Demonizing Wolves

gray wolf dnr wi.gov

September 19, 2015

Here we go again, a wolf supposedly killed a cow in Washington state, on federal land and it makes headlines but what the media never reports is how well-behaved wolves are and what a non-threat they are to ranching or farming.

In 2010, 51,200 cows died in Oregon from non-predation causes. (NASS 2010). That’s right, FIFTY ONE THOUSAND! This should be front page news, right? When wolves are involved in miniscule livestock losses they make the front pages of local media. So what about those 51,200 cows that weren’t killed by wolves? Where are the headlines?  We hear nothing but this.

Oregon had 1,300,000 cattle at the beginning of 2011. Wolves were accused, specifically the Imnaha pack, of 14 cow losses in 1.5 years. Oregon was ready to kill several members of the Imnaha pack over it, including the alpha male OR4, who is OR7’s father. But no exposure about the thousands and thousands of cows keeling over in Oregon from all manner of things, not wolf related such as:

Digestive problems

Respiratory problems

Metabolic problems

Mastitis

Lameness/injury

Other diseases

Weather related

Calving problems

Poisoning

Theft

(NASS 2010) National Agricultural Statistics Service

Meanwhile in 2009  “federal agents associated with the USDA’s Wildlife Services program killed 114,522 mammalian carnivores (including 480 wolves; 82,097 coyotes; and 477 domestic dogs)…… It spent $121 million that year.”  

In a state like Montana, with around 2.5 million cows, ranchers may lose 50 to 60 THOUSAND cattle  annually to non-predation and on average between 60 to 80 to wolves. That is what we’re talking about here folks. Wolf predation on cattle is so overblown it’s ridiculous. Except the media and wolf haters never miss an opportunity to report on any cow killed by a wolf. What incredible hypocrites.

The press exploits wolves for ratings, pure and simple. They know the fringe wolf haters love to read negative articles about wolves. But consider that wolves aren’t even in the running as a true threat to livestock. Coyotes and domestic dogs are the number 1 and 2 predators of livestock followed by mountain lions, then other predators (bears, bobcats or lynx, foxes, wolves, ravens, eagles, vultures ) Wolf predation on cattle is so low they don’t even have their own category but are lumped in with other predators who do miniscule damage. Non-predation, like respiratory illness, reproductive issues, weather, hell even altitude sickness kill thousands upon thousands of cattle every year but we don’t hear about that. You know why, because it doesn’t fit into the anti-wolf agenda in the West and it doesn’t increase ratings.

In reality wolves are extremely shy animals and would prefer to stay as far away from people as possible. And if wolves do kill a few cows or sheep each year it’s mostly because many ranchers don’t practice sound animal husbandry. They use the Columbus method of ranching,  “Let em loose in the Spring and discover em in the Fall”. Those cattle are out there roaming around in remote wilderness areas, not protected, not watched and usually on public land grazing allotments. Hey ranchers, pen up your cattle and stop blaming wolves if they take a cow now and then because you practice careless ranching. That land belongs to the American people and it’s about time the feds start retiring grazing allotments and allow wolves to roam on public land without having to bump into cattle. Wolves should trump cows on public land anyway.  Yet even with millions of cattle out there for the taking, wolves show incredible restraint and prefer to diet on their natural prey of elk and deer. That’s the kind of self-control they’re capable of but rarely get credit for.

So shame on the press for reporting on every single little misdeed they think wolves have committed when the real truth is the biggest threat to cattle is non-predation and being slaughtered for food.

Here’s a post I did  on the Washington Wedge Pack, who were eventually murdered for this very type of persecution.

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ACTION ALERT: Washington Wedge Wolf Pack Targeted For Death..

September 22, 2012

“State hunters are ramping up their efforts to kill wolves in northern Stevens County, and now don’t plan to stop until they’ve killed off the Wedge Pack.

“The attempt now is to remove the entire pack,” said WDFW wolf policy coordinator Steve Pozzanghera this morning.

The agency is loading up its toolbox for the effort to take out the eight to 11 members of the livestock-depredating group, including tasking more marksmen, trappers and biologists to the area; hunting over not only calf carcasses but roadkilled deer; hunting at all hours with a fuller array of weaponery; bringing in USDA Wildlife Services for “technical assistance” on snaring; and possibly bringing local law enforcement into the hunt.

“If we’re unsuccessful, we will consider aerial gunning,” Pozzanghera adds”

https://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/tag/columbus-method-of-ranching/

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Photo: Wisconsin DNR

Posted in: gray wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags: Wolf persecution, demonizing wolves, non-predation cattle losses,  poor animal husbandry practices, get cows off public land, Wedge Pack, WDFW

 

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Why It’s Bad To Be A Wolf in Northeastern Washington

howlingwolfkewlwallpaersdotcom-1

 by Anonymous for Wolves
October 26, 2014
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For a time, I lived in an old log cabin on 146 acres in Northwest Montana, a stone’s throw from a collared wolf pack, and I listened to their haunting howls during the morning’s wee hours.

Following Montana, I lived in the Methow Valley (on the east slopes of Washington’s North Cascade mountains), fifteen crow miles from the Lookout wolf pack, the pack that the White family all but destroyed. The White’s had lost no livestock to wolves while they attempted to ship bloody wolf pelts to Canada, emailing boasts and images of the dead wolves to friends.

 I spoke up for the Wedge Pack in Olympia (WA’s capitol), after seven members of the pack were shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services in 2012, all to protect irresponsibly ranged cows grazing on terrain unsuitable to livestock. Lethal removal of the Wedge, said WDFW director Phil Anderson, would hit a re-set button with ranchers so that the action would not need to be repeated. I was at the meeting when he spoke these words and they were indeed in this context.

