ACTION ALERT: Montana Proposes Extending Wolf Hunt Among Other Things…Submit Comments Today, 11/28/11, by 5pm!!

Today is the deadline to submit your comments!!

Montana wants to extend the wolf hunt past the December 31, 2011 deadline to January 31, 2011, to give hunters more time to kill the entire 220 wolf quota. What a great group of people running the show over there.

AND they want to allow private hunters to kill wolves for miniscule depredations on livestock, replacing Wildlife Services. So basically there would be a mini wolf hunt year round in Montana. Private hunters, hand selected by the rancher, (most likely their relatives or buddies) would be called in to kill wolves. Montana is big on taking out entire packs of wolves for a few depredations. In 2010, FWP authorized the removal of twelve wolf packs.

Comment Deadline today.  Please speak out for the wolves!!!

“Comments can be submitted through 5 p.m., Nov. 28.”

Click the on the link  to comment.

Wolf Season Refinements

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/opportunityForPublicComment/proposedWolfSeasonRefinements.html

“Submit comments by mail to: FWP-Wildlife Bureau, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.”

PROPOSALS

PROPOSED WOLF SEASON EXTENSION

This specific proposal extends the current wolf hunting season through January 31, 2012 or until the specific WMU quotas are met, whichever is first. See the 2011 wolf regulations from the Hunting home page at the fwp.mt.gov website for specific quotas and other elements of the wolf hunting season. Based upon rate of harvest, the Commission may consider other season extension dates.

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PROPOSED PROCESS TO ALLOW WOLF DEPREDATION REMOVALS BY HUNTERS FOR 2012 AND 2013

Elements of this proposal include those listed below.

• To enhance timeliness, livestock producers would identify the hunters to be authorized.
• Livestock producers must allow a reasonable amount of no-fee wolf hunting access during the wolf hunting season.
• Hunters must have a valid wolf license.
• Hunters must report any kill within 12 hours.
• Hunters are meant to complement existing efforts by landowners and USDA Wildlife Services.
• This hunter option is not required but may be implemented with coordination by livestock producers, USDA Wildlife Services and FWP.
• This hunter option is available whenever there is no need to specifically identify the age, sex, color or identify of any wolf prior to lethal removal.
• All lethal removals by livestock producers, USDA Wildlife Services and/or hunters must be consistent with FWP lethal removal prescription.

http://fwp.mt.gov/fwpDoc.html?id=53303

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Photo: Courtesy Flickr Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Montana wolves

Tags: private hunters to replace WS?, Wildlife Services, Montana ranchers, wolf persecution, wolf wars, livestock depredation red herring, Montana FWP

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Montana FWP Scolds MSU on Wolf Study……

Oh facts, they are so pesky and get in the way of agenda’s. It seems Montana FWP is not happy with MSU’s Dr. Creel.

He published a study in September 2010 about their “precious wolf hunt”, which states the proposed hunt could be far deadlier then the fish and game agency was selling to the public. In fact the hunt could have cut the Montana wolf population in half, in just one hunting season.

From the Bozeman Chronicle:

Study: Hunt would halve Montana wolf population

Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010 6:30 pm

                                                      By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writer 

BILLINGS (AP) — A scientific study released Wednesday said a proposed hunt for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies would cut the endangered species’ population in Montana by roughly half during a single season.

The study from two Montana State University ecologists raised questions about claims that the wolves could easily withstand hunts proposed this fall in Montana and Idaho. The peer-reviewed report was published online by the Public Library of Science.

Wolves in the Northern Rockies were returned to the endangered species list last month under a federal court order, but state officials still want permission to hold the public hunts.

The MSU study found that Montana stands to lose approximately 50 percent of its wolves under a proposal submitted in mid-September to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The data suggest that a sustainable harvest can be developed. But the thresholds identified (in Montana) appear to be above a sustainable level,” said MSU ecologist Scott Creel, one of the study’s authors.

Wildlife officials in Montana and Idaho said they were not swayed by the MSU study and characterized it as speculative. They added that even if wolf populations get into trouble, they could simply adjust future quota levels to compensate.

State and federal wildlife managers have said repeatedly that about 30 percent of a wolf population can be killed and it still will bounce back the following year.

After analyzing 21 studies of North American wolf populations by government and academic researchers, Creel and colleague Jay Rotella estimated the figure for the Northern Rockies would be much lower, at 22 percent. The study reached the new estimate by using a computer model that compared Montana’s proposed hunting season to how wolf populations have responded to human-caused killings in the past.

The lower estimate means wildlife managers using the old number could inadvertently set wolf quotas too high, threatening the species’ recovery after two decades and more than $30 million spent on restoration efforts.

Montana wants a hunting quota of 186 wolves, on top of 145 wolves that the state expects to be killed this year by wildlife agents responding to attacks on livestock.

Idaho also is seeking a hunt, but its proposed quota has not been released so the potential impact was not measured in the study.

Idaho and Montana had a combined minimum population of 1,367 wolves at the end of 2009. Montana wants to pare back its wolf population by 15 percent this year, while Idaho has a long-term objective of 41 percent fewer wolves.

About 340 wolves live in neighboring states, primarily in Wyoming, but also in Oregon and Washington. No hunts are proposed in those states.

“We understand that if we tried to reduce the population at the same rate for years, it wouldn’t work,” said Jim Unsworth with the Idaho Fish and Game Department. “But that’s not what any of us have proposed.”

“If we’re too heavy with harvest, we can back off,” he added.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf biologist Carolyn Sime said the MSU study was flawed because it failed to account for wolf pups born in the spring. She said that failure overestimated the impacts of hunting.

Creel responded that his model used an established method to measure population changes between the same day from one year and the next, rendering irrelevant any interim spikes caused by spring births.

A Canadian wolf researcher with a newly published study on the same topic said Wednesday that he reached a conclusion similar to Creel: past research apparently underestimated the impacts human-caused mortality can have on wolves in the Northern Rockies.

Prior assumptions of hunting impacts were based largely on work done in the deep wilderness of Alaska and Canada, said Dennis Murray, a biologist with Trent University in Peterborough and that study’s lead author. Many wolf packs in the Northern Rockies live in proximity to inhabited areas — where they are more likely to be shot for attacking livestock or run over when crossing a highway.

“Based on (the MSU) analysis and our analysis, the high rates of mortality that have occurred so far are probably not sustainable over the long-term. That could curtail population growth and, in fact, might cause populations to decline substantially,” Murray said.The study was based on 22 years of data from more than 700 wolves in the Northern Rockies, appears in the November issue of Biological Conservation. Co-authors included four government wolf biologists from Idaho, Yellowstone National Park and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

They did not offer a sustainable harvest figure comparable to Creel’s 22 percent.”

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_1807954c-cc1f-11df-9008-001cc4c002e0.html

Here’s the complete study by Scott Creel and Jay Rotella in pdf form:

Meta-Analysis of Relationships Between Human Offtake, Total Mortality and Population Dynamics of Gray Wolves…

Scott Creel, Jay J. Rotella | Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 6:30 pm

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Apparently Montana FWP has been steaming about the study. It makes them look bad, in my opinion and shows their true motivation concerning the proposed wolf hunt. As in seriously reducing Montana’s wolf population very quickly.

Of course this is not news to any of us in the grass-roots wolf resistance movement. We’ve been ringing the alarm bell for quite some time.

Montana FWP let it be known they were going to take their toys and go home if MSU didn’t follow the party line in the future.

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From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

FWP warns MSU over scientist’s wolf study

Posted: Sunday, December 5, 2010 12:15 am | Updated: 11:26 pm, Sat Dec 4, 2010.

By GAIL SCHONTZLER Chronicle Staff Writer

A top official at the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has warned Montana State University’s president that the agency may have to end all cooperation with the university after an MSU scientist’s study challenged the state’s proposed wolf hunt.

Dave Risley, administrator of’FWP’s fish and wildlife division in Helena, wrote an Oct. 14 letter to MSU President Waded Cruzado saying that FWP has worked closely with MSU for more than 60 years, but the relationship had been “marred by a pattern of conflict” over several years with Scott Creel, an MSU scientist who studies elk and wolves.

