Looking Back: Remembering The Sage Creek Pack..

July 23, 2014

This week I’m re-posting tributes to fallen wolves and wolf packs, some killed before the 2009 delisting, like the 27 member strong Hog Heaven Pack, slaughtered in 2008 by Wildlife Services, outside of Kalispell, Montana.  It makes no difference to me whether they are famous park wolves or wolves who remain faceless and nameless, they are all equal in my eyes and I love them. To think of the thousands who’ve died  breaks my heart. I can’t help them now but I can honor them through remembrance. Sleep well beautiful souls.

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The Sage Creek Pack was eliminated by aerial gunners in 2009.  It was a huge loss. Yellowstone wolves are genetically isolated, the  Sage Creek Pack could have provided them with important genetics but that means nothing to the wolf killers. Wildlife Services was aerial gunning wolves even as the first wolf hunt was taking place outside the park, which decimated the famed Cottonwood pack.

“The Sage Creek Pack roamed the Centennial Mountains between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho – precisely in the area that could alleviate genetic isolation through the influx of wolves from Idaho and the possibility (for now, lost with the pack’s demise) of yearlings making their way into Yellowstone.”

Sage Creek Pack Wiped Out By Aerial Gunners in Montana

October 9, 2012

Aerial gunners wiped out the remaining four members of the Sage Creek Pack, which will serve to further genetically isolate Yellowstone’s wolves. The Center for Biological Diversity issued a statement concerning this outrageous event. This pack was originally targeted because it killed ONE SHEEP!!

“The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho”

It always comes back to grazing livestock on public lands and who pays the price? The Wolf!

Montana FWP recently closed the backcountry area WMU-3 (which encompasses the wilderness outside of Yellowstone) in part due to the loss of nine wolves in that area, including the Cottonwood Pack. This pack was part of ongoing research on Yellowstone’s famous wolves. The hunts eliminated the pack because buffer zones were not in place for the wolves, who can’t read boundary signs. Their only crime was leaving the protection of the park. So that’s two wolf packs gone in a matter of weeks. One lost to hunters and the other to FWP aerial gunners.

For Immediate Release, October 9, 2009

Aerial Gunning of Wolf Pack in Montana Isolates Yellowstone Wolves, Undermines Recovery

SILVER CITY, N.M.— This week’s aerial gunning of the last four members of the Sage Creek wolf pack in southwestern Montana contributes to the genetic isolation of wolves in Yellowstone National Park – even as, on Thursday, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commission suspended the public wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone in order not to isolate the national park’s wolves.

Said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity: “We are saddened by the loss of the Sage Creek Pack. Suspending the permitted wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone will not be enough to save these animals as long as the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to gun down entire packs from the air.”

The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho.

In 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project sued the sheep station for its failure to disclose the impacts of, and analyze alternatives to, its operations, which has occurred in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. The sheep station settled the lawsuit with an agreement to disclose and analyze and to decide its future via a public process.

“The USDA Sheep Experiment Station is undermining gray-wolf recovery and should be shut down,” said Robinson.

Genetic isolation of the Yellowstone wolves, which may be exacerbated through the federal killing of the Sage Creek Pack, is at issue in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies seeking to place wolves back on the endangered species list after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the list this spring. Such genetic isolation was part of what led a federal court, in July 2008, to order the relisting of wolves after a previous delisting action.

The Sage Creek Pack roamed the Centennial Mountains between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho – precisely in the area that could alleviate genetic isolation through the influx of wolves from Idaho and the possibility (for now, lost with the pack’s demise) of yearlings making their way into Yellowstone.

A 1994 environmental impact statement on wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone and central Idaho identified genetic exchange between sub-populations as key to wolf recovery.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/wolves-10-09-2009.html

Top photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom

Photo courtesy James Balog/www.goagro.org

Categories posted in: aerial gunning of wolves, biodiversity, Wolf Wars, Yellowstone Wolves

Tags: wolves or livestock, aerial gunning of wolves, wolf intolerance, Sage Creek Pack, genetic diversity loss

22,000 Plus Signatures And Counting…Please Sign To Stop The Slaughter Of Montana’s Wolves

Dead Wolf Pup_Jay Mallonee

Jay found this 3 – 4 month old pup shot dead and thrown into a ditch, deep in the forest where the Fishtrap pack lived.  The pack no longer exists because Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks had them killed them,  which ended Jay’s 10-year study of these wolves.  This action also ended the longest behavioral study of wolves in the state’s history, outside of YNP.