I now live a handful of miles from the Canadian border, on the west slopes of the North Cascades and I will tell you there are wolves here, dispersers and with packs on the horizon. I saw my first wolf fourteen years ago in this greater Kulshan area, and my second wolf nine years ago in a canyon above the Methow Valley.

On Tuesday, October seventh, I attended the WDFW wolf meeting in Colville, Stevens County, in northeastern Washington. I sat quietly and observed during the meeting, taking notes and quotes, as well as images with my camera. The crowd in attendance was filled mainly with ranchers and with those opposing wolf recovery. It was a lynch mob scene! WDFW allowed the crowd to call out mean-spirited comments to those few who spoke in support of wolves (this was ranching country, after all). WDFW allowed those speaking against wolves to talk well in excess of their allotted three minutes, permitting speakers to talk back to the WDFW panel and refuse to sit down and shut up when asked. Rancher Len McIrvine refused to stop talking well after using his and other’s time allotments, and the crowd cheered. The department allowed this behavior.

WDFW allowed the crowd to stand and cheer loudly when there was talk of wolves having been killed: the Ruby creek female hit by a car and the Huckleberry female flushed out of dense forest (forest unsuitable for grazing) and shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services.

I acquired the necropsy report for the Huckleberry female and interviewed the department’s veterinarian who had performed the necropsy and had written the report. It is notable that the Huckleberry pack female’s stomach was empty when she was shot dead. She had not eaten for close to two days. She certainly hadn’t been eating the rancher Dashiell’s sheep, and so the non-lethal tactics and helicopter hazing had worked. And yet a wolf needed to die.

 The Colville crowd called for three more Huckleberry wolves to die, and better yet the whole pack! They demanded a total of at least four dead wolves, although the department had said they would shoot “up to four wolves” never guaranteeing they would shoot four wolves total. The WDFW panel just sat and listened to the calls for more dead wolves, nodding their heads and looking sympathetic, never making this correction to the ranchers’ demands for more wolf blood to be spilled.

The department’s initial statement regarding the aerial assault on the Huckleberry pack is that they would only shoot if there were multiple animals under the helicopter as a means of size comparison so that they would only take out pups and two year-old wolves. They would not target black, adult wolves as the collared male is black (they use the collars for tracking purposes, of course). Later the department’s directive was amended (changed and twisted) and it was stated they would remove any wolf (or wolves) but for the collared male.

When the Huckleberry female was shot, she was the sole animal under the under helicopter and weighed close to 70 pounds while alive (reports of 65 and 66 lbs were post-mortem, although WDFW never made this clear). Said the department’s carnivore specialist Donny Moratello, “We were certainly disappointed in this outcome but, there was no way to sort from the air in this circumstance.” When I asked him why take the risk of shooting the wrong wolf if there is no means of comparison, he replied, “You know going into it you get what you get. We did not have the opportunity to sort in this case.” As well as saying, “To not shoot (a wolf) they would have not been complying with the directive at that point, they would not be following orders.”

So, you get what you get. The helicopter had been up on multiple occasions over a number of days, unable to spot animals due to the visibility limits of the dense terrain, terrain unsuitable for healthy and responsible ranching and in which the sheep were being grazed. Simply, the lethal endeavor was becoming too expensive, so they flushed out a single black, adult sized wolf and shot. Blam! They shot the breeding female whose pups at the time were only a little over 4 months old and unable to hunt on their own. The department’s reports to this day say the pups were almost full grown but, this is grossly inaccurate as per their own veterinarian.

It is also important to note from WDFW’s own reports and slide presentation, that most of the wolf activity and depredations fell outside of Dashiell’s grazing allotment. Dashiell had not had a working range rider for close to thirty days; during the onset and well into the confirmed depredation activity. He had merely two working guard dogs which, is insufficient for the size of the herd (1800) and sprawling, densely forested terrain. Two more guard dogs and additional human presence were added around the period of the Huckleberry kill order, but it was too little too late. Wolves needed to die.

Additionally, rancher Dashiell had not been removing sheep carcasses including well before the confirmed depredations, as evidenced by the carcass’ level of decomposition and thus, the inability to determine cause of death.

Northeastern Washington commissioners spoke in support of the ranchers and the call for dead wolves, speaking to taking matters of wolf control in their own hands. There was talk of shooting, trapping and most of all, poisoning the wolves. In a Seattle Times article Rancher Len McIrvine is quoted as saying, “Our ancestors knew what had to happen — you get poison and you kill the wolves.”

The quad-county commissioners grandstanded and played to the lynch mob. Jim DeTro, Okanogan County commissioner opened his speech with, “Welcome to Okanogan County where you can now drink a Bud’, smoke a bud and marry your bud.” He said this with obvious disdain and the crowd laughed loudly. He said, “People in my county have decided to not shoot, shovel and shut up, but to be totally silent.” He said this as a wink and nod to poisoning wolves while the department panel sat there silently, nodding their heads up and down and looking sympathetic.

I tell you, when a wolf is killed illegally and poisoned, WDFW is guilty of complicity y by not speaking out against these illegal acts and by nodding their heads up and down in agreement.

DeTro continued on that people in his county don’t want the agency to know when they’ve seen a wolf or experienced (alleged) wolf depredation. They want, he said, to take matters in their own hands. DeTro then said smiling proudly, “Olympia, you have a problem.”