“By writing this letter, we hope to make you aware of this situation before the only recourse is to permanently and completely dissolve the financial and intellectual relationship between FWP and MSU,” Risley wrote.

Risley’s letter added that FWP doesn’t want to go that route because both institutions have a lot to gain from a strong, collaborative working relationship. He suggested “a very simple solution” was to ensure both staffs are at least trying to collaborate, and he offered to meet with Cruzado.

MSU released FWP’s letter at the request of the Chronicle, which argued it is a public document. At the same time, MSU made public Cruzado’s Nov. 22 letter responding to Risley.

Cruzado offered to hold a one-day workshop between MSU faculty and administrators and FWP staff, with a mutually respected facilitator.

“Jointly, we could develop a stronger relationship based on better understanding of the objectives and constraints under which FWP operates,” Cruzado wrote to FWP, “as well as a better understanding of the role of academic scientists at a land-grant university.”

Asked if she saw FWP’s letter as a threat to academic freedom — the principle that universities should be able to present ideas, even if they’re unpopular — Cruzado said no.

“I welcome the letter as an opportunity to clarify our roles,” Cruzado said, “and strengthen collaboration with Fish & Wildlife.”

Cruzado’s letter to Risley also noted that Creel’s studies used “previously published data collected in part by FWP biologists … and reached conclusions differing from what you believe are warranted by the data.”

FWP’s published information is available for anyone to use.

“The university feels Dr. Creel’s research was appropriate and he was doing what a scientist is expected to do,” Tracy Ellig, MSU news director, said. “At the same time, we want to work with FWP. We’d like to focus on the issues and not the individuals.

“We don’t have any concerns with (Creel’s) research,” Ellig said. “It was peer-reviewed. It appeared in the scientific literature. It used previously published public data and … the way he arrived at his conclusions was transparent. Other scientists could either back it up or disagree with it.”

In a phone interview this week, Risley sounded conciliatory. He said FWP wasn’t objecting to Creel’s conclusions, but felt Creel had taken selected parts of FWP’s data without understanding it and didn’t work with FWP to avoid mistaken assumptions.

“I do think you owe it to the original researcher to consult about the interpretation of their data,” Risley said.

“We wanted to get the attention of the university, of the president,” Risley said. “In no way, shape or form would we want to stifle academic freedom. We were just looking for professional integrity.”

Risley said his letter to Cruzado was not intended to threaten the university. He said his previous letter of complaint to Creel’s department head received no response.

Risley said he felt “like when a kid throws a rock at a window” to get someone’s attention and inadvertently “breaks the window.” He said it had gone further than he expected. “I didn’t expect to get a call from the Chronicle,” he said. “We wanted to get it to their attention and see some action.”

Risley said he was pleased with Cruzado’s response and confident “we can put this behind us and move forward.”

Study examined wolves’ sustainability

Creel, 48, a tenured MSU ecology professor, studies the Greater Yellowstone’s wolves and elk, as well as predators in Africa. Creel is widely known in Bozeman as a top runner and nine-time winner of the 20-mile Ridge Run.

On Sept. 29, Creel and MSU colleague Jay Rotella published a scientific study which the Associated Press reported on under the headline “Study: Hunt would halve Montana wolf population.”

The study, published online by the Public Library of Science, said Montana could lose roughly 50 percent of its wolves under a hunting proposal submitted by FWP to the federal government.

The AP reported that while state and federal wildlife managers contend 30 percent of a wolf population could be killed and it would still bounce back the following year, Creel’s analysis said the percentage that could be killed and still have a sustainable wolf population was actually lower, 22 percent.

Creel said the study used a computer model to analyze data from 21 studies of wolves throughout North America. The FWP data he used on Montana wolves had been published in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2009 annual report.

“The data say what the data say,” Creel said. “The message they reveal may be inconvenient, but it’s important to get the information out there and hope to have influence on policy.”

The Associated Press story included comments from a FWP biologist, who said Creel’s study was flawed because it failed to consider the birth of wolf pups in the spring, and from a Canadian wolf researcher at Trent University, Dennis Murray, who reached results similar to Creel’s.

‘Good science and the public interest’

Risley’s letter to MSU cited conflicts with Creel going back several years. He wrote that in 2006, FWP permanently severed its relationship with Creel and that earlier this year, Creel had accused FWP staff of unethical conduct.

Creel declined to discuss details about those charges, but said parts of FWP’s letter were “misleading to flatly incorrect.”

The news story on Creel’s latest study brought sharp reaction from some readers who described wolves as “monsters” and accused Creel of being be pro-wolf.

Creel said that after a 2007 study, he was accused of having an anti-wolf agenda. That study found wolves have a greater impact on elk, beyond the numbers they directly killed. It found that pressure from wolves meant cow elk had a harder time getting enough nutrition though the winter to maintain pregnancies and so fewer calves were being born. FWP researchers did not agree with his conclusions, Creel said.

Creel said he had received messages of support from his bosses at MSU.

“Many of my colleagues and students at MSU have good, productive relationships with wildlife managers and biologists at FWP, and Mr. Risley’s letter suggests that FWP will abandon these efforts if MSU does not deal with me in some way,” Creel wrote to the Chronicle.

“I am confident in the support of my department head, dean, provost and president, so I am not concerned for myself, but I would hate to see this spill over to affect others.”

Marvin Lansverk, MSU Faculty Senate chair, said he didn’t have many details about the dispute, but if FWP is calling for more communication, that would be fine.

If FWP scientists disagree with Creel’s conclusions, Lansverk said, “They have the right and obligation to respond with publications of their own.”

However, Lansverk said, “If an administrator disagrees with scientific results, I think it would be inappropriate and detrimental to good science and the public interest to try to intervene or suppress publication of research or to put pressure on an institution to stop doing what universities do. I hope that’s not what FWP is trying to do.”

Risley, hired in August 2009 after 30 years with Ohio’s wildlife agency, is in charge of fisheries, wildlife, law enforcement, communications and education. He reports to FWP Deputy Director Art Noonan, a Butte legislator and former Democratic Party executive director, and to Joe Maurier, FWP director and former college roommate of Gov. Brian Schweitzer.”

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_0d470f22-fff8-11df-85de-001cc4c002e0.html

So there you have it folks, the ugly truth. Apparently Montana FWP doesn’t like throughly researched, transparent scientific studies that differ from their politically driven conclusions on wolves.

There is no justification to slaughter/hunt wolves for profit. Killing half the wolf population every year or even a third or any number will disrupt the social fabric of pack life. A wolf is a wolf is a wolf seems to be the attitude of fish and game agencies. Oh we’ll just kill off large numbers of them every year and they’ll just make more wolves. No consideration given to the highly social nature of these intelligent animals, their family life, the pain and suffering hunts would and did cause. AND no mention of the shadow wolf hunts that are carried out against wolves every year by Wildlife Services for agribusiness.

These are the people we are supposed to entrust the care of wolves too?  What a laugh!!

Please write to Montana FWP concerning their strong-arm tactics against MSU and Dr. Creel. Also support MSU President Cruzado.

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

  • 1420 East Sixth Avenue

  • P.O. Box 200701

  • Helena, MT 59620-0701

  • Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

  • Phone: (406) 444-2535

  • Fax: (406) 444-4952

  • E-mail: fwpgen@mt.gov

  • Commission (406)444-7826

  • Directors Office (406)444-3186

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Creel, Scott (406) 994-7033

Professor-PhD
Ecology; LW 310
screel@montana.edu

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Cruzado, Waded (406) 994-2341

President-PhD
President’s Office; MT 211
wcruzado@montana.edu

 

 

Wolf photo: kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: my way or the highway,wolf politics, Montana FWP, MSU, Dr. Creel, scientific research

Killing Wolves In The Bitteroot…

The Scapegoat

UPDATE: December 18, 2010. 

 I’m reposting this to remind you there is still time to comment on this shadow wolf hunts. Comments are being accepted until January 3, 2011.

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October 30, 2010

Well another day, another plan to kill wolves!

Bitterroot

Where Have All The Elk Gone?

by Alex Sakariassen

October 28, 2010

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) filed a proposal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this month to remove 12 wolves from the Bitterroot’s West Fork population. The agency backed its request by citing a dramatic decline in elk numbers in its West Fork Elk Management Unit, stating that wolf kills are “needed to restore [calf] recruitment rates.”

