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

Gray wolf MFWP

Center For Biological Diversity – For Immediate Release

January 5, 2016

Legal Petition Seeks Extension of Federal Monitoring for Northern Rockies Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top Photo: Gray wolf/MFWP

Bottom Photo: Nature – Cold Warriors

Posted in: Gray Wolf, Wolf Wars

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

Nature Cold Warriors_pack traveling through snow

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

Wolf Rally – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (August 30, 2012)

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td9P-wZZa8I%5D

Published on Sep 13, 2012 by

“One year after wolves lost federal protection, over 40% of the wolf population has been killed by trophy hunters and trappers in Idaho and Montana. A total of 545 wolves were killed for fun in these two Northern Rocky states. Watch this video to learn more about wolves and help stop the war on wildlife.

“Watch the story of Bella, a husky who lost her leg in a snare that was set in Idaho by a trapper from Wildlife Services at this link:”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxMlQA3V6A0&feature=relmfu

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Special thanks to Predator Defense, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Footloose Montana and all dedicated wolf advocates who made this rally a success. The rally was well covered by the media and made the Los Angeles Times, my good friend Ann Sydow (NIWA) was mentioned in the LA Times article.

It’s our hope this video, produced by Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense, will inspire you to hold your own rally in defense of wolves. They need our voices to save them from brutal state kill/management. While I type this wolves are being bow hunted in Montana and stalked in Idaho. In Montana an 83 pound male wolf was killed outside of Glacier National Park in the North Fork of the Flathead, arrowed to death. It made the front page of the Hungry Horse News ( a weekly Montana newspaper in the Flathead Valley.)

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C-Falls bowhunter takes wolf

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 8:15 am By CHRIS PETERSON Hungry Horse News |

http://www.flatheadnewsgroup.com/hungryhorsenews/article_464a30b6-fce4-11e1-9b89-0019bb2963f4.html

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Our wolves have been hijacked for blood sport. The wolf reintroduction has turned from a success story into a nightmare, thanks to the Obama Administration, his rancher Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the US Senate Democrats, led by Harry Reid D-Nevada. They sold wolves out in the Northern Rockies to boost Sen. Jon Tester D-MT chances of re-election and hold onto their slim Senate majority.

During the contentious budget battle of Spring 2011,  Senator Tester slipped a wolf delisting rider, that prohibits judicial review, into a must pass budget bill. Every Senate Democrat voted for it save three, Wyden, Leahy and Levin.  The very same Democrats who pretend to be  supporters of the ESA weakened it, by stripping wolves of their Endangered Species protections and turning them over to hostile state management, all for a few votes.

To add insult to injury the USFWS under the Obama administration delisted wolves in the Great Lakes (Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin). Minnesota and Wisconsin immediately planned wolf hunts for 2012/2013 but the Wisconsin hunt was challenged in court. Judge Anderson granted an injunction to stop the hunt because Wisconsin wanted to allow hunters to use up to six dogs to hunt to wolves to their deaths.  A Michigan state representative has introduced legislation to allowing wolf hunting. This is the dire situation wolves find themselves in. Wyoming is planning to allow wolves to be shot-on- sight in 80% of the state,  as of October 1, 2012 but faces legal challenges from two coalitions of environmental groups.

Please remember on November 6, 2012 what the US Senate Democrats did to betray wolves. If your Senator is not Wyden, Leahy or Levin  vote them out of office.  We cannot allow politicians to play fast and loose with our wildlife.

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Wolves not endangered in Rockies? Activists arm for fight

By Kim Murphy

September 4, 2012, 5:38 p.m

On Aug. 30, activists held a rally in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to memorialize the more than 540 wolves killed in Idaho and Montana wolf hunts since the species was removed from the endangered list in those states in 2011. Last year’s tally in Idaho alone was 379 wolves — not counting wolves killed by government wildlife agents seeking to prevent livestock predations.

“Of the 379 wolves killed in last year’s hunt, 40 were puppies, 56 suffered in leg-hold traps before being killed, and another 67 choked to death in snares,” Ann Sydow of the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, one of six organizations sponsoring the rally, said in a statement.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-wyoming-wolves-20120904,0,2035222.story 

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Video: Courtesy Brooks Fahy

Photo: Courtesy Hungry Horse News

Tags: Wolf Rally Coeur d’Alene Idaho, Predator Defense, NIWA, Friends of the Clearwater, Footloose Montana, trapping, wolf slaughter, Hungry Horse News,  Montana wolf hunt, Idaho wolf hunt

ALERT: Coeur d’ alene Wolf Rally and Memorial, Thursday, August 30, 2012

UPDATE: August 31, 2012

The rally was a tremendous  success!!  Between 80 and 100 people attended, with many wonderful speakers. Bella the Husky, who lost her leg to a trap brought a tear to everyone’s eye.  Thanks to everyone who attended.  This was the largest wolf rally crowd by far!!

