Source October , 2015
Wyoming has been fighting Washington over delisting since 2003, objecting to the federal standards and offering its own plan for controlling wolf populations. Wyoming treated wolves as “vermin” and allowed them to be hunted along the borders of Yellowstone National Park and throughout National Forest lands south of Jackson Hole.
219 wolves were killed in 80% of Wyoming opened to “unlimited” killing since the delisting in late August 2012.
Overruling U.S. wildlife officials, a federal judge (Amy Berman Jackson) restored protections for gray wolves in Wyoming in September 2014.
Wyoming’s kill-on-sight attitude as a wolf management plan throughout much of the state is a disgrace. Wyoming officials need to be conscious of the fact that “sport” (trophy) hunting of wolves is inconsistent with the need for continued protections for this essential, iconic species. Labeling the wolf as a predator that could be shot in four-fifths of the state is hardly a way to treat a species freshly removed from the ESA.
Cast your vote. How should Wyoming’s wolf population be managed~certainly not by the state, please choose the first option: “The current federal controls will protect the population.”
Source September 29, 2015
The governors of Wyoming and Montana will head to Washington, D.C. this week (Tuesday, September 29th) to give their perspective on how to “improve” (ie. dismantle) the Endangered Species Act.
Please find several tweets to send off at the bottom of this post.
Western Governors’ Association Chairman and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead will be joined by Governors Steve Bullock (Montana, WGA Vice Chair), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota),Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota), and Gary Herbert (Utah) at a number of meetings with congressional leaders. Governors Mead and Bullock will appear at a briefing on the topic “Improving the Endangered Species Act : Perspectives from the Fish and Wildlife Service and State Governors.” In addition to the governors’ appearance and remarks on the ESA, (which is the focus of Gov. Mead’s Chairman’s Initiative), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Dan Ashe, also will be present and will make a statement.
- Mead last month announced that the Western Governors’ Association will hold five forums around the West to collect information on how to improve the Endangered Species Act. The first will be held in Wyoming this fall. The act “touches the people and economies of Western states in a significant way,” Mead said last month in announcing the effort. “This initiative is intended to take a hard look…” Mead has focused much of his criticism of the ESA on how difficult it is to remove federal protections for a species once it is listed. He has said that since 1973, when the federal law was enacted, 2,280 species have been protected but only 30 have been taken off the list after being classified as recovered. The truth of the matter is, as Montana lawyer, Tim Preso of Earthjustice, states: “The proper measure of success of the Endangered Species Act is its track record of preventing species from going extinct”. He said he regards current calls for improving the law to be “Trojan horse efforts” to undermine key provisions.“The Endangered Species Act has been 99 percent effective at preventing extinctions, which is kind of amazing when you consider the huge amount of population expansion, and expanded human footprint on this continent since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973”.
Let us not forget that Wyoming’s wolf management plan classified the animals as unprotected predators that could be shot on sight in most areas, an approach that drew opposition from national environmental groups.
Bottom line, the Endangered Species Act works. The longer an animal or plant species is protected under the ESA, the more likely it is to recover. Today the ESA is under attack at a time when we can least afford to lose it.
The ESA safeguards ecological processes, such as predation, as well as maintaining biodiversity. Science tells us that the most effective way to mitigate climate change is by maintaining ecological resiliency. The ESA protects keystone species (such as the gray wolf and sea otter) which create more resilient ecosystems by increasing biodiversity.
- Politicians should not be meddling in what should be science based decisions. Please reach out to the members of the Committee on Environment and Public Works – Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife via twitter. Tell them that the ESA works, leave it alone!
Dan Sullivan (Chairman) Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
John Barrasso Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Shelley Capito Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
John Boozman Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Jeff Sessions Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Roger F. Wicker Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Deb Fischer Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Mike Rounds Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
James M. Inhofe Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Sheldon Whitehouse (Ranking Member) Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Thomas R. Carper Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Benjamin L. Cardin Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Bernard Sanders Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Kirsten Gillibrand Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Cory A. Booker Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Edward Markey Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Barbara Boxer Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4
Thankyou, everyone, for your efforts here and support to protect the Endangered Species Act.
Independent news blog report on the briefing
Source September 16, 2015
Two gray wolves were found dead of ‘unnatural’ causes in Wallowa County, where wolves are highly controversial. (The Associated Press)
Oregon State Police are investigating to find out who killed two wolves in Wallowa County last month.
The agency on Wednesday announced two adult wolves, one of them wearing a state tracking collar, were found dead on August 24.
Wolves are an endangered species in Oregon, and killing them is illegal except under special circumstances outlined in the Oregon Wolf Plan.
The state police announcement listed the cause of death as unknown, but state police spokesman Bill Fugate told The Oregonian/Oregonlive the wolves’ manner of death “does not appear to be natural.”