Low calf recruitment was the same argument FWP made this July in support of a costly three-year study to determine why the elk population in the Bitterroot Valley has dropped 21 percent in four years. However, at the time FWP said it wasn’t sure how much—or even if—wolves had contributed to the decline.

The sudden blame placed on wolves in the agency’s most recent proposal contradicts much of what FWP has stated in the past. Kelly Proffitt, the biologist heading the elk study, told the Indy in July that the decline may be due to habitat and body condition issues. FWP Wildlife Biologist Craig Jourdonnais pointed to extensive wildfires and increased subdivisions on winter range as potential factors. Wolves are certainly part of the puzzle, he said, but he was “not convinced.”

“It’s not at all saying wolves are the problem,” Jourdonnais says of the proposed wolf kill. “It’s saying wolves are part of the predation issue that we feel is happening there, and we definitely want to get some management authority over wolves in the West Fork.”

Derek Goldman, an Endangered Species Coalition field representative in Missoula, is as dubious of the wolf question now as FWP seemed to be this summer. The elk population in the West Fork reached similar lows even before the reintroduction of wolves, he says, referencing data from FWP’s proposal. In light of the study—which has yet to even begin—Goldman believes FWP could be putting “the cart before the horse.”

“I don’t know that 12 wolves are eating 700 elk,” he says.

Even the U.S. Forest Service has noted FWP’s doubt over the impacts of wolf predation on elk, as shown in the August 2009 environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Bitterroot National Forest’s draft travel plan.

“FWP feels that the decline in elk numbers in the Bitterroot is likely primarily due to increased antlerless harvests achieving a planned management reduction,” the EIS states, “and that there is no evidence that wolves or combined predator numbers have much to do with the decline of elk counted through 2008.”

http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/bitterroot/Content?oid=1321680

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Here are a few key points of the Montana FWP proposal:

“Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MFWP) proposes to obtain a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for wolf take under Section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act. Wolf removal would occur in the West Fork of the Bitterroot (Elk Hunting District 250), beginning as soon as possible for a period of 5 years. (In a hurry are they? Are they worried Judge Molloy will  rule to strike the 2008 “prey decline” revision from the 10j, effectively ending their “wolf hunt”?)

Wolf numbers in Elk Hunting District (HD) 250 would be reduced from the minimum of 24 counted in December 2009 to a year-end minimum of 12 wolves represented by 2 – 3 packs from 2010 through 2015. The level of removal would be dependent on pre-treatment wolf abundance in an adaptive fashion based on annual wolf and elk population monitoring data. MFWP would be accountable to the USFWS for maintaining a minimum year-end count of 12 wolves through 2015 unless MFWP proposes and the USFWS accepts a new or amended proposal prior to 2015 in response to new information, or wolves are delisted.”

 

 

I believe the real reason behind this “plan” is to hold a “shadow wolf hunt”. Judge Molloy stopped the hunt this year and Montana FWP has been pulling their hair out trying to find a way to have one.

“For year 1, the removal action would begin on December 15, 2010 or as soon thereafter as approvals are obtained, and would conclude no later than February 28, 2011.

MFWP would randomly select 100 individuals from a list of applicants to each take one wolf in HD 250 until the quota of 12 is filled or the removal action ends. MFWP may designate additional individuals if needed to complete the prescribed removal. An Automated License System (ALS) number would be required for application. Nonresidents would not exceed 10% of the successful applicants. The take of a wolf must be reported to MFWP within 12 hours via a mandatory telephone reporting line and followed by a mandatory pelt and skull check by FWP staff within 48 hours for collection of biological data. Pelts and skulls will be retained by MFWP unless authorized individuals also purchase a valid wolf license prior to harvest. Pelts and skulls retained by MFWP may be dispersed for education purposes or destroyed at a later date. The removal action may be closed on 24 hours notice if the quota is reached or anticipated to be reached, or if the wolf management objective is otherwise achieved. Authorized take of wolves must take place from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. Wolves may be taken with a firearm or bow and arrow. Wolves may not be taken by baiting, or with the aid of electronicrecording/amplification of calling or howling.”

To read the full disgusting proposal CLICK HERE

Montana FWP is taking public comments on this “shadow wolf hunt” until November 10th, 2010, 5pm. Tell them to leave these poor wolves alone and stop trumping up reasons to kill them. Especially egregious is the use of bow and arrows. The thought of  a sentient wolf, shot full of arrows, sends shivers up my spine. Montana FWP wanted to add a wolf archery season to their proposed wolf hunt for 2010 before it was shut down. Now they will be allowing archery to kill wolves in the Bitteroot. Coincidence? I think not!

PLEASE take the time to write and express your outrage over killing wolves for absolutely no reason other than the trumped-up excuse concerning elk declines in the West Fork. Think about this, they want to kill wolves for eating elk, their natural prey species. There is no definitive proof that wolves have significantly impacted elk in the Bitteroot and that was Montana FWP’s opinion in an August 2009 EIS (environmental impact statement).

“FWP feels that the decline in elk numbers in the Bitterroot is likely primarily due to increased antlerless harvests achieving a planned management reduction,” the EIS states, “and that there is no evidence that wolves or combined predator numbers have much to do with the decline of elk counted through 2008.”

CLICK HERE to comment on this egregious attempt to kill wolves.

The only bright light at the end of the tunnel is “the killing of wolves for prey declines” is being litigated. Judge Molloy is presiding over the case.

The lawsuit was brought in January 2008 by seven environmental groups: DOW, The Sierra Club, NRDC, HSUS, Center For Biological Diversity, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and Friends of the Clearwater. It was stayed when wolves were delisted in the Spring of 2009 but has now gone forward since wolves were relisted by Judge Molloy on August 5th, 201o.

To read the brief filed on August 10th, 2o1o CLICK HERE

The nexus for this lawsuit was the 2008 change in the  10j rule allowing greater flexibility to kill wolves for “prey declines”.

“The groups are challenging the 2008 10(j) rule change which lowered the bar to allow states to kill wolves for causing “unacceptable impacts” to ungulate populations if they can show “only that a wild ungulate population is failing to meet state or tribal management objectives – however defined by the states – and that wolves are one of the major causes for that failure.” The previous 10(j) rule defined “unacceptable impact” as a “decline in a wild ungulate population or herd, primarily caused by wolf predation, so that the population or herd is not meeting established State or Tribal management goals.” The USFWS felt that the states could not show that to be the case and, without proper review, changed the regulations to give the states more flexibility to kill wolves.”….Wildlife News

The lawsuit seeks to strike the 10j revision. This would mean Montana’s plan to kill wolves in the Bitteroot for “prey declines” would be stopped dead in its tracks if Judge Molloy rules in favor of the plaintiffs.

The war on wolves continues unabated.

The wolf and bears were just out in the woods minding their own business when this hunter decides it’s so great to take their lives. They died for nothing!!

Listen to the wolves’ pack mates howling in the background for their fallen loved one. How much sadder can it get?

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Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: 10j rule litigation, killing wolves, wolf scapegoating, Montana FWP, archery is cruel

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

Lawsuit Looming Over Montana FWP Wolf Coalition!!

Montana FWP held a meeting on August 20th with the purpose of forming a coalition of hunting and ranching groups, to find ways to circumvent Judge Molloy’s decision to relist gray wolves. It looks like they violated Montana’s Sunshine Laws, which are some of the toughest in the nation.

Wolf Warrior Jerry Black is fighting back!!

From the Great Falls Tribune:

“Black said the agency failed to adequately inform the public of the meeting, and therefore failed to abide by the state’s open meeting laws.”

We’re tired of wolf advocates and environmentalists being shut out of the decision-making process concerning wolves and other wildlife!

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Man threatens to sue FWP over wolf-ruling coalition

By JOHN S. ADAMS Tribune Capitol Bureau • September 9, 2010

HELENA — A Missoula man has threatened to sue the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks over a newly formed coalition aimed at overturning a federal judge’s decision to return wolves to the federal endangered species list.On Aug. 20, Joe Maurier, FWP director, and Bob Lane, FWP attorney, met with representatives of the state’s livestock industry, outfitters, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts in Helena.

