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

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

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

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

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

“Report on Bowhunting

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

The Wounding Cover-up

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

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

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

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

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

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

I couldn’t agree more. George continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gazette opinion: Wolf fans, foes await ruling

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

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

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July 13, 2010

Wolves, Oil, Bureaucrats and Judges

By GEORGE WUERTHNER

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

 

Photo: Courtesy Kewl wallpaper

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

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

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Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 12:06 am  Comments (46)  
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Deadline for filing briefs in federal wolf lawsuit closes

By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian | Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 4:15 am

If gray wolves need any winter reading material, there’s stacks of it in U.S. District Judge Don Molloy’s office.

Thursday was the last day for filing final briefs in a federal lawsuit over removing wolves from the Endangered Species Act protection. The main contenders, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EarthJustice and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition all delivered their arguments in past weeks. Wildlife managers in Montana and Idaho, as well as the farm bureaus of both states, the Safari Club and the National Rifle Association all sent intervener briefs just before the deadline.

The case looks at whether federal authorities properly took away the wolf’s threatened status in Montana and Idaho, and whether it was legal to do so while keeping the wolf a protected species in Wyoming. Montana and Idaho instituted big-game hunting seasons on the wolf last fall, killing 72 and 145 wolves, respectively.

Molloy may call for oral argument or choose to rule based on the written arguments alone.

http://www.missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_eae1f720-0c83-11df-93ab-001cc4c03286.html

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, endangered species act,  howling for justice

Tags:  ESA lawsuit wolves, canis lupus, obama administration delisting wolves 

Killing Wolves For Fun and The War Against Wolves

December 18, 2009

Wolves have been accused of it but the predator with the reputation for killing for sport isn’t the wolf, it’s man.

I’ve often asked myself why people trophy hunt, this is especially relevant now since wolves are firmly in the cross-hairs, with the ongoing wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho. 

Wolves aren’t being hunted for food.  Hunters make a personal decision to go out and kill a wolf just because it’s there.

Over 25,000 wolf tags have been sold in the two states to kill 295 wolves. A little over kill, don’t ya think?  Add to that the hatred some people feel for wolves, it makes for an even scarier and mean spirited climate for wolves.

Even before the wolf hunts began the air was charged with anti-wolf bias. The governors of Montana and Idaho inserted themselves into the negative wolf rhetoric.  Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana made a questionable statement about federal Judge Molloy, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought by environmental groups to reverse the wolf delisting.  The plaintiffs were asking for an injunction, to stop the wolf hunts, while the merits of the case were being decided.  Governor Schweitzer stated:  ”If some old judge says we can’t (hunt wolves), we’ll take it back to another judge.”  That was a totally indefensible remark for the Gov of a state to make. especially since it was couched as a threat.  Gov Otter of Idaho went one better.  Back in 2007, before wolves were even delisted, he stated, in front of a rally of hunters, many wearing camouflage, he was prepared to manage the wolf population down to just 100 animals. He went even further stating “. “I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.”

The “management” or killing of wolves is sanctioned by the states of Montana and Idaho but exactly who is this benefiting?  Certainly not the ninety percent of the non-hunting public.   Wolves and other predators are being “managed” for the benefit of a few interest groups, mainly elk hunters, ranchers and outfitters.  The rest of us, who want to view wildlife in their natural state, which means “not dead”, don’t seem to count.  Our wildlife is being slaughtered for the benefit of a few. That is inherently wrong but it continues because hunting and ranching interests have powerful lobbies that seek to influence policy. That’s the way business has been conducted and unless and until the politics of the usual are replaced with the politics of change, our predators will continue to suffer.

The states of Montana and Idaho and many others have made the decision which wildlife they consider important and which are disposable.  There is no need to manage predators yet we spend millions of tax payers dollars tracking, collaring and killing  predators and other wildlife by cruel means, IE. poisoning (1080 compound, M44s)denning and trapping.)  All this is for agriculture and hunting interests. The rest of us be damned.

The states aren’t comfortable with predators controlling ungulate populations because they cater to hunting and ranching lobbies, who bring millions of dollars into state coffers.   When predators,  like the wolf,  increase in number, the call rings out for them to be “managed”.   “In 2008, wolves are known to have killed fewer than 200 cattle and sheep in Montana, and 100 wolves were hunted down in response.”  How can you even defend that kind of senseless slaughter? Yet the states of Montana and Idaho trumpet their wild life management practices are backed by “science”.  I would like to see the science that condones 100 wolves losing their lives for the death of 200 livestock?

In January 2008, before the current wolf delisting took place, FWP issued revised rules concerning the “management” of gray wolves, who had been reintroduced to Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone in 1995, 1996.  The new rules state the feds and tribes can kill more wolves if they become a “threat” to game animals and private property.  So once again FWP is “managing” for the benefit of the few ignoring the wants of the many.

Have you ever visited Yellowstone National Park and watched the Druid Peak Pack?  Every year, people flock to the park to catch a glimpse of the super star wolves, yet Montana FWP decided to open the wolf hunt right outside park boundaries.  This bad decision resulted in the decimation of the famous, Cottonwood pack, specifically alpha female 527f, her mate the alpha male and their daughter.

Enter trophy hunting of wolves into this explosive, negative environment.  I won’t call trophy hunting a sport.  It’s an unfair game where the hunted aren’t acquainted with the rules. although most hunting falls under that category. The only way it could be considered fair is if you put the “hunters” in the woods without their high powered rifles or bows and have them run up against a wolf or bear with their bare hands, you know, Mano y Mano. How many “brave” hunters would be out there killing wolves for fun in that scenario?  I say the number would be ZERO.

Killing for sport is a cowardly exercise that features an uneven playing field between hunters and the hunted, just for the cheap thrill and rush of testosterone (yes most hunters are men).  How skillful and brave do you have to be to kill an animal, hundreds of yards away, that has no fighting chance against your high powered rifle?  Trophy hunting gives all hunting a bad name.

Even though I’m not a hunter and would never want to kill an animal, there are people who hunt for food.  When you examine this a little closer you realize hunting is expensive, so it’s not usually a poverty-stricken person, trying to put meat on the table that’s “hunting for food.”   You have to have money to hunt. There are tags to buy, high cost rifles and ammunition, hunting equipment, etc., it all adds up to big bucks, pun intended.  People who choose to hunt elk, deer or moose, do so at great expense!  The main reason given for sustenance hunting does not really stand up when you examine it closely.  I believe people hunt, not because they want to fill their freezers but because they enjoy the thrill of the chase, enjoy the outdoor experience, getting away from it all and derive some pleasure from the actual kill itself.  But, if hunters at least eat what they kill, then the animal didn’t die in vain.  I will never, ever condone hunting for myself but I won’t malign all hunters.

On the other hand, killing for fun cannot be defended, IE. trophy hunting or sport hunting.  It’s blood-lust, pure and simple.  Wolves should not be subjected to this in the 21st Century.  We’ve already exterminated them in the West once, are we aiming for round two?

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Why State Fish and Game Agencies Can’t Manage Predators

By George Wuerthner, 4-17-09

http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/why_state_fish_and_game_agencies_cant_manage_predators/C564/L564/

Photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom
Categories posted in: Wolf wars, wolves under fire
Tags: killing wolves for fun, wolves in the crossfire, Wildlife Services, Obama administration de-listing

Killing Wolves For Fun & The War On Wolves

 

yellowstone wolf runnintg

Wolves have been accused of it but the predator with the reputation for killing for sport isn’t the wolf, it’s man.

I’ve often asked myself why people trophy hunt, this is especially relevant since wolves are firmly in the cross fire, with the ongoing wolf hunts in Montanaand Idaho.

Wolves aren’t being hunted for food.  Hunters are making a personal decision to go out and kill a wolf just because it’s there.

Over 26,000 wolf tags were sold in Idaho alone to kill 220 wolves and Montana sold thousands to kill 75 wolves.  A little over kill, don’t ya think?  Add to that the hatred some people feel for wolves,  it makes for an even scarier and mean spirited climate.

alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

Even before the wolf hunts began the air was charged with anti-wolf bias. The governors of Montana and Idaho inserted themselves into the negative wolf rhetoric.  Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana made a questionable statement about federal Judge Molloy, who is presiding over a lawsuit brought by environmental groups to reverse the recent wolf delisting.  The plaintiffs were asking for an injunction, to stop the wolf hunts, while the merits of the case were being decided.  Governor Schweitzer stated:  “If some old judge says we can’t (hunt wolves), we’ll take it back to another judge.”  That was a totally indefensible remark for the Gov to make. Gov “Butch” Otter of Idaho went one better.  Back in 2007, before wolves were even delisted, he stated in front of a rally of camouflage wearing hunters, he was prepared to manage the wolf population down to just 100 animals. He went even further stating “. “I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.”

Should the executive officers of Montana and Idaho, use the wolf as a political football by posturing to ranching and hunting interests?  What chance does the wolf have to be treated fairly when even the governors  make those kinds of statements?

The “management” or killing of wolves is sanctioned by the states of Montana and Idaho but exactly who is this benefiting?  Certainly not the ninety percent of the non-hunting public.   Wolves and other predators are being “managed” for the benefit of a few interest groups, mainly elk hunters, ranchers and outfitters.  The rest of us, who want to view wildlife in their natural state, which means “not dead”, don’t seem to count.  Our wildlife is being slaughtered for the benefit of a few. That is inherently wrong but it continues because hunting and ranching interests have powerful lobbies that seek to influence policy and it works! Unless and until the politics of the usual are replaced with the policies of change, America’s predators will suffer.

hayden pack wolves

wolf photo: SigmaEye Flicker

Montana and Idaho and others have decided which wildlife they consider important and which are disposable.  Predator management is just a euphemism for killing them.  Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on tracking, collaring and lethally controlling predators and other wildlife by cruel means, IE, poisoning with 1080 compound, M44s, denning and trapping.  Most of the killing is done by Wildlife Services, which is an arm of the USDA.  The lethal control of wolves is not supported by the majority of Americans but we have little input in the decision making process.  Why does the non-hunting consumer have so little input into how our wildlife is managed?

Although predators can control ungulate populations, the states aren’t comfortable with that because they cater to hunting and ranching lobbies, who bring millions into state coffers.  creating a conflict of interest for state game agencies who manage predators like the wolf.  Wolves compete with hunters for the same prey.  The budget of state game agencies depend on hunter licensing fees.  Is it any wonder we are having wolf hunts and wolf “management”?

As soon as predators, like the wolf, start to increase in number, the call rings out for them to be managed.   “In 2008, wolves are known to have killed fewer than 200 cattle and sheep in Montana, and 100 wolves were hunted down in response.” 

How can anyone defend that kind “managment”? Yet Montana and Idaho contend their wildlife management practices are grounded in science.  I would like to see the science that backs wiping out 100 wolves for the death of 200 livestock?

In January 2008, before the current delisting took place, FWP issued new revised rules concerning the “management” of  gray wolves, who had been reintroduced to Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone.  The new rules state the feds and tribes can kill more wolves if they become a “threat” to game animals and private property.  So once again FWP is “managing” for the benefit of the few ignoring the wants of the many.  How shocking.

Have you ever visited Yellowstone National Park and watched the Druid Peak Pack?  They were literally the super stars of Yellowstone, sadly the pack is plagued by mange, their numbers dcclining, yet we are caught up in wolf hunts, which threatens them and other wild wolves in the park.  Already the famed Alpha female, 527F, of the park’s Cottonwood Pack, was gunned down a mile outside of Yellowstone, along with the Alpha male and her daughter, when the Montana hunt began.  This basically decimated the Cottonwood Pack and halted important research into some of  Yellowstone’s famous, studied, collared wolves.

Trophy hunting of wolves only inflames passions and hatred of wolves in some quarters.   I won’t call trophy hunting a sport.  It’s an unfair game where the hunted aren’t acquainted with the rules. The only way it could be considered fair is if you placed the “hunter” in the woods without their high powered rifle or bow and have them run up against a wolf with their bare hands, you know, Mano y Mano. How many “brave” hunters would be out there killing wolves for fun in that scenario?  I say the number would be ZERO.  Killing for sport is a cowardly exercise that features an uneven playing field between hunters and the hunted,  just to get a cheap thrill and rush of testosterone (yes most hunters are men).  How skillful and brave is it to kill an animal, hundreds of yards away, that has no fighting chance against you, with a scope and high powered rifle? Trophy hunting gives all hunting a bad name!!   It’s blood lust pure and simple.  Wolves shouldn’t be subjected to this in the 21st Century.  We’ve already exterminated them in the West once, are we aiming for round two?

286_lobo_wolf-wars

Lobo wolf wars

The most encouraging words come from Richard Baldes, a Shoshone and former Fish and Wildlife Service biologist on the Wind River Indian Reservation, inhabited by Arapahoe and Shoshone tribes.  They are managing to coexist very well with the wolf and welcome Canis Lupus.  He explained the tribe’s views to High Country News in 2008:

“The tribes’ management plans are pretty simple. “The Wind River Reservation is somewhat of a sanctuary,” Baldes tells me from his porch at the foot of the Wind River Mountains. Much as they do with the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, which was instrumental in the original reintroduction, wolves play an important role in the lore and religion of Shoshone and Arapahoe people. Wolves represent a social role model, for starters: “They take care of the family,” Baldes says. “The aunts and uncles take care of the young, and they also take care of the old.”
 
The obvious parallels between government efforts to eradicate wolves and past efforts to eradicate Indians aren’t lost on Baldes. In fact, the resurgence of wolves is a powerful metaphor on the reservation. “The Creator put them here for a reason,” Baldes says. He chuckles to himself about the raging controversy. “People have made the issue with wolves much more complicated than it needs to be,” he says. “It’s just a nice feeling to know that these animals are back and that they’re going to be here to stay. I don’t see any reason why they won’t be here forever.”
 
running wolf
 
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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Why State Fish and Game Agencies Can’t Manage Predators
 
By George Wuerthner, 4-17-09
  
minn gray wolf
 http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/why_state_fish_and_game_agencies_cant_manage_predators/C564/L564/
 
Photos: Courtesy Wiki Commons, Sigma Eye and James Balog 
Categories posted in: Wolf wars, wolves under fire, 
  
Tags: trophy hunting wolves, wolves in the crossfire, Wildlife Services, obama administration de-listing, Druid Peak Pack
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