Asked whether the wolves were poached, Fugate said, “It’s definitely being considered.”
In Wallowa County, where wolves are protected under the state endangered species act but not the federal act, poaching a wolf can bring a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.
The wolves, a mating male and female known as the Sled Springs pair, had been raising pups born this spring. Wolf biologist Roblyn Brown of the state fish and wildlife department said it is unknown whether the pups are still alive.
Fugate declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the wolves’ death, but noted their bodies were found on public land north of Enterprise. It’s likely there were witnesses to the crime, he said.
“The evidence points toward humans being in the area at the time of the wolves’ death,” he said.
State officials discovered the wolves’ bodies after the female’s tracking collar emitted a signal indicating she was dead. State police and wildlife officials followed the signal to find two bodies lying 50 yards apart.
Police are asking anyone with information about the wolves’ deaths to contact Senior Trooper Kreg Coggins at 541-426-3049, or to call the poaching tipster hotline at 1-800-452-788. Tipsters can also email TIP@state.or.us.
The deaths underscore mounting tensions as the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission considers removing wolves from the state’s endangered species list. The losses bring Oregon’s wolf population down to 79 known individuals, a number that has steadily increased since the first lone wanderer crossed the Idaho border into Oregon in 1999.
Conservationists called for legal action if poachers are deemed responsible.
Amaroq Weiss, a wolf organizer the Center for Biological Diversity, said she was saddened by the “highly suspicious” deaths.
“We hope that if this is indeed the act of a misguided individual or individuals, they are quickly caught and brought to justice,” Weiss said.
The Sled Springs pair was one of six established pairs or packs in Wallowa County, a rural ranching community where wolves remain controversial. Bumper stickers bearing the slogan “shoot, shovel and shut up” along with an illustration of a wolf in a hunting scope’s crosshairs are commonplace.
Many ranchers see the predators as a threat to their livestock, and have pushed the state to remove endangered species protections that outlaw killing wolves except in special circumstances. Ranchers argue they need more freedom to take lethal action to prevent wolves from killing their livestock.
Last week, the state wildlife agency announced the Mount Emily pack near La Grandrecently killed two sheep. The sheep kills are the pack’s fifth attack on livestock or domestic animals this year, and could result in lethal action from the state.
Since wolves established themselves in Oregon, state officials have killed four in response to chronic attacks on livestock. Several wolves have been killed by poachers, but police have made no arrests.
In Washington, where wolves are also endangered, a man this week was fined $100 for chasing a wolf with his car, then shooting and killing the animal. Wildlife advocates argued the sentence was too lenient.
The Oregon wildlife commission is expected to consider next month whether wolves should remain listed as endangered in Oregon.
The Oregon Wolf Plan still would govern who can kill wolves, and under what circumstances.
Source September 18, 2015
Scotland’s rugged mountains and ancient woodlands look like the perfect place to reintroduce predators like the wolf
Red deer are found in abundance across the moorland of Coigach and Assynt, prompting a row this week over whether to cull the animals or fence off an area to protect new woodland. But other less common animals, from pine martens to sea eagles, are also thriving in the area. Just beyond the Living Landscape area, on an estate owned by the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, two golden eagles are also reported to be nesting.
The Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape is a collaboration between the Scottish Wildlife Trust, five community run foundations or groups and eight private landowners. And the biggest chunk of funding will go to to tree planting and to support the work of a tree nursey, which is already producing 4,000 rowan, birch, oak, juniper and holly saplings a year to join uo fragmented woodlands, while to the north of the vast area another project is already excavating Clachtoll broch, an Iron Age settlement thought to occupied by a sophisticated pre-Roman maritime culture that stretched up to the Hebrides.
Red deer are found in abundance across Coigach (Mark Foxwell)
Nearby to that ancient site, at Culug Woods wildlife ranger Andy Summers was leading a “woodland classroom” of nine-years olds from the Lochinver primary school. “People talk about the lynx and wilderness,” said Mr Summers. “But these woods are home to endangered pipistrelle bats, pine martens and dozens of species of trees. This area is already wild. What we need is to learn how to translate that resource into new jobs and eco-tourism opportunities. We need to harness the wildness because at the end of the day we need young people to come and make their home here.”
Anna MacKay, chair of the trust that manages the Culag Woods and a supporter of the Living Landscape, agreed: “It would be wonderful to know there are wolves or lynx out there roaming the hills, but that’s a debate for a long time in the future. There is trepidation about conservation still here. That’s why the approach of the Living Landscape is so important. People in the Highlands have faced clearances and the introduction sheep driving them off the land, and unless we get conservation right, that will be the next thing that makes us feel like we are losing the land.”