Please keep our beloved wolves in your thoughts and prayers, the wolf hunt in Idaho started yesterday and Montana’s wolf /witch hunt begins  September 1, 2012 with wolf archery. Wolf families will be arrowed to death by black-hearted trophy hunters, who take pleasure in killing innocent animals.

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“Wolves Belong: Stop the Slaughter”

Rally & Memorial  set for  Thursday, August 30 in
Coeur d’Alene’s Fort Sherman/City Park, 3:30  to 7:30pm Pacific time

For Immediate Release

August 22, 2012
Contacts: Catherine Feher , Predator Defense 
Brett Haverstick, Friends of the Clearwater 
Ann Sydow, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance 

COEUR D’ALENE, ID. — A rally honoring the 379 wolves killed in Idaho, during the 2011-2012 wolf hunt, is set for Thursday August 30, 3:30 – 7:30pm at Fort Sherman/Coeur d’Alene City Park.  The rally will feature live music, guest speakers, a ceremony honoring wolves killed,  information tables,  and a trap-release workshop put on by Footloose Montana, aimed at educating citizens on how to identify traps/snares, and if necessary, how to release a pet from a trap.

Over 500 wolves have been killed in Idaho/Montana since the species was delisted via legislative rider from the Endangered Species List in 2011. The 2012-2013 wolf hunt on public lands in Idaho begins the same day of the rally. Hunting on private lands in the Panhandle region of Idaho has been occurring since July 1, making it a year ‘round hunt in some areas.

“It’s time to end fairy tale fantasies. Science clearly shows that healthy populations of wolves and other predator species are critical for a healthy environment,” said Brooks Fahy, Executive Director of Predator Defense. “The shooting, trapping, snaring and torture of wolves must stop. The slaughter of wolves in Idaho is being driven by a fanatical blood lust that has no place in modern wildlife management.”

Many conservationists in the Northern Rockies feel that the Obama administration has failed in their duties to protect the iconic species.

“Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar has utterly failed in his duties to keep federally endangered species like wolves from the blood-thirsty hands of our state fish and game agencies. What is happening in Idaho and Montana is about to happen in Wyoming. A lack of federal leadership and foresight is leading to a killing floor for wolves”, said Brett Haverstick, Education & Outreach Director for Friends of the Clearwater.

According to the 2011 Idaho Wolf Monitoring Progress report issued by Idaho Fish & Game and the Nez Perce tribe, there were 746 wolves in the state of Idaho last December.

“Of the 379 wolves killed in last year’s hunt, 40 were puppies, 56 suffered in leg-hold traps before being killed, and another 67 choked to death in snares,” said Ann Sydow with the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance (NIWA). “Special interest groups refuse to share their hunting grounds and their grazing allotments, even in publicly owned National Forests.”

Predator Defense, Friends of the Clearwater, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Footloose Montana and Center for Biological
Diversity are co-sponsoring the event.

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From Boise Weekly

Event to Honor Slain Idaho Wolves

POSTED BY GEORGE PRENTICE ON TUE, AUG 28, 2012 AT 9:50 AM

http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2012/08/28/event-to-honor-slain-idaho-wolves

Immediate Release FOC: Group Calls for Investigation of Trapping Incident


Group Calls for Investigation of Trapping Incident

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2012

Moscow, ID – Yesterday, Friends of the Clearwater urged the Idaho Department of Fish & Game to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the trapping of a grey wolf in north-central Idaho by Josh Bransford. Last week the group Montana Footloose received a death threat for sharing pictures on their web site of a trapped and tortured grey wolf that was reportedly captured by Mr. Bransford. The picture showed a large pool of blood surrounding the grey wolf, which was apparently caused by people shooting at the wolf while it was still in the trap. The incident has sparked outrage across the country, and once again put the spotlight on a grey wolf hunting and trapping program in the northern Rockies that has killed over five hundred wolves since federal delisting in 2011.

Friends of the Clearwater is concerned that a number of laws could have been broken during the incident, and would like the matter to receive further attention.

