Conservation Groups Petition USFWS To Monitor Northern Rockies Gray Wolves For Five More Years

Gray wolf MFWP

Center For Biological Diversity – For Immediate Release

January 5, 2016

Legal Petition Seeks Extension of Federal Monitoring for Northern Rockies Wolves

New Study: Hunting Likely Spurring Harmful Declines in Northern Rocky Wolves

VICTOR, Idaho— Five conservation groups filed a petition today requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue monitoring northern Rocky Mountains gray wolves for another five years. The existing monitoring program, which is required by the Endangered Species Act after protections are removed for a species, is set to expire in May. The monitoring is crucial to ensure that the wolf population doesn’t slip to levels at which Endangered Species Act protections are again needed.

The groups based today’s request in part on a new study in the journal Science that found the Fish and Wildlife Service and states of Montana and Idaho have underestimated the impacts and risks of aggressive hunting policies for gray wolves instituted since protections were lifted. Since federal safeguards were first stripped in 2009, more than 2,300 wolves have been killed by hunters or trappers in the two states.

“This research confirms what many scientists have been saying all along,” said Andrea Santarsiere, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Aggressive hunting of wolves is harming the gray wolf population in the northern Rockies. Left unchecked, the numbers will continue to decline — a sad fact for an animal that we fought so hard to bring back from the brink of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service clearly needs to continue to keep an eye on this situation.”

In first removing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in 2009, the Fish and Wildlife Service said that the required post-delisting monitoring period would be extended for an additional five years if any one of three criteria are met. One criterion requires an extension if a significant change in state law or management would significantly increase threats to the wolf population. Both Idaho and Montana have repeatedly increased hunting and trapping quotas in an effort to substantially reduce wolf populations, which according to the new study are almost certainly resulting in population declines.

“Antagonism towards wolves is one of the main threats that put them on the endangered species list in the first place. This has hardly changed, and the states have further demonstrated their continued aggression towards wolves by increasing killing efforts and liberalizing hunting and trapping of wolves” said Ken Cole, Idaho director for Western Watersheds Project. “The Fish and Wildlife Service should extend their oversight of wolf management by the states to ensure stable and viable wolf populations”
“As a backcountry elk and deer hunter myself, I find it appalling that in Montana hunters and trappers can legally kill up to five wolves annually, including deep within our Wilderness areas,” said Matthew Koehler, director of the Montana-based WildWest Institute. “Essentially this allows hunters or trappers to legally wipe out an entire wolf pack.”

Idaho has been especially aggressive in trying to reduce the wolf population. In 2014 the Idaho Legislature created the Idaho Wolf Control Board, allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars to killing wolves. Idaho has also contracted with the federal Wildlife Services to hunt, trap and aerially gun down wolves in the Lolo Zone and hired a professional trapper to eliminate two wolf packs in the Frank-Church-River-of-No Return Wilderness last winter. The agency has also turned a blind eye to an annual predator derby contest, in which participants win cash and prizes for killing wolves and coyotes, despite an agency policy condemning predator hunting contests as unethical.
“Idaho has been waging a war against wolves in the Lochsa and North Fork Clearwater basins, one of the wildest areas in the lower 48 states,” said Gary MacFarlane, ecosystem defense director of Friends of the Clearwater. “Further monitoring of this ill-advised program is needed.”

“The primary threat to wolves is active eradication efforts occurring throughout the Rocky Mountain distinct population segment,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands. “Continued monitoring of this still-fragile population is without question necessary and critical to the wolf’s recovery in the United States.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service has argued that the wolf population has stayed relatively constant despite hunting, but according to the new study this conclusion is questionable. Among other problems, Montana has changed its counting methodology after delisting, and Idaho continues to rely on a convoluted mathematical equation that is likely to overestimate the wolf population, making it difficult to accurately determine population trends.