Mike Blankenship, Ferry County commissioner, stood there and encouraged people to take matters in their own hands, as well. All the while, WDFW just sat there nodding their heads, looking sympathetic and remaining silent. More complicity!

A local sheriff said, “Wolves are messy eaters, scattering a cow from hell to breakfast,” and making other inflammatory statements about wolves to the again cheering crowd. He said he was “pissed” that only one Huckleberry pack member had been killed.

One rancher cried out angrily, “Wolves kill to eat!” I was curious then, as to what he had done to his livestock before they ended up in the grocer’s meat section, if his livestock were not also killed to be eaten.

At the end of the meeting, WDFW director Phil Anderson acted very cozy and familiar with the ranchers, in spite of them having raked him mercilessly over the coals for not killing more wolves.

He looked sympathetic and referred to them by name, and recalled riding around in their trucks with them. Anderson said he would plan a closed meeting with the area ranchers to discuss wolf issues and management. I demand that NO meeting in relation to Washington wolves be closed.

Two final points:

-In the case of the Huckleberry pack, the department did not adequately implement the state’s wolf management plan, nor did they adhere to their own published procedures, before lethal removal took place. This negligence WILL NOT be repeated.

-We demand full documentation of every wolf mortality, and that given the threats to use poisons, we expect that toxicology reports be made public as part of any necropsy, where cause of death has not otherwise been determined. If wolves are poisoned, WDFW will be held guilty of complicity due to their behavior in Colville; supporting poisoning by remaining silent and nodding their heads up and down.

While I sat silently during the Colville meeting, a rancher two rows back passed me a piece of paper on which he had scrawled, “Wolf Lover!” When I looked back at him he scowled at me severely. I wrote in reply on the note, “So?” along with a happy face, and passed it back to him. I’ll take his accusation as a compliment.

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Photo: Courtesy kewlwallpapersdotcom

Posted in: Washington wolves, Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Tags: anonymous for wolves, Huckleberry pack, WDFW, killing wolves, Northeastern Washington, ranchers, Huckleberry Pack alpha female

Don’t Silence The Howl!

Lookout Pack yearling 2008 WDFW

Don’t Silence the Howl!

from Anonymous for Wolves


So quickly we forget. Joe Public, the press, politicians, you and me, we appear to tire of being reminded that the problem remains, that the system is broken, that something needs to be done NOW. We become monkeys sitting comfortably on our asses, our eyes tightly shut, our fingers in our ears and our mouths so filled with food that we cannot speak.

Newspaper editors tell me that there has been enough in print lately about the Washington State wolves and that there is currently little interest in updates or fact checks.

Allow me then to remind you that wolves are being killed every day, killed and tortured by poachers, ranchers, hunters, trappers, sociopaths, and by your very own state and federal governments. Wolves are dying at the hands of state and federal agencies to “protect” irresponsibly ranged livestock and you are paying dearly for this service. You pay with your tax dollars and maybe you even pay with a heavy heart. The wolves are paying with their lives.

Between poaching, tribal takes and government issued kill orders, nowhere else in the Lower 48 is there a more dangerous place for a wolf than in the Northeast corner of Washington State. And the director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Phil Anderson, has been doing his darndest to make this so, first with the death sentence carried out in September 2012 on eight members of the Wedge pack, and now, not even two years later calling for an aerial assault on the Huckleberry pack. Both packs were located in northeastern Washington, Stevens County, with members killed to pacify irresponsible ranchers busily crying wolf.

The Wedge pack was accused of attacking and eating McIrvine cows, yet necropsy reports from the dead wolves found that no, they had not been ingesting cows. At the time, WDFW’s carnivore specialist Dave Ware told a local news station that agreements with ranchers were subsequently being put into place (new best practices for non-lethal aversion tactics) for the following year to, “avoid a repeat of the Wedge Pack situation.” While Anderson had said that killing the Wedge would “hit a re-set button” between ranchers and wolf management.

McIrvine, the rancher on who’s cows the Wedge had allegedly been snacking, was quoted as saying that he believed groups with “a radical environmental agenda” were conspiring to introduce gray wolves in order “to take our (grazing) lease from us”; a lease which allows him to range livestock in terrain unsuitable for responsible ranching and for pennies an animal. Welcome to crazy town! Gray wolves have been returning to the Northern Rocky States from Canada naturally, yes, of their very own accord, without the aid of any radical environmentalists.

Are you curious of the bill from Wildlife Services for the aerially gunning of the Wedge? $76,500.00 that could have bought a lot of McIrvine cows!

Said another of WDFW’s carnivore specialists recently, “Wolves are recovering (in the Northern Rocky States) at a phenomenal rate, a rate unheard of in wildlife. This growth rate is unprecedented and to experience the return of an apex predator in our lifetime is exciting.” But are wolves retuning so that they can again be systematically and inhumanely eradicated, as they were almost seventy years ago?

Details from the recent aerial gunning of the Huckleberry pack’s breeding female were slow to come. WDFW’s initial goal was to gun from a helicopter, again using USDA approved Wildlife Services, up to four members of the pack thereby reducing their numbers and lowering the pack’s food requirements. This could also, they hoped, break the offending male’s cycle of sheep depredation.

Dashiell’s sheep, for which this wolf had been found to have acquired a taste, were being irresponsibly ranged on a rugged and sprawling timber company allotment for mere pennies per. Allow unprotected sheep to run around in the woods in known wolf country… what else would one expect? Wolves find sheep to be delicious and easy prey.