Multiple news reports of the meeting state that the outcome of the meeting was the formation of a coalition that would “present a unified front” with the state in trying to overturn U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy’s ruling that effectively put a stop to Montana’s scheduled wolf hunt.

Jerry Black, a retired airline pilot and activist from Missoula, sent a letter this week to Maurier requesting that FWP “disband the coalition and cease any further collaboration.” Black’s letter also requests that the agency withdraw any work the coalition already has done on the issue.

Black said the agency failed to adequately inform the public of the meeting, and therefore failed to abide by the state’s open meeting laws. Black said he is prepared to take “any means necessary” to stop the agency from moving forward with the coalition, or the groups involved.

“This meeting obviously was directed at special-interest groups,” Black said. “I don’t know of any environmental group that was invited to this thing. That, by itself, should say something.”

Lane said Wednesday that the FWP wasn’t required to notify the public of the Aug. 20 meeting because it was merely an “informational” meeting among interested parties.

“This was not a meeting in which we were making any decision, or even talking about a decision,” Lane said.

He added that media reports stating that FWP had formed a coalition were inaccurate.

“There was never a coalition formed other than a mailing list,” Lane said. “The only thing we had in common was we were frustrated that (the) state of Montana couldn’t manage wolves as a delisted species.”Black said he doesn’t buy Lane’s explanation. He pointed to separate newspaper articles published before and after the meeting that repeatedly referenced the formation of a coalition between the state and certain stakeholders. According to an Associated Press report published the day before the meeting, FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim stated that FWP would meet “with stockgrowers, woolgrowers, hunters, farmers and other groups to discuss forming a coalition.”

Separate newspaper reports published after the meeting also stated that a coalition had been formed to draft a new strategy “for getting more state control over wolves.”

“What FWP is saying and what has been reported in the newspapers doesn’t jive,” Black said.

He said he has contacted attorneys in Helena and Missoula, and is prepared to take the matter to court.

“I’m fed up with the fact that the nonconsumptive user is left out of these decisions,” Black said. “Wildlife belongs to all of us, and all of us should be making these decisions — not just special interest groups.”

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20100909/NEWS01/9090307/Man-threatens-to-sue-FWP-over-wolf-ruling-coalition

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It looks like Montana FWP has “got some ‘splainin  to do!!”

Posted in: gray wolf, Montana FWP

Tags: Montana Sunshine Laws,  Montana FWP, circumventing the ESA, wolves under fire, wolf persecution, Cattlemen’s Assoc.,Woolgrowers Assoc., Bob Lane, RMEF

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

Update On ”Love-In” Held By Montana FWP With Anti-Wolf Crowd….

It’s been over a week since Montana FWP held a “Love-In with the anti wolf crowd at the Red Lion Colonial Inn in Helena. The purpose, besides sucking up to the hunting and ranching groups, was to form a coalition of anti-wolf stakeholders. At first I thought it was a joke. Seriously, a state agency lobbying to the anti crowd, to form a coalition? No more pesky lawsuits for them, they want to change things on the Congressional level and strip wolves of their ESA protections.

This is the same state agency that authorized killing entire wolf packs killed for agribusiness. Who increased the now halted wolf hunt quota from 75 to 186 wolves and threw in a wolf archery season for good measure.  They gave Wildlife Services control to kill wolves for livestock depredation without having to contact them first.  So I can’t say I’m surprised by all the coalition building with the wolf hating crowd but c’mon, this is wrong on so many levels. 

Not much has been reported on what was said at “the meeting”‘ but oh would I have loved to be a fly on the wall. The handwringing, the complaining, the brainstorming trying to figure out ways to bypass, circumnavigate, detour, go around the barn,  elude, dodge, or skirt Judge Molloy’s decision to relist the gray wolf. 

Ten groups were represented, including the Woolgrowers Assoc. and RMEF.  How about the Cattlemen’s Assoc. and SFW?  Those are good guesses. Sadly, I wasn’t invited because I don’t have the right wolf hating credentials. I happen to believe living in wolf country is pretty special, kind of an honor. 

One thing that’s bothering me is how the heck those select groups found out about the meeting ? As I recall, the date and time were reported by the press just one day before it took place. How did that crowd show up at 10 am the next day in Helena? Was it mental telepathy? Like  “Close Encounters of the Third Kind“?

Or something like “Field of Dreams”‘, if you schedule it, they will come?

Well it’s all a big mystery how they found out. I was under the silly impression if the state holds a meeting concerning  all citizens of the state, they would actually tell them, not just a select bunch.

“The delegates to the Constitutional Convention made a clear and unequivocal decision that government operates most effectively, most reliably, and is most accountable when it is subject to public scrutiny…

While on any given occasion there may be legitimate arguments for handling government operations privately, the delegates to our constitutional Convention concluded that in the long term those fleeting considerations are outweighed by the dangers of a government beyond public scrutiny.”

Justice Terry Trieweiler for the court in Great Falls Tribune v. Day – 1998

Or

  “All meetings of all agencies (includes boards committees and subcommittees) must be open to the public. MCA 2-3-202″

Or

Open meetings

“The legislature finds and declares that public boards, commissions, councils, and other public agencies in this state exist to aid in the conduct of the peoples’ business. It is the intent of this part that actions and deliberations of all public agencies shall be conducted openly. The people of the state do not wish to abdicate their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them.”[20

Another disturbing aspect of the “coalition” is it was formed in one day.  Call me picky but don’t the Montana Sunshine Laws make it clear that decisions concerning issues effecting the public, must be open for public comment first? Just asking?

 The Open Meetings law affords “reasonable opportunity to participate in the operation of governmental agencies prior to the final decision of the agency” (2-3-201).

To summarize, a meeting was held by Montana FWP in Helena, Montana on August 2oth,  with the express purpose of forming a coalition with anti-wolf stakeholders, yet barely any notice to the public was given and a coalition was formed on the same day. Sounds very fishy to me.

So then we have to ask this question:

Does Public Information in Montana Need Better Enforcement?

The question was raised by the executive director of the Montana Newspaper Association in the organization’s most recent newsletter. The organization sponsored Freedom of Information (FOI) Hot Line is getting an increasing number of calls from media, citizens and even government officials, and usually the questions are “straightforward.” And, the answers are “clear as a bell.””

“Has the time come to remove the onus for enforcing public information and open meeting laws from the citizen or media complainant and put the burden on government?

It seems this isn’t the first time this issue has come up.

So what came out of all the coalition building?

From the Helena IR: 

Groups form coalition on wolf issue

By EVE BYRON Independent Record helenair.com | Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 12:00 am |

Representatives of livestock producers, outfitters, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts promised Friday to present a united front with the state of Montana as it moves forward as quickly as possible, on multiple pathways, to try to regain tools needed to control growing gray wolf populations.

Joe Maurier, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and Bob Lane, FWP attorney, said they’re planning on filing a motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn an Aug. 5 U.S. District Court ruling that put wolves in Montana and Idaho back on the list of animals protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. While that appeal is pending — which is expected to take a year or longer — the state also will ask the federal government to issue “take” permits in Montana that would allow for some public hunting.

The state also is considering entering into discussions with plaintiffs in the case over what it would take to return full management of wolves to the state; seek federal legislation to change the status of gray wolves in Montana; and ask Congress to make it clear that delisting of wolves in one state, but not in an adjoining one, is part of the flexibility allowed under the Endangered Species Act.

In addition, officials will ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to consider wolves a threatened species rather than endangered in the northern half of Montana, which allows for more management latitude. They’re considered an experimental population in southern Montana, which means wolves can be shot on sight when caught preying on livestock.

Maurier added that what both Montana and Idaho officials probably won’t do is try to convince Wyoming to lift the predator status of wolves in that state, because at a meeting among leaders of the three states Thursday, Wyoming officials made it clear they weren’t planning on making any changes at this time.

“Our intent is to be more aggressive than we have in the past and we’ll see how that works,” Maurier said. “… We are going to work our tails off as long as I’m here to do whatever we can to provide a clear path forward and resolve this problem. If there was a silver bullet we would have used it by now.

“The bottom line is we can’t do it alone … and that’s why we brought you here today.”