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Stop the unjustified killing and hunting of Montana’s wolves. Use science

(Petitioning Montana Governor Steve Bullock (responded)

Petition by

Jay Mallonee – Wolf and Wildlife Studies

Kalispell, MT

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Click HERE To Sign The Petition!! 

If you would like to collect signatures on behalf of this petition, please click here for more information.

Written signatures are beginning to come in now.  I’ll keep a running total below that can be added to the number of online signatures to give the total number of petition signatures:

829 written signatures as of 9/9/13 (add to number of online signatures).

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As of September 7, 2013, our wolves are again being hunted and killed for the next six months.  Below, I present you with the evidence that documents the systematic “genocide” of a species and what you can do to prevent it.  No one scientist or environmental group will stop this.  Only when humanity decides that the lives of animals are important will this unscientific and senseless policy cease.  Please step-up and help these beings whose lives are an intrical part of healthy ecosystems.  The truth is right in front of you.

Overview:

Currently, there are two wolf issues that people find confusing:  1)  The removal of all gray wolves from the federal government’s Endangered Species Act (ESA); and 2)  Their management by the states.  The ESA designates U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as the agency responsible for determining what species are endangered and place them on the Endangered Species List (ESL).  After this happens, USFWS is responsible for removing species from the list and the ESA gives them the power to do so.  The wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming were removed from the ESL in 2009, but currently the ESA still provides minimal protection:  it only requires the states to maintain 100 wolves with 10 breeding pairs.  They can kill the rest which is exactly what Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are doing or have done (in Wyoming’s case).  If the few remaining protections are lifted, then the states are free to kill ALL of their wolves with no intervention from the federal government.  Nevertheless, the remaining federal protection doesn’t help much because the wolves are being slaughtered anyway.

My fight is at the management level where the real problems are.  Even if the public “wins” and wolves remain protected by the ESA, then the status quo will remain – hundreds and hundreds of dead wolves.  Until the states are held accountable for their deplorable management practices that do not follow scientific protocols, wolves will die, thus my petition.  Please continue reading to learn more about my research and published scientific review of FWP’s flawed data, and how this petition will help wolves.

Background:

For over twenty years I have researched and taught about wolves. Having had the longest running behavioral study of these animals in Montana’s history, outside of Yellowstone National Park, my interactions with wolf management agencies has been extensive. I have found that most managers have an appalling lack of knowledge about these animals, along with a disregard for science.

At the end of 2011, I published a paper in a peer-reviewed scientific journal that analyzed the data found in the annual reports published by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).  This agency is responsible for wolf management.   Their information was filled with fabricated numbers used in making management decisions, such as determining the hunting quota.  In summary, my review found:

1. The scientific method was not used during data collection which makes management decisions based on this information highly questionable.  Kent Laudon, one of the Wolf Management Specialists who collects the data, informed me that no protocols are used during data collection.  This is important because the conclusions derived from the data cannot be any better than the quality of data collected. In other words, wolf management is not based in science as FWP has claimed.

2. There is no accountability for the repercussions of management decisions, such as killing wolves without proper scientific assessment.  I took my paper to the Governor’s Office and met with Mike Volesky, the Environmental Policy Advisor to the Governor at the time.  Among other topics, I asked him about the procedures FWP used to collect their flawed data, because they claimed that wolf hunts were based in science.  He said he would “investigate.”  In subsequent emails, I was passed from one person to the next throughout the FWP hierarchy and never were my questions answered completely or even intelligently in some cases.  On my website, you can read some of my email exchanges with FWP and judge for yourself.

3. There appears to be no quality control of the data which makes FWP seem as if they do not understand or are unaware of what their numbers say.  After years of interacting with these officials, I can say that they are a club.  Their concept of wolf management acts more like a belief system rather than a set of rational guidelines.  They are entrenched in their conviction that what they do is right, despite evidence to the contrary.  As a result, FWP uses other peoples’ hatred of wolves to make and save money.