But the rancher and again WDFW cried wolf, saying that there had been in place an active range rider with guard dogs on the scene and that neither had been an effective means of deterrence. It later surfaced that Dashiell’s range rider had quit over a month prior to the incidents and that the added protection of range riders had not occurred until August 20th (the Huckleberry wolf was shot on the 23rd). Frequent nocturnal human presence was also added but not until after the kill order was already in place.

It was simply a matter of far too little, far too late.

The Wildlife Services sharpshooter went up in the chopper over a three-day period, experiencing poor visibility conditions and unable to spot wolves for the first two days. On the third day the shooter finally spotted a lone, black wolf under the craft and shot her dead. BLAM! It was day three of a very expensive undertaking and a wolf needed to die.

Prior to shooting the lone, black, nearly 70 pound wolf (reports of 66lbs were the results of post-mortem weighing) WDFW made statements that they did not wish to shoot the breeding pair nor the collared male. To this end WDFW vowed to only shoot when multiple wolves were under the chopper to use for size comparison and to not shoot black wolves as the collared male is black. They would shoot smaller wolves: two-year olds and pups. And while the breeding female was not a monster in size, 70 pounds is not small especially if you have other wolves spotted for size comparison.

But in the end, the only instructions from WDFW to the sharpshooter were that if the opportunity to sort existed, to try and not remove the collared male. “You know going into it you get what you get,” said the guy I talked to from WDFW.

It took me weeks and numerous phone calls to several WDFW contacts to find out what had been the color of the breeding female. In an earlier interview, Ware (WDFW) had told me he thought she was gray, not white or black, but your standard gray. The others I spoke with knew her weight but not her color. I finally got a hold of the report from the wildlife veterinarian who conducted the necropsy on the dead wolf for WDFW.

The vet confirmed that the pups would have been about four months old at the time of her death, weighing about forty pounds: far from almost full grown as I had been told earlier by WDFW, and far smaller than their almost 70 pound mother if one wished to use them for size comparison.

When asked, the vet said that the breeding female had been shot through the chest and had likely “bled out quickly.” She had been shot with buckshot which is bigger than bb sized pellets and scatters like shotgun powder.

Her postmortem condition was “Poor” because she had been frozen, taking two days to thaw with the first tissues to thaw beginning to rot early on (the vet had been out of area at the time of the killing and so freezing the breeding female’s body had become necessary).

Her stomach was empty -EMPTY- at the time of her death; she hadn’t eaten in 24-48 hours, not sheep, not anything. Had she ever eaten sheep? Truly, we will never know. It is obvious, however, that the non-lethal aversion activity and maybe even the noise of the chopper’s flights, was working days before she was shot; apparently this was so disruptive she stopped eating all together. But again, a wolf needed to die …

Wildlife Services were out in Washington again recently, this time killing coyotes on Vashon Island, coyotes who had also discovered that sheep are delicious and easy prey. Sheep that had been shipped up from Oregon to the Island for the Vashon Sheepdog Classic. Sheep grazing in an unfenced field and ironically enough, without the protection of guard dogs. The dead sheep were not removed and the coyotes came back for those the very next day. No surprise!

And now three coyote’s howls have been silenced forever.

Do not forget and do not remain silent. Do not become accustomed to images of dead wolves as some Conservation Nothing organizations would prefer of you. Do not sit idly by while heartless humans and greedy, weak government officials cry “off with their heads” to apex predators or to any wildlife.

Take action! Make noise! Never compromise! Do not let Them silence the howl!

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Photo: Courtesy WDFW Lookout Pack yearling 2008

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Washington Wolves, gray wolf

Tags: Don’t Silence the Howl, WDFW, Huckleberry Pack

UPDATE: Huckleberry Pack Alpha Female Shot Aerially by WDFW Contract Sharpshooter

huckleberry pack pups 2012 WDFW

Huckleberry Pack Pups – 2012/WDFW

September 10, 2014

This post was sent to me by “Anonymous For Wolves”

Huckleberry pack alpha female shot aerially by WDFW contract sharpshooter

On September 4th, WDFW posted a News Release under the Latest News link on their website wdfw.wa.gov) with this heading, Sheep moved from scene of wolf attacks. The release reads that rancher Dave Dashiell worked over the Labor Day weekend collecting his flock of 1800 sheep to eventually truck them, somewhat prematurely, to their winter pasture area.

This is good news for Stevens County Huckleberry wolf pack as it acts as a stay of execution after a WDFW contract sharpshooter from USDA Wildlife Services, shot dead the breeding female from a helicopter on August 23. The pack had been preying on Dashiell’s sheep with WDFW determining the need for lethal action. “If non-lethal tools fail, lethal actions can be taken. It is a process,” WDFW’s Wildlife Conflict Manager Stephanie Simek said.

Wolves are on Washington’s landscape and ranchers now need to put in place the new best practices for ranging livestock. These practices include quickly removing injured, sick or dead livestock, all of which help attract wolves and other large carnivores. Consistent human presence in non-fenced range situations to “babysit” herds is imperative. Such models are being taken from Western Idaho and Montana ranchers: range-riders go out on foot, 4-wheeler or horseback, attending to the herds.
“This may not be accomplished 24/7,” said Donny Martorello, WDFW’s Carnivore Manager, “but they go out as much as they can.” Wolves can also be hazed by shooting overhead and with rubber bullets, as well as by being chased off. Spotlights, flashing lights and fladry may also be employed.

Was Stevens County rancher Dashiell timely and diligent in his non-lethal tactics? Reports have been mixed. WDFW had claimed that Dashiell was out every day and night, along with four guard dogs, a range rider, and eventually with the department adding a second rider and a greater human presence during the night. West Coast Wolf Organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity, Amaroq Weiss, believes otherwise.