While members of the 10 groups at Friday’s meeting agreed with some of the tactics Maurier outlined, many were resoundingly opposed to any type of talks with the 13 environmental organizations that filed the lawsuit to return wolves in Montana and Idaho to the list of endangered species.

“How do you negotiate any kind of settlement with those folks that is binding for any kind of long period of time?” asked David Allen, president of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. “Anyone with a computer, attorney and blog can become an environmental group overnight. What’s to stop that group from becoming another group and suing you?

“… I just figure what’s the point with those folks? They have shown no propensity to sit down and deal like big boys and girls.”

While acknowledging Allen’s point, Maurier added that it doesn’t hurt to at least open discussions.

“It never hurts to talk, maybe for educational purposes, if nothing else,” he said. (How open minded Mr. Maurier, the idea that the rest of Montana’s citizens have a right to speak, what a concept!)

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which handled the reintroduction of gray wolves into the Northern Rockies ecosystem beginning in 1994, declared in May 2009 that wolves in Montana and Idaho no longer needed federal protection status, and took them off the list of endangered species. As part of the two states’ management efforts, they each held their first-ever hunting season last fall, and wolves that were harassing livestock were able to be shot without permits.

However, Wyoming’s wolf management plan declared them to be predators in most of the state outside of Yellowstone National Park, and allowed them to be shot on sight as long the state retained a minimum population of about 75 animals, or 15 packs of at least five animals each. That wasn’t acceptable to the USFWS, and they remained protected under federal law.

In his ruling earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy wrote that the wolf population can’t be considered “recovered” and delisted in Montana and Idaho, but not in Wyoming.

Lane said he thinks that argument won’t stand up to an appeal, since wolves are considered only threatened in Minnesota, but endangered in Michigan and Wisconsin. Montana and Idaho will appeal Molloy’s ruling on that basis, he said, but added that if it is remanded back to Molloy, other issues raised by the environmental groups also would need to be resolved, which could take a few years.

That’s why the state and groups will also take their case to Congress, seeking fast-track clarification that partial delisting is allowed under the Endangered Species Act. Both Sen. Max Baucus and Rep. Denny Rehberg have announced plans to introduce legislation to give more control of wolf management to Montana. Maurier said those bills probably will be reconciled as they pass through the House and Senate. (Do they really think trying to gut the ESA won’t be met with a fight?)

Currently, about 1,700 wolves roam throughout Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, eastern Oregon and Washington. Montana is home to about 525 wolves and plans to manage for 400 or more; Idaho has about 835 wolves, with a management goal of 520; and Wyoming has about 320. (How pathetic is it that Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are complaining about having 1700 wolves when the  Great Lakes Region of  Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin have over 4500 wolves?)

Those at Friday’s meeting said wolves have dramatically lowered elk and moose populations in some parts of Montana and are preying in ever increasing numbers on livestock. They fear that as the number of wolves continues to rise, so will conflicts.

“We have screwed around with this far too long,” Allen said.

I couldn’t agree more Mr. Allen!

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*blue italics mine

Photo: Courtesy First People  

Posted in: Montana wolves, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: gray wolf, Montana FWP, anti-wolf coalition, open meetings, Montana Sunshine Laws

Assault on the Endangered Species Act and the War On Wolves…

There is no rest for the weary. One day after Judge Molloy relisted gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, the whining over his decision began and there is no sign it will abate, in fact it gets louder by the day. The drumbeat of negative wolf articles seems never ending.  I have never in my life read or heard so  much complaining. It’s like the sound of  a thousand three year olds crying in unison. All because wolf hunts were called off. 

Here are a few sample headlines from the hundreds and hundreds complaining about Judge Molloy’s decision.

Fish and Game disappointed with wolves’ relisting

http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/100152644.htm

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Gazette opinion: Wolf ruling endangers state management solutions

http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion/article_d811fbb8-a427-11df-9c00-001cc4c03286.html

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Gray wolf back on protect list in Mont. and Idaho, to ranchers and hunters ire

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/08/AR2010080802773.html?wprss=rss_nation

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Local sportsmen group asks state to control wolves

http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/99d0c6ea-a5b7-11df-8878-001cc4c002e0.html

The negative headlines go on and on but you get the picture. If you do a search on gray wolves, there is an overwhelming number of negative reports on wolves regaining their federal protections.  Once again environmentalists and wolf advocates voices have been drowned out by the anti-wolf crowd. Apparently nobody cares what we think or feel about this important decision and what it was like watching the horrendous wolf slaughter over the past year.  Nope, it’s only the hunters and ranchers opinions that seem to matter. We are left out in the cold once again, along with the wolves. We werent’t allowed the luxury of enjoying the victory for one day before all the threats and hate spewing rhetoritc started.

By reading the media articles you would get the idea wolves lack support and everyone wants them “managed”.  That is patently not true. What IS true is the media seems to have signed onto the anti-wolf side of the story. Maybe they decided it sells more papers or increases hits to their websites.

Don’t be fooled by lopsided reporting filled with half truths and distortions. Wolves have supporters all over the world and if the only way to get the truth out is to report positive wolf news on our blogs and facebook pages, so be it. Actually the main stream media is becoming less and less relevant, as people turn to alternative sources to get their news.

We have to question what’s behind this crazy, out of control response? I believe it’s an orchestrated effort to trash the endangered species act. Do you remember any of the groups that signed onto the delisting lawsuit?  The Safari Club and the NRA, come to mind. They have a big stake in this. How happy would the Safari Club be to see the ESA weakened?  

It’s also no accident Senator Baucus and Rep. Denny Rehburg, both from Montana,  are talking about changing the ESA to ban gray wolves from federal protection. Wolves once again are being used as political pawns and scapegoats.  When these politicians are talking about wolves they don’t have to talk about the almost 10% unemployment rate or the rock bottom approval rating of Congress, at 11%, the lowest since those records have been kept. It’s a transparent strategy at best and I’m sure Americans have more on their minds then denying wolves ESA protections. Are wolves causing unemployment? Have wolves caused the housing crisis? The anti-wolf crowd needs to get in touch with reality, wolves are very popular among many Americans. The GYA brings in $35 million a year to the area, higher then hunting profits. Wolves are actually more valuable to the states alive then dead, if they would stop listening to just ranchers and hunters and tap into wolf ecoctourism.

But no, our politicians in Montana are too busy kissing up to the ranching and hunting lobbies.

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.’

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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, who just last year was trumpeting their success in recovering elk populations across the country, is now calling on Congress to re-write the ESA. They’ve made a perceptible turn to the extreme anti-wolf position, which doesn’t come as a shock to me. When the RMEF released their rosy picture of elk recovery across the country, in the Spring of 2009, the wolf issue was just heating up. I don’t think they had any idea it would blow up the way it did. Their members had to be upset the RMEF was saying elk were doing so well, it didn’t fit in with the “wolves are killing all the elk mantra”. So now the organizaton has stepped up their rhetoric. David Allen, CEO, RMEF wrote to this blog back in October 2009.

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October 26, 2009 at 11:12 am

David Allen said:

Relative to your comments quoting RMEF elk numbers being higher than 25 years ago, you are only using part of the facts. You can make anything appear to support your position when you only use partial information.

Elk numbers are down substantially in the areas where the wolves have been allowed to flourish. Unfettered and unchecked management of the wolf population is the worst kind of wildlife management possible. We have the most successful wildlife model in the world and it isn’t because we micro-manage one species over another. Our wildlife system is not only about the wolf; it is about all species.

Goals and criteria were set for the wolf reintroduction and have been substantially surpassed. If those who support the reintroduction of the wolf want a balanced playing field then you will have to begin to stick to what was originally agreed to and stop moving the goal line.

If folks truly want the “natural process” to manage wildlife, then we all (Man) have to leave. Man put nature out of balance and Man has to manage wildlife or leave this planet. The states have managed our wildlife populations very successfully for decades; we will fail fast if we take this management out of their hands.

We do not live in a zoo.

David Allen
President & CEO
RMEF

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Nabeki’s response:

On October 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm nabeki said: |

Hi David,
It’s pretty hard to argue with your own numbers. Your organization reported that Idaho has 115, 000 elk, up 5% from 110,000 in 1984 and Montana has 150,000 elk, up 66% from 90,595 in 1984. Then you turn around and say well what we really meant is elk numbers are up in those states but only where there are no wolves. That doesn’t make sense at all. I find it ironic that hunters are so concerned about elk numbers because they want to be the ones to kill them and not the wolf. So really the issue hinges around hunters believing wolves are their competition.