September 14, 2015 Source
A walk along a trail in the early morning woods on a fine fall like day deep in the Tennessee Mountains. With some amazing companions.
Snoozing in the sunshine seemed to be the rule of the day. For both the wolves and the bobcat by an old fence line.
Scenes from along the trail.
Source September 14, 2015
My #GoodNewsSharing is a story about wolves. I’ve had a love of wolves for as long as I can remember. They are majestic and beautiful and their pack loyalty is something we could all aspire to. Wolves and their place in our world is a very intricate and necessary part of our planet’s ecosystem (if you have not already seen this footage, look up How Wolves Changed Rivers on YouTube and see how wolves do just that). The “lone wolf” story is a myth as is the “Big Bad Wolf”. Wolves are not one bit as scary as the fairytales would have us believe. I often wonder if those myths did not exist if we would be so afraid of them? In fact, wolves are more frightened of us humans than threatening to us.
Follow Your Heart – The Path Is Mapped For You…
In my 20s, I worked at Natural Wonders, a nature store that sold all kinds of things like telescopes, gemstones, geodes and fossil replicas, camping supplies, nature photography coffee table books and documentaries, etc. We carried an amazing book: “Brother Wolf”
and poster prints by world renown National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg
. I fell in love with Jim’s work with wolves as did I with Jim and Jamie Dutcher’s “Living With Wolves”
. My dream was to work with wolves, I even thought for a bit about pursuing it as a career. When I moved to Los Angeles over sixteen years ago I started volunteering at the Wildlife Waystation
in hopes to someday be able to volunteer my way up and work with their rescue wolves. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, but I did not give up hope. Several years ago, a friend of mine told me about Teo Alfero
who runs Wolf Connection
; an organization that rescues wolf-dogs and uses them in their educational, outreach programs and work with at risk youth. At the time I was working on a personal documentary and my friend threw out the suggestion that I do a documentary on Wolf Connection. I loved the idea of a documentary on them, but I did not plan on making it myself. I did know I wanted to learn more about their organization and meet their wolf-dog rescues. It took a few years to get there, but as fortune would have it, a friend told me about an Animal Communication workshop fundraiser
that was taking place at Wolf Connection and I signed up immediately. While there I learned about Wolf Connections amazing programs and that Wolf Connection also has monthly hikes with the wolf dogs.
When The Timing Is Right…
Following the workshop I brought some friends for one of Wolf Connection’s monthly hikes and potluck dinners. That day it just so happened that Teo introduced a woman, Julia Huffman
, who was there filming for a documentary about wolves. Julia stood up and talked about her documentary Medicine of the Wolf
and mentioned that James Taylor gave her music to use in her film. My ears perked up because she was talking about two things I love: Wolves and Music!
What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?….
When you’re trying to figure out ‘what to do with your life’ I think you should ask yourself: What could I see myself doing even if I wasn’t paid for it? i.e. What do you love to do?
I could answer that question with ease. Music and Animals. I wasn’t a musician, but I loved being around music – somehow I always found myself drawn to musicians and music as a form of expression. I wasn’t determined to follow the educational path to be able to work with animals in some field of science, but I felt that if I could do one or the other (even if it was unpaid) I would be happy. So I thought why not find a job in music and volunteer with animals?
Remember The Path Is Mapped For You…
I moved to Los Angeles with the intention of finding a job in the music industry. I moved here thinking I’d get into A&R and ended up working in the sofware industry for almost 2 years until I was laid off. After I lost my job I realized it was time to start looking for work in music and after a temp job, and some word of mouth networking, I fell into music for film & television through music supervision and music clearance. Almost fourteen years later, I have been fortunate to work on many interesting films and television programs. But the one thing I love the most is using my skills in service to animal advocacy documentaries. When I heard that Julia was working on her documentary film about wolves I knew I must speak to her and see if I could be of service. So that day at Wolf Connection, after our hike, I found Julia and introduced myself. I asked her if she needed any help with music clearance for her film. She threw her head back laughing and said that was exactly what she needed! I was able to help her get music from James Taylor, Moby, A.A. Bondy, Piano Magic and Louise Du Toit!
Your Desires May Show Up In A Package You Didn’t Expect…
Putting the pieces of the puzzle together from my job at Natural Wonders, to love of wolves and my introduction to the photography and documentary work of Jim Brandenburg, to Wolf Connection, to music supervision and my intrduction to the director Julia Huffman and her documentary Medicine of the Wolf all ultimately leads me to the joy and being of service.
I’m humbled to have worked with the talented and passionate Julia Huffman and be a part of such a beautiful wolf advocacy film. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, please join us for the premiere ofMedicine of the Wolf
at G2 Gallery’s 2015 Green Earth Film Festival
in Venice, CA this October. Keep an eye on the calendar
for more details on time and date!