Weiss spoke with David Ware, WDFW’s game division manager who also oversees wolf management for the department. While WDFW had released statements that on August 15 Dashiell’s range rider was on task and the sheep were being moved, “Ware confirmed that these actions were not happening and that (Dashiell’s) range rider had quit a month ago. The following week the sheep still had not been moved and a range rider did not show up until August 20,” said Weiss.

WDFW observed prey switching within the Huckleberry pack: the switch from preying on wild to domestic animals. This switch can be determined by energetics, ease in taking, and by abundance, what is most often being seen.

“Sheep are such easy prey and so abundant, it’s hard to get wolves to stop preying on them,” said Martorello. Dashiell’s range allotment is also rugged, brushy and sprawling; it can be difficult to protect livestock on this type of landscape.

The GPS collar on the Huckleberry pack’s alpha male collects data every 6 hours. It was observed that by the 3rd or 4th depredation, with the wolf traveling back and forth from the rendezvous site to the sheep, the animal had begun solely preying on the domestic sheep. This behavioral pattern can also be passed on to pups.

WDFW’s original goal was to remove four animals from the Huckleberry pack as a means to reduce their numbers on the landscape. This reduction would lower the food requirements and nutritional needs of the pack. In this case, the removal of the breeding female may have broken the Huckleberry pack’s pattern of sheep depredation. Said Martorello, “Removal of a single animal may have been enough to break the pack’s cycle. The animal was removed on August 23rd and the collared male has not been back to the vicinity of the sheep since the 27th. The sheep were not moved until September 1st or 2nd.”

WDFW claims that killing the breeding female was not the department’s intention. Their goal was to not take the breeding pair, but to remove yearlings and two-year olds from the pack. The litter had a mix of colors with the pack’s collared adult male being black. The sharpshooter was to look for color (the breeding or alpha female’s color has yet to be released at the time of this writing), look for smaller–younger– wolves to shoot, and to only shoot when multiple wolves were under the helicopter to use for size comparison.

When the breeding female was shot by Wildlife Services, she was the sole animal under the under helicopter and weighed only 66lbs; small but not uncommon for an adult female wolf. “We were certainly disappointed in this outcome but, there was no way to sort from the air in this circumstance,” said Martorello .

When asked why take the risk of shooting the wrong wolf if there is no means of comparison,  Martorello explained that the department was trying to achieve an objective and the only instructions were that if the opportunity to sort existed, to try and not remove the collared male. “You know going into it you get what you get. We did not have the opportunity to sort in this case,” said Martorello .

The helicopter had been up on multiple occasions and had been unable to spot animals due to weather conditions and visibility limits. And as we learned from the aerial shooting of the Wedge pack in 2012, time in the air translates to tens of thousands of dollars ($76,500 in 2012 to kill the Wedge). Per Martorello, at some point a wolf, or wolves, must simply be killed.

The Huckleberry pack is a relatively young pack, having only been formed in the last 3 years and with a young breeding female. It would not be uncommon then, for another female next in the hierarchy to step in and care for the pups, pups approaching full-grown and traveling with the pack. She may also become the new breeding female. With the Huckleberry pack WDFW finds science, in these early stages, that pack cohesiveness remains and that there may not be a loss in pack structure.

Hope for the Huckleberry pack.

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My comments:

Everything kills sheep, wolves are certainly not the main predator of sheep. Bears, bobcats, coyotes, dogs, ravens, eagles, foxes, mountain lions and others all eat sheep, since sheep have literally no natural defenses. But whenever a wolf does anything it’s treated as if it’s headline news. Mostly sheep  die from other causes, like lambing complications, disease and bad weather.  Sheep are also found on their back, they’re stolen and yes, overeat and die. Sheep and lambs are farm animals slaughtered for food.  So the hoopla about  predators attacking sheep, living in rugged country, is not really news. It’s only news when wolves are involved.

Meanwhile we have a dead alpha female, motherless wolf pups, all because of a few sheep! And please don’t think I’m denigrating sheep because I value their lives as well. I hate that the little lambs are slaughtered. Ranching is a cruel, cruel business. It would be a much better world without it!

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Photo: Courtesy WDFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars, gray wolf

Tags: Huckleberry Pack, alpha female shot dead, WDFW, sharpshooter, sheep

Published in: on September 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm  Comments (12)  
Tags: , , , ,

Gone But Not Forgotten, WDFW Holds Hearing On Wedge Pack, October 5 – 6

Washington state biologists collar Wedge Pack alpha male. The collar ultimately led the sharpshooters directly to his pack!

UPDATE: October 8, 2012

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the link to the WDFW hearing on the Wedge Pack. This clip includes the public comments.

http://tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2012101005

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The brutal aerial gunning of Washington’s Wedge Pack is much on the minds of wolf advocates. The dead bodies of eight wolves were recovered and have been examined,  including two of the four pups (the two remaining pups are unaccounted for.)

WDFW is holding a public hearing on the issue, October 5-6 in Olympia, Washington.  The hearing will be televised.

From the Seattle Times:

Wedge Wolf Pack: Watch commission meeting here Friday

Posted by John B. Saul

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will be getting an update Friday afternoon on the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, including the department’s recent decision to eliminate the Wedge Pack in the northeast corner of the state.

We will carry TVW’s live video of the meeting here starting at 1 p.m. Friday when Nate Pamplin, the department’s assistant director of the wildlife program, and Steve Pozzanghera, director of the region where the pack was killed, will brief the commission.

The commission will take public comments starting at 3:15 p.m. The department says the livestock industry and conservation organizations will be represented at the meeting.