“Idaho and Montana aren’t safe places for wolves right now,” Santarsiere said. “This is no time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to walk away from its duty to ensure this population survives and thrives. We know these wolves have been hammered by hunting and aggressive state policies and still need help.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Cascadia Wildlands educates, agitates, and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers full of wild salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion.

Friends of the Clearwater is an Idaho-based nonprofit conservation organization that works to protect the wildness and biodiversity of the public wildlands, wildlife, and waters of Idaho’s Clearwater Basin.

Western Watersheds Project is a nonprofit conservation group founded in 1993 with 1,500 members whose mission is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.

The WildWest Institute’s mission is to protect and restore forests, wildlands, watersheds and wildlife in the Northern Rockies.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-01-05-2016.html

===

PETITION TO EXTEND BY FIVE YEARS THE POST DELISTING MONITORING PERIOD OF THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS POPULATION OF THE GRAY WOLF

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/northern_Rocky_Mountains_gray_wolf/pdfs/NR_Wolf_Petition_01-05-2016.pdf

===

Top Photo: Gray wolf/MFWP

Bottom Photo: Nature – Cold Warriors

Posted in: Gray Wolf, Wolf Wars

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Western Watersheds Project, Cascadia Wildlands,Wildwest Institute, Northern Rockies gray wolves, USFWS, wolf wars, MFWP, IDFG

Nature Cold Warriors_pack traveling through snow

Feds Cancel Idaho Predator Killing Contest

roping a wolf

From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 24, 2014

Contact: Amy Atwood, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 504-5660
Laird Lucas, Advocates for the West, (208) 342-7024
Travis Bruner, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 720-5595
Camilla Fox, Project Coyote, (415) 690-0338

With Lawsuit Pending, Feds Cancel Idaho Predator-killing Derby

BOISE, Idaho —In response to a lawsuit from conservation groups, the Bureau of Land Management has decided to cancel a permit allowing an anti-wolf organization to conduct a “predator derby” on more than 3 million acres of public lands near Salmon, Idaho.

As lawyers for the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Project Coyote and Defenders of Wildlife were preparing to file a request to stop this year’s derby on BLM lands, the agency decided to withdraw its decision to allow “Idaho for Wildlife” to conduct a contest to kill the most wolves, coyotes, and other species over three days every year for five years, beginning Jan. 2, 2015.
“We’re so glad that the deadly derby has been canceled this year,” said Amy Atwood, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, who represents the Center, Western Watersheds Project and Project Coyote. “These sort of ruthless kill-fests have no place in this century. We intend to pursue every available remedy to stop these horrible contests.”

News of BLM’s decision came from an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, which is representing the BLM in the groups’ litigation, who conveyed the news just as attorneys for the groups were preparing to file a major brief to stop this year’s hunt.

“BLM’s first-ever approval of a wolf hunting derby on public lands undercuts wolf recovery efforts, so it’s good they cancelled this permit,” said Laird Lucas, director of litigation at Advocates for the West, which represents Defenders of Wildlife.

The hunt would have allowed up to 500 participants compete to kill the largest number of wolves, coyotes and other animals for cash and prizes. Contest organizers are hoping to expand their contest statewide.

“It’s hard to imagine a more objectionable event than an award-laden killing festival,” said Travis Bruner, executive director of Western Watersheds Project. “Let’s all hope that this is the beginning of the end of such activities.”

Wolves were removed from the endangered species list in 2011 following many years of recovery efforts in central and eastern Idaho, where public lands are supposed to provide core refugia in the face of aggressive hunting and trapping in Idaho.

“Killing wildlife for fun and prizes on public lands that belong to all Americans is not only reprehensible, it is also a violation of the Public Trust Doctrine and contravenes Idaho Fish and Game’s policy condemning killing contests as unethical and ecologically unsound,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “It is high time the BLM acknowledges that wildlife killing contests are not an acceptable ‘use’ of public lands.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Western Watersheds Project works to protect and restore public lands and wildlife in the West through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy.

