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

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.


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

Please Support Alliance For The Wild Rockies & Friends Of The Clearwater

Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Friends of the Clearwater are consulting with their attorneys about challenging the wolf delisting rider in court, on constitutional grounds.

Please click on the links below to visit their websites.  Show your support with generous donations.

Alliance For the Wild Rockies

Friends of the Clearwater

 They showed courage and conviction, standing firm for wolves while the other ten plaintiffs brokered a deal with USFWS.

Of course the “settlement”  by the 10 groups was ultimately rejected by Judge Molloy.

He stated in part:

“[The] District Court is still constrained by the “rule of law.” No matter how useful a course of conduct might be to achieve a certain end, no matter how beneficial or noble the end, the limit of power granted to the District Court must abide by the responsibilities that flow from past political decisions made by the Congress. The law cannot be ignored to accommodate a partial settlement. The rule of law does not afford the District Court the power to decide a legal issue but then at the behest of some of the litigants to reverse course and permit what the Congress has forbidden because some of those interested have sensibly, or for other reasons, decided to lay a dispute to rest.”

  But the victory was short-lived because the Senate allowed Jon Tester (D-MT) to slip a wolf delisting rider into a must-pass appropriations bill.  81 Senators voted  for the budget bill and in turn sold wolves down the river. They even allowed the language of the rider to be rewritten so it wouldn’t jeopardize Wyoming’s court case, in pursuit of delisting their wolves. The rider reads:

“Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this division, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the Order and Judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09-CV-118J and 09-CV-138J on November 18, 2010.”

There was literally no support for wolves in the Senate. The months of emailing, faxing and writing Congress were in vain. The most appalling part of  this sad story is the majority of Democrats voted for the wolf delisting budget bill. Only three Democrats voted against it. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, also voted no. The rest of the no votes were Republicans.


Just to remind everyone:

Settlement Between 10 Environmental Groups and USFWS


Groups lay out opposition to proposed wolf settlement


Judge Blocks Deal Lifting Protections For Wolves

by The Associated Press


Endangered Wolves Sacrificed in Budget Deal


Afraid for Wolves

Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: Wolf Wars, endangered species act

Tags: wolves in peril, wolf scapegoating, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, political assault on the ESA

Wolves Call To Us On Earth Day…..

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.~~~Lakota

Photo: Courtesy All About Wolves

Posted in: Gray Wolf, biodiversity

Tags: Earth Day, gray wolves, wolves in peril

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 3:46 am  Comments (25)  
Tags: , ,

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over and It’s Not Over….

The anti-wolfers are having themselves a grand ole time. They are chomping at the bit waiting for wolf hunts. What they don’t know or maybe fail to perceive is the delisting of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies has galvanized the grass-roots wolf advocacy movement.

The irony is for two years we’ve tried to get this story out of the Northern Rockies and were unable to do so. The same tired rhetoric was printed over and over in local newspapers.  The rallying cry of the anti-wolfers “Wolves Need To Be Managed” was a continual drumbeat. Just to remind everyone, manage is their code word for killing. It makes it all neat and tidy sounding. Slaughter doesn’t have the same ring.

The irony is out of this tragedy wolf advocates  have finally found their voice, they won’t be silenced anymore. Not only do wolves have supporters in this country but there are wolf advocates around the world. and they are speaking out.  New names pop up daily on this blog to express outrage over the dirty, rotten, disgusting way wolves were delisted in a budget bill, by Democrats no less.

Wolf advocates are so outraged they are mobilizing to defeat Jon Tester, who along with Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) inserted the wolf slaughter rider into a must pass appropriations bill.

Here is the infamous rider:

“Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09-CV-118J and 09-CV-138J on November 18, 2010.”

Politicians who thought they were so clever slipping the rider into the budget underestimated the support wolves really have in this country. They’ve been listening to their hunting and ranching buddies too long. Hunters are a tiny group, just twelve million. Wildlife Waters outnumber hunters  more than six to one.