The original meeting site has been changed to accommodate a larger crowd. If you’re attending, head for the Columbia Room inside the Capitol Building. Visit this site for directions.

READ MORE: http://seattletimes.com/html/edcetera/2019325690_wedge_wolf_pack_watch_commissi.html

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FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION MEETING

October 5-6, 2012

NOTICE OF LOCATION CHANGE
Legislative Building – Columbia Room – 416 Sid Snyder Avenue SW Olympia WA 98501 
First Floor

1 PM

2012 Wolf Plan Implementation Activities – Briefing 
Department staff will provide a comprehensive briefing on the implementation of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for 2012.

– Summary – PDF format (16 KB)

Staff Report:
Nate Pamplin, Assistant Director, Wildlife Program
Steve Pozzanghera, Region 1 Director3:00 P.M.

BREAK

3:15 P.M.7. 2012 Wolf Plan Implementation Activities – Briefing – Continued
Department staff will provide a comprehensive briefing on the implementation of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for 2012.

PUBLIC INPUT (This item only)

Staff Report:
Nate Pamplin, Assistant Director, Wildlife Program
Steve Pozzanghera, Region 1 Director

http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2012/10/agenda_oct0612.html

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Please attend this vital meeting to support the fallen Wedge Pack wolves, who were were sacrificed for public land grazing and the Diamond M Ranch.

The wolves had every right to roam free on that land,  not constrained by entitled cattle rancher’s,  who have the nerve to graze their cattle on the American people’s land and expect a predator free landscape, when they are the intruders there, not the wolves. If they don’t want to tolerate our native predators they can pull their cattle off our land. The killing of wolves for agribusiness must stop!!! Thousands of wolves have died since their reintroduction to the Northern Rockies because of cattle and now the same, tired scenario is playing out in Washington state.

Wolves trump cows on public land!!

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Biologists looking for Wedge wolf pack survivors

by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Updated yesterday at 8:26 PM

State biologists are still monitoring the Forest Service roads once roamed by an ill-fated wolf pack.

Fish and Wildlife officials say they have no reason to believe any members of “The Wedge Pack” of wolves survived after sharpshooters in helicopters shot six of them last month.

But, to be sure they are installing cameras and other measures to see if there are any survivors or new wolves moving in.

Meanwhile, veterinarians have examined the bodies of eight member of the pack that were either shot or found dead in area.

READ MORE

http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Wildlife-agents-looking-for-Wedge-wolf-pack-survivors-172584191.html

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Wedge wolf, if you are out there, run for your life

Posted by John B. Saul

September 28, 2012 at 5:14 AM

http://seattletimes.com/html/edcetera/2019283422_wedge_wolves_take_this_advice.html

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Senator calls killing of Colville wolf pack ‘serious failure’

http://www.king5.com/home/State-Senator-criticizes-killing-of-Colville-wolf-pack-171947181.html

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Photo: Courtesy King5dotcom

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Washington Wolves

Tags: ban aerial gunning, Wedge Pack slaughtered, WDFW,  Governor Gregoire,  public land grazing, Colville National Forest, retire grazing allotments, Olympia Washington hearing, justice for Wedge Pack

Wedge Pack Slaughter Hangs Like A Pall Over Washington State….

This is a do-over of my previous post in which I got a few facts wrong. The alpha pair is dead, effectively ending the Wedge Pack.  Yes, a few wolves got away, it was estimated there were either 8 or 11 wolves in the pack but killing off the alpha pair will cause those wolves to disband. And what about the pups? Were they killed?

 This is a very dark week for Washington state, 6 wolves killed in three days. I have no doubt other wolves will fill the Wedge Pack’s territory and it will be rinse and repeat of this situation if cows are still grazing in the Wedge unprotected.

End grazing leases and kick these ranchers off our public land. That is the only solution to this, not pandering to them and using taxpayer dollars to kill native wolves. Badly done WDFW, badly done!!

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Wildlife agents finish job of eliminating wolf pack

by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Updated today at 7:00 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The collar around its neck was supposed to lead biologists to a better understanding of how an alpha male wolf leads its pack.

Instead, that GPS collar is what sharpshooters in a helicopter used to track down and kill the followers of the Wedge Wolf Pack in northeast Washington state. And on Thursday, after leading most, if not all, members of its young pack to their deaths, the alpha male was shot and killed.

http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Wildlife-agents-kill-alpha-male-in-wolf-pack-in-NE-Wash-171607141.html

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Photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Washington Wolves

Tags: Wolf warriors, Wedge pack pogrom, wolves died for nothing, welfare ranchers, public land grazing, Governor Gregoire, WDFW, aerial gunning, Diamond M Ranch

Wedge Pack Wolves Caught On Camera, January 2012. Continue To Oppose Their Slaughter!!

Wedge Pack wolves caught on video,  January 2012.

Please light a candle for the five fallen Wedge Pack wolves who were sacrificed on the altar of the sacred cow. Continue to advocate for the 3 to 6 wolves that remain.  Demand the killing be called off!!

Below is a form letter posted in the Spokesman – Review, composed by the Center For Biological Diversity meant for Washington Governor Gregoire.

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Pro-wolf groups stir up ranks to protest killing of Wedge Pack

 Sept. 26, 2012 12:03 p.m.  

Spokesman – Review

ENDANGERED SPECIES — Pro-wolf groups aren’t all standing by as Washington Fish and Wildlife staffers try to eliminate the cattle-preying Wedge Pack in northern Stevens County. Here’s a form letter being promoted by the Center for Biological Diversity:

Dear John,

The killing will be carried out on the public’s dime using marksmen on the ground. If that doesn’t work, these wolves will be shot from helicopters.Only seven wolf packs live in Washington state — but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has ordered the entire Wedge pack killed in response to cattle depredations. That includes at least eight wolves.

