This is the hardest post I’ve ever written, starting over more times than I can count, wanting to get it right. I won’t be pulling any punches.
Wolves recently suffered two stinging defeats, the Ninth Circuit loss and the passage of the brutal Wisconsin wolf hunt bill that sailed through the Badger State legislature.
Every one is asking the same question, where do we go from here? What can we do to save wolves? Is the war lost? Are wolves doomed to a lifetime of trophy hunts, torture and slaughter? The answer is no but with a caveat. We have to get active and that means in the real world!!
When I started this blog in September 2009 wolves had recently been removed from the Endangered Species List by our new President, who promised “hope and change” but instead delivered “more of the same”. The war against wolves had begun and it’s been unrelenting. Yes, wolves were under siege from Wildlife Services before the delisting, hundreds killed every year for agribusiness and poachers certainly took their toll but a wolf hunt? After millions of dollars of tax payer money was used to reintroduce these animals, who were extirpated from the lower 48, 16 years later we’re on the road to destroying them once again?
I won’t go through the battle we all waged to stop the delisting, it’s in the blog archives if you’re new to Wolf Wars. It’s been a long, grueling battle and we fought hard but in the end the Democrats and Obama betrayed wolves for a Senate seat, so here we are. And one thing I want to make clear, I’m not a Republican. I’m just presenting the facts as they happened. Lets not make this about party affiliation. I wish we had a third-party because as far as I’m concerned we can’t count on either of the two we have now.
The Ninth Circuit loss was our wake up call. Even though I believed we had a slim chance of winning , I was still shocked by the decision. It took the wind out of our sails. We’ve always held out hope wolves would be saved by the court. It was a stinging blow. The reality is we can no longer count on the courts to come riding in on a white horse to save the wolves. Even IF the ruling is appealed to the Supremes, it could take years for them to hear it or they could decide to pass it by.
It’s time for every wolf advocate to do some serious soul-searching and ask yourself what are you willing to sacrifice to turn this around? What kind of time and energy are you willing to dedicate to building a powerful grass-roots movement and take on the ranching and hunting lobbies.? Sitting on FB talking to ourselves is not the answer. Yes FB is a great tool and we can use it to our advantage but we have to do more, much more. Writing endless petitions that go nowhere is not going to cut it either. Yes petitions CAN make a difference but starting wolf petitions over and over rarely achieves anything. How about one big petition that we can all work together on until we get a 100,000 or 500,00o or 1,000,000 signatures? Wouldn’t that make more sense? But therein lies the problem. We’re not organized enough for that. There are so many wolf groups on FB they could form a ring around the earth twice. It’s easy to hit the LIKE button and join a wolf page, then come back every once in a while to express outrage and move on. I started Wolf Warriors with a friend because we wanted to post the lastest wolf news that I don’t have a chance to cover on the blog. But the point of Wolf Warriors and Howling for Justice is not just to be outraged but to actually do something with the information. To say to yourself, I live in Montana or Idaho or Wyoming or Oregon or Wisconsin or Minnesota, or any state in the union: THE WOLVES ARE UNDER ATTACK. I can organize with like-minded people in my town and form a group to fight the persecution of wolves. And then little groups become big groups and those groups network with other groups and pretty soon we’re a force to be reckoned with. Outrage is good but outrage alone does nothing to help wolves. It only leads to more outrage and more frustration. Doing something about that outrage, that’s the key to change.
I’m just as guilty as everyone else for doing things the way we’ve always done them but after our recent losses it’s evident we need a new game plan. If anyone is a Walking Dead fan then you’ll understand this metaphor. “It was about time they got off the damn farm” For others who don’t follow the show, it’s time for a change.
So how do we accomplish these lofty goals? By putting one foot in front of the other every day. To commit our time and effort to this cause so we don’t have to look at dead wolf pictures with their killers holding them in some kind of weird bear hug, smiling like Cheshire cats. The photo of the wolf trapper grinning from ear to ear with the poor wolf ALIVE, stuck in a leg hold trap, blood all over the snow, having suffered god only knows how long in that trap, without food or water, in pain and scared to death, is something I never want to see again. If we intend to help wolves and battle this cruelty we have to get active!!
•I suggest a wolf summit where activists can gather and meet each other to brainstorm and exchange ideas. And let’s include our International friends, wolf persecution is global. But remember, it’s up to you to make this happen. But I will be involved. I’m going to talk to other wolf groups and advocates to get their take on a Summit and where we can hold it. Not everyone has the resources to travel, so well see but the main thing is to get started.
•Boycott the wolf states and mean it! Create a website dedicated to it. Start a petition that will mean something, ask people to take a pledge not to visit or buy anything from any state that is engaged in wolf hunts and let them know the “economic sanctions” will continue until the wolf killing stops. The wolf states will sit up and take notice if we hit them in their wallets. With one exception, we don’t want to punish businesses or organizations who support wolves, especially the wolf sanctuaries and educations centers like Wolf People and WERC.
•Defeat pandering politicians at the polls, those who support anti-wolf policies must be booted out of office. Click here for the list of the 81 US Senators who voted to delist wolves. See who’s up for re-election in your state and VOTE THEM OUT!!
DC Rally August 2011
*This great idea was given to me by a reader of this blog.
Twitter IDAHO campaign.
Post a ‘documentation’ tweet every other day (or 3 x a week) to get the message repeating and retweeting…(one can simply copy and paste your own tweet also)
BOYCOTT EVERYTHING IDAHO Until ANIMAL TORTURE STOPS
That should be the one line message.
Twitter WI rotate.
Those are just a few ideas, I know you can come up with more.
Wolf advocates we must organize, exchange ideas, brainstorm and lend strength to each other. Asking pretty please, stop hurting wolves, won’t do the trick. We have to get serious and mean it. Most of all we need numbers, huge numbers of advocates coming together for a common purpose.
It’s time to play hardball, we’re the majority but we’re fighting billions of dollars and powerful organizations that have been in place for years and decades.
The anti-wolf movement is united in their purpose but we are all over the place. Some orgs support the delisting, many don’t. We should know where each conservation group stands. If they don’t support wolves and think it’s OK to blow them away in wolf hunts, we want to know. Don’t give your money to groups that are wishy-washy on wolves. The large orgs should have to work for the money we give them. Either they support wolves and want to see them protected or they don’t. No back room deals, no compromises.
This is a seminal moment. We can write wolves off and leave them to their killers or get busy doing something about this tragedy. It’s time to come together and show some backbone.
Yes we’ve lost a few battles but this is not over by a long shot. This is a fight to save gray wolves and if we don’t get serious we are going to lose them.
To kick things off I challenge every one that reads this blog to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, it’s especially important for advocates that reside in the wolf states. Let them know how you feel about the war against wolves.
I don’t have all the answers but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that beating our heads against a brick wall, doing the same things over and over and not getting results, is the definition of insanity as the saying goes.
We can do this if we make wolves a priority and keep at it no matter what. Persistence is always the key to anything in life.
Now let’s go!!
Endangered Wolves Sacrificed in Budget Deal
Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy
Posted: 04/11/11 04:09 PM ET
Although Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama stood firm against Republican attempts to repeal clean air and clean water protections, wolves in the Northern Rockies weren’t so lucky.
Under pressure from ranching interests in Montana and Idaho, as well as anti-wolf zealots in those states, Reid and Obama agreed to accept an amendment from Montana Democrat Jon Tester mandating the removal of grey wolves in Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list. For Obama, at least, the move isn’t surprising: his administration backed the Bush administration’s delisting of wolves even though it would allow the two massive states to cut wolf populations to as few as 450 individuals between them.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-hurowitz/endangered-wolves-sacrifi_b_847673.html
Photo: Top Howl Across America Rally
Middle Photo: DC Rally
Bottom Photo: Courtesy Mato W.
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: Idaho wolf hunt, a new beginning, activism, stop the slaughter, 81 Senators, underhanded wolf delisting, save the wolves, Obama delists wolves
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