Conservation Group Celebrates New Data on Milestone Anniversary
MISSOULA, Mont.—Wild elk populations in 23 states are higher now than 25 years ago when the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) was launched to help conserve habitat for elk and other wildlife.

Nationally, elk numbers grew 44 percent, from about 715,000 to over 1,031,000, between 1984 and 2009 (see chart).

During that same time span, Elk Foundation fundraisers have generated millions of dollars, which helped leverage millions more, for a conservation effort that has enhanced or protected nearly a square mile of habitat per day—now totaling over 5.5 million acres.

Population highlights among top elk states: California, Nevada and New Mexico experienced the greatest increases with growth exceeding 100 percent. Colorado, Montana and Utah herds are 50-70 percent larger. Oregon and Wyoming are up 20-40 percent.
http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/NewsReleases/2009/ElkPopulations.htm

==========================================================
So I don’t see a problem with elk, the only problem I see is an irrational fear of wolves. So much of what is written about wolves is untrue and sensational. But what is true, is wolves are healthy for the environment. Look at the Yellowstone example, wolves dispersed elk from stream and river beds, which have brought back the ash and willow trees for the first time in sixty years. Beaver and song birds have moved into these areas following this rejuvenation.

Yes, elk as you know, have changed their browsing behavior and may be harder to hunt but it seems to me that hunters need to change their tactics to encompass that, instead of complaining about it.

Congratulations to the RMEF for continuing to help keep elk populations healthy and strong. I would only hope they wouldn’t be caught up in the wolf rhetoric that seems to plague other hunting organizations.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,
Nabeki

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David Allens’s response, CEO, RMEF:

On October 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm David Allen said: |

By stating we need less management you demonstrate you do not understand the science of managing wildlife.

You also continue to pick and choose the stats you like that support your position but ignore what contradicts your position.

This is how we got into this mess. Intellectual integrity has been missing from day one of the wolf reintroduction.

Wolves must be managed as all other wildlife, period; and they will be I can assure you.

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Nabeki’s response:

On October 26, 2009 at 7:59 pm nabeki said: |

Hi David,
I quoted YOUR numbers from the RMEF, so I’m not sure what you’re questioning? On wolf-cattle predation I quoted the USDA.

The negative dogma surrounding wolves will continue as long as people are grounded in emotion about these animals. Wolf advocates will fight just as hard for sound wolf policies, I can assure you of that and what’s going on now is not sound wolf management. Enough of these animals are killed by the feds every year, let alone having wolf hunts mere months after they were delisted. Minnesota with their 3000 wolves stated they wouldn’t even consider a hunt for five years if wolves were ever delisted in their state. Yet we have the Governor of Idaho going on television, ramping up the wolf rhetoric stating, “I’m prepared to bid for the first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.” I believe over 25,000 wolf tags were sold in Montana and Idaho combined to kill 295 wolves. Who’s being emotional about wolves, the conservationists or the anti-wolf crowd?

It’s obvious we don’t agree on this issue. I’m sure the 100,000 hunters roaming Montana’s wilderness will be able to kill the remaining 55 wolves before wolf season is shut down. And I’m equally sure they’ll have a successful elk hunting season with the numbers of elk way up in this state.

Nabeki

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I saw all this coming from them but I never thought they would go so far as to try and gut the ESA.  The irony of all this is it was the ESA that saved the wolf and brought them back from the brink  in the West. It gave wolves the protection they needed to make a comeback. Now there are calls to change wolves protections because the anti-wolf crowd lost in court. They’re acting like typical sore losers. By calling for extreme measures to kill federally protected wolves,  it proves wolf adovcates’ point, wolves are severely persecuted and scapegoated. They cannot exist or survive long term without protection.

August 6, 2010

RMEF Calls on Congress to Reform Endangered Species Act

http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/NewsReleases/2010/ESAReform.htm

Oh but wait, there’s more. “Sportsman” and I use that word loosely, are bugging the heck out of  “wildlife managers” in both states to do somethin about those dang varmit wolves that are killing all the ungulates.  They don’t want wolves as competition, oh  no, they want to kill the elk, deer and moose themselves!!  Those pesky wolves, what right do that have to hunt and survive?  Don’t we have dominion over them? They just can’t be allowed to live in peace, now can they? 

MANAGE,MANAGE, MANAGE, that’s the message.  What would happen if wolves weren’t collared and relentlessly tracked like terrorists? They might actually be able to live out their lives in relative peace, without interference and brutality from humans. I know one thing, they wouldn’t be very easy to find without those infernal collars. Most wolves, unless they’re habituated, don’t want to be any where near humans and can you blame them?

Just to remind everyone, wolves kill very few livestock . In the expanse of the Northern Rockies in 2009,  just 214 cows were lost to wolves, out of six million cows. To put that in perspective, 10,500 calves died due to winter storms in one year. In the yearly interagency wolf report for 2009, written by USFWS, which covers the Northern Rockies, the report stated in part: ….”wolf depredation results in a comparatively small proportion of all livestock losses”….

From the Billings Gazette:

“Officials say wolves account for a fraction of livestock losses.

In 2009, sheep producers reported losing 56,000 animals for reasons other than predators, such as disease and weather. They also reported losing another 18,800 animals to all predators, mostly coyotes. Eagles were blamed for another 600 sheep deaths, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service reports.”

Here are the charts the feds and states don’t want you to see:

Vulures killed more cows then wolves that year. Coyotes and domestic dogs were in the number one and two position. Even so all predators are responsible for a tiny blip of livestock losses.(NASS 2006)

Of the 104,500,000 cattle grazing in the US,  notice the small number of deaths attributed to all predation compared to the 3,861,000 cattle deaths from a myriad of non-predation factors. (NASS 2006)

On their quest to please the tiny,VOCAL, minoriy of wolf hunters, ranchers and haters, Montana and Idaho want to  revive the 10j rule to reduce the wolf  population significantly. Idaho has declared they want to slash  the wolf population down to 500 animals from 850, they made this statement before and  AFTER wolves were relisted.

The 10j rule is part of the original wolf “management” plan,  an awful concession to ranchers. Wolf advocates were willing to make those concessions back in the ninties, so they could bring wolves back but it’s turned into a bloody, brutal tool, that gets entire wolf packs, including puppies, killed.  Montana and Idaho are talking about using the 10j rule to kill wolves for “prey declines”.

“Subsection (j) in Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act permits reintroduction of  an endangered species to a location where it used to live, but has since been driven out or exterminated. For each reintroduction effort, a special rule, called a “10(j) rule,” is written, which determines whether the population is essential to the survival of the species and specifically describes how the species will be treated by agency staff, whether lethal control can ever be used on the species, and what private citizens can or cannot do in regard to the species. Reintroduced species are managed differently than other endangered species. Federal agencies have more control over these reintroduced populations, which they call “experimental populations,” than they do for endangered populations that have not been reintroduced.

The 10j rule was rewritten in 2008, to allow more leeway to kill wolves. It’s being challenged in court:

From the Ravalli Republic: 

The ESA’s 10(j) rule was revised in 2008 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to give states more latitude in managing wolves that were deemed to be impacting ungulate herds.

That same year environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the revised rule in U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy’s court.

Wolves were delisted in March 2009 and the lawsuit was put on hold after Idaho dropped its request to implement the rule.

Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity said that lawsuit will move forward now that states are considering asking for permission to use the rule to kill wolves.

Robinson said wolves have been made the scapegoat of declining elk numbers that are the result of habitat degradation and other factors.

“We consider it a misplaced attempt to use the rule to kill wolves … our lawsuit will move forward,” Robinson said.

Wildlife Services is taking comments until August 31, 2010 on a environmental draft analysis that examines the myriad of ways to kill and “manage” wolves, including killing pups and sterilizing alpha pairs. Isnt’ that just great? Wolves have just been relisted, they are a federally protected species yet Wildife (Dis)Services wants to hear from you about their so called “wolf management plan” or more brutal ways to kill wolves.

Please make sure you get your comments in by August 31, 2010. There are four alternatives.  I’m adding a fifth one…STOP KILLING AMERICA’S WOLVES FOR AGRIBUSINESS!!

These shadow trophy hunts are being paid for with your tax dollars people, a subsidy for agriculture. It’s not a coincidence Wildlife Services is part of the USDA, their extermination arm.

Here are the choices:

• 4.4.1 Alternative 1 – Continue the Current Wolf Damage Management Program (No Action)

This would be keeping the status quo. Slaughtering wolves the way they have been doing, which is bad enough.

• 4.4.2 Alternative 2 – Expanded Wolf Damage Management Program (Proposed Action, Preferred Alternative)

This disgusting option includes denning  (using a poisonous gas cartridge , gassing wolf pups in their dens) and sterilizing alpha pairs of wolves. Who kills puppies and sterilizes wolves? This is what we have passing as “wolf management”? SHAME!!!

• 4.4.3 Alternative 3- Nonlethal Wolf Damage Management Only.

Under this Alternative, WS would not conduct any lethal wolf control and would have no impact on the wolf population in Idaho.

• 4.4.4 Alternative 4 – No Federal Wolf Damage Management in Idaho

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/pdfs/nepa/idaho_wolf_ea.pdf

Contact Wildlife Services and vehemently oppose any sterilization of alpha pairs or gassing of pups in their den. I can’t believe we’re even discussing these brutal policies in the 21st century.

From The Wildlife News:

USDA-APHIS-WS
Idaho WS State Office
9134 W. Blackeagle Drive
Boise, Idaho 83709
telephone: (208) 378-5077
fax: (208) 378-5349

OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

Written public comments will be accepted through
August 31, 2010
and can be submitted via e-mail to:

wsidwolfea@aphis.usda.gov

or by mail or fax to the Idaho WS State Office
(address and fax listed above).

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More of Idaho’s take on  gray wolves relisting:

Idaho F&G: Explore wolf hunt, despite relisting

The Associated Press

Published: 08/06/10

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/08/06/1294553/idaho-fg-explore-wolf-hunt-despite.html

Boy, Montana and Idaho have their thinking caps on and as the deputy director of Idaho Fish and Game stated “There may be some rock out there we haven’t turned over.”

These are the people we are supposed to believe are “managing” wolves responsibly. We all know “management” is a code word for killing wolves. I’ll say it again and it needs to be repeated over and over.  State game agencies SHOULD NOT BE MANAGING PREDATORS. It’s a conflict of interest. They are looking out for the wants and needs of hunters, not wolves.

To add to the growing list of ways to get around the ESA  Montana wants to allow sport hunters to kill wolves for agribusiness instead of Wildlife Services. Hmmm, I thought Montana wanted to kill wolves because they were killing all the elk and livestock? But of course we know that’s a red herring.  Apparently there are hunters out there who are pretty darn disappointed the wolf hunts have been cancelled. I guess the “wolf managers” don’t want to disappoint those poor hunters and deny them the great opportunity to shoot a wolf in the guts, hear it’s agonizing howls and screams. Oh, they must find a way.

Montana seeks to restore hunting for endangered wolves

August 11, 2010

http://w ww.greatfallstribune.com/article/20100811/NEWS01/100811014/1002/rss

This reminds me of a meeting held in Kalispell, Montana this year, concerning the increase of wolf hunting quotas. Apparently one of the speakers at the meeting was asked why Montana was killing wolves, when they know full well wolves kill very few livestock compared to other factors plus elk were doing pretty well in the state. His answer, “BECAUSE WE CAN”. There you have it wolf warriors, “because we can“. But wait what about the marauding Canadian wolves killing everything in sight?  Gee, I guess that’s just propaganda to appease the wolf haters, you know sort of preaching to their base.  He went on to say something to the effect there’s been a tremendous interest in wolf hunting, even from other states. I guess people are calling Montana to find out when they’ll get their chance to murder a wolf. Can’t disappoint those people, the show must go on.

So you see dear readers it’s not about cows or elk, it’s about WOLF HUNTING. Hunters want the chance to slaughter a wolf for $19. Quite the bargain, huh? That’s all a wolves life is worth in Montana, just $19 a tag, of course the price goes up to $350 if you’re an out of state wolf hunter.

The latest and most egregious plan to circumvent the ESA and kill wolves is a lame idea to hold RESEARCH HUNTS!!!`  Apparently the states have been watching too many episodes of  Whale Wars.

Japanese whaling ship… with RESEARCH written in English on the side of the vessel. They’ re not fooling anyone by killing whales in the “Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary” for RESEARCH.  Is this what the states have in mind for wolves? We were born in the dark but it wasn’t last night!!

These are the same people who have been killing gray wolves at record rates. USFWS recently killed two wolf packs in Wyoming , including all the pups. Wildlife Services has been killing wolves, including entire packs in Montana  for agribusiness, Idaho does the same thing. They held wolf hunts mere months after wolves were deslisted.  They created a wolf archery season along with baiting, calling and trapping for the now cancelled 2010 wolf hunts.  They didn’t seem to care one whit what was happening to wolves and their social structure. 500 wolves died in 2009 alone in the Northern Rockies, yet when wolf advocates questioned what effect the “Russian Roulette” killing was having on wolves, this is what we heard. 

Wildlife officials mull ‘research hunts’ for wolves

By MATTHEW BROWN – Associated Press writer trib.com | Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:00 am

http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_28438ab2-503c-5f24-848d-ea8ad28ce4eb.html

Now they want us to swallow the notion they’re interested  in the impact of the slaughter. If only they could  hold research hunts, they could find out what you  and I already know. The double whammy of the hunts and WS killings is wrecking havoc on wolves, one of the most highly social animals on earth, second only to  humans and African lions. Doesn’t take another wolf  killing season to figure that out.

Are all the “stakeholders” (I hate that word and apparently we’re not on the list of “stakeholders),  sitting in smoke filled rooms “turning over rocks” to see what crawls out from under them to circumvent ESA? I think so.  Maybe the rooms aren’t smoke filled but the plotting is definitely going on.

From trib.com:

Wildlife officials in the Northern Rockies said Wednesday they are considering hunting wolves in the name of research to get around a recent court ruling that restored federal protections for the animals.

Environmentalists derided the proposal, vowing to challenge in court any new plans for hunting the estimated 1,367 wolves in Idaho and Montana.

“They’re adopting the Japanese whaling approach of holding hunts under the obviously erroneous concept of research,” said Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain director for Defenders of Wildlife. “They’re trying to be too clever by half.”

UPDATE: Research Hunts nixed. They were too transparent even for Montana FWP and USFWS. Now they are concentrating on “conservation hunts”, basically killing wolves for existing. They want to use the horrible 1oj rule to kill wolves for “prey declines” as a way to circumvent the ESA. Idaho announced they will slaughter 80 wolves in the Lolo zone, just for being on this earth. They claim the wolves are killing the elk in the Lolo. OMG wolves are killing elk?  How shocking?   The Lolo elk herd has been declining since the early nineties and IDFG knows it.

They are disgusting and should NOT be managing our predators.  More on the 10j coming soon.

‘Research hunt’ for wolves dropped as officials balk

By MATTHEW BROWN • Associated Press Writer • August 13, 2010

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Any and all attempts to circumvent the ESA should be met with HELL NO from wolf advocates. Please don’t take any of this lightly. I know we just won a victory but this is a war on wolves. Their relisting  was an  important win but the war rages on.

I urge you to write, call, raise your voices in protest over the  jiihad against wolves, not just wolves in the Northern Rockies but all wolves.

I beg everyone to write their congressman and senators to tell them in no uncertain terms they may not change the ESA to remove wolves protections. They work for us, not the other way around. I’ve included a link at the bottom of the post for all contacts. Be sure to write to Senator Baucus and Representaive Rehburg of Montana to express your outrage over there intentions to manipulate the ESA to remove wolves protections.

Contact Senator Max Baucus, (D) Montana

http://baucus.senate.gov/?p=contact

http://baucus.senate.gov/?p=office_locations

Senator Baucus is holding a “listening session” tomorrow,  Friday the 13th,  in Columbia Falls, Montana, on general subjects but I’m sure his statement to meddle with the ESA and deny wolves their federal protections will surely come up.