“We have wildlife laws in this state that prohibit individuals from interfering with or harassing animals that have been caught in another person’s trap. Idaho Code 36-1510: Interference with hunting, fishing, trapping, or wildlife control clearly states this,” said Brett Haverstick, Education & Outreach Director. “Regardless of what was in the trap, if an investigation finds that laws were broken, we fully expect those individuals deemed responsible to be prosecuted.”

The group is greatly concerned about public safety too, and claims that more than one law could have been broken during the trapping incident.

“We would like the Idaho Fish & Game Department to look into whether or not the individuals were shooting across a public highway or from its shoulder. Idaho Code 36-1508: Shooting from a public highway specifically prohibits such action,” said Gary Macfarlane, Ecosystem Defense Director. “This is about public safety, as much as it is about ensuring that our wildlife laws are being followed.”

Furthermore, according to public records obtained from the web, Mr. Bransford has been found guilty of past wildlife law violations.

“This entire incident needs to be investigated as the circumstances surrounding it are incredibly disturbing,” said Brett Haverstick. “We expect the agency to do the right thing.”

http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/

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Photo: Courtesy Jason Hahn 2007
Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho Wolves, Animal Cruelty

Tags: Friends of the Clearwater, Forest Service, tortured wolf, public outrage, call for IDFG investigation

Action Alert From Friends of the Clearwater: Speak For Wolves in Boise on March 21

Update #2: March 22, 2012

There was a good showing of wolf advocates at the Idaho Commissioners meeting in Boise yesterday. Wolf supporters were represented well, with just a few anti-wolfers. People spoke of the importance of wolves to the ecosystem, the lack of representation of Idaho citizens who support and care about wolves and other wildlife. I’m very proud of each and every person who cared enough to take the time to speak out for wolves. In the end their testimony seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

The commissioners don’t appear to care what wolf advocates think. It looks like they’re going to increase the limits on how many wolves can be taken per hunter, expand trapping  and generally make like as miserable as possible for Idaho wolves, who are now caught in perpetual hell.

Like:

Increase bag limit to five each for hunting and trapping in the Panhandle, Palouse-Hells Canyon, Dworshak, Lolo, Selway and Middle Fork wolf zones.

Extend season on private land in Panhandle zone.

Add trapping season in Units 19A and 25.

Increase harvest limit in Southern Mountain zone from 25 to 40.

Increase season length in Beaverhead and Island Park zones to close on January 31.

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Update: March 22, 2012

I will update you later today on the Boise event but everything went well and there was a good turnout of wolf advocates!!

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End the Wolf Slaughter-Speak in Boise on March 21

MARCH 19, 2012

MOSCOW, ID — Over five hundred Northern Rocky Gray Wolves have been slaughtered since Idaho and Montana declared war on wolves last fall. The hunting season for wolves in Montana closed in mid-February with 166 wolves killed. But the trapping and hunting of wolves continues in Idaho, with 362 killed so far, and certain hunting zones open until late June. Such killing zones encourage the killing of cubs in their dens. The state of Idaho has also killed wolves via aerial gunning, and was close to passing a bill that would have permitted ranchers to use “live-bait” to lure in wolves and kill them.

Science demonstrates wolves are keystone predators, and play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem health and resiliency. Since wolves returned to Yellowstone National Park over fifteen years ago, researchers have documented an increase in biodiversity, with riparian areas being restored, aspen stands regenerating, and habitat for birds, fish, and amphibians benefiting.

“The ranching industry of the West has no use for wolves or biodiversity. And a predator-free landscape is just what some outfitters in this state want,” said Ann Sydow, organizer for the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance. “Influential outfitters want the state management agencies to do whatever it takes to artificially boost elk populations so their clients can kill them for trophies.”

Biologists note that killing apex predators does not induce elk recovery. Rather, large-scale killing of predators usually has detrimental effects on the entire system. While wolves generally take the old, sick, and weak, trophy hunters can kill elk important for breeding.

The American people have invested hundreds of millions of tax dollars in species recovery since the US Fish & Wildlife Service reintroduced Grey Wolves in the Northern Rockies in 1995. Members of the public will speak at the Idaho Fish & Game Commissioner’s meeting in Boise on March 21st 600 South Walnut, at 7pm.

“I am an American taxpayer and Idaho resident who is fed up with this deliberate extermination of an icon of wilderness–and an animal sacred to many indigenous peoples,” said Dr. Catherine Feher-Elston, an environmental historian, author, and wildlife rehabilitator. “The states of Montana and Idaho are destroying America’s investment and subverting the will of the people.”
A lawsuit challenging the Congressional budget-rider that delisted wolves from federal endangered species protection last year has yet to regain federal protections for the iconic species.

“The federal government needs to step in and relist the Gray Wolf. It is abundantly clear that states like Idaho cannot manage wolves responsibly, “said Brett Haverstick, Education & Outreach Director for Friends of the Clearwater, a plaintiff on the lawsuit. “Killing half the wolf population is not managing.”

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Region-wide pro wolf rally in Boise, Wednesday March 21st. This is an important opportunity for us to speak out against the brutal slaughter of gray wolves. The public rally will occur at 5pm outside of the Idaho Fish & Game headquarters, which is located at 600 South Walnut. If you cannot attend the rally, the Fish & Game Commissioner’s are accepting public comments starting at 7pm in the “Trophy Room” of the building.

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Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Action Alert, Activism

Tags: Friends of the Clearwater, Boise, Idaho Commissioners Meeting, speak out for wolves

© 2009-2012  Howling For Justice

ALERT: Conservation Groups File Wolf Rider Appeal to the Ninth Circuit…

Conservation groups filed an appeal to the US Ninth Circuit, on September 8, 2011, challenging the constitutionality of the wolf delisting rider.  Leading the fight is Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.  Center For Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project are also plaintiffs in the appeal.

Rider Appeal, Ninth Circuit Court, Opening Brief, Sept. 8, 2011

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0908wolfBR.pdf

What impressed me about their opening brief was the introduction. It quotes the famed ecologist and environmentalist Aldo Leopold’s Thinking Like a Mountain, from A Sand County Almanac,  In his writing, Leopold introduces the concept of trophic cascades.

“The concept of a trophic cascade is put forth in the chapter “Thinking Like a Mountain”, wherein Leopold realizes that killing a predator wolf carries serious implications for the rest of the ecosystem.”

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Thinking Like A Mountain

by Aldo Leopold

In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy: how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks.

We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.

Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddle horn. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers.

I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the
range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dust bowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.

We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness.The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes,and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau’s dictum:In wildness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf, long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men.

ALDO LEOPOLD, A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC, AND SKETCHES HERE AND  THERE, Thinking Like a Mountain, at 129–133, Commemorative edition 1989, ©1949, Oxford University Press, Inc.

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0908wolfBR.pdf

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Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

Tags: US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, wolves in peril, wolf delisting rider

Conservation Groups Seek Emergency Injunction From The Ninth Circuit To Stop Upcoming Wolf Hunts…

For Immediate Release – Aug 13, 2011
CONTACT:  Mike Garrity, Executive Director, Alliance for the Wild Rockies 406-459-5936
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Facing plans to kill hundreds of wolves in Montana and Idaho, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians are seeking an Emergency Injunction from the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the imminent hunts.
“Idaho plans to open a wolf hunting season on August 30, Montana’s wolf hunting season begins with an archery season on September 3, followed by a rifle season shortly thereafter, on September 15,” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  “Beginning in less than three weeks, hundreds of Gray Wolves that should be protected as endangered species are about to be hunted and killed.  Our only option is to seek an Injunction to stop the illegal killing of wolves.”
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“We believe that Congress violated the U.S. Constitution when Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) used a rider on an appropriation bill to overturn the Federal Court’s decision that wolves should remain protected by the Endangered Species Act,” Garrity added.
Referring to a strongly-worded decision recently issued by Montana Federal District Judge Donald Molloy, Garrity explained that “although ruling that he was bound by previous decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court, Judge Molloy was very direct in his opinions on the use of non-related riders on appropriation bills such as used by Senator Tester.  Not only did Tester circumvent the Endangered Species Act for pure political expediency, we believe that he violated the Separation of Powers upon which our government is founded by exempting his rider from judicial review.”
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As an example, Garrity offered the following quotes directly from Molloy’s decision:
    •    “The way in which Congress acted in trying to achieve a debatable policy change by attaching a rider to the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 is a tearing away, an undermining, and a disrespect for the fundamental idea of the rule of law.”
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    •    “Political decisions derive their legitimacy from the proper function of the political process within the constraints of limited government, guided by a constitutional structure that acknowledges the importance of the doctrine of Separation of Powers. That legitimacy is enhanced by a meaningful, predictable, and transparent process.”
    •    “Inserting environmental policy changes into appropriations bills may be politically expedient, but it transgresses the process envisioned by the Constitution by avoiding the very debate on issues of political importance said to provide legitimacy. Policy changes of questionable political viability, such as occurred here, can be forced using insider tactics without debate by attaching riders to legislation that must be passed.“
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“We’re continuing this battle because Judge Molloy’s ruling fully supports our contention that there is a well-established legal process that applies to every other species and that pure political expediency should not be the driving force by which of our nation’s imperiled animals and plants will or will not be protected for future generations,” Garrity explained.
The groups charge in their Complaint (attached) that the delisting rider, which was sponsored by Montana’s Democrat U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Idaho’s Republican Representative Mike Simpson, violates the U.S. Constitution because it specifically repeals a judicial decision and then exempts it from judicial review.
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“While Congress absolutely has the right to make and amend laws, the wolf delisting rider (Section 1713 of the budget law, PL 112-10) does not amend the Endangered Species Act — it circumvents the judicial process by ordering the reinstatement of the 2009 rule that delisted wolves,” Garrity continued.  “Moreover, by exempting it from judicial review it basically nullifies the Constitutional checks and balances between Congress and the Judicial Branch of government.”
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“There’s little doubt that wolves are now facing drastic policies at the state level,’ Garrity said. “Wyoming has a ‘shoot on sight’ policy, Idaho just enacted a massive “open season’ that will kill hundreds of wolves and Montana announced it will allow up to 220 of the 566 wolves in the state to be killed this year – nearly half of the wolves to be shot by hunters and an unlimited amount to be killed by government shooters and trappers.”
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“We are doing all we can to hold back the tide of wolf-killing in Montana, Idaho, and elsewhere in the Northern Rockies,” explained Garrity.  “This ecologically important species is being unfairly targeted out of ignorance and intolerance and now lack a federal shield from being killed.”
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“But in the end, this is not just about wolves, it’s about the rule of law.  If Congress can exempt this decision from judicial review, it can likewise exempt anything it does.  That not only spells disaster for endangered species, but for our entire form of government.  Judge Molloy hit the nail on the head when he said Tester’s rider is ‘a talisman that ipso facto sweeps aside Separation of Powers concerns.’”
“We agree with him,” Garrity continued, pointing to Molloy’s conclusion that reads: “If I were not constrained by what I believe is binding precedent from the Ninth Circuit, and on-point precedent from other circuits, I would hold Section 1713 [Tester’s rider] is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers doctrine articulated by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Klein.”
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“We think, given the circumstances and the gravity of the Separation of Powers issue, that the Ninth Circuit will want to take a close look at the consequences of allowing Senator Tester’s unprecedented wolf rider to stand.  And we intend to give them that opportunity with our Appeal.”
Please find the request for an Emergency Injunction attached.
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Emergency Motion (August 13, 2011)

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfMOT.pdf

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Exhibits (August 13, 2011)

#1

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX1.pdf

#2

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX2.pdf

#3

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX3.pdf

#4

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX4.pdf

#5

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX5.pdf

#6

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0813wolfEX6.pdf

Top Photo: Courtesy First People

Bottom Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

Tags: Emergency injunction, US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, wolf wars, wolf hunts, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming

Wolf Decision Appealed To The Ninth Circuit By Conservation Groups….

For Immediate Release – Aug 8, 2011

Conservation Groups Appeal Federal District Court wolf decision

CONTACT:  Mike Garrity, Executive Director, Alliance for the Wild Rockies 406-459-5936

“We still believe that Congress violated the U.S. Constitution when Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) used a rider to overturn the Federal Court’s decision,” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.   “We will not allow the fate of endangered species to be determined by politicians serving special interests. These decisions must be based on science, not politics, and Congress has never before removed species from the Endangered Species list by political fiat.”

Citing the wording from Federal Judge Donald Molloy’s recent ruling, Garrity said the Alliance and it’s co-Plaintiffs, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians, have filed an Appeal to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “to preserve both wolves and the rule of law in the Northern Rockies.”

“Although ruling that he was bound by previous decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court, Judge Molloy was very direct in his opinions on the use of non-related riders on appropriation bills such as used by Senator Tester,” Garrity continued.  “Take, for example, these quotes directly from Molloy’s opinion.”

    •    “The way in which Congress acted in trying to achieve a debatable policy change by attaching a rider to the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 is a tearing away, an undermining, and a disrespect for the fundamental idea of the rule of law.”

•    “Political decisions derive their legitimacy from the proper function of the political process within the constraints of limited government, guided by a constitutional structure that acknowledges the importance of the doctrine of Separation of Powers. That legitimacy is enhanced by a meaningful, predictable, and transparent process.”