Americans love  wolves and want Congress to protect them, not kill them. I guess that was lost on the infamous 81 Senators who voted yes to wolf hunts.

We may not have the answer or answers yet, that will remove wolves from peril but the delisting has sparked a movement that is growing by the day. It’s bigger then Jon Tester or Mike Simpson. It’s bigger then the wolf haters and their lies.

It’s not over until it’s over and it’s not over!!!

Stay Tuned!!

Top Photo: Courtesy First People

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: grass-roots wolf movement grows, wolves in peril. wolf persecution

How Democrats Gutted The ESA And Sold Wolves Down The River…..

The 112th Congress will be remembered for two things. Selling out wolves for votes and gutting the ESA. This legacy will follow them throughout history. I hope they enjoy the notoriety.
April 14, 2o11

How federal budget-makers cut wolves from the endangered-species list

After years of legal wrangling over the issue, why was Congress able to take such swift and irrevocable action, all within the framework of a budget deal?

The last-minute budget deal that Democrats and Republicans worked out last Friday night may be, as President Obama said, “historic” for more reasons than one. Language in the legislation that may keep the federal government afloat “basically overturns the moral imperative that drove the passage of the Endangered Species Act,” says Doug Honnold, managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Northern Rockies office.

The language will “delist” wolves in Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and Utah — and will make that delisting unreviewable by the courts. Can Congress really do that? Yes, it can.

Read More:

Photo: Courtesy

Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: wolves betrayed by Congress, Infamous 81, wolves in peril, scapegoating

We Will Not Go Gentle Into This Good Night…

I know everyone is devastated by the news and we need time to grieve and digest it.  The only thing on my mind right now is that wolf-pupping season is upon us, with wolf babies being born into this nightmare.

I’m sure the wolf haters are celebrating their victory but we are not going to go away. We went through a terrible time in 2009 when the  hunts were ongoing in Idaho and Montana. Not sure what direction we’re going to take but we are not giving up. Remember what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. This will make us stronger and more determined then ever to protect wolves.

Do not despair, in the coming days and weeks a plan will emerge for us to follow. In the meantime I’m urging everyone to write to the 81 Senators,  who voted for the “wolf budget slaughter bill”. Let the Democrats know who voted for it we will not forget.

We’re all tired emotionally and physically but we fought the good fight, unfortunately we lost this round. But it’s not over.

Think of the of  the wolves.  Keep the faith.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,



Tracking science: Biologist’s findings show forest diversity, health influenced by wolves


Photo:  Courtesy

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf persecution, Tester wolf delisting rider, US Senate, 81 Senators votes yes, wolves in peril. wolf stripped of ESA protections

Running With Wolves

Gudrun Pflueger, an Austrian wolf biologist, made the documentary “A Woman Among Wolves” over three years ago.  It follows her journey on the British Columbia coast, tracking a pack of coastal wolves. Click this link to watch the full episode.

I was so moved by her interaction with the wolves. Then, soon after making the  film, Gudrun was struck down by a malignant brain tumor and spent the next three years trying to beat it. 

She states she was inspired by her experience with the coastal wolves, tapping into their “legendary stamina”, to battle the disease. 

Now she has beaten cancer and made another documentary about Canada’s wolves called “Running With Wolves”.  It’s good to see Gudrun alive and well.  If you haven’t seen this amazing film you still have a chance.  I posted the Direct TV schedule below.  HOWLS!!

Scientist beats cancer, finds inspiration among ‘Wolves’

By Gary Strauss, USA TODAY


Showtimes for “Running With Wolves” on Direct TV,  Smithsonian Channel 267, Mountain Time.

Thursday 4/22 @12pm   

Tuesday 2/27 @ 12:00pm          

Tuesday 2/27 @ 11:00pm              

Gudrun is dedicating her life to wolf conservation.


Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Biodiversity

Tags: Gudrun Pflueger, wolves in peril, wolves in Canada, wolf habitat destruction

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