Washington’s wolf management plan clearly states that, to avoid cattle losses, non-lethal measures must be taken first to protect livestock. In this case only minimal actions were taken to avoid wolf-livestock conflicts. The state should not reward irresponsible ranchers by killing wolves that are only acting as wolves do.

Please call Gov. Christine Gregoire now at (360) 902-4111 and tell her you do not support killing the Wedge pack when ranchers have not done their part to protect cattle.

Then let us know you got through to the governor’s office by clicking here. A sample call has been provided below:

“Hello, my name is ________________ and I live in ________________, Washington. I’m calling to ask Governor Gregoire to stop the killing of the Wedge pack by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I’d also like to state my opposition to state-run wolf killing, particularly in cases where ranchers have not done everything they can to avoid losing livestock. Can you please tell me the governor’s position on this issue?

[Wait for explanation]

“Thanks, that’s good to know. I still don’t believe the circumstances justify killing the Wedge pack. These animals are endangered, and killing them should always be viewed as a great loss. The kill order should be permanently revoked.”

[Offer the staffer your address or zip code, and thank them for their time.]

 http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2012/sep/26/pro-wolf-groups-stir-ranks-protest-killing-wedge-pack/

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Videos:  YouTube WDFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Washington Wolves

Tags: public land grazing, Wedge Pack, 5 wolves slaughtered,  welfare ranching, Governor Gregoire, WDFW, aerial gunning, cattle, Diamond M Ranch, Washington state

More Wolf Blood Shed, 3 Wedge Pack Wolves Aerial Gunned Today….

WDFW Killing Five Month Old Puppies Along With Their Family…SHAME!!!

More death, more killing..all for agribusiness.

Nice going WDFW, you’re giving Washington state quite the reputation. It makes me sick to think the packs four babies are either dead or will be soon.  Don’t weep Wolf Warriors, get active!!  How about a protest to let WDFW know how you feel about their cowardly act!!!

The wolves were slaughtered just seven miles from the Canadian border, I’m sure running for their lives. If only they were a little closer to the border. Their territory extends into Canada, I hope what’s remaining of the pack keeps on going and hides from these killers.

Why are cows trumping wolves on public land? Retire grazing leases!! Stop catering to cattle barons, they don’t own this country and they don’t own our public lands. I don’t care how long they’ve been grazing their cows on America’s land, they need to take their stream polluting,  methane producing gas bags (no disrespect to cows, they are not at fault) and high-tail it back to their own property and leave the wolves and our other native carnivores alone.  The only way to make this happen is if the American people wake up from their long sleep and speak out!!

Please read Sacred Cows At The Public Trough by Denzel and Nancy Ferguson , Waste of the West by Lynne Jacobs and Western Turf Wars: The Politics of Public Lands Ranching by Mike Hudak to learn the truth about why our wolves are dying!

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State kills 3 more Wedge Pack wolves today

Department Director Phil Anderson said a WDFW marksman shot the wolves from a helicopter at about 8 a.m.  The wolves were shot about seven miles south of the U.S.-Canada border in the same area where two other wolves from the Wedge Pack were killed by aerial gunning yesterday.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/

Photo: Wiki

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Washington wolves

Tags: Spokesman Review, Wedge Pack, Wedge pack puppies, aerial gunning, cowards, death from the sky,  WDFW

Keep Calling and Emailing To Save The Wedge Pack….

May we all never be judged by anything so harshly or hold to as strict a life or unremitting of borders as the ones we try to place on and around wolves”…Rick Bass 1992

UPDATE: August 24, 2012

No wolves have been killed as of today but there is still a kill order out on four members of the pack. There are nine pack members, including four puppies. I was told they are not targeting the alpha male and female but that’s all conjecture because there is a virtual blackout on what Wildlife Service sharpshooters are up to. Are they laying traps for four of the wolves in this pack? The answer is probably yes. Are they going to kill them when they trap them? Again the answer is yes but public pressure can make a difference. It’s the wolves only hope!

The fact the Director of WDFW is no longer taking phone calls is telling you they’ve been deluged with calls. As I said before, they may not admit your calls are making a difference but they are.  Washington state has a reputation for being progressive and this will give them a big black eye if these wolves are killed. The problem is the Wedge Pack choose eastern Washington as their home, which is more like Western Idaho, with some of the same anti-wolf sentiment.

WDFW Spokane

360-902-2515

Please don’t give up on these wolves, the more pressure that’s applied the more they’ll think twice about killing them!!

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Pro-wolf groups ask Gregoire to stop plan to kill wolves

Posted by Rich

Aug. 24, 2012 12:52 p.m.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2012/aug/24/pro-wolf-groups-ask-gregoire-stop-plan-kill-wolves/

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CLICK HERE TO READ LETTER FROM ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS TO GOVERNOR GREGOIRE 

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Investigators find dead wolf in northern Stevens County

Posted by Rich

Aug. 24, 2012 5:57 p.m.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2012/aug/24/investigators-find-dead-wolf-northern-stevens-county/

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UPDATE: August 23,  2012

No word yet, silence on what is happening? They are determined to kill four Wedge pack wolves but keep up the pressure!! Washington is acting like Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon,  Wisconsin, Minnesota and now Michigan.