•    “Inserting environmental policy changes into appropriations bills may be politically expedient, but it transgresses the process envisioned by the Constitution by avoiding the very debate on issues of political importance said to provide legitimacy. Policy changes of questionable political viability, such as occurred here, can be forced using insider tactics without debate by attaching riders to legislation that must be passed.“

“We’re continuing this battle because Judge Molloy’s ruling fully supports our contention that there is a well-established legal process that applies to every other species and that pure political expediency should not be the driving force over which of our nation’s imperiled animals and plants will or will not be protected for future generations,” Garrity explained.

The groups charge in their complaint that the delisting rider, which was sponsored by Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Idaho Representative Mike Simpson, violates the U.S. Constitution because it specifically repeals a judicial decision and then exempts it from judicial review.

“While Congress absolutely has the right to make and amend laws, the wolf delisting rider (Section 1713 of the budget law, PL 112-10) does not amend the Endangered Species Act — it circumvents the judicial process by ordering the reinstatement of the 2009 rule that delisted wolves,” Garrity continued.  “Moreover, by exempting it from judicial review it basically nullifies the Constitutional checks and balances between Congress and the Judicial Branch of government.”

“There’s little doubt that wolves are now facing drastic policies at the state level,’ Garrity said. “Wyoming has a ‘shoot on sight’ policy, Idaho just enacted a massive “open season’ that will kill hundreds of wolves and Montana announced it will allow up to 220 of the 566 wolves in the state to be killed this year – nearly half of the wolves to be shot by hunters and an unlimited amount to be killed by government trappers.”

“We are doing all we can to hold back the tide of wolf-killing in Montana, Idaho, and elsewhere in the Northern Rockies,” explained Garrity.  “This ecologically important species is being unfairly targeted out of ignorance and intolerance and now lack a federal shield from being killed.”

“But in the end, this is not just about wolves, it’s about the rule of law.  If Congress can exempt this decision from judicial review, it can likewise exempt anything it does.  That not only spells disaster for endangered species, but for our entire form of government.  Judge Molloy hit the nail on the head when he said Tester’s rider is “a talisman that ipso facto sweeps aside Separation of Powers concerns.”

“We agree with him,” concluded Garrity, pointing to Molloy’s conclusion that reads: “If I were not constrained by what I believe is binding precedent from the Ninth Circuit, and on-point precedent from other circuits, I would hold Section 1713 [Tester’s rider] is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers doctrine articulated by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Klein.”

“We think, given the circumstances and the gravity of the Separation of Powers issue, that the Ninth Circuit will want to take a close look at the consequences of allowing Senator Tester’s unprecedented wolf rider to stand.  And we intend to give them that opportunity with our Appeal.”

Notice to file appeal: Click Here

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Groups ask appeals court to restore wolf protections

Conservation groups asked an appeals court on Monday to strike down a move by Congress to strip more than 1,500 wolves in Idaho and Montana of federal endangered species protections.

 | August 8, 2011

Reuters

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – Conservation groups asked an appeals court on Monday to strike down a move by Congress to strip more than 1,500 wolves in Idaho and Montana of federal endangered species protections.

In a petition to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the groups sought to overturn a ruling last week by a federal judge that found Congress did not exceed its authority in April when it allowed a measure removing wolves from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana.

That ruling, by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy, came days after Idaho announced plans to cut its wolf population from about 1,000 to no fewer than 150 by extensive hunting and trapping and less than a month after Montana set a wolf hunting quota of 220 out of a population of 566.

“The states want to decimate the wolf population in the Northern Rockies,” said Michael Garrity, executive director of the Montana-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “We want to stop this massive killing that is about to occur.”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=groups-ask-appeals-court-to-restore

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Photo:  Courtesy Creative Commons

Posted in: Wolf Delisting Lawsuit, Wolf Wars

Tags: Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WidlEarth Guardians, Judge Molloy, US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. gray wolves, Idaho, Montana

Don’t Give Up! Howl For Wolves In August!

Please do not despair or give up. I spoke to Gary Macfarlane of Friends of the Clearwater and an appeal is planned.. We could still win this. Judge Molloy felt his hands were tied by the Ninth Circuit precedents. He stated if it were not for that he would have found the wolf rider unconstitutional. All is not lost, try to take  some comfort in that.

We are all very tired and worn out from this battle. The haters are having their way now but that doesn’t mean we should sit and take this. Please visit Howl Across America and join a rally or organize one in your hometown. We must speak out for wolves!! It’s even more imperative now!!

Howl Across America

https://www.facebook.com/HowlAcrossAmerica

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