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

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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

 

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