Project Coyote (ProjectCoyote.org) is a national non-profit organization promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science, and advocacy. Join our community on Facebook and Twitter.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/wildlife-killing-contest-11-24-2014.htm

===

Idaho Predator Derby Canceled on Federal Land

Posted by Jessica Murri Nov 25, 2014 at 11:07 am

http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2014/11/25/idaho-predator-derby-canceled-on-federal-land

===

Photo: Courtesy Wiki

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Biodiversity

Tags: CBD, Advocates for the West, Western Watersheds Project, Project Coyote, BLM, Predator Killing Contest cancelled on Federal Land

Action Alert: Petition to List the Yellowstone Bison as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act

Yellowstone Bison_2013

November 14, 2014

Update: I made this a little confusing. There is no petition to sign. Western Watersheds Project and Buffalo Field Campaign petitioned the USFWS to list Yellowstone bison as threatened or endangered.

===

Petition to List the Yellowstone Bison as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act

Western Watersheds Project & Buffalo Field Campaign

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/ESAPetition20141113.pdf

===

From the Buffalo Field Campaign

Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for the Imperiled Yellowstone Bison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2014

Press Contacts:
Travis Bruner, Executive Director, Western Watersheds Project, 208-788-2290
Michael Connor, Western Watersheds Project, 818-345-0425
Daniel Brister, Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070
Darrell Geist, Habitat Coordinator, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-531-9284

FACT SHEET: WHY YELLOWSTONE BISON ARE THREATEND WITH EXTINCTION

MONTANA: Western Watersheds Project and Buffalo Field Campaign petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today to list the Yellowstone bison under the Endangered Species Act. Yellowstone bison are found primarily in Yellowstone National Park and migrate into the jurisdictions of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming where the wildlife species is forcibly removed or destroyed completely. Yellowstone bison are the only extant wildlife population of plains bison that retains its genetic integrity and still freely roams in the United States.

Nearly all plains bison in the United States are private livestock and/or descendants of bison that were commercially interbred with cattle. These hybridized cattle-bison no longer retain their identity as plains bison, or status as a wildlife species in privately owned herds. All privately owned bison are managed as livestock. Nearly all publicly held bison exist in small, isolated populations on restricted and fenced ranges with no predators and subject entirely to human selection.

The best available science presented in the petition shows that the Yellowstone bison are unique, significant, and genetically and behaviorally distinct. For this reason, the Yellowstone bison population is critical to the overall survival and recovery of the species.

“Prompt listing under the Endangered Species Act is required if this last remnant population of plains bison is to survive and recover,” stated Travis Bruner of Western Watersheds Project.
“The extirpation of the unique Yellowstone bison would represent the complete loss of wild bison from the last stronghold of their historic and ecological range, loss of unique ecological adaptations to the local environment, and the loss of valuable and unique genetic qualities.” stated Michael Connor of Western Watersheds Project.

The petition catalogues the many threats that Yellowstone bison face. Specific threats include: extirpation from their range to facilitate livestock grazing, livestock diseases and disease management practices by the government, overutilization, trapping for slaughter, hunting, ecological and genomic extinction due to inadequate management, and climate change.

The Yellowstone bison population is comprised of genetically and behaviorally distinct subpopulations with differing migration patterns. The wild migratory species uses a significant portion of the geothermal habitats in Yellowstone National Park, an unusual ecological adaptation unique to Yellowstone bison.
“The wild bison living in and around Yellowstone National Park are the only bison in America to continuously occupy their native habitat since the days when tens of millions migrated freely across the continent,” said BFC Executive Director Dan Brister. “A listing under the Endangered Species Act is necessary to ensure the survival of this iconic species.”

Policies of the National Park Service and National Forest Service, and state regulatory mechanisms threaten rather than protect the Yellowstone bison and their habitat. Since 2000, the Park has taken over 3,600 bison in capture for slaughter operations. The Forest Service issues livestock grazing permits in bison habitat. State regulatory mechanisms in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming all result in the forced removal or complete destruction of bison migrating beyond Park borders.
The groups have requested the USFWS issue an initial finding on the petition within 90 days as required by the Endangered Species Act.