4. Wolves are managed without regard to their top-down influence throughout ecosystems, by ignoring other areas of science such as animal behavior, emotions, intelligence, interactions among life forms, and some basic ecological principles.  Although some management may be necessary, hunting wolves remains scientifically unjustified.  In regards to emotions, you can read my published scientific study about a captive wolf from the wild that developed PTSD from her abuse by wolf managers and subsequent captivity.  She had been shot (tranquilizers via guns) four times and chased by aircraft twice.

5. When the state of Montana created revenue by killing its own wolves, hunting them became a self-serving process, as with the hunting of all managed wildlife. Hunting wolves can save the state money by reducing costs, creating revenue, and collecting opportunistic data from hunters. Therefore, money and convenience are some of the reasons to hunt wolves, which implies conflict of interest, especially when no scientific protocols were followed.

6. The actions of FWP bring up the moral issue of how a government agency can use flawed data to make management decisions, kill hundreds of wolves, and be allowed to do so.  Even when FWP conducted studies on elk populations, their own data demonstrated that their justifications for killing wolves was wrong. Click here for a summary of that information and current policies.

I have come to realize that I cannot expect FWP to act responsibly because they do not know what that means. I am responsible for wolf management. So are you. If you want wolves you will have to fight for them. Use what science knows about these animals and understand the data.  Use the provided links to educate yourself about the insanity of wolf management and to email FWP officials directly.  This is crucial because managers at FWP create a facade with their numbers. It will take some effort to unravel this illusion to reveal the truth.

Through my ten-year study of the Fishtrap pack, and from the results of other scientific studies, there is at least one truth science has learned about wolves:  the pack is an intricate design of almost infinite complexity.  I have learned that rather than a “thing,” a wolf pack is a dynamic process.  It is greater than the sum of its parts.  The parts consist of pack members interacting with each other and with their surrounding environment.  The net result is a force that changes over time as the pack reacts to endless environmental variations such as increasing or decreasing prey populations, prey migration, climatic changes, or when pack members come and go.

The picture above shows a pup who was a member of the Fishtrap pack.  I found her shot and thrown into a ditch, and this was when wolves were still endangered.  Nevertheless, entire packs could always be removed as part of wolf management control actions.  Despite the science, my study of the Fishtrap wolves came to an abrupt end several years ago when FWP killed all of them for apparently killing someone’s cow.  There was no warning, no call, nothing.  They just vanished.  I had even found wolf pack behavior never before documented, but wolf management is not about enlightenment.  It is about killing, because they don’t seem to know what else to do, and it is convenient.

Currently, FWP continues to let the public kill more and more wolves, without knowing how many wolves actually live in the state and without scientific justification.  As of September 1, 2013, another hunting season on wolves has commenced and will last over six months.  Hunters and trappers are now allowed to kill up to five wolves each.  As added incentive, out-of-state hunting fees have also been reduced.

Following is a list of the officials involved in wolf management. They are arranged from the highest political level to the lowest, top to bottom. I urge anyone interested in this subject to email these people and demand the truth about wolf management and clarification as to what is really going on.

Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana, governor@mt.gov.

Jeff Hagener, FWP Director, jhagener@mt.gov.

Mike Volesky, FWP Deputy Director, MVolesky@mt.gov.

Jim Satterfield, Regional Supervisor, jsatterfield@mt.gov.

Jim Williams, FWP Wildlife Program Manager, jiwilliams@mt.gov.

Kent Laudon, Wolf Management Specialist, klaudon@mt.gov.

Please visit my web site for more specific and additional information about wolves in Montana and my interactions with the government to end the killing of these animals. My scientific publications and the magazine articles I have written about this issue are available as free PDF downloads. You will see that FWP has no scientific justification for killing our wolves. Until the public as a whole tells wolf managers to stop, this process will continue indefinitely.

The goal is 100,000 signatures:  a good representation of different people and cultures from around the world.  Make FWP listen.  Every signature is emailed to the officials listed below.  However, when the goal has been reached, I will travel to the captiol and present a copy of your signatures and comments to the Governor, with the media present.  Enough of this killing.  It needs to stop.

