Archive for the ‘hunting’ Tag

Sorry, But Wolf Slaughter Is Not American   9 comments

October 28, 2013 by JAMES WILLIAM GIBSON

Graphic Photo: Vigilantes in Wyoming Enact “Justice” Against Wolves

masked wolf hunters

“Fed Up in Wyoming” reads the caption under this stunning photograph posted on a hunter’s Facebook page (reproduced here under Fair Use). The photo is yet more evidence that, two years after political reactionaries led a successful campaign in the House of Representatives and then the Senate to remove the North Rocky Mountain gray wolf from the endangered species list, the slaughter of wolves continues to escalate as wolf hunters fall deeper in their paranoid fantasy that the wolf represents a liberal conspiracy against rural communities.

The Facebook page  that originally posted the image belongs to two Wyoming hunting outfitters, Colby and Codi Gines. The Gines run CG Wilderness Adventures, headquartered in a highly remote part of Wyoming’s Bridger Teton National Forest, bordering on the southeast section of Yellowstone National Park.  “Wyoming is God’s country, and we invite you to come see it for yourself,” says the Gines’ website.

Their invitation evidently does not extend to wolves. Driven extinct in most of the continental US in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the wolf returned to the American landscape in 1995, when the US  Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 66 wolves captured in the Canadian Rockies to Central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Conservationists saw as the return of the wolf as a crowning accomplishment to renew the wilderness, and millions of Americans came to celebrate the wolf’s comeback. But by 2009 a virulent opposition movement opposed to the wolf had formed. Made up of hunters and outfitters, ranchers, and far-right groups, these forces coalesced around a cultural mythology in which  wolves became demons — disease ridden, dangerous foreign invaders  — who served as icons of the hated federal government. (Read Cry Wolf, our in-depth report on this issue.)

With the Klan-like hoods and the ostentatious display of the American flag, the photo is a glimpse into the mentality of those behind the anti-wolf campaign. There is, apparently, a cohort of people who view the destruction of wild nature as something to be celebrated, something quintessentially America. They are play acting at both patriotism and rebellion. And, in their play-acting, they reveal a great deal about the paranoid fantasies that have gripped some people in the age of Obama.

The Facebook comments following the photo are especially revealing. Among those who LIKE this page is Sportsmen Against Wolves, a group whose “About” statement is, “Sportsmen against illegally introduced Canadian Gray Wolves.”  Here’s one wolf-killing friend, J. Weeks, commenting on the photo: “Kill all federally funded terrorists. ” To some, the reintroduction of wolves represents Washington’s treason against civilization itself: “Yet another brilliant bleeding heart program…reestablish the bloodthirsty critter that every civilization from the dawn of time has tried to eliminate,” says Johnny W.  To Sarah H., the wolf killing is just self-defense: “I imagine they don’t want any wolfies to come after them or their families!” Then Haines complained that only one had been killed — there “should be a pile of them tho!”

The white hoods, with their echoes of Jim Crow-era terrorism, were actually celebrated by some commenters.  “Redneck KKK” wrote Austin T. One fan, Julia G., argued that the wolf hunters should be more brazen, posting,  “Next time they go full REGALIA.”

For their part, the Gines prefer to call the hoods the sign of “Vigilantes,” a way of “Trying to make a statement!…Frontier Justice! Wyoming hunters are fed up!” John  P. concurred, “Yeehaw…looks like modern day Wyoming rangers taking care of business!!!!!”

Some commenters suggested that the wolf hunters wore hoods to protect themselves from government persecution. One supporter of masked men posted, “I fully understand the masks…Keep on killing guys.”

It would seem that wolf hunting is the wildlife version of George Zimmerman’s vigilantism – self appointed keepers of order waging a battle against an imaginary enemy.

Or maybe it’s worse, and the wolf hunters with their KKK masks are more like shades of Timothy McVeigh. The cammo gear, the rifles – it’s as if the wolf hunters were  fighting a guerrilla war against Washington. As if they were worried that at any moment a US Fish and Wildlife Service black helicopter would swoop down and a SWAT team emerge, assault rifles blazing.

But it’s a phony rebellion against a phantom menace. The wolves aren’t actually any danger to people or much of a threat to ranchers’  livestock. And the US government permits them to be killed. There’s no real transgression here requiring a mask. It’s all theater meant to self-impress.

In April, 2011, the House and Senate sponsored a “rider” on a federal budget bill that removed gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Here’s the very long story in short: Democratic Senator Jon Tester faced a rough challenge in the 2012 Montana election, and sacrificing wolves as expendable was deemed politically expedient to win the race. Wolf hunts renewed in Idaho and Montana that fall. Legal challenges by environmental groups against the delisting failed.

Wyoming took until 2012 to win full federal approval for a plan to declare the lands near Yellowstone a “trophy zone” with wolf quotas. In most of the state, wolves can be killed year round without limits. The Gines’ hunting operation is in “Wolf Hunt Area 3.” In late October they reported killing two wolves, filling its quota of three wolves (one had been hunted earlier). Whether the wolf in this photo is one of the three legally killed is not known.

The Northern Rockies have become an unsupervised playpen for reactionaries to act out warrior fantasies against demonic wolves, coastal elites, and idiotic environmentalists — the members of these latter two categories being “two-legged” wolves. The sheer extremity of the hatred shown to wolves, and the bizarre juxtaposition of the KKK-like hoods and American flag, plainly expose this movement for what it is: A scapegoating of the wolves by men and women who have succumbed to their own rage against imagined enemies. And while the failure of federal, state and local political leaders to denounce the anti-wolf movement illuminates their moral failure, history offers encouraging instances of public indignation creating change from below.

Take, as just one example, the eventual take-down of Senator Joe McCarthy. After years of cynical Red-baiting, including accusing high ranking military and intelligence officials of treason, McCarthy was eventually brought to a kind of justice. McCarthy  accused the US Army of harboring Communists and, in June 1954, in the course of a televised Senate investigation of the Army-McCarthy conflict, McCarthy accused a young lawyer working for Army counsel Joseph Welch of being affiliated with communism. After McCarthy repeatedly pressed his accusations, Welch savaged McCarthy: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Welch’s indignation broke the spell McCarthy had cast upon the nation and ended his political career.

Perhaps this latest wolf snuff photo will bring a similar kind of justice and force the public to declare, in no uncertain terms, that wolf killing is un-American. Maybe it will force people to ask:  When will this indecent killing come to an end?


Source

P.S. This is what it would look like if wolf management was left to stateside hunter’s association groups and not in federal care! I’m in no way claiming that USFWS have no faults but I’m quite sure that the U.S. would have even more trouble with poaching, trapping etc, than they do today. This is my personal opinion. Colbby and Codi Gines Facebook page does not exist anymore, although their website does: http://www.cgwildernessadventures.com/index.php?page=home

I took it upon myself to write a shocontact infort e-mail to them in which I conveyed my own point of view to them and how utterly disgusting I think their line of business is. If there is anyone else out there who feel like doing the same you will find their contact info on the last page.

It makes me sick to see such a majestic animal murdered in cold blood!

Are high wolf numbers driving hunting dog attacks?   Leave a comment

October 21, 2016 

 

A gray wolf rests in the snow. National Park Service photo

 

A former state wildlife biologist contends Wisconsin’s high wolf numbers may not be the driving factor behind a record 40 hunting dogs killed by wolves during the bear season that ended Oct. 11.
Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator Adrian Wydeven, a former wildlife biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the state saw fewer dogs killed by wolves the last time Wisconsin’s wolf population was this high.

“The previous high count of 815 (wolves) in 2012 had only seven dogs killed that year, and that was the lowest wolf depredation on dogs in about 10 years,” Wydeven said.

The number of wolves in Wisconsin grew about 16 percent this year with a minimum estimate of 867. Dave MacFarland, the state’s large carnivore specialist, said a number of things could have played a role in the number of dogs killed this bear-hunting season.

“Wolf population levels are one of them, but we don’t have hard information that we can point to and don’t want to speculate on what may have caused this change,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see if this repeats itself.”

Wydeven said a possible increase in hunting activities due to permitting changes last year may also be driving a rise in conflicts. Last year, lawmakers eliminated Class B bear licenses for those who wanted to assist hunters with setting baits or training.

“If we’re allowing much more open policy, allowing a lot more people to participate in that activity, that could account for the increases of hound depredations in Wisconsin,” Wydeven said.

But MacFarland said it’s not known what impact the permitting change may have had on hunter activity this year.

Wildlife officials have said wolves may also be more protective of their pups during bear season and the training of hunting dogs beforehand. Research also suggests the length of Wisconsin’s bear baiting season may play a role in higher numbers of attacks on hunting dogs than neighboring states. Bear hunters can set baits as early as mid-April in Wisconsin, whereas states such as Michigan don’t allow baiting until two weeks before the beginning of the season.

Wydeven said the longer baits are used, the more likely they’ll attract wolves.

“When hunters release their dogs at the bear baits to go chase bears, there’s a chance if wolves have recently visited the site, they could be sending their dogs after wolves,” Wydeven said.

Joseph Bump, an associate professor with Michigan Technological University, was lead author of a 2013 study that found hunting dogs were up to seven times more likely to be killed by wolves in Wisconsin than in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“If stakeholders are sincerely interested in decreasing wolves killing hunting dogs, then there’s good wildlife science to suggest that both the timing and length of the bear baiting season is a factor that should be on the table for discussion and potential adjustment,” Bump said.

Bump is continuing research in Michigan on how frequently species other than bears visit bait sites. He expects those findings will become available next year.

Bear hunters in Minnesota are not allowed to use dogs while hunting.

Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard in the Twin Ports at 91.3 FM or online at wpr.org/news.


Source

Posted 24 October, 2016 by Wolf is my Soul in News/Nyheter, Wolves / Vargar

Tagged with , , , , ,

Ontario makes controversial decision to allow rare wolf kill   5 comments

September 19, 2016 by Source

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Majority of 17,301 public comments opposed to hunting and trapping threatened Algonquin wolves


MONTREAL– Last week, as the hunting and trapping seasons opened, the Ontario government announced its decision to strip at-risk Algonquin wolves of protection from hunters and trappers across the majority of their range. Ongoing hunting and trapping, the primary threats to the species, caused the wolves’ at-risk status to deteriorate to Threatened on June 15th 2016. A mere 154 adult wolves are left in Ontario. Conservation and animal rights groups from across North America are condemning the decision.

Ontario claims their decision is justified due to the inability of hunters and trappers to differentiate between coyotes and Algonquin wolves. Without genetically testing each animal killed, the government cannot track how many Algonquin wolves are killed. There is no limit on the number of wolves that can be trapped and hunting bag limits are absent in some parts of the wolf’s habitat.

Hunting and trapping were banned in the townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park in 2001 due to overwhelming public concern for the park wolves. This year, public concern has been ignored – the majority of the 17,301 comments submitted in response to the proposals opposed the regulation changes.

“The Ontario government is peddling their decision as improved protection for the wolves because they have closed hunting and trapping in three additional areas bordering provincial parks,” said Hannah Barron, director of wildlife conservation, Earthroots. “However, these new closures are too small to protect Algonquin wolf packs, let alone individual animals capable of traveling hundreds of kilometres in their lifetime. Any wolf outside of these closures can be killed.”

“Allowing these rare wolves to be killed is not only inhumane and shameful, it can have unintended consequences for farmers and the animals in their care. A growing body of research shows that hunting and trapping can increase future livestock depredation by causing social chaos amongst wolf and coyote populations,” noted Gabriel Wildgen, campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada.

“If the government was actually serious about protecting farmers’ livelihoods, they would subsidize non-lethal strategies to prevent depredation in the first place. This decision not only endangers a threatened wolf species, it also fails the farming community.” remarked Lesley Sampson, executive director of Coy ote Watch Canada.

“By allowing hunters and trappers to kill Algonquin wolves across the majority of their extent of occurrence, Ontario’s message to the American people and their own constituents is that species-at-risk recovery is not a priority,” stated Maggie Howell, director of the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. “This decision is in direct contravention to its ministry’s mandate.”

 

RESTRICTIONS ON PREDATOR HUNTING WILL HELP PREVENT STEEP AND LONG TERM DEPRESSION OF PREDATOR POPULATIONS   1 comment

October 26, 2015 SOURCE

Good news for Alaska’s Wildlife and Wolves

Over the past decade, the National Park Service has objected to at least 50 proposals by Alaska wildlife officials to liberalize the killing of predators within national preserves. The conflict can be traced back to 1994, when the Alaska Legislature passed a law mandating that the Board of Game pursue intensive management “to maintain, restore, or increase the abundance of big game