Once numbering tens of millions, there were fewer than 25 wild bison remaining in the remote interior of Pelican Valley in Yellowstone National Park at the turn of the 20th Century. The 1894 Lacey Act, the first federal law specifically safeguarding bison, protected these few survivors from extinction.
The petition is available online download the PDF, HERE.

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press1415/pressreleases1415/111314.html

===

Photo: Nabeki 2013

Posted in: Action Alerts, Yellowstone’s Wild Free-Roaming Bison

Tags: Yellowstone Bison, Western Watersheds Project, Buffalo Field Campaign, ESA, protect Yellowstone Bison

Remembering Jewel…Phantom Hill Wolf Pack Female B445…Shot Dead

jewel

“Jewel” – Phantom Hill Wolf pack member B445

July 24, 2014

Here is another tragic story of a young Idaho wolf, cut down before she had a chance to live.  I’ll continue to  repost  these stories the rest of the week in remembrance of the wolves and wolf packs we’ve lost  at the hands of Wildlife Services, wolf hunts, ranching and poaching. We can’t forget them, they are why we are fighting this battle!

October 31, 2009

Jewel, a young beta female, of the Phantom Hill Wolf Pack in Idaho, was shot dead in the Eagle Creek drainage, north of Ketchum. She was only two years old but had already made her mark upon the pack. When the alpha female took an extended vacation this year, Jewel assumed “nanny duties”, caring for the pups during the alpha’s absence.

Jewel died for nothing yesterday. Here is her story from Western Watersheds Project website

Courtesy to Lynne Stone for photos and content.

====

Lynne Stone documents her encounter with Jewel:

Over a week ago I was hiking north of Ketchum, when a young Phantom Hill Pack wolf trotted into view. From her appearance I knew she was B445, the most recently collared Phantom wolf. When my dog, Bo, noticed the wolf, he bounded after her, but when I called Bo back, the wolf stopped and turned around and continued to watch us with curiosity.

I had observed from afar, a few weeks before, when B445 was caught by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and collared. I watched through a spotting scope, as she woke up from being drugged, and staggered toward the rest of her pack.

jewel 1

Jewel (B445) © Lynne Stone 2007

B445 is often the nanny wolf to her younger brothers and sisters that make up this year’s pups, stepping into the role after Judith, B326 went on her adventure this year. At least three pups have been seen. There are probably more. I heard them howling recently at night and it sounded like three to four pups howling in response to the rest of the pack.

B445 was still shedding out her thick winter coat of fur when I saw her close-up. Now that weeks of rain (unusual for central Idaho!) has stopped, the weather is finally warm, and B445’s fur will soon be sleek.

During my recent eye-to-eye encounter with B445, I was never for a moment afraid. What I observed, was that B445 was very curious of us (my dog and self), as we were intruders into her pack’s territory. I thought of B445’s older sister, B326 – Judith, and how that this younger wolf, was certainly a jewel. Her beautiful silky movements, her intelligent, inquiring amber eyes — well, the name Jewel seemed to fit her.

http://www.westernwatersheds.org/issues/species/wolves/jewelphantomhillb445-jewel/

(All Idaho wolves when caught and radio-collared are given a number with the letter B preceding it.)

jewel 3

Photos and account © Lynne Stone 2009

Categories posted in: Wolf Wars,  Idaho wolf hunt

Tags: Idaho wolf hunt, wolves in the crossfire, Jewel, Phantom Hill Pack, Lynne Stone, Western Watersheds Project

ALERT: Conservation Groups File Wolf Rider Appeal to the Ninth Circuit…

Conservation groups filed an appeal to the US Ninth Circuit, on September 8, 2011, challenging the constitutionality of the wolf delisting rider.  Leading the fight is Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians.  Center For Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project are also plaintiffs in the appeal.