Please share this petition with family and friends using Facebook, Twitter or other social media.  These are your wolves, the world’s wolves.  Don’t let them die for the agenda of only a few misguided and bigoted people.

Thank you for your concern,

Jay Mallonee
Wolf and Wildlife Studies
www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com

This petition began on 3/29/13.

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If you would like to collect signatures on behalf of this petition, please click here for more information.

To:
Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana
Jeff Hagener, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Mike Volesky, Deputy Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Jim Satterfield, FWP Regional Supervisor
Jim Williams, FWP Wildlife Program Manager
Kent Laudon, Wolf Management Specialist
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Stop the unjustified killing and hunting of Montana’s wolves. Use science to guide wolf management!

Sincerely,
[Your name]

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Click Here To Sign The Petition!!

Looking Back: Remembering The Sage Creek Pack..

May 27, 2012

The Sage Creek Pack was eliminated by aerial gunners in 2009.  It was a huge loss. Yellowstone wolves are genetically isolated, the  Sage Creek Pack could have provided them with important genetics but that means nothing to the wolf killers. Wildlife Services was aerial gunning wolves even as the first wolf hunt was taking place outside the park, which decimated the famed Cottonwood pack.

“The Sage Creek Pack roamed the Centennial Mountains between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho – precisely in the area that could alleviate genetic isolation through the influx of wolves from Idaho and the possibility (for now, lost with the pack’s demise) of yearlings making their way into Yellowstone.”

Sage Creek Pack Wiped Out By Aerial Gunners in Montana

October 9, 2012

Aerial gunners wiped out the remaining four members of the Sage Creek Pack, which will serve to further genetically isolate Yellowstone’s wolves. The Center for Biological Diversity issued a statement concerning this outrageous event. This pack was originally targeted because it killed ONE SHEEP!!

“The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho”

It always comes back to grazing livestock on public lands and who pays the price? The Wolf!

Montana FWP recently closed the backcountry area WMU-3 (which encompasses the wilderness outside of Yellowstone) in part due to the loss of nine wolves in that area, including the Cottonwood Pack. This pack was part of ongoing research on Yellowstone’s famous wolves. The hunts eliminated the pack because buffer zones were not in place for the wolves, who can’t read boundary signs. Their only crime was leaving the protection of the park. So that’s two wolf packs gone in a matter of weeks. One lost to hunters and the other to FWP aerial gunners.

For Immediate Release, October 9, 2009

Aerial Gunning of Wolf Pack in Montana Isolates Yellowstone Wolves, Undermines Recovery

SILVER CITY, N.M.— This week’s aerial gunning of the last four members of the Sage Creek wolf pack in southwestern Montana contributes to the genetic isolation of wolves in Yellowstone National Park – even as, on Thursday, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commission suspended the public wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone in order not to isolate the national park’s wolves.

Said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity: “We are saddened by the loss of the Sage Creek Pack. Suspending the permitted wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone will not be enough to save these animals as long as the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to gun down entire packs from the air.”

The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho.

In 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project sued the sheep station for its failure to disclose the impacts of, and analyze alternatives to, its operations, which has occurred in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. The sheep station settled the lawsuit with an agreement to disclose and analyze and to decide its future via a public process.

“The USDA Sheep Experiment Station is undermining gray-wolf recovery and should be shut down,” said Robinson.

Genetic isolation of the Yellowstone wolves, which may be exacerbated through the federal killing of the Sage Creek Pack, is at issue in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies seeking to place wolves back on the endangered species list after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the list this spring. Such genetic isolation was part of what led a federal court, in July 2008, to order the relisting of wolves after a previous delisting action.

The Sage Creek Pack roamed the Centennial Mountains between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho – precisely in the area that could alleviate genetic isolation through the influx of wolves from Idaho and the possibility (for now, lost with the pack’s demise) of yearlings making their way into Yellowstone.

A 1994 environmental impact statement on wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone and central Idaho identified genetic exchange between sub-populations as key to wolf recovery.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/wolves-10-09-2009.html

Top photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom

Photo courtesy James Balog/www.goagro.org

Categories posted in: aerial gunning of wolves, biodiversity, Wolf Wars, Yellowstone Wolves

Tags: wolves or livestock, aerial gunning of wolves, wolf intolerance

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