Baucus hosting Columbia Falls meeting

By Dax VanFossen

Updated: Aug 12, 2010 12:20 PM

http://www.kaj18.com/news/baucus-hosting-columbia-falls-meeting/

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Contact Representative Denny Rehburgh, (R) Montana

http://dennyrehberg.com/contact.php

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I didn’t want to write this post. I was trying to enjoy our victory but the happiness was short lived. As long as this tiny, vocal minority in the West has a stranglehold on wolves and other native carnivores, the battle will continue. 

Stand up and speak out for wolves before it’s too late, the other side will do anything to get wolves killed. This is Wolf Wars part 3000!!

Click here for contacts. We must act!!

I’m going to post a link to the contact info for the entire Congress. If anyone has access to that link, could you pass it on to me? We need a big push to shut down any meddling with the ESA by Congress.  We cannot let them touch the ESA or all protected species will be at risk. The grizzly bear could be next.

Photo: Japaense vessel, Courtesy Greenpeace

Photo: wolf, Courtesy kewlwallpapers.com

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf hysteria, playing dirty, 10j, IDFG, Montana FWP, USFWS, war on wolves: part 3000, thwarting ESA, tampering with ESA

 

186 Wolves Slated To Die In 2010 Montana Hunt

Well Montana FWP took off the gloves and increased the wolf hunt quota for 2010 to 186. That is more then double the number from the 75  quota of  the 20o9 hunt.  These are the folks in charge of wolves lives. They are treating them like vermin. 

A wolf archery season was created with the new quota. So now wolves will be dodging arrows and bullets if this misguided, brutal hunt goes forward.

Even though wolves are a newly delisted species the state couldn’t wait to start killing them, mere months after gray wolves lost their ESA protections in 2009, Montana and Idaho initiated wolf hunts. Wolf advocates predicted this would happen. Fish and game agencies should NOT be managing predators. There’s a conflict of interest because the very prey species hunters pay licensing fees to hunt are the same prey that wolves hunt. Who’s side do you think the state game agencies are going to come down on?  Certainly not the wolves. 

Wolves are just numbers to them. Shoot a couple hundred, what the heck. We don’t need science. We don’t need to worry about disrupting the pack structure of one of the most social animals on the planet.  Apparently Montana FWP believes they can take out half the wolf population and wolves will just make more wolves. What they forgot to mention is Wildlife Services killed 145 wolves in 2009 for agribusiness.

So lets do the math. There WERE  approx. 520 wolves in Montana at the end of 2009 but since WS has been slaughtering  entire packs in 2010, that number  has decreased. Assuming WS will kill as many if not more wolves this year then last, we”ll use the 145 number and add that to the 186 wolves they want to kill in the hunt. Subtract the number of wolves present at the end of 2009 and that leaves just 186 animals and it will be lower then that, probably closer to 150 wolves, left in the state at the end of 2009.  That means over 60% of wolves in Montana will lose their lives, under the double whammy of two hunts, the so-called legal hunt and the WS shadow hunt.

Why then is Montana FWP stating there will be over 400 wolves left after all this killing?  It’s simple, they’ll be counting the puppies born in 2010  to raise the wolf numbers. You see they count wolves at the end of every year. It’s all a numbers game.  The wolf pups born this Spring will be added to the decimated wolf population at the end of  year, which will increase the numbers. To raise the wolf populaton back up to 400 from 150 will take at least 250 pups that were born and survived this spring. Or wolves that may have dispersed from Idaho, Wyoming or Canada. 

If this is allowed to continue wolves will be “managed” down to bare minimum numbers, just enough to keep them from being relisted but not enough to be more then mere shadows on the landscape.

Why are they doing this?  Well at a Montana FWP meeting on wolves, a month or so ago, someone asked them that question.  Their answer: BECAUSE WE CAN!!  They went on further to state there’s a big interest in trophy hunting wolves in Montana and apparently the state wants to accomodate these hunters. Nice huh?

Killing and disrupting packs, shooting alphas, playing Russian roulette with wolves lives is going to dial down the age of wolves.  The wolf population will be younger with fewer more experienced wolves around to show them the ropes.  Young wolves are more likely to get into trouble. This policy of killing over 50%-60% of the wolf population is sick and disgusting. Where is the science? Where are the studies on the effect the 2009 wolf hunt had on the population? There shouldn’t be any wolf hunts in Montana in the first place. Wolves are not even close to being recovered.

Wake up people, Montana has declared war on wolves. I hope Judge Molloy’s decision puts a cramp in their plans. But wait,  Montana FWP has a plan for that too. If Judge Molloy relists wolves, Montana FWP stated they will try to find a way to let sport  hunters kill wolves for agribusiness, along  with federal agents. These people want to kill wolves, that’s it. It has nothing to do with elk or cows.  

I wish wolves were never reintroduced to the Northern Rockies. They don’t deserve a repeat of the persecution they suffered under the first Western extermination. They brought them back to kill them for sport!! 

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FWP sets wolf quota at 186

Posted: Thursday, 08 July 2010 12:34PM
AP News

http://www.keci.com/pages/7645292.php?contentType=4&contentId=6429257

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: 186 wolf hunt quota, wolf persecution, trophy hunting, Montana FWP

Thoughts On the Montana FWP Wolf Hunt Quota Hearings

I think the Wednesday Montana FWP wolf hunt quota  hearings, held across the state, were window dressing. No hearts and minds were changed. The people who hate wolves, still hate wolves, the people who want to hunt wolves still want to hunt them and the wolf advocates were left out in the cold. It was more of take it or leave it kind of thing. FWP basically is saying they are changing the quotas to either 153, 186 or 216 and if you don’t like it tough. I didn’t ask for a wolf  hunt, didn’t want a wolf  hunt and I certainly didn’t want them to hunt even more wolves.

The whole point of the hearings was CYA. They can say they went out and explained their special little plan to everyone and now we can all send in our comments, like it’s going to make one bit of difference to the commissioners. I mean what do we get to choose from? Double or almost triple the wolf hunt quotas?  Wolf supporters didn’t have anything to say about the hunts in the first place. The state just decided to have wolf  hunts.

I was told that when someone in the audience at one of the hearings asked why the state was having wolf hunts, the Montana FWP speaker said, “Because we can.” Now that’s sound management isn’t it? Wolves lives are disposable.  Apparently FWP was enamored of the money the 2009 wolf hunts brought into their coffers. They don’t care one bit if wolf advocates don’t like it, they’re going to do it “because they can”.

I have to say I was stunned by the tiny numbers of wolf advocates attending the hearings.  As far as I know and someone can correct me if I’m wrong, not one environmental organization was represented, not one wolf organization attended. If I’m wrong please let me know. But it was a puny turnout and wolves were the losers. If people say they are pro-wolf and then don’t even bother to show up for hearings, when Montana is discussing killing lots more wolves in the coming 2010 hunts, then I have no idea what to say about that.

Does everyone know what’s happening here? There’s going to be a wolf slaughter this coming fall, if Judge Molloy doesn’t relist wolves. Wildlife Services is already out in force killing wolves. On top of that wolves in Montana are now going to have to dodge arrows with the proposed archery season, a back country rifle season and a general hunting season that could plunge the population of wolves from 520 to below two hundred wolves by the end of 2010.

Oh, FWP will tell you that won’t happen because wolves had pups in 2010, that haven’t been counted. What they won’t tell you is Wildlife Services has been aggressively killing wolves for agribusiness and this is pup season. How many wolf pups have been killed along with their parents in these deadly “control actions” for agribusiness? What will all this killing do to the number of breeding pairs going into 2011?

Apparently the new paradigm is they won’t let the  wolf population drop below fifteen breeding pairs or 150 wolves. When in the hell did we get to those numbers?  This is a war on wolves and we are losing, WOLVES ARE LOSING.  Being present and speaking out can actually make a difference. If  pro-wolf people were as vocal as the wolf haters we actually could become a force to be reckoned with. But sadly that’s not happening.

For all the wolf advocates that didn’t attend, does your silence  mean you endorse the horrific policies the state wants to adopt  to kill more wolves?

“Crickets”

Posted in: Montana wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: Montana FWP, Increased wolf hunt quotas, wolves under fire

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