Rider Appeal, Ninth Circuit Court, Opening Brief, Sept. 8, 2011

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0908wolfBR.pdf

What impressed me about their opening brief was the introduction. It quotes the famed ecologist and environmentalist Aldo Leopold’s Thinking Like a Mountain, from A Sand County Almanac,  In his writing, Leopold introduces the concept of trophic cascades.

“The concept of a trophic cascade is put forth in the chapter “Thinking Like a Mountain”, wherein Leopold realizes that killing a predator wolf carries serious implications for the rest of the ecosystem.”

===

Thinking Like A Mountain

by Aldo Leopold

In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy: how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks.

We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.

Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddle horn. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers.

I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the
range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dust bowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.

We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness.The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes,and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau’s dictum:In wildness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf, long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men.

ALDO LEOPOLD, A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC, AND SKETCHES HERE AND  THERE, Thinking Like a Mountain, at 129–133, Commemorative edition 1989, ©1949, Oxford University Press, Inc.

http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/news/2011/0908wolfBR.pdf

====

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

Tags: US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, wolves in peril, wolf delisting rider

“Sticking Up for Wolves in the Northern Rockies”…WildEarth Guardians Speaks Out!

WildEarth Guardians released their response to the deal that was cut between ten environmental groups and the Interior Department.

To read the deal CLICK HERE.

They applaud, as I do, the three environmental groups involved in the lawsuit who oppose this deal and are standing firm. They are: Western Watersheds Project, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Friends of the Clearwater:\

=======

Press Release From WildEarth Guardians:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sticking Up for Wolves in the Northern Rockies

Guardians Defends Judge Molloy’s Wolf Ruling

Washington, DC – March 18. WildEarth Guardians supports Federal Judge Donald Molloy’s August 2010 decision that put wolves in the Northern Rockies back on the endangered species list and also set important legal precedent. But today, the Interior Department and 10 environmental groups announced a settlement that agrees to wolf delisting and specifically seeks to vacate the Judge Molloy’s decision. Guardians applauds Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds Project, and Friends of the Clearwater for continuing to support Molloy’s ruling and not going along with the delisting plan.

“The biological situation for wolves in the Northern Rockies is just as perilous now as when these groups challenged the delisting in June 2009,” stated John Horning of WildEarth Guardians. “Amazingly, the settlement asks for the judge to approve delisting on terms that violate his ruling.”

The very first term of the agreement would be to delist wolves in Idaho and Montana, which is precisely what the groups challenged in 2009. It also provides for subsequent delisting in Wyoming. The settlement relies on the initiative of the Interior Department to secure a future for Northern Rockies wolves outside of the Endangered Species Act. Guardians believes that wolf numbers will drastically plummet after delisting and doubts that, once delisted, wolves in the region would obtain relisting.

The settlement is no doubt motivated by fears regarding wolf delisting bills that have been introduced in the House and Senate, which would greatly undercut wolf protection and would be precedent-setting by legislatively delisting a species. Despite these grave threats, the Endangered Species Act requires delisting decisions to be based on biological, not political concerns. That is the standard to which Guardians holds the government and itself. Guardians will not gamble the lives of Northern Rockies wolves on the chance of preventing Congressional delisting. To our knowledge, no federal legislator who has offered a delisting bill has agreed to withdraw it even if this settlement is approved.

Guardians is also concerned that the wolves are being sacrificed due to antagonism from just a tiny portion of the American public – those ranchers and hunters hostile to wolves, and the politicians that are working at their behest. In contrast, wolves are wildly popular with the American public and one of the principal draws to Yellowstone National Park.

“It doesn’t matter from the wolf’s perspective whether they’re killed because of actions by Congress or this settlement. These animals need more protections, not less,” stated Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians. “Biologists have issued peer-reviewed articles documenting that wolves have not yet recovered in the Northern Rockies, and that killing them has profound negative influences on their social stability, ability to carry out their ecological function, and their ability to persist.”