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It looks like WDFW is digging in their heels and determined to kill the Wedge Pack and orphan their pups. They may be talking tough but you can believe your phone calls and emails are making a big difference! If this pack is killed it will leave a black eye on Washington’s supposed progressive reputation. I will personally add Washington to the list of wolf states I won’t visit if they kill this pack. If you call from out-of-state please reinforce this sentiment. Here’s the contact info  for Washington’s tourism bureau.

You can reach a Washington State Travel Counselor at  1-866-964-8913. 

tourisminfo@watourismalliance.com

The entire situation is surrounded by controversy, no agreement between experts has been reached  concerning whether any cow injuries were even caused by wolves but it doesn’t seem to matter to WDFW, it’s blame wolves first and ask questions later.

I stated in my previous post that Washington ranchers  lost over 30,000 cows to non-predation in 2010. I have no doubt the number of losses to non-predation have remained constant or even increased. Compare 30,0000  to a handful attributed to wolves and you can see this is a non-issue blown up by ranchers to garner bad publicity for wolves. It’s the same story repeated over and over again. It’s been going on for hundreds of years. Why are Americans allowing a handful of ranchers and hunters to drive policy that impact our native wildlife and rob us of our heritage? They have no right to demand these wolves  be killed but are acting in confidence that fish and game will support them fully.  A paradigm shift is needed to stop these wildlife killing policies. We can either be part of the solution or part of the problem.

From Conservation Northwest:

WDFW takes aim at Wedge Pack wolves

Posted by Jasmine Minbashian at Aug 22, 2012 05:10 PM | Permalink

Wedge pack pups: will Washington pass its first major test for recovering wolves?

Washington State is facing its first major test when it comes to wolf management. And so far, it’s looking like a failing grade. One of Washington’s newly confirmed wolf packs, the Wedge Pack, may not survive the end of the week.

Claiming that the pack has repeatedly preyed on livestock, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has already killed one wolf and plans to kill up to four more wolves to break apart the pack permanently.

However, independent experts with decades of experience in identifying wolf attacks on livestock say much of the evidence is inconclusive. They have questioned WDFW’s conclusions that wolves are the culprit, stating that the calves’ injuries are not typical of a wolf attack.

Despite this uncertainty, WDFW officials are refusing to take a more measured approach as laid out in Washington’s recently adopted Wolf Conservation and Management plan.

http://www.conservationnw.org/news/scat/wdfw-takes-aim-at-wedge-pack-wolves

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KEEP UP THE PRESSURE. THEY ARE LISTENING!!

Governor Christine Gregoire

Phone:  360-902-4111 | FAX: 360-753-4110

Email the Governor

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Phil Anderson

Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Phone:  360-902-2200

director@dfw.wa.gov

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Photo: mythwallpaperdotcom

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Washington wolves

Tags: Wedge Pack, orphaned pups???, stop the killing, keep up the pressure, Governor Christine Gregoire, Phil Anderson, WDFW, Washington State

URGENT ACTION ALERT: There’s A Hit Out On Washington’s Wedge Pack….

UPDATE: August 22, 2012

Great response everyone, keep calling and emailing.  Let’s try and save this pack! This is an outrage!

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So much for Washington State being progressive on wolves. As soon as a wolf looks sideways at a cow the ranchers start squawking and fish and game comes running. No matter ranchers lose thousands and thousands of cows each year to non-predation.

In 2010 for example, 37, 300 cows keeled over or were stolen in Washington.  But of course ranchers don’t get reimbursed for any of the following conditions that regularly claim the lives of cattle and calves every year.

Digestive problems …………………………………………………..
Respiratory problems ………………………………………………..
Metabolic problems …………………………………………………..
Mastitis …………………………………………………………………..
Lameness/injury ……………………………………………………….
Other diseases ………………………………………………………..
Weather related ……………………………………………………….
Calving problems ……………………………………………………..
Poisoning ………………………………………………………………..
Theft ………………………………………………………………………
(NASS)

 “The “Wedge” pack was named for the wedge-shaped part of Stevens County between the Kettle River to the west and the Columbia River to the east.  The pack is Washington’s eighth.”  (Spokesman-Review)

The state has already killed a Wedge Pack  sub-adult female, now WDFW is  ready to take out all the adult wolves as soon as tomorrow over a few questionable depredations involving one rancher.  Where’s the proof? Oh that’s right we have to believe whatever the rancher and fish and game says.  There are pups involved who will be orphaned or worse, since both of their parents will be DEAD!

It won’t be hard to track and kill these wolves, the alpha male and one other wolf  in the pack is already radio collared. It will be like picking off fish in barrel. There pups will have to watch as their family is chased and killed.

Please speak out for them, they are voiceless and at the mercy of state management that was supposed to be so different. It’s looking like Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is bending to the same pressure from the livestock industry that has a strangle hold on all the wolf states.

Please call Governor Christine Gregoire today and tell her to put a stop to the massacre of the Wedge Pack!!

Phone:  360-902-4111

You can also contact the Phil Anderson, Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildife

Phone:  360-902-2200

director@dfw.wa.gov

This is very urgent, please make those calls!! If you live out of state let them know you won’t be visiting Washington any time soon if they kill this wolf pack and orphan their pups.  Tell them you’ll be spending your tourist dollars elsewhere.

How much more wolf killing does there have to be until the American people rise up and say enough?????

Gray wolf captured on remote camera in Washington State

First sighting of  a member of the  Wedge Pack,  January 29, 2012

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Video: WDFW

Photo: Photobucket

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Washington wolves

Tags: Wedge Pack, kill over, orphaned pups or worse, stop killing wolves, WDFW, Columbia River, Kettle River, Christine Gregoire, Phil Anderson

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