Center For Biological Diversity, this partial removal of federal protections in the Northwest has lead to the deaths of thousands of wolves through state-authorized hunting and trapping in recent years. Congress is now considering a legislative rider that would preclude protecting wandering wolves like Echo, according to the wildlife conservation group.

“Echo’s killing illustrates the perils that wolves face and the imperative to maintain federal protections as called for under the science-based standards of the Endangered Species Act,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. “Keeping wolves on the endangered list is the basis for the public education we need, to enable more wolves to live and thrive and minimize conflict.”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/12/3622423/famous-grand-canyon-gray-wolf-shot-by-hunter/

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*Warning graphic images

Kentucky

Wolf shot dead using “coyote excuse”.

“In Kentucky, the first gray wolf seen in 150 years was shot dead last August….earth first newswire

Wild Wolf in Kentucky, First in 150 Years, Killed by Hunter

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

Kentuck wolf shot dead

“This photo posted on KentuckyHunting.net shows the first wolf to wander Kentucky in over 150 years, dead and exhibited as a trophy”..earthfirstjournaldotorg
kentucky wolf shot_earth first newswireearthfirstjournaldotorg

According to a recent announcement by state wildlife officials, a 73-pound, federally endangered female gray wolf was shot dead by a hunter in Munfordville, Kentucky earlier this year. Were it Alaska or Idaho this wouldn’t be news, but Kentucky has not seen wild roaming wolves since the mid 1800s.

 “Wildlife officials identified the man who killed the wolf as Hart County resident James Troyer, who shot the animal believing it to be a coyote.”

Read More:

http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2013/08/19/wild-wolf-in-kentucky-first-in-150-years-killed-by-hunter/

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Kansas

80 pound wolf killed using the “coyote excuse”. This was the first wolf confirmed in Kansas in 108 years.

Coyote hunters kill 1st wolf in Kansas since 1905

Wolf killed in December in northwest Kan.

Published  6:00 PM CST Feb 02, 2013

TOPEKA, Kan. —Coyote hunters have killed a wolf in northwest Kansas, the first documented wolf in the state since 1905.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the wolf was killed in December. The animal weighed more than 80 pounds, more than twice as much as a large coyote.

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Missouri

Wolf killed in Missouri using the “coyote excuse”. Third gray wolf killed there in the last 13 years.

Hunter kills Gray Wolf in central Missouri

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Colorado

Wolf Poisoned

Dispersing Mill Creek Pack female wolf poisoned by Wildlife Service’s deadly 1080 compound. 

Compound 1080…. “is one of the horrific poisons Wildlife Services uses in its arsenal to kill our wildlife.”

The Amazing Journey and Sad End of Wolf 314F (UPDATE)

October 16, 2009

I posted this story in October 2009 about an amazing little Mill Creek Pack wolf, who traveled 1000 miles from her home in Montana to a lonely hillside in Colorado, called “No Name Ridge”, where her bones were found.

Her death has been under investigation by USFWS all this time.

Finally, after almost two years,  it was announced she was poisoned by the deadly compound 1080. It is one of the horrific poisons Wildlife Services uses in its arsenal to kill our wildlife.

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/the-amazing-journey-and-sad-end-of-wolf-314f/ 

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Washington

Wolf shot for existing

Whitman Co. farmer could face charges for killing wolf

 Joshua Babcock Murrow News Service10:09 a.m. PST November 29, 2014

Washington fish and wildlife officials are recommending a Whitman County farmer face misdemeanor charges for shooting a gray wolf last month.

The charge could result in a year in jail and a two-year suspension of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.

Steve Crown, chief of enforcement for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the shooter was a farmer who also notified authorities. Crown said it is unclear why the farmer shot the wolf, as it did not appear to pose an imminent danger to pets, livestock or the farmer.

Crown said this is the third wolf shooting this year in Washington.

“If it’s just in the area, it’s not open season for wolves,” Crown said.

Read more:

http://www.krem.com/story/news/local/whitman-county/2014/11/28/whitman-co-farmer-facing-charges-for-killing-gray-wolf/19641521/

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Illinois

Wolf or Wolf hybrid hit By A Car

Wolf?! found at Morris – Probably a hybrid

Wolf or hybrid Illinois Conservation Police Photo

This 48-inch long, wolf-like canine was found, apparently hit by a vehicle, on Nettle School Road, just northwest of Morris on Feb. 13. Measurements have been taken determine if it matches common wolf dimensions and DNA testing may be done.

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2015 9:03 am

A large, wolf-like animal found dead on a roadside north of Morris last Friday “looks like it might be a hybrid of some sort,” says Illinois Department of Natural Resources district wildlife biologist Bob Massey.

“It has characteristics of coyote, dog and wolf,” Massey said Wednesday, after IDNR sent out a news release about the animal being found along Nettle Creek Road, north of Interstate 80, early on Feb. 13. The site was a couple miles northwest of Morris, Massey said.

The animal was found by a some guys heading to a hunt club, who then called, he said.

Massey has measured the animal and sent the information off to a wolf biologist in Wisconsin.

“If it falls within the parameters of wolf size, we will send it for DNA analysis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” he said.

http://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/wolf-found-at-morris—probably-a-hybrid/article_c1f521e0-439e-528b-821f-096908694708.html

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North Carolina 

10 Red Wolves killed by “coyote hunters”

10 highly endangered Red wolves were “confirmed or suspected gunshot deaths since the start of last year.”  Once again the “coyote excuse” was used.

RedWolfAlbanyGAChehaw wiki

Highly endangered red wolves being shot with impunity – only 100 wild red wolves left in North Carolina. Apparently these yahoos will shot any wolf they can.

Endangered red wolf shot in NC, 10 in past year

WCNC Staff, WCNC.com3:34 p.m. EST January 13, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The death toll for endangered red wolves continues to mount near their North Carolina refuge.

Federal and state wildlife agencies said Monday that another red wolf was found shot to death last week in Tyrrell County. That makes 10 confirmed or suspected gunshot deaths since the start of last year.

There are only about 100 red wolves roaming an area in Tyrrell and four other northeastern North Carolina counties where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been trying to restore the animals in the wild.

The state Wildlife Resources Commission this summer allowed coyote hunting in the same five-county area, but hunters easily confuse the two animals.

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments next month in a lawsuit by conservation groups seeking to stop the coyote hunting.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/13/endangered-red-wolf-shot-in-nc-10-in-past-year/

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New York

Coyote killers even shoot horses – no animal is safe!

Lousy Coyote Hunters Shoot Horses, Licences Seized

horses wiki(not horses killed)

18 Feb, 2015 – CONRAD BAKER

SPARTA – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has revoked two individuals’ hunting licenses for three years and issued a monetary penalty after the hunters shot and killed two horses on Jan.24, violating state Environmental Conservation Law.

Read more:

http://www.geneseesun.com/2015/02/18/lousy-coyote-hunters-shoot-horses-licences-seized/

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Demand Justice for Echo

Echo Grand-Canyon NPS

author: Center for Biological Diversity

target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe

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It’s as we feared. 

DNA analysis shows that the gray wolf gunned down in Utah last December was Echo, the Grand Canyon wolf. Echo wandered more than 750 miles from the Rocky Mountains to find a mate. When she made her historic appearance on the Grand Canyon’s north rim in 2014 she became the first wolf spotted there in more than 70 years.Just three weeks before her killing she received the name “Echo” through a naming contest entered by hundreds of schoolchildren around the world who were fascinated by her journey.But hopes of seeing gray wolves reestablished near Grand Canyon died when a hunter shot her dead, claiming to have mistaken her for a coyote.

Wolves are an endangered species in Utah, but hunters are rarely, if ever, punished when they illegally kill animals supposedly mistaken for unprotected wildlife species.

Demand justice for Echo.

Tell the head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that Echo deserves justice and he must do everything in his power to investigate and prosecute this callous and tragic shooting.

Click link to sign for Echo!

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Visit Bold Visions Conservation! 

bold visions conservations

 BOLD VISIONS CONSERVATION

IS FIGHTING FOR WILDLIFE!

THE BOLD VISIONS CONSERVATION MISSION

Bold Visions Conservation was created for the protection of land, water and wildlife.

Bold Visions Conservation exists to infuse a creative and bold energy into protecting wildlife and our environment.

Understanding, as John Muir did the importance of the “web of life” and the value of large protected areas, both on land and across our oceans as vital to responsible stewardship. We take our responsibility seriously to share our planet with all species of life and believe that we must instill passion in our effort to pass Earth’s bounty on to future generations.

 http://www.bvconservation.org/members-donate.html

and

Speak For Wolves

download

http://www.speakforwolves.org/

Get involved, make a difference for wolves and wildlife before it’s too late!

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More reasons to effect permanent change!!

Congress Takes Aim at Gray Wolves

Two new bills would strip the predator of endangered species protections.

When it comes to saving certain iconic endangered species, such as bald eagles, Americans embrace the effort wholeheartedly. There was resistance to ending the use of the pesticide DDT, the leading culprit in their decline, but it happened. Now bald eagles have recovered to the point that they’re off the federal list of endangered species. A pair is even nesting in New York City’s busy harbor.

Wolves are a different story. Although gray wolves are an equally potent symbol of freedom and nobility, American style, this week saw two efforts kick off in the House of Representatives to end endangered species protections for the species.

Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., on Thursday introduced legislation to force the United States Department of Interior to remove gray wolf populations in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan from the federal endangered species list. Three Democrats are among the bill’s14 cosponsors.

Wolves are an immediate threat to “domestic animals, farm animals and, quite frankly, children,” Ribble said last month, according to E&E News.

Another Midwestern lawmaker, Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., signed on to Ribble’s bill and introduced his own earlier in the week. Kline’s measure goes one step further by proposing to “prohibit treatment of gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan as endangered species.”

That phrasing seems calibrated to make Great Lakes gray wolves ineligible, forever, for protection under the nation’s key wildlife conservation law, as well as to end-run any court orders that might demand their protection.

Ribble’s measure, by contrast, would not stop conservationists from petitioning for wolves’ protection or federal conservation officials from returning the Great Lakes or Wyoming wolf populations to endangered status.

Similar legislation in 2011 forced the end of federal protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana, and the Center for Biological Diversity has stated that more than 1,956 wolves have been killed in the two states since.

Protecting a species under federal law is usually time-consuming and complicated. So Ribble’s measure, if passed, might still mean years of state management for these wolf populations, and that’s not a welcome prospect for the animals’ advocates.

“This bill would turn over the keys to wolf recovery to four states that have made it clear they’re more interested in killing wolves than saving them,” Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

After protections for the Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves ended in 2011 and 2012, more than 1,600 animals were killed under state management plans, the center said, “likely contributing to a 25 percent decline in Minnesota and a 9 percent decline in the northern Rockies.”

Federal Legislation Would Strip ESA Protections for Gray Wolves

February 12, 2015

The Humane Society of the United States urges Congress to keep wolves protected and for USFWS to Downlist to Threatened

Representatives from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming introduced legislation that would remove gray wolves in those states from the Endangered Species list. This legislation comes on the heels of two recent court cases that placed wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming back under federal protection due to overreaching state management programs that jeopardized wolf recovery. It is the first of several bills expected to be introduced this Congress seeking to weaken protections for wolves and to subvert a series of federal court rulings that determined that the federal government has too narrowly segmented wolf populations and that the states had overreached in their trophy hunting, commercial trapping, and hounding programs.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response:

“This legislation is an end-around a series of federal court rulings that have determined that state and federal agencies have acted improperly in acting to delist wolves.  This bill is just a the latest act of political bomb-throwing and gamesmanship, and lawmakers who want balance on the wolf issue should reject it.

Read More: 

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news_briefs/2015/02/esa-protections-wolves-021215.html

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hunted-the-war-against-wolves-eij

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Top Photo: Courtesy Arizona Game and Fish

Kentucky wolf photos: Courtesy Earth First Newswire

Middle Photo: wolf/wolf hybrid Courtesy newsjournaldotcom

Red wolf photo: Courtesy Wiki

Horse photo: Courtesy Wiki

Bold Vision logo: Courtesy Bold Vision Conservation

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act, biodiversity, Activism

Tags: Echo,  “coyote excuse”, dispersing wolves poached, wolf recovery, USFWS, Congress, Utah, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina, Illinois, North Carolina, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, abusing the ESA, change needed, Bold Visions Conservation, Earth Island Journal

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For Our Beloved Wolves, For The Murdered, Fallen Ones…

Earth Island Journal Stands Up For Wolves

Earth Island Journal Stands Up For Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Video: Courtesy DragonneHeart·  (YouTube) Wolves – The Mummers Dance

Tags: the beauty of wolves, sorrow for the murdered wolves, wolf wars, Earth Island Journal, never give up the fight

 

Proposed Removal of Gray Wolves’ Endangered Status a Case Study in the Politicization of Science by James William Gibson

NatureColdWarriors_Alpha male  Credit Courtesy of Jeff Turner River Road Films Ltd

The lengths USFWS has gone, to justify the delisting of wolves across the lower forty-eight,  is truly mind-blowing. Did someone drop a couple hits of LSD and come up with “the fairytale proposal”? 

car1 crackeddotcom

“Okay, Frank. Are you absolutely, completely, 100 percent positive you didn’t dose my coffee this morning? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I just took an off ramp into the Metaverse here. I’m just sayin’…”…cracked.com

Thank you Bill and Earth Island Journal for trying to make sense of this mishegas!

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Proposed Removal of Gray Wolves’ Endangered Status a Case Study in the Politicization of Science

by James William Gibson – June 17, 2013

US Fish and Wildlife Service relies on taxonomical shenanigans to appease wolf haters

The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent announcement that it is beginning the process for removing gray wolves across the country from the protection of the Endangered Species Act surprised no one. The Fish and Wildlife Service’s mid-1990s reintroduction of gray wolves — a species virtually extirpated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries — into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho marked a triumph for conservationists and ranks as one of the most striking fulfillments of the Endangered Species Act. But as I have reported here and here, the wolves quickly met enemies.

Photo by US Fish and Wildlife ServicesThe Fish and Wildlife Service is making a rather bizarre claim that the agency wasn’t really serious when, back in 1978, it listed gray wolves as endangered across its historical range.

By the early 2000s a loose coalition of hunters’ groups, outfitters, and ranchers — along with the many disaffected men embracing militia groups, local “sovereignty” and states rights, particularly rights to use public lands without federal regulation — coalesced around the idea that wolves represented icons of the hated federal government. The wolves, they all-but-screamed, constituted lethal threats to deer and elk, livestock, and ultimately, people. The long, bitter wolf war reached its climax in the summer of 2011, when Congress took the unprecedented act of removing the wolf populations of the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list. In May 2011, the Fish and Wildlife Service, weary of the many problems involved in wolf management (or, rather, public relations management), delisted gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes states, where some 4,400 wolves resided.   Idaho, Montana and Wyoming subsequently initiated hunts and the use of government marksmen to reduce wolf numbers from around 1,700 to a much lower level.

The FWS’s proposed delisting of gray wolves across the country is simply the continuation of the agency’s long retreat in the face of wolf hater intimidation. Still, it’s important to understand how the FWS legitimizes its abandonment of wolves. A close examination of the FWS’ proposed rule change is a case study in the politicization of science. The FWS report excels at cherry picking, choosing certain scientific studies while rejecting others. It’s also an excellent example of bureaucratic hand-waving, simply dismissing long established facts whenever they become inconvenient. The final result is like a weird game of scientific Twister: The FWS bends itself into all sorts of contortions to conform to a political agenda.

Repetitive and often inconsistent, the 215-page proposed rule makes two stunning claims.  First, the FWS says “new information on C. lupus taxonomy” published in 2012 reveals that the gray wolves (C. lupus) do not constitute “either an entire species nor an entire single subspecies.” Simply put, C. lupus “does not represent a valid species under the [Endangered Species] Act”  — and thus cannot be listed as endangered. Having decided that gray wolves are not a valid species, the FWS then deconstructs the category, saying all wolves formerly called gray actually belong to one of three subspecies of wolves and one new species.

The FWS then makes the rather bizarre claims that the agency wasn’t really serious when, back in 1978, it listed gray wolves as endangered across an historical range covering most of the lower 48 states (except Minnesota, where it was listed as “threatened”). Rather, the agency now claims, the 1978 reclassification “was undertaken to ‘most conveniently’ handle a listing that needed to be revised because of changes in our understanding of gray wolf taxonomy, and in recognition of the fact that individual wolves sometimes cross subspecies [geographic] boundaries.” Now, the FWS argues, “this generalized approach to the listing … was misread by some publics as an expression of a larger wolf recovery not required by the Act and never intended by the Service.” Evidently the FWS never really had wolf recovery as a goal.

In place of this unintended “larger wolf recovery,” the FWS in its newly proposed rule lists three subspecies and alludes to one new wolf species, each with a limited population size and a clearly limited range.  Conceptually, deconstructing the gray wolf category constitutes a containment strategy, a way to scientifically legitimize small, remnant wolf populations restricted to finite ranges; wide-ranging wolf dispersal is eliminated as a possibility. This containment appeases politicians, government administrators, businesses, ranchers  and hunters — all those who fear disruption from  wolf recovery.

What the FWS used to call the gray wolves living in Northern Rocky Mountains, — a “Distinct Population Segment” in biology nomenclature —  is now conceptualized as the wolf subspecies,  C. l. occidentalis.  Wolves classified as occidentalis , according to the FWS, “currently occupy nearly the entire historical range of the species.” In what I can only call an act of scientific chutzpah, the FWS therefore argues that these wolves are considered fully recovered. And since they are fully recovered and are occupying their historical range, then any occidentalis  that disperse to Washington, Oregon or Colorado are classified as a non-native species. Although individual states might choose to list them as endangered—Washington and Oregon have done this — they will not qualify as a federally protected Distinct Population Segment of gray wolves. That’s because the FWS no longer considers gray wolves to be a valid species. Nice circular logic, that.

The FWS is also playing this same shell game in the Western Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Wolves living there formerly were classified as a Distinct Population Segment of gray wolves.  It used to be that if any of these wolves migrated outside these states — say to North and South Dakota — then they received protection by the Endangered Species Act. Now, under the proposed rule change, the wolves in the Western Great Lakes are classified as Canis Iupus nubilus. Although the FWS acknowledges that C. I. nubilus does not occupy all of its historical range — a vast area that once included the Southern Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, and the coastal ranges of the Pacific Northwest — the agency still makes the case that the subspecies is present in sufficient numbers in the Western Great Lakes and Canada to be considered fully recovered. So it shouldn’t be protected by the ESA, either.

Interestingly, although the FWS considers eastern Canada to be part of the range of C. l. nubilus, it now argues that no wolves of this subspecies ever settled south of Quebec, in New England and upstate New York.  Instead, the FWS says an entirely different wolf species, Canis lycaon, once lived there. No population estimates of Canis lycaon are given; nor does the FWS name areas where packs have been sighted. The FWS does not even propose listing at the present, saying “we must first address outstanding science and policy questions.” It’s not at all clear if real wolves belonging to Canis lycaon exist. But if the Northeast is classified as belonging to the historical range of Canis lycaon, then any gray wolves (C. l. nubilus) that migrate into the region will not be protected by the ESA.  Once again, the FWS proposes creating a new species in order to remove protection for another one.

 (If you’re having problem tracking all of these different species and subspecies, don’t feel bad. All of the taxonomical shenanigans seem designed to confuse the public.)

Click HERE to read more:

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We have until September 11, 2013 to comment on this outrageous insult to our intelligence. Don’t be  bamboozled by the USFWS word-games, this is wolf persecution pure and simple.

Speak out firmly against this. America loves wolves but sadly their recovery has been hijacked by a small group of well-funded-wolf-hating-zealots. Don’t let them get away with this!

HOWL FOR THE WOLVES…use the link below to flood the site with your comments!!

Removing the Gray Wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Maintaining Protections for the Mexican Wolf by Listing It as Endangered

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073

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Snail Mail:

Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM
Arlington, Virginia 22203

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Top Photo: Nature Cold Warriors Credit  Courtesy of Jeff Turner River Road Films Ltd

2nd Photo: Courtesy crackeddotcom

3rd Photo: USFWS

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: USFWS, Who’s On First, Politics Trump Science, Earth Island Journal, James William Gibson, Wolf Persecution

Wolf Slaughter Continues in the Rocky Mountains by James William Gibson (Earth Island Journal)

06 Female Earth Island Journal

Hunters operating just west of Yellowstone National Park killed seven radio-collared wolves from
October through December, including the famous, often photographed 832F, the majestic female
alpha of the Lamar Canyon pack. Photo Flickr/CC BY 2.0 Earth Island Journal

January 31, 2013

Fantasies of killing become increasingly bizarre

Lynne Stone, longtime wolf advocate and executive director of Northern Idaho’s Boulder White Cloud Council in Ketchum, couldn’t help but laugh. For the last two years she has routinely petitioned the Idaho Dept of Fish and Game for every single “ Big Game Mortality Report” filed on wolves killed by hunters —several hundred of them since the animals lost Endangered Species Act protect. Hunters and trappers are required to send in the report along with the skull and pelt for examination. In mid-January Stone ran across a November 2012 report that stated, “DNA came back as a domestic dog,” a light-skinned one.

“Buy a wolf tag, shoot a dog, claim it was a wolf, get bragging rights and a dog-skin rug,” she chuckled “Life is wonderful in 3rd world Idaho. Is anyone missing a light-colored mutt? Maybe it’s time folks put orange vests and hats on their dogs.”

Gallows humor is all wolf supporters have left. In February 2011, Congress removed gray wolves in the northern Rockies from protection by the Endangered Species Act, the first time a species has ever been delisted for political reasons. Before that, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s reintroduction of wolves to the northern Rockies in the mid-1990s appeared to be one of the greatest conservation successes in decades. Wolves had been killed off in the West in the late nineteenth and early centuries. But while tourists from all over the country came to Yellowstone in hopes of seeing “Cinderella” or “Limpy” — many of the wolves became named — in the Rockies a reactionary political movement developed against the animals.

Click HERE To Read More

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Photo:  Courtesy Earth Island Journal ( Photo Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Earth Island Journal, James William Gibson, Lynne Stone, Friends of the Clearwater, Brett Haverstick,Wolf Wars, right-wing crazies, wolf delisting political, wolf slaughter, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, O6 Female killed, Wolf delisting rider, Jon Tester D-MT

Earth Island Journal: Trappergate Update by James William Gibson

Trapperman.com Josh Bransford with the black wolf he trapped. (Earth Island Journal)

Blog: The EnvironmentaList

Idaho Fish and Game Report Says Trapped Black Wolf Not Shot, “Just Nicked”

BY JAMES WILLIAM GIBSON – APRIL 13, 2012

Trappergate Update: Conservation Activists Encouraged. “Our Moment is Coming,” They Say

Why me, Bill” asked “Elizabeth.”. “Why should anyone care about what I think the Bransford photos accomplished?” I’m just a wee, grubby misfit. I don’t even have one fancy title to my name.” Elizabeth (not her real name) lives in northern Idaho. She grasped that the www.Trapperman.com photos showing smiling hunter Josh Bransford with a trapped black wolf standing in blood-drenched snow in the background would soon disappear. She saved the images and through the North Idaho Wolf Alliance network, got the photographs to Earth Island Journal in late March (Read the original story, Wolf Torture and Execution Continues in the Northern Rockies).

A light has been released, a light beyond my expectations,” Elizabeth says. “We have many new eyes peering into the gap between the ethical treatment of wildlife and legality in the state of Idaho… Josh Bransford is the face of but one man being used to render wolves functionally extinct region-wide, and since his disturbing actions are legal, officials won’t budge unless we the people demand change.”

Despite the worldwide publicity, the Bransford pictures got little attention in the  Idaho news media for the first two weeks after the story’s release. Bill Ross, a wolf handler at the Wolf People sanctuary in Cocolalla, Idaho, observed, “I don’t think the story’s really gotten off the ground yet. It’s not circulated among the general public here.” Ross fears that Bransford and the black wolf are “today’s news” and that “a week from now it won’t be news anymore.” Still, Ross soldiers on. “It can be discouraging, but if we don’t continue to fight, obviously there won’t be a fight,” he explains.

But Ross and the other Northern Rocky advocates got unexpected help on April 12, when the Idaho Fish and Game Service released its official report on Bransford’s “Wolf Trapping in the Red River area.”  (Bransford is a Nez Perce National Forest employee.)

photo of a man in the foreground kneeling, behind him a wolf is chained by a trap, a circle of bloodstained snow beneath
The photo in question. (Earth Island Journal)

While the photograph clearly shows the black wolf standing in a large blood-stained pool of snow, fish and game officials concluded the blood came from “nicks,” not bullets. Moreover, the report says: “the Forest Service officer and the deputy did not observe anyone shoot at the wolf and did not receive any indication that any of the individuals they contacted shot at the wolf.” Thus, since no law enforcement officer saw the wolf shot, and no one confessed to the shooting, then the wolf simply suffered “nicks” to its lower hind legs, and the nicks bled.

The report ignores Bransford’s own blog account about the incident on Trapperman: “I got a call on Sunday morning from a FS [Forrest Service] cop that I know. He said that You got one and you better get up here as there was a crowd forming. Several guys had stopped and taken a shot at him already! Lucky they were not real good shots.”   Bransford, writing under the name “Pinching,” explains that once on the scene he talked to the boys who fired: “I was not mad, and when the boys told me the story I kind of chuckled… I would have done the same I think. They also did go out of there (sic) way to make sure I was called, and they didn’t hide from what they were doing.”

There’s also a serious problem between the report’s conclusion and the pictures of the black wolf. Gary MacFarlane, Ecosystem Defense Director, of northern Idaho’s Friends of the Clearwater, contends that only two possible circumstances could lead to a wolf’s losing so much blood. One, the wolf could be shot. Second, the wolf could have tried to chew off its trapped leg.  But look at the photo of the wolf’s paw caught in Bransford’s trap. “It doesn’t look like the animal is trying to chew off its leg,” he says. “Somebody is lying. There’s a contradiction in the accounts.

Read More:

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/idaho_fish_and_game_report_says_trapped_black_wolf_not_s/

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Photos: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho Wolves, Animal Cruelty, Howling for Justice

Tags: Earth Island Journal,  Bill Gibson,  IDFG, trapped and tortured wolf,  Trappergate

Trapped, Tortured Wolf Did Not Die In Vain….

A trapper posing for the camera  with a  wounded wolf in the background caught in  a leghold trap  (Photo Courtesy Earth Island Journal)

The picture has now become iconic. A beautiful, black wolf, caught in a leghold trap, wounded, STILL ALIVE, blood soaking the snow around him, holding his injured foot off the ground, with the face of a trapper mugging for the camera.

The situation had become something of an arena sport because the trapped wolf was shot at by “hunters” just  having a little “fun”??  What a blast (pun intended) that must have been for them to fire on a trapped, defenseless animal?  Right?? Whoever shot at that wolf should be charged with a crime, this was animal torture and cruelty at its worst.  BUT, was what they did anymore cruel than trapping the wolf in the first place? Who knows how long he’d been tethered to that trap without food or water, frightened, shot and bleeding?

Initially the photo was downloaded from a trapping website and  posted on Footloose Montana’s Facebook page, which received hundreds of comments. On Monday Footloose received a vile, threatening email which prompted them to contact the authorities.

As sad as this story is the picture exposed the cruelty and torture of  the wolf for all to see, having the opposite effect of that which it was intended.  His image has become the face of the repulsive, ugly practice of trapping. It’s not a sport, it’s  medieval torment that belongs in the 5th century,  NOT in a civilized society.

  With his suffering exposed, will this animal’s tragic final moments on earth, caught on camera, finally be the  wake up call for America to say NO MORE??

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Photos of live, trapped wolf prompt threats to Missoula-based group

March 29, 2012
Written By John S. Adams

HELENA — A Missoula-based anti-trapping organization said it received a threatening email this month after the group posted graphic photos on the Internet of a live Idaho wolf caught in a foot-hold trap.

READ MORE:

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20120330/NEWS01/203300316/Photos-live-trapped-wolf-prompt-threats-Missoula-based-group?odyssey=tab

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The Predator Persecution Complex

The Perverse Logic of Wolf Hunts

by GEORGE WUERTHNER
The hysteria that surrounds wolf management in the Rockies has clouded rational discussion.  Wolves are hardly a threat to either hunting opportunity or the livestock industry.

ELK NUMBERS ABOVE OBJECTIVES

For instance, the Wyoming Fish and Game reports: “The Department continues to manage to reduce Wyoming’s elk numbers. The total population of the herds with estimates increased by 16 percent in 2009 and is now 29 percent above the statewide objective of 83,640 animals.”

Things are similar in Montana. Populations have grown from an estimated 89,000 animals in 1992 prior to wolf recovery to 140,000-150,000 animals in recent years.

In Idaho we find a similar trend. According to the IDFG 23 out of 29 elk units are at and/or above objective. Hunter success in 2011 was 20%: one in five hunters killed an elk.

Wolves are clearly not a threat to the future of hunting in any of these states.

READ MORE:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/30/the-perverse-logic-of-wolf-hunts/

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Wolf Torture and Execution Continues in the Northern Rockies

by James William Gibson – March 28, 2012

Montana Anti-Trapping Group Gets Death Threat for Releasing Photos

On March 16, a Friday, a US Forest Service employee from Grangeville, Idaho, laid out his wolf traps. The following Monday, using the name “Pinching,” he posted his story and pictures on www.Trapperman.com . “I got a call on Sunday morning from a FS [Forest Service] cop that I know. You got one up here as there was a crowd forming. Several guys had stopped and taken a shot at him already,” wrote Pinching. The big, black male wolf stood in the trap, some 300-350 yards from the road, wounded—the shots left him surrounded by blood-stained snow. Pinching concluded his first post, “Male that went right at 100 pounds. No rub spots on the hide, and he will make me a good wall hanger.”

READ MORE:

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/wolf_torture_and_execution_continues_in_the_northern_rockies/

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Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Trapping Wolves, Animal Cruelty

Tags: Animal cruelty, animal torture, evils of trapping, suffering wolf, Footloose Montana, Earth Island Journal, Great Falls Tribunedotcom

EIJ: Wolf Torture and Execution Continues in the Northern Rockies by J. William Gibson

(From Earth Island Journal) A Hunter and his dead prey

Montana Anti-Trapping Group Gets Death Threat for Releasing Photos

On March 16, a Friday, a US Forest Service employee from Grangeville, Idaho, laid out his traps wolf. The following Monday, using the name “Pinching,” he posted his story and pictures on www.Trapperman.com . “I got a call on Sunday morning from a FS [Forest Service] cop that I know. You got one up here as there was a crowd forming. Several guys had stopped and taken a shot at him already,” wrote Pinching. The big, black male wolf stood in the trap, some 300-350 yards from the road, wounded—the shots left him surrounded by blood-stained snow. Pinching concluded his first post, “Male that went right at 100 pounds. No rub spots on the hide, and he will make me a good wall hanger.”

The Trapperman website went wild with comments. “That’s a dandy!! Keep at it,” wrote Watarrat. Otterman asked, “All the gray on that muzzle make a guy wonder how old he is or if it is just part of his black coloring.” Pinching’s picture of the wolf’s paw caught in the trap got special attention. “Is that the MB750 stamped ‘wolf’ on the pan?” asked one man. “Looks to be a perfect pad catch. Congratulations! Pinching confirmed the trap model and commented, “Oh an [sic] by the way, a wolf is a heck of a lot of work to put on a stretcher! Man those things hold on to their hide like no other!”

Read More: 

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/wolf_torture_and_execution_continues_in_the_northern_rockies/

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Trapped Wolf Used for Target Practice

Wolf torture continues and is praised by some while critics are threatened.

Published on March 29, 2012

by Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. in Animal Emotions

Wolves remain in the crosshairs and the teeth of leghold traps in the Northern Rockies (see and). Let me say upfront that I apologize for posting this brief alert, but it’s essential that people who don’t know about what’s happening learn about the barbaric treatment of wolves, and also for the skeptics to see it up close and personal if they can stand it.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201203/trapped-wolf-used-target-practice

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Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Trapping wolves

Tags: trapping cruelty, war on wolves,  wolves suffering,  Earth Island Journal, J. William Gibson

“Dead Wolves Walking” by James William Gibson

I broke down and cried like a baby reading this article. The situation is just so sad, especially when it’s laid out in black and white.

I want to thank Bill Gibson and Earth Island Journal for giving this story legs and keeping it real.

My wish is Howl Across America will move people out from behind their computers to protest the brutal treatment that is awaiting wolves in the Northern Rockies.  BUT if  Judge Molloy finds the wolf delisting rider unconstitutional,  it will put a stop to this horror.  His decision should come quickly, since he is retiring to Senior status in August.

This is playing out like a Greek tragedy. And to think this all happened because a Democrat president appointed a rancher to head the Interior.  What a disgrace!!

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Dead Wolves Walking

by James William Gibson – July 21, 2011

Wolf Hunts Scheduled in Idaho & Montana Unless Federal Judge Intervenes

Since April, when Congress removed gray wolves in Idaho and Montana from the protection of the Endangered Species Act by inserting a rider in a federal budget bill, state governments have been racing to prepare for wolf hunts this fall. (Read Gibson’s compelling report,  “Cry Wolf ” on the issue in the Journal’s Summer 2011 edition.)

So far, Idaho’s winning the race. In early July, the state’s fish and game director Virgil Moore announced a full seven-month hunting season — from the end of August to the end of March. Hunters can use any weapon they choose, utilize electronic calls to lure wolves within range, and kill two each.

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/dead_wolves_walking/

Photo: Courtesy First People

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Idaho wolf hunt, Montana wolf hunt, Wyoming, gray wolf persecution, wolf wars, James William Gibson, Earth Island Journal

Culture War/ Wolf War….

“Free To Be A Wolf Killing American” discusses Bill Gibson’s article, Cry, Wolf, which appears in the summer 2011 edition of the Earth Island Journal.  I linked to the Journal on the right side column of the blog.  Anyone who hasn’t read Cry, Wolf can click on the EIJ cover and it will take you right to it.

Mr. Goetzman, writing in Wild Green,  describes the premise of Bill’s article perfectly when he states:
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“Gibson describes how Western anti-wolf forces have operated through misinformation, threats, and intimidation, including anonymous acts such as mailing pictures of dead wolf pups to pro-wolf advocates. Such tactics, he says, have virtually silenced local wolf advocates, allowing wolf haters to portray the issue as a locals-versus-outsiders battle.”

Free to Be a Wolf-Killing American

6/21/2011 2:07:34 PM

 by Keith Goetzman

The reintroduction of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains has gotten caught up in a culture war, James William Gibson reports in Earth Island Journal—and the controversy is not even necessarily all about the wolves. It’s about the big, bad government keeping a good man down.

Read more: http://www.utne.com/Wild-Green/Free-to-Be-a-Wolf-Killing-American.aspx#ixzz1PzMERtPJ

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Top Photo:  Courtesy KJ Payne, Flickr, Creative Commons

Middle Photo: From “Free To Be A Wolf Killing American” courtesy of Creative Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, biodiversity

Tags: Cry, Wolf, Bill Gibson, Keith Goetzman, Wild Green, Culture War/Wolf War, Earth Island Journal,  anti-government feelings, scapegoating wolves

Cry, Wolf by Bill Gibson, Earth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal Summer Edition 2011

Cry, Wolf

How a Campaign of Fear and Intimidation Led to the Gray Wolf’s Removal from the Endangered Species List.

By James William Gibson

“Nabeki” didn’t expect everyone to love her when, in September 2009, she founded the website “Howling for Justice” to celebrate the return of gray wolves to the Northern Rocky Mountains and to protest the then-pending wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho.  She didn’t expect to fear for her life, either.

Read More: http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/cry_wolf/

Please share this article with everyone you know!!

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Finally the wolves’ story has been told with eloquence and raw truth. Bill Gibson, reporter for  Earth Island Journal, pulls no punches.  He tells it like it is, exposing the myths and down right lies told about wolves, tracing their sad journey from the 2009 delisting, by the Obama administration, to where they are today in 2011.  Stripped of their ESA protections, facing brutal wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana, including baiting, calling, trapping, archery, leg hold traps and snares.

He explains the virulence of the anti-wolf movement and how wolves became the poster child for anti-government feelings.

I want to personally thank Bill Gibson and Earth Island Journal for having the courage of their convictions to tell this tale. I hope it opens the eyes of wildlife advocates across this nation and moves them to stand up for wolves in their dark hour.

There is still time to make a difference for wolves. I’ve always said that if the American people knew the truth, of what was happening in the Northern Rockies, they would be outraged and demand the end of  the brutal persecution of wolves.  I hope I’m right.

Will you be an advocate for wolves?


Cover Photo:  Earth Island Journal Summer Edition 2011

Bottom photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Earth Island Journal, Bill Gibson, exposing the anti-wolf movement, Congress sells out wolves, wolf persecution

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