Guardians considered filing litigation to challenge the delisting rule in 2009, but chose not to given the large number of conservation groups already taking the issue up. The group now regrets that decision and appreciates that Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds Project, and Friends of the Clearwater are holding the line for wolves in Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

“The American public loves and values wolves and wants them conserved because they are a national treasure. We at WildEarth Guardians strive for wolves’ full protection under federal law. If their management is given over to the States, we will see them exterminated a second time in history. This would be unethical and a biological disaster,” said Horning.

The Humane Society of the United States is one of the plaintiffs on the original delisting case but has not yet taken a public stand on the settlement.

CLICK HERE for link to this press release


=======

I will be writing more about this as it unfolds.

Howling For Justice unequivocally opposes this deal. You cannot throw Montana and Idaho wolves under the bus and deliver them to brutal state-management/killing systems. It is wrong, no matter what altruistic motives may be assigned to it. In short order we will have full-scale wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho, if this deal is approved. THAT MEANS hundreds and hundreds of innocent wolves will die! Not only will Montana and Idaho wolves have to dodge hunter’s bullets but also the deadly aerial gunning, trapping/killing of hundreds of wolves by Wildlife Services.

Before wolves were relisted, Montana increased their wolf killing quota to 186 wolves, with a wolf archery and back-country rifle season to boot. Idaho will implement baiting, calling and trapping of wolves.  All hell will rain down on Montana and Idaho wolves. This deal is a disaster and I call on you Wolf Warriors to write to the groups that struck this deal and tell them how you feel.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

Posted in Wolf Wars, Montana Wolves, Idaho Wolves

Tags: WildEarth Guardians, 10 environmental groups, wolves lose in Montana and Idaho,bad deal struck, capitulation,  3 groups stood their ground, Western Watersheds Project, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater

How Many More Yellowstone Bison Will Be Sacrificed On The Cow Altar?

UPDATE: February 5, 2011

Plan to slaughter stray Yellowstone bison ignites furor

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110205/us_nm/us_yellowstone_bison

Please sign the Buffalo Field Campaign’s Petition To Stop The Slaughter of Yellowstone’s Bison

CLICK HERE TO SIGN:

=======

Here we go again. Yellowstone bison are in danger of being slaughtered because they are daring to leave the park in search of food. A request for an emergency injunction, to stop the slaughter, has been filed by Western Watersheds Project, BFC and other wildlife groups. To read the brief CLICK HERE.

This winter has been extremely harsh in Yellowstone National Park and the bison are HUNGRY!! They are leaving the park to access better feeding grounds but Montana livestock officials are having none of it. Bison are being stopped at the border, rounded up and put in holding pens. Why? Because the excuse is SOME bison carry brucellosis. Really? So do ELK!!

From the Buffalo Field Campaign:

The fact that elk also carry brucellosis, yet are not slaughtered as a result, reveals an inconsistency in the Montana Department of Livestock’s logic. Over 100,000 elk are allowed to roam freely in and around Yellowstone National Park’s borders. Elk hunting is also a tremendous source of revenue for the State of Montana and there would be tremendous public outcry from outfitters and the hunting public if there were a slaughter of the elk. Slaughtering the buffalo makes no sense when there is always the risk of reinfection from the elk. The real issue is the competition between buffalo and cattle public-lands forage. The livestock industry has no interest in sharing these public lands with America’s largest free-ranging herd of buffalo.

Yes, precious elk carry the same disease, yet they are allowed to run freely though out Montana. If elk can roam free, while carrying brucellosis, why are bison singled out?  Because as was previously stated outfitters and hunters would have a fit. That seems to drive everything in Montana. What hunters, ranchers and outfitters want, they get. Dead wolves? Dead bison? Two species being sacrificed on the cow altar.

The captured bison are being tested for brucellosis. ALL bison testing positive are due to be shipped to slaughter. These animals, pushed by hunger,  have been sentenced to death because they tried to access their lower elevation feeding grounds. Does it get any harsher than that?

The remaining bison are supposed to be held in the holding pens until Spring but in reality the pens only hold 400 animals and they’re almost full. With more and more bison wandering out of the park in search of food, there will be no pens left to hold them. Will 2011 be a repeat of  the slaughter of 2008?

“In 2008, a record 1,600 bison were killed leaving the park, including more than 1,400 that were shipped to slaughter.” (AP)

The Buffalo Field Campaign has done a tremendous job monitoring and working to protect Yellowstone’s wild free-roaming bison. BFC has teamed up with Western Watersheds Project and other wildlife advocates to try to prevent the latest round of killings of America’s iconic bison. A brief has been filed asking  for an emergency injunction, to prevent the bison from being carted off to slaughter.

=======

400 Bison Captured In Yellowstone; BFC Files Emergency Injunction to Stop Slaughter

Weekly Update from the Field February 3, 2011

Update from the Field: Park Service Captures 400 Bison; BFC Files Emergency Injunction to Stop Slaughter
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update1011/020311.html

Bison were once nearly extinct in the US, destroyed along with the Native American way of life. Estimates of 25 to 50 million bison were wiped out during the settlement of  America. The history of this country is drenched in bison blood. Yet the harassment and killing of Yellowstone’s iconic wild free-roaming bison continues, all in the name of the sacred cow?

“The US Army sanctioned and actively endorsed the wholesale slaughter of bison herds.[28] The US federal government promoted bison hunting for various reasons, to allow ranchers to range their cattle without competition from other bovines, and primarily to weaken the North American Indian population by removing their main food source and to pressure them onto the reservations.[29] Without the bison, native people of the plains were forced either to leave the land or starve to death.”Wikipedia

It gets worse:

For a decade from 1873 on, there were several hundred, perhaps over a thousand, such commercial hide/market hunting outfits harvesting bison at any one time, vastly exceeding the take by American Indians or individual meat hunters. The commercial take arguably was anywhere from 2,000 to 100,000 animals per day depending on the season, though there are no statistics available. It was said that the Big .50s were fired so much that the market hunters needed at least two rifles to let the barrels cool off; The Fireside Book of Guns reports they were sometimes quenched in the winter snow. Dodge City saw railroad cars sent East filled with stacked hides.Wikipedia

That’s just a tiny peek into the brutality that reigned down upon the American bison. We owe them better than that. Yellowstone bison are a national treasure with a limited gene pool. The annual cycle of hazing and slaughtering bison, when they attempt to leave the park in search of food, is brutal and unnecessary.

The Montana Department of Livestock, the cattle industry and their minions are behind this outrage.I don’t think any of this has to do with brucellosis.  They don’t want to share grass with the bison. It’s reminiscent of the 1800’s when the government wanted “to allow ranchers to range their cattle without competition from other bovines.”

Think about it, nothing is done to stop “brucellosis carrying elk” from freely wandering the state? If Montana was so worried about it they’d be rounding up, testing and slaughtering elk.

The Montana livestock industry can hide behind this transparent disease excuse but common sense tells you it’s a red herring. It diverts attention from their real agenda which is to of prevent competition for grazing land between bison and cattle. Wild horses are being run off their lands for the very same reason. Hundreds of wolves are killed every year for ranching interests.

Meanwhile Yellowstone bison continue to suffer. Not just this year but every year they dare to leave the park.

They are hazed with helicopters, snowmobiles, etc., to drive them back into the Yellowstone.  This is especially deadly in Spring months when new calves, some just days or hours old, must run for their lives, sometimes becoming separated from their mothers, sometimes dying in the chaos filled madness as they are being driven relentlessly back to the park. Any bison remaining outside the park boundaries by May 15 will likely be shot and killed.

In this 2006 video, from the Buffalo Field Campaign, the Montana Department of Livestock hazed these bison onto thin ice and they fell into the freezing water. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org These buffalo are chased onto thin ice by Montana’s Department of Livestock. They subsequently fall though and are some die thanks to those in charge of the last wild bison on Earth.

=======

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org On March 14 and 15 the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) captured and slaughtered 33 Yellowstone buffalo. These buffalo had been peacefully grazing on the shore of Hebgen Lake since early January. This is the same herd that DOL agents chased onto thin ice on January 11, drowning two in the frigid water.

=======

SPEAK OUT FOR YELLOWSTONE’S WILD FREE-ROAMING BISON BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!

Please support and donate to the Buffalo Field Campaign!!

Visit their website and take action for Yellowstone’s beleaguered bison. They need our help!!

Buffalo Field Campaign

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update1011/update1011.html

=======

Bison slaughter on hold as park reviews lawsuit

February 4, 2011

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/02/04/bison_slaughter_challenged_as_habitat_ef\fort_flops/

=======

Bison slaughter challenged as habitat effort flops

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110204/ap_on_re_us/us_yellowstone_bison_slaughter

=======

400 Yellowstone Bison Held For Possible Slaughter

February 4, 2011

Animals that test positive for exposure to the disease Brucellosis were to be sent to slaughter in coming days. Matthew Brown/AP

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/04/133489875/400-yellowstone-bison-held-for-possible-slaughter?ps=cprs

 

Videos: Courtesy www. buffalofieldcampaign.org  

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Yellowstone’s Wild Free-Roaming Bison, Biodiversity

Tags: Buffalo Field Campaign, Western Watersheds Project,  Montana Department of Livestock. bison slaughter, harsh Yellowstone winter, bison under siege, hungry bison

Remembering Jewel…Phantom Hill Wolf Pack Female B445…Shot Dead

jewel

“Jewel” – Phantom Hill Wolf pack member B445

October 31, 2009

Jewel, a young beta female, of the Phantom Hill Wolf Pack in Idaho, was shot dead in the Eagle Creek drainage, north of Ketchum. She was only two years old but had already made her mark upon the pack. When the alpha female took an extended vacation this year, Jewel assumed “nanny duties”, caring for the pups during the alpha’s absence.

Jewel died for nothing yesterday. Here is her story from Western Watersheds Project website

Courtesy to Lynne Stone for photos and content. ====

Lynne Stone documents her encounter with Jewel:

Over a week ago I was hiking north of Ketchum, when a young Phantom Hill Pack wolf trotted into view. From her appearance I knew she was B445, the most recently collared Phantom wolf. When my dog, Bo, noticed the wolf, he bounded after her, but when I called Bo back, the wolf stopped and turned around and continued to watch us with curiosity.

I had observed from afar, a few weeks before, when B445 was caught by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and collared. I watched through a spotting scope, as she woke up from being drugged, and staggered toward the rest of her pack.

jewel 1

Jewel (B445) © Lynne Stone 2007

B445 is often the Nannie wolf to her younger brothers and sisters that make up this year’s pups, stepping into the role after Judith, B326 went on her adventure this year. At least three pups have been seen. There are probably more. I heard them howling recently at night and it sounded like three to four pups howling in response to the rest of the pack.

B445 was still shedding out her thick winter coat of fur when I saw her close-up. Now that weeks of rain (unusual for central Idaho!) has stopped, the weather is finally warm, and B445’s fur will soon be sleek.

During my recent eye-to-eye encounter with B445, I was never for a moment afraid. What I observed, was that B445 was very curious of us (my dog and self), as we were intruders into her pack’s territory. I thought of B445’s older sister, B326 – Judith, and how that this younger wolf, was certainly a jewel. Her beautiful silky movements, her intelligent, inquiring amber eyes — well, the name Jewel seemed to fit her.

(All Idaho wolves when caught and radio-collared are given a number with the letter B preceding it.)

jewel 3

Photos and account © Lynne Stone 2009

Categories posted in: Wolf Wars,  Idaho wolf hunt

Tags: Idaho wolf hunt, wolves in the crossfire, Jewel, Phantom Hill Pack, Lynne Stone, Western Watersheds Project

%d bloggers like this: