Speechless…..

December 16, 2010

I’m shocked and saddened by the article supporting wolf hunting, that appeared in the International Wolf Center (IWC) Winter  2o1o edition. 

Unbelievably, the author of the article was Dr. Mech, the renowned wildlife biologist, who founded the IWC and is vice-chair of their Board of Directors.

Not only does Dr. Mech support wolf hunts but he goes into shocking detail on how to carry them out. There is talk of harvesting wolves, killing  pregnant females, hunting wolves for their pelts, hunting pups later in the year so they don’t look like pups, leg-hold traps, baiting, calling and hiring bounty hunters. Seriously, if I didn’t know better I would have believed this article was written by a fish and game agency.

Last year, Doug Smith, the Yellowstone wolf biologist, stated wolves should be hunted later in winter when their pelts are thicker. This year we have the  pro-wolf hunting article by Dr. Mech.

Why would the IWC publish this when wolf advocates are fighting so hard to save wolves from another Western extermination? Why now when there is an all out attack on the ESA?  Why now when Mexican gray wolves are fighting for their very existence, being used for target practice in the Southwest, with six wolves killed this year alone?  Something is very wrong here. Read for yourself:

Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting Regulations in the Contiguous United States

L. David Mech

http://www.wolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/winter2010.pdf

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Other equally upsetting articles that appeared in the same IWC issue:

Wolves Meet Their Match In Airborne Predators

(This article discusses hunting wolves with eagles!! WHAT???)

AND

Another Viewpoint: Why Hunting-Trapping Is Best Plan To Manage Gray Wolf Populations

(Trapping? I seem to remember the Feds using trappers to exterminate wolves in the West the first time around. What is the IWC thinking? This is outrageous)

http://www.wolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/winter2010.pdf

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Response To David L. Mech’s “Considerations For “Harvesting” American Wolf Populations

December 9, 2010

The International Wolf Center’s mission to educate the public about wolves has taken an unlikely turn on the road to wolf conservation. Dr. L. David Mech, founder of the IWC, published an article in the Winter 2010 Magazine titled “Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting Regulations in the Contiguous United States.” In this article, Dr. Mech argues that the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act is “inevitable.” Perhaps Dr. Mech knows something we don’t. But Dr. Mech’s article goes well beyond merely accepting the “inevitable.” He expresses a clear desire to educate the public concerning the most “efficient” methods of wolf harvesting. Let’s not pretty it up, “harvesting” means killing. Dr. Mech offers elaborate detail on the presumption hunters will not kill sufficient numbers of wolves once the “novelty” wears off. For instance, Dr. Mech suggests killing pregnant females, increasing the “monetary value” of wolf pelts by educating the public about proper ways to skin wolves and designating hunts during times when wolf fur is optimal, “fair chase” as well as “trapping and snaring,” and the use of “professional trappers” who are paid per wolf killed. To further maximize kills, Dr. Mech additionally advises “guided hunts” for persons seeking a “trophy” and seeking ways to “maximize the recreational value” of wolf hunting. To “minimize public animosity” towards wolf hunting, Dr. Mech advises promoting more extensive hunting in areas where wolves threaten livestock.

The idea that there is some need to reduce wolf populations is debatable. Wolves are highly adaptable but they prefer to remain in wilderness areas outside the boundaries of human territories. Wolf populations vary but they are subject to losses due to predation, injury, illness, and other natural circumstances. It is also suggested that wolves adapt their pack size to fit the resources and make other adjustments to accommodate pack numbers.

The notion that hunters will tire of killing wolves defies the urgency with which wolves have been massacred for over 100 years to the point of their near extinction. Killing pregnant females goes well beyond killing the she-wolf and her unborn pups. Wolves form close relations within the pack, and organize themselves by specific roles. Young members are essential and killing a pregnant female can disrupt the functioning of the whole pack.

The concern that wolves threaten livestock populations is more-and-more becoming a non-issue. For example, Montana reports loss of 97 out of a population of 2.6 million cattle to wolf depredation in 2009. These cattle roamed freely on both public and private lands with little or no protection. Non-lethal methods of protecting livestock ((i.e., flag fencing, guard dogs, range riders, noise makers, electric fencing, chemical fencing, repayment for lost livestock, range riders, and good animal supervision) have been tried and proven successful. Though he does not offer any figures, Dr. Mech suggests that harvesting wolves will save the cost of using non-lethal methods of protecting livestock. This ignores the obvious cost to organize and regulate hunts, particularly to monitor use of fair chase practices and seek out and deal with poachers.

Dr. Mech argues that paying professional trappers is not “bounty” hunting because they would be directed to kill specific numbers of wolves in specific locations, rather than permitted to seek out and kill wolves at random. This may be a technical argument but makes little practical difference. Trapping and snaring are less than “fair” and cause unnecessary suffering.

Dr. Mech recommends increases in wolf pelt value, to also improve numbers taken. This reduces the wolf to little more than a commodity, not unlike bludgeoning baby seals for making fur hats or fining live sharks to make soup. Dr. Mech additionally recommends killing wolves for “trophies” and encourages “recreational hunting” of wolves. This clearly places the killing of wolves in the arena of a sport, and not some public service related to necessary thinning wolf populations.

Wolves are of little threat to us, and they serve an invaluable purpose. Without wolves balance is disrupted in wilderness areas, which can ultimately lose the ability to sustain plant and animal species from the top down to the bottom of the food chain. Wolves are known to prey on the old, sick and weak animals, which serves to promote the health of elk, caribou, moose and other species. Wolves, even in the great numbers of their distant past, rarely caused harm to humans. It is believed that cavemen followed wolves to learn to hunt, and wolves continue to play an indispensable role in the environment we depend upon for survival. Dr. Mech’s advice sets us back at least 50 years, and is unconscionable at a time when we have come so close to finding enduring solutions to peaceful cohabitation with wolves.

D. J. Lentine, Ph.D.

Lewes, DE

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Please contact the IWC and tell them what you think of this egregious betrayal of wolves.

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International Wolf Center
1396 Highway 169
Ely, MN 55731-8129
Phone: (218) 365-4695
Fax: (218) 365-3318
TTY Relay Service – (800) 855-2880

 

Top Photo: Courtesy First Nation (Daniel J. Cox)
Bottom  Photo: Courtesy First Nation

 Posted in: Wolf Wars, Minnesota gray wolves

 Tags: IWC, wolves in the crossfire, Dr. Mech, wolf hunting, ESA

© 2009-2012  Howling For Justice

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Published in: on December 16, 2010 at 1:16 am  Comments (90)  
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Wolf Warriors FundRazr For Northwest Montana Murdered Wolves

Wolf Warriors created a reward fund for the two murdered wolves that were found in Northwest Montana on November 6, 2010. One was discovered near Olney and the other in the North Fork of the Flathead.

From New West:

Two Wolves Shot in Northwest Montana; Reward Offered

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials are looking for information about two wolves found dead in the Flathead National Forest.

By New West Staff, 11-16-10

   
 
 
 

From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service:

On Nov. 6, 2010, two wild gray wolves were found dead in separate locations on the Flathead National Forest in northwestern Montana. One wolf was found dead along Coal Creek Road, while the body of the other dead wolf was recovered in the Miller Creek area. Both animals appeared to have died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Killing a wolf is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act, is investigating the wolves’ deaths. There is a reward of up to $2,500 is for information leading to the identification and prosecution of the person or persons involved in the killing of these wolves. If you have information regarding this case, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Great Falls, Montana at 406-761-2286 

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/two_wolves_shot_in_northwest_montana_reward_offered/C41/L41/

Poaching has been increasing due to the toxic atmosphere surrounding wolves in the Northern Rockies. The fire has been stoked by the anti-wolf crowd.
 
Idaho stopped their “management” of wolves turning everything over to the feds.  Maybe they hoped USFWS wouldn’t be able to handle the workload for the law enforcement end of things, which means wolves could be killed and there wouldn’t be the man power to investigate each incident.

Wolf Warriors wants to send a message, with this fund-raiser, that wolf supporters are behind our federally protected wolves and want the poachers caught. We hope this money will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. It’s also our way to show support for wolves. It’s egregious beyond belief that wolves are being shot and left in plain sight.  Apparently whoever is doing this is confident they won’t get caught and want to thumb their noses at law enforcement and wolf supporters, thinking they can get away with this without any consequences. Lets prove them wrong and show that wolves have tremendous support in the Northern Rockies and around the world.

Thanks to everyone who’s donated and shown support and care for wolves, we really appreciate it!

To donate to the reward fund please visit Wolf Warriors on FB. Here’s the link:

http://www.facebook.com/WolfWarriors

Then Click On FundRazr…which I’ve circled in red.

OR

CLICK HERE and it will take you directly to the FundRazr Page:

Here’s to catching, prosecuting and convicting the poacher(s)!!

PS. I’m going to be offline starting tomorrow for the next couple of days but will be back soon. HOWLS

 

Posted in: Wolf Warriors

Tags: Wolf Warriors Reward Fund, murdered wolves, ESA

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm  Comments (13)  
Tags: , ,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving dear readers, Wolf Warriors. 

Remember the wolves and give thanks they are still protected under the ESA. Vow to fight for them this year and defeat all challenges to weaken their protections!!

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

Photos: Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: Happy Thanksgiving, ESA, holiday

Published in: on November 25, 2010 at 1:53 am  Comments (11)  
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More Dead Wolves…

Does it ever end? I’d like to wake up someday and hear good news about wolves. That all the haters had a change of heart and realized wolves were a vital part of our ecosystem, just like our other apex predators. But alas that would take a miracle.

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Two Wolves Shot in Northwest Montana; Reward Offered

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials are looking for information about two wolves found dead in the Flathead National Forest.

By New West Staff, 11-16-10

   
 
 
 

From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service:

On Nov. 6, 2010, two wild gray wolves were found dead in separate locations on the Flathead National Forest in northwestern Montana. One wolf was found dead along Coal Creek Road, while the body of the other dead wolf was recovered in the Miller Creek area. Both animals appeared to have died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Killing a wolf is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act, is investigating the wolves’ deaths. There is a reward of up to $2,500 is for information leading to the identification and prosecution of the person or persons involved in the killing of these wolves. If you have information regarding this case, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Great Falls, Montana at 406-761-2286.

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/two_wolves_shot_in_northwest_montana_reward_offered/C41/L41/

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Wolf Warriors will be taking donations for a reward to catch these wolf killers. We will be posting the information on how to donate very soon.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

This little Oregon Wenaha male wolf was shot dead soon after he was collared.

In Memory Of All The Wolves Killed For Nothing.

Photo: Courtesy Defenders of Wildlife

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf poaching, North Fork of the Flathead, USFWS, ESA, apex predators, reward

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm  Comments (35)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Action Alert: The Assault On The Endangered Species Act Has Begun…

Are we going to sit by and let politicians use wolves to further their political ambitions? Are we going to allow them to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections? HELL NO!!

Are we going to protest “conservation hunts” proposed by Montana FWP? HELL YES!!

Get ready Wolf Warriors, the assault on the ESA has begun and we better be ready to fight. That means calling every senator and congressman, as many times as necessary, to defeat any and all attempts to remove gray wolves’ ESA protections. It may mean organizing  pro-wolf rallies across America to show support for wolves. 

There are so many new schemes in Montana and Idaho to kill wolves, it’s hard to keep up with them all .  I’ll try to give you a comprehensive look at the shenanigans.

Since the anti-wolf bunch lost in court they’ve been tying themselves in knots trying to figure out ways to kill (manage) wolves and circumvent the ESA. 

There’s been coalition building by Montana FWP with ranching and hunting lobbies, to find ways around Judge Molloy’s ruling. There’s wolf hysteria in Idaho County, Idaho, asking the Governor to allow wolves to be shot on sight.(that was tried once before).

The latest and most popular assault on gray wolves is coming from the legislative branch. Montana’s Representative Denny Rehberg (who has a dead, stuffed wolf in his DC office) along with Utah’s Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, are signing onto the anti-wolf House Bill 6028, which aims to strip wolves of their ESA protections. The bill was drafted by a Texas Congressman, lord only knows why, since there are no wolves in Texas. But it’s fairly obvious this is a political ploy to garner support from the “hook and bullet crowd”, right before the November elections.

Even though there is very little chance HR 6028 will pass the House THIS YEAR, it shouldn’t be ignored, because it will certainly be introduced again next year. The current Congress is lame duck and when it expires on December 31, 2010, all bills in committee will be moot. But that doesn’t mean the threat will disappear because the new Congress will likely be majority Republican, making it a more favorable climate to continue the war against gray wolves and assault on the ESA.

HR 6028:

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit treatment of the Gray Wolf as an endangered species or threatened species.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PROHIBITION ON TREATMENT OF GRAY WOLF AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES OR THREATENED SPECIES.

Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

‘(4) The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) shall not be treated as an endangered species or threatened species for purposes of this Act.’

Rehberg also drafted his own legislation: (Remember this is the man with the dead, stuffed wolf in his DC office. CLICK HERE to see it.)

 Rep. Rehberg’s Anti-Wolf Bill (Draft):

http://rehberg.house.gov/uploads/DRAFT_WolfBill.pdf

He also conducted a survey to ask Montanans how they feel about wolves. I think you can guess the results. I’m sure every hunter, outfitter and rancher answered the survey, clearing their cookies over and over.

Rehberg thinks the support of ranching and hunting lobbies gives him cover to move forward with his anti-wolf agenda, presuming they are speaking for all Montanans. This of course is ridiculous. People are distracted by the bad economy, they might not be paying attention to the wolves’ plight. I’m sure Rep. Rehberg is counting on that.  

Our voices may be drowned out by the rabid wolf haters but please take the time to tell Denny Rehberg just what you think of stripping gray wolves of their ESA protections.  I urge all Montanans who support wolves to continue to answer the survey.

Rep. Rehberg’s “wolf” survey, CLICK HERE

He’s also going to hold meetings on his anti-wolf bill. Can you just imagine what will go on? The wolf hating crowds will show up in droves. Then he can preach to the choir and run back to DC to say Montanans want somethin done about those dang wolves.

This is a slippery slope, if we allow wolf haters to tamper with wolves’ protections, then grizzly bears are next. All animals shielded under the ESA will be in trouble. I believe groups like the Safari Club, The Cattlemen’s Assoc. and  Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife  are behind this push. They would love to see the ESA dismantled, leaving our wildlife at their mercy.

As if the House bills aren’t bad enough, Montana Senators Tester and Baucus,  joined by Idaho Republicans Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, are also pushing to have wolves stripped of their ESA protections:

From the Seattle pi:

Idaho’s U.S. senators will introduce a measure to lift Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in Idaho and Montana, as well as portions of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

The bill Idaho Republicans Mike Crapo and Jim Risch plan to introduce on Wednesday is a response to a federal court order in August that restored protections.

Senator Baucus (D) has been in the Senate since 1978 and before that he served in the House starting in 1975. THAT’S THIRTY FIVE YEARS. He’s a career politician, what the heck ever happened to term limits?

Personally I think he jumped into this because there are lots of ranchers and hunters in Montana that he wants to please. Also he played a large role in writing the wildly unpopular health care bill, which among other things, robs Medicare of 500 billion dollars and guts Medicare Advantage, a very popular plan for over 10 million seniors. What better way for Baucus to distract voters before the November election, then to demonize wolves? He earns points with the anti-wolf groups and takes the focus off health care, which no Democrat wants to talk about. Well, Democrats don’t want to admit they are the ones that delisted wolves, not George Bush, even though he tried hard enough. I read that on Bush’s last day in office, he tried to delist wolves. So sad.

Wolves are an easy target, they don’t vote, don’t pay taxes and are voiceless.

Sentator Baucus quoted in 8Kpax.com:

“This debate on wolves has gone on long enough. I’m working to craft a bill that will put wolves in our state back in our control once and for all, because nobody knows how to better manage wolves in Montana than Montanans,” Baucus said. “In the meantime, the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do the right thing and allow all Montana ranchers protect their livestock regardless of arbitrary boundary lines.”

Right Senator Baucus. Wolves were responsible for 97 cow losses in Montana in 2009 from a population of 2.5 million cattle. Sounds like a huge emergency. What a joke. Thousands of cows drop dead every year from weather, disease and reproduction. Coyotes and domestic dogs are the main predators of cows.(NASS 06) There are also cattle losses from theft. I don’t think 97 cow losses are going to cause anyone to go broke, especially when ranchers are reimbursed for every confirmed minuscule wolf kill.

To put the tiny number of cattle losses to wolves in perspective:

“A total of 19,400 cattle and 43,600 calves were lost in Montana due to non-predators. The value of non-predator losses was $40.0 million. The value of cattle losses were $21.9 million and calf losses amounted to $18.1 million. The leading causes of non-predator cattle losses were unknown, 4,200 head; other, 3,500 head; and respiratory with 3,100 head. The leading causes of calf losses were calving problems, 11,300 head; weather related, 10,200 head; and respiratory with 7,800 head.” (NASS 06)

Hmmmm, I wonder why ranchers have such a big interest in wolf losses, since, as you can see, cows are dropping like flies from non-predators related causes. Yet Wildlife Services has the nerve to run around Montana, Idaho and Wyoming killing hundreds of wolves for predation. A whole federal bureaucracy has grown up around killing wolves. Wildlife Services continually targets wolves, using traps, gunship helicopters, they’re proposing to gas wolf pups in their dens and sterilize alpha pairs. All for what? 97 cows?

There’s more. Montana FWP filed a petition with USFWS asking them to allow “conservation hunts” of a PROTECTED SPECIES. Here are are the ugly details.

From KAJ18.com:

HELENA – Montana wolves may be back on the endangered species list, but that didn’t stop the state from petitioning the government to hold its own wolf hunt this fall.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks applied for a permit to allow for a conservation hunt and requested that federal authorities deliver a permit by early November.

FWP Administrator Dave Risley said the 28-page application is allowed under specific sections of the Endangered Species Act.

“FWP seeks authorization to create a conservation hunt to relieve population pressures and associated biological, social, and political pressures that currently jeopardize support of wolf recovery in Montana,” Risley said.

FWP joined in a federal lawsuit in defense of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 decision to delist wolves in Montana and Idaho, but not in Wyoming.

District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula reinstated federal protections of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains on Aug. 5.

At least 525 wolves live in Montana right now, and FWP wants to reduce the population to about 450 by the end of the year.

The wolf population in the Northern Rocky Mountain Recovery Area, which comprises parts of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, was estimated to be at least 1,706, with 242 packs, and 115 breeding pairs at the end of last year.

The conservation hunt would be modeled on what Montana planned for this hunting season that had a statewide quota of 186 wolves across 13 management units.

This is the key sentence in the article: “FWP seeks authorization to create a conservation hunt to relieve population pressures and associated biological, social, and political pressures that currently jeopardize support of wolf recovery in Montana,” Risley said. 

Social and political pressures? Those are telling words.  They want to hunt an endangered species because of social and political pressures? The pressure is certainly on them from special interests to have a wolf hunt. They are all crying in their beer because the hunts were halted. Hunting a protected species to relieve political and social pressures is not science and it makes them look ridiculous and desperate. Getting hysterical over a tiny population of 520 wolves in a huge state like Montana would be laughable if it wasn’t so deadly serious for wolves. Minnesota has 4500 wolves, almost nine times the number in Montana.

Wolves are not even close to being recovered in the Northern Rockies.  Hundreds died after the delisting. Alphas were slaughtered along with their pups, entire wolf packs destroyed. There have been no studies on the effect that killing had on Montana’s wolves, or any other wolves in the Northern Rockies for that matter, yet the state is begging to have another wolf hunt THIS YEAR, to slaughter more wolves to relieve political and social pressures? They are proving to everyone why Montana cannot manage wolves without prejudice. This is why the ESA was created, to shield a species like the wolf, who suffers from tremendous scapegoating and persecution.

The war against wolves in the Northern Rockies has only escalated since they won back their protections on August 5th, 2010. There are new plots to circumvent the ESA popping up almost daily. We have to focus on the threats I’m discussing in this post and the ones yet to come.

We cannot allow ranchers, hunters and outfitters to dictate policy concerning our wildlife. They are pushing the state game agencies to kill wolves and weaken the ESA. Now the politicians are posturing for votes by bad mouthing wolves. We have to stand up to these recent attacks. Wolves are completely vulnerable. We are their only voice.

I’m again posting the links to Congress, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. Please make it your duty to call and write not only your own legislators but as many names as possible. Find out where they stand, don’t let them off the hook. We must let them know wolves have tremendous support in this country and we DO NOT WANT THEM GUTTING THE ESA.  There can be no more important issue facing wolves and wolf advocates. We can’t let wolves down or no protected species will ever be safe again.

“The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret….It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”…….Dr. Schweitzer

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US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

US SENATE

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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Bill would exempt Idaho wolves from protections

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/50310528-68/idaho-wolves-bill-protections.html.csp

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Baucus pushes feds on wolf issue

http://www.kpax.com/news/baucus-pushes-feds-on-wolf-issue/

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Reps. Jim Matheson, Jason Chaffetz want states to manage wolves

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700067578/Reps-Jim-Matheson-Jason-Chaffetz-want-states-to-manage-wolves.html

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Wolf Bill

Bill Would Prohibit Wolves from Federal Protections

http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/bill_would_prohibit_wolves_from_federal_protections/19073/

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Risch, Crapo want Congress to delist ID, MT wolves

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_id_gray_wolf_endangered.html

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Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: ESA, threats to the ESA, stand up for wolves, wolf persecution, wolf hatred, Wildlife Services, Montana FWP, Senator Baucus, Senator Tester, Rep. Rehburg

Circumventing The Endangered Species Act 101

Yellowstone gray wolf/black phase

Something disturbing is going on. Montana FWP is pulling out all the stops to find a way to circumvent the ESA and kill wolves. They are desperate to have a wolf hunt THIS YEAR.  Wolves in the Northern Rockies just regained their protections on August 5th, after a horrific year of slaughter. Now they are facing new, very real threats.

What Montana FWP is up to and why you should be very concerned:

1. They’ve formed a coalition with the anti-wolf crowd. On August 20th, at the Helena Red Lion Colonial Inn, Montana FWP met with ten hunting and ranching groups with the purpose of forming a coalition to explore ways to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections.

From the Helena IR:

One of the hunting requests involves asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for an “enhancement of survival permit application” to be processed and issued by Nov. 30, which would allow wolves to be hunted this year. Under that request, the state is saying that a conservation hunting season for wolves would enhance the survival of the species, according to Dave Risley, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks fish and wildlife division administrator. (So they want to kill wolves to save wolves. Hmmm where have I heard that before? Click here)

“The 10(a)(1)(A) permit is a mechanism under the Endangered Species Act that allows for the lawful taking of a listed species,” Risley said. “It would allow us to salvage some type of hunting season.”

“FWP also is making a simultaneous request that the federal agency downlist wolves in the northern half of the state from endangered to threatened, which could allow a statewide conservation hunt in 2011. They’re listed as an experimental population in the southern tier of Montana.”

(They can’t accept that wolves in Northwestern Montana are now fully protected, not an experimental population. Wolves south of  I-90 are labeled experimental, which is a terrible concession to ranchers dating from the original wolf recovery plan, making it easier to kill wolves for minimal depredations.)

“We view the use of public hunting as the optimum population management tool,” FWP Director Joe Maurier wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Rowan Gould, the USFWS acting director.

He added that while Montana wants to work with the USFWS in a “collaborative, proactive manner,” that “time is of the essence” and asked for a written response to the requests by Sept. 10.

On a separate track, FWP has drafted legislative language asking Congress to reaffirm its original intent in enacting the Endangered Species Act and its subsequent amendments. In particular, the state wants Congress to say that species can have different classifications in different significant portions of the species’ range. That legislation would have to be carried by Montana’s congressional delegation.

The FWP Commission also passed a resolution saying they believe the Endangered Species Act needs to be reformed, and will send that statement, along with a cover letter, to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

We’re using a shotgun approach, rather than a BB gun,” noted Bob Ream, commission chairman.

This list doesn’t include Representative Rehburg’s declaration that he will support House Bill 6028, which was introduced by a Congressman from Texas. It aims to re-write the ESA, excluding gray wolves from it’s protection.

From the Flathead Beacon:

Bill Would Prohibit Wolves from Federal Protections

By Kellyn Brown , 08-11-10

Just days before a federal judge reinstated protections for wolves in Montana and Idaho, a Texas lawmaker introduced a little-noticed resolution that would prohibit wolves from being considered a threatened species. H.R. 6028, introduced by Republican Congressman Chet Edwards on July 30, basically adds one line to the Endangered Species Act.

Here’s the bill:

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit treatment of the Gray Wolf as an endangered species or threatened species.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PROHIBITION ON TREATMENT OF GRAY WOLF AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES OR THREATENED SPECIES.

Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

‘(4) The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) shall not be treated as an endangered species or threatened species for purposes of this Act.’

Montana Senators Baucus and Tester, both Democrats, vow to introduce legislation in the Senate similar to House bill 6028. Once upon a time I believed Democrats were better on the environment but after the Obama administration picked a rancher to head the Interior and then delisted wolves, I’ve lost faith in them. Now two Democrat Senators are turning their back on the ESA. I never thought I would see that in my lifetime. Shame on them for playing politics with wolves lives, pandering to ranching and hunting lobbies, trying to gut one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation. If it wasn’t for the ESA, wolves would never have made a comeback! Do they so easily forget wolves were exterminated in the West by the feds?

What are we to make of all this? The power of the state of Montana ganging up on wolves in a big way, unable to accept Judge Molloy’s decision, frantically searching for any loophole to allow a wolf hunt. All this over 500 wolves in a state that has more cows than people. Minnesota’s wolf population exceeds 4500. Wisconsin and Michigan each have over 700 wolves. The Great Lakes Region is home to millions of people, ten million in Michigan alone, yet Montana, the third largest state in the lower forty-eight thinks 500 wolves is too  many. They are so afraid of offending hunters, ranchers and outfitters they’ve apparently forgotten they represent ALL the citizens of the state, not just a few interest groups.

Where is the media on this? When was the last time you read a positive editorial about wolves? Can you remember? The majority of articles revolve around the opinions of Montana FWP and the triad of ranchers, hunters and outfitters. Occasionally there will be a blurb from a wolf advocate or environmental organization, expressing their concern or outrage but that’s it, a few little lines. Why isn’t the media looking into or writing about the “anti-wolf coalition”?  Is the press even mildly curious to determine if it was even legal? Is investigative journalism dead?

Ironically Montana Commissioner Dan Vermillion made this statement, not understanding how foolish it sounded:

Changing the Endangered Species Act sounds like a tough, uphill job, but it’s important when you look at other species like grizzlies and sage grouse,” said Commissioner Dan Vermillion. “Montana has done a good job managing wildlife and we need to make sure we are not penalized   because of other states’ actions.” (The only thing I agree with in this statement is changing the ESA will be more than an uphill job, it will be a battle!! Frankly, people are sick and tired of the abusive way America’s wildlife is being exploited. Just think about the millions of wildlife killed, especially our native carnivores at the hands of the ridiculously named Wildlife Services, the extermination arm of the USDA.

 

When did they get the idea our wildlife belongs to them, to use and abuse as they see fit? They work for us, not the other way around.)

Oh yes, Montana has done a wonderful job “managing wildlife”. First could they drop the word “manage” and just say kill? When you hear the word “manage” in reference to wolves, you can “bet the farm” it means kill wolves. So let’s stop playing word games.

Do the “wolf managers” truly believe they’ve done a sterling job concerning wolves in Montana? Are they so deluded they actually believe their own rhetoric? From my perspective it seems they believe wolves are a nuisance needing to be ‘managed” down to ridiculously low numbers. What type of scientific studies are they basing this thinking on? I remember reading a wolf report written by Montana FWP that discusses Cristina Eisenburg, the wolf biologist, leading a three-year study on trophic cascades. I fleetingly thought this was a  positive step , that FWP recognized wolves have a positive effect on the environment, until I read what they were looking for. The question they wanted answered is how many wolves would it take to produce the effect? In other words, how few could they get away with and still benefit from trophic cascades? My optimism quickly faded.

What upsets me is many of the people who work for the state game agencies are biologists. People that sought to educate themselves about nature, to study wildlife and do good. What the heck happened to these people? If you examine almost any fish and game agency, they are stocked with biologists who seem to have no problem carrying out mis-guided policies that get wolves and other native carnivores killed. I don’t understand it. I think of Gordon Haber, the biologist who spent his life studying wolves, specifically the wolves of Denali in Alaska. When he was killed in a plane crash last year, the wolves lost their champion. He’s the type of biologist I admire, true to his convictions, he stood up for what he believed in and he believed in those wolves!

Ever since Judge Molloy reinstated ESA protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, there has been a steady stream of whining, hand wringing, complaining and frantic behavior that I can only describe as sour grapes. This is the way poor losers act. Even if  FWP didn’t agree with the Judge’s decision, there is a right way for state government to conduct itself. This is not it. Frankly, it’s embarrassing to watch. Any harebrained scheme will get consideration as long as it results in wolves losing their federal protections, leaving them defenseless against this onslaught.

Forget all the other crazy stuff going on, the fact a state agency formed a coalition with anti-wolf groups in one day, without any public comment, is egregious. The facade, that they represent all Montanans, has been swept away. We know where they stand.

This is not science, its pure politics. The revenues and interest the state received last year from the wolf cull (hunt) is something they desperately want to repeat.

Wolf advocates must fight back. I’m posting the links to the contact information of every member of the House of Representatives and Senate, so you can let them  know we do not want anyone meddling with the ESA. No re-writing the language to exclude wolves. If they are allowed to get away with this, I can guarantee the next species targeted will be the grizzly bear.  They are subject to the same persecution as wolves. Chris Servheen, Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, predicts the Continental Divide grizzlies will be delisted in 5 years. He pushed the delisting of the Yellowstone grizzlies, which Judge Molloy reversed. We all know how this will turn out for grizzlies. Even though the bears are protected under the ESA they are still shot and killed by hunters every year,  who can’t seem to tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly. Grizzlies are hit by trains because grain often spills from railroad cars, causing bears to congregate around the tracks, increasing the likelihood they’re run over. The bears become habituated to garbage that people carelessly leave unsecured or bird seed scattered around. We’ve all heard the saying “a fed bear is a dead bear.” Grizzlies have one of the lowest birth rates among mammals, because they keep their babies with them for at least two years. It takes time to teach baby grizzlies how to navigate in their hazardous world.

Several years ago a Montana newspaper printed an opinion piece on grizzlies titled Grizzly Heaven/ Grizzly Hell. To paraphrase the article, Grizzly Heaven is anywhere there are zero people, Grizzly Hell is when bears come in contact with humans, which usually ends up badly for the bear. The same could be said for wolves. Wolf heaven is being away from people, free to raise their pups, hunt, care for each other and do what wolves should be doing. Wolf hell is being managed by a state agency that only seems to care about what a few interest groups want, without consideration of the wolf families destroyed by their policies, the puppies killed, the disruption of pack cohesiveness and the havoc they are wreaking.

Wolf Warriors now is the time to stand for wolves. Please support the National Wolf Recovery Petition,  submitted to the Interior Secretary by the Center for Biological Diversity. Please take the time to read it. It moves wolf recovery away from numbers and concentrates on wolves repopulating their historic range. This is true wolf recovery, not wolves held hostage in states hostile to canis lupus,  wanting to “manage them” out of existence. It moves wolf recovery away from “the numbers game” paradigm that’s haunted wolf recovery from the beginning.  The clock is ticking, we must be pro-active, wolves need us more than ever.

Please write to Congress and express your outrage over the threats coming out of Montana, to strip wolves of their ESA protections. They need to hear the voices of the American people, not just a few special interest groups.

Congressional Contacts: (Please remember this Congress will expire on December 31, 2010 and a new Congress will be sworn in thereafter. Republicans may take the majority back in the House. If this happens we have to remain vigilant and continue to write and call concerning the ESA.  I personally don’t think whoever controls Congress has the stomach to meddle with the ESA but nothing surprises me anymore.

The battle will be epic. The ESA is the bible of environmentalism. It would be similar to taking on the NRA over gun rights.

House of Representatives:

http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

 Senators of the 111st Congress:

 http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

HOWL for protecting gray wolves!!

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State scrambling to revive wolf hunt

http://helenair.com/news/article_ab7503ce-b594-11df-ad16-001cc4c002e0.html

Photo: Courtesy Sigma Eye

Posted in: Montana wolves, Howling for Justice

Tags: ESA, Montana FWP, USFWS, Department of the Interior, anti-wolf coalition, wolf hunts, wolf persecution

JUSTICE!!! WOLVES RELISTED IN THE NORTHERN ROCKIES!!

 

Ulrok the Rottweiler adopts wolf pup Beldaran

Breath a sigh of relief and HOWL for joy Wolf Warriors….wolves will NOT be subjected to the brutal hunts in Montana and Idaho.

Judge Molloy has relisted wolves in the Northern Rockies.!!

It doesn’t mean the battle is over but it’s a  major victory for wolves. Now we can concentrate on pushing the Center for Biological Diversity’s national wolf recovery plan.

Let’s savor this victory for wolves,  We know the decision will likely be appealed to the Ninth Circuit but for now wolves are safe from the bloody, disgusting, unnecessary, wolf hunts!!

HOWWWWWWWWWWL

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READ  JUDGE MOLLOY’S DECISION….CLICK HERE

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Judge puts wolves back on endangered species list, hunts halted

http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/Federal-judge-puts-gray-wolves-back-on-endangered-species-list-100071859.html

Photos: Courtesy Barry Bland, Barcroft Media

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, H0wling for Justice

Tags: Judge Molloy, Victory, gray wolves relisted,  no wolf hunts,  ESA

“In Memory of the Last Wild Mexican Wolf”

This is a video of one of the last wild Mexican gray wolves captured in Northern Mexico in the 1970’s. 

Soon after the creation of the Endangered Species Act, a decision was made by the federal government, with the cooperation of Mexico, to capture all remaining Mexican gray wolves and place them in captivity, due to their critically low numbers in the wild.

From Lobos of the Southwest:

Thirty-three years after receiving protection under the Endangered Species Act, the Mexican gray wolf remains the most endangered mammal in North America and the most endangered subspecies of gray wolf in the world.

Following the Mexican gray wolf listing as an endangered species in 1976, the United States and Mexico collaborated to capture all lobos remaining in the wild. This extreme measure prevented the lobos’ extinction. Five wild Mexican wolves (four males and one pregnant female) were captured alive in Mexico from 1977 to 1980 and used to start a captive breeding program. The captive population is managed for maximum genetic integrity by experts with the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan.

Mexican gray wolves in captive breeding facilities around the country, are descendants of those last remaining wild wolves. 

The wolves would have been lost forever, if they had not been removed from the wild. They had been hunted, trapped and poisoned to near extinction. A beautiful sub-species of wolf was almost wiped off the face of the map. 

Mexican gray wolves were reintroduced back into the wild in 1998. Their reintroduction has not gone well due to the failure of the federal government to protect these critically endangered animals.. The wolves are once again under siege in the wild, a target of poachers. Three male wolves were recently killed, two shot and one dying under suspicious circumstances.

There is a $57,000 reward leading to the arrest and capture of any person or persons, who kills a Mexican gray wolf. 

Please visit Lobos of  the Southwest and learn what you can do to save these magnificent wolves. Mexican gray wolves are down to just 39 animals in the wild and every wolf  killed takes their precious genetics with them, lost forever.

Lobos of the Southwest

http://www.mexicanwolves.org/index.php

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Text accompanying video by ricklobello.

“Please help save the Mexican wolf by forwarding message to others.

I transferred to video an old 8mm movie I took during the late 1970s of what I believe was the last or one of the last wild Mexican wolves captured from northern Mexico before the species went extinct in the wild. Thanks to the efforts of people from across then continent with the help of the numerous zoos that have been maintaining a captive population, the US Fish and Wildlife Department and the US Forest Service with the help of the states of Arizona and New Mexico, were able to reintroduce wolves successfully back into the wild in 1998.

As you watch the film keep in mind that this animal, less than a week before I filmed it, was living in the wilds of Mexico. It was one of the last descendants of wild Mexican wolves that had been living in harmony with the land and Native Americans for thousands of years. Their story almost came to a complete end. Fortunately the United States passed the Endangered Species Act. If it wasn’t for that critical piece of legislation I am sure that the Mexican wolf would have gone completely extinct since there were few animals in captivity and virtually none in zoos.

I hope that people who watch this 3 minute video will want to learn more about these beautiful animals and get involved in efforts to help with conservation efforts here in the United States and Mexico.

All Mexican wolves believed to be alive in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico today, are the descendants of the progeny of this wolf and four others. The wolf in the film was captured by Roy McBride who was hired by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with the Mexican government to rescue the last wild Mexican wolves in Durango and Chihuahua. Roy and I were fellow graduate students at Sul Ross State University in Alpine where the film was made.

Most of you know that at the El Paso Zoo where I work we have three Mexican wolves and are trying to help save this critically endangered species in many ways including supporting the ongoing reintroduction program in the Southwest. If you have been following the story of this project you know that the descendants of the wolf in this video need our continued support. Please go on the Internet by starting with the El Paso Zoo website at http://www.elpasozoo.org where you can learn more and get involved. Start with the page we have for the Mexican wolf in the Animals section of Americas.”  February 21, 2008 ricklobello

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De5rhFmAK6o&feature=related

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons (Mexican gray wolf pup)

Posted in: Mexican gray wolf

Tags: ESA,  Mexican gray wolves under siege, $57,000 Reward, wolf persecution

Nail Biting Time As Wolf Advocates Await Judge Molloy’s Ruling

I wake up thinking about a wolf archery season and my blood runs cold. The thought of these sensient beings shot full of arrows is something I can’t wrap my mind around, yet that is what will happen to Montana wolves if the 2010 hunt is allowed to go forward this September.

In my wildest dreams I never envisioned a day when the climate in the Northern Rockies would disintegrate so quickly for gray wolves.

When wolves were reintroduced I was filled with hope but now they are being used for target practice by people that love to kill, pure and simple. There is no reason to hunt a wolf other then the thrill of killing. You can’t eat them, what purpose does it serve other then blood lust?

And who dreamed up a wolf archery season at Montana FWP? Would any living being want the excruciating pain of taking an arrow in the head, the leg, the mouth, the neck. How many bow hunters know what they’re doing? Read this report on bow hunting of deer and substitute wolf.  It will chill you to the bone. This cruel killing method should be illegal and never used on any animal, deer or wolf.

“Report on Bowhunting

This report summarizes twenty-four studies on bowhunting from across the country. The facts in these studies show clearly that bowhunting is inhumane and wasteful. The possibility of a deer being impaled by a broadhead arrow and then dying instantaneously is extremely slight. Wounding and crippling losses are inevitable. Every one of these studies has concluded that for every deer legally killed by bowhunters, at least one or more is struck by a broadhead arrow, wounded, and not recovered. The studies indicate an average bowhunting wounding rate of 54%, with the shots per kill averaging 14. We believe that these numbers are conservative.

The Wounding Cover-up

Bowhunting journals make it clear that they do not want bowhunters speaking to anyone about wounding. Their editorials even suggest that bowhunters should underestimate their losses.a”

Read the rest of the disgusting facts about bowhunting…CLICK HERE:

As we await Judge Molloy’s decision, there is no doubt in my mind that if the upcoming wolf hunts aren’t stopped we will witness the beginning of the end for wolves in the Northern Rockies. 

The gloves are off and the states have openly admitted they are *“managing” wolves to reduce their population, for the first time since their reintroduction.

State game agencies cannot be trusted with wolves lives, period.  As George Wuerthner points out in his recent article Wolves, Oil, Bureaucrats and Judges:

Indeed, the best management of predators is exactly what California has done with cougars—eliminate all hunting of predators, except for those which pose a direct threat to human life and/or livestock. With regards to livestock we should require changes in animal husbandry practices to reduce conflicts such as immediate removal of carrion, use of guard animals, among other practices.

I couldn’t agree more. George continues:

“In California voters were persuaded that Fish and Game agencies could not scientifically manage cougars, and that hunting created more problems than it eliminated. Voters took authority for hunting away from the agency by banning cougar hunting.

Since the ban on hunting in 1991, cougar populations have grown significantly. But surprising to some, California now has far fewer cougar incidents than other western states that have fewer cougars, fewer people, but permit cougar hunting. The only control that California exerts on cougar populations is the strategic removal of individual cougar that are deemed a safety threat to humans.”

Imagine voters taking matters into their own hands, realizing state game agencies have too much invested in pleasing hunters, to ever be fair to predators. Can you envision that kind of protection for wolves?

Wolves in the Northern Rockies truly cannot survive, in any meaningful way, without ESA.  As long as the culture of  hate and persecution surrounds them, wolves will need to be listed. Even under the ESA umbrella they are still subject to  killing by Wildlife Services for agribusiness. It’s impossible for them to withstand that AND state sponsored hunts. 

In my mind it’s not about numbers of wolves, it’s the hateful climate they can’t tolerate. Wolves must be protected from it. That was the very reason ESA was created and why wolves were able to start their comeback before they were delisted by the Obama admistration.

So we wait for Judge Molloy to rule, the fate of the Northern Rockies gray wolf population hangs in the balance. Nail biting time…..

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Gazette opinion: Wolf fans, foes await ruling

Gazette Staff | Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 12:10 am

http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion/article_3654e346-8d4b-11df-9e78-001cc4c03286.html

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July 13, 2010

Wolves, Oil, Bureaucrats and Judges

By GEORGE WUERTHNER

 http://www.counterpunch.org/wuerthner07132010.html

 

Photo: Courtesy Kewl wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Montana wolves, Idaho wolves, Wyoming wolves, Oregon wolves,  Wolf Wars

Tags: ESA, Judge Molloy, Obama adminstration delisting, wolf recovery

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 12:06 am  Comments (46)  
Tags: , , ,

Waiting Game: Fate Of Wolves In The Northern Rockies?

It’s been over  a year since wolves were delisted in the Northern Rockies, yet it seems like decades. Almost immediately, Montana and Idaho were lining up wolf trophy hunts. Wolf advocates have always been told the states would be reasonable managing wolves, that they “loved wolves”. Well if this is love, it’s TOUGH LOVE.  500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009 and Wildlife Services is still killing them for agribusiness. It’s been a terrible year.

Wolf supporters watched in horror as wolves were hunted for the first time since their reintroduction. One minute they were a protected species and the next they were target practice. 

It was shocking in it’s swiftness but were we all so naive to think the states could “manage” wolves? State game agencies have never been good at managing predators.  Predators compete for the game hunters want to kill. Hunters are state game agencies’  life blood. They pay licensing fees which fill state game agency coffers.  Why would the welfare of wolves ever trump that relationship? It wouldn’t and it hasn’t.

From the Sierra Club:

“We have consistently maintained that wolves in the northern Rockies are not ready to be removed from the Endangered Species list,” said Sierra Club representative Bob Clark. “Removing federal protections for wolves has left them at the mercy of aggressive state plans that treat wolves as pests rather than a valuable wildlife resource.”

On Tuesday, June  15th, wolves went to court to gain their protections back. The lawsuit to relist wolves, brought by fourteen environmental groups, was finally moving forward.  Judge Molloy was ready to hear oral agruments from both sides of the wolf  issue, at the Russell Smith Federal Courthouse in Missoula,  Montana.

Of course there were wolf protesters outside the courthouse waving their anti-wolf signs. And of course they were on the front page of  local newspapers. The anti-wolf crowd gets most of the headlines. I guess hateful rhetoric sells. But make no mistake wolves have many, many supporters in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, Wolves have supporters around this country and the world. We might not be as vocal but we are no less passionate about this incredible amd persecuted animal, the gray wolf.

The courtroom was packed,  a brief recess was called when a legal student collapsed while presenting part of the case for The Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

The hearing didn’t last very long,  It was all over in a few hours. 

I want to personally thank Doug Honnold, the lead Earthjustice attorney, for doing such a terrific job for wolves in their dark hour!!

Judge Molloy stated he’d rule “as quickly as I can”.  I hope it comes soon. Montana and Idaho have admitted they are aggressively going after wolves to reduce their numbers in 2010/2011. This is called “wolf love”?  It’s how they show their love for wolves by killing them?  Who do they think they’re kidding?

Both states want to significantly increase their wolf hunt quotas, Montana proposes a wolf archery season and back country wolf rifle season. Idaho may be adding calling, baiting and trapping to their “toolbox” of tricks. I shudder to think what will happen if wolves aren’t relisted.

And we can’t forget the hardcore wolf haters, that love to stir things up. One wolf hating website discussed hunters killing wolves with Xylitol, a popular sweetner, that’s deadly to canines. I guess they don’t care if  pet dogs die along with the wolves they hate so much. Seriously, what is wrong with people?  Do you see what wolves are up against in the Northern Rockies? They cannot survive here without ESA protection.

So now we wait.

The future of the Northern Rockies gray wolf  hangs in the balance.

 
Posted: Tuesday, 15 June 2010 8:46AM

Fate of Rocky Mountain wolves to be decided

Sierra Club

http://www.keci.com/pages/7470875.php?contentType=4&contentId=6288504

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Photos: courtesy kewl wallpaper

Posted in: Wolf Delisting Lawsuit, Howling For Justice, Wolf Wars

Tags: Judge Molloy, ESA, Doug Honnold,, gray wolf/canis lupus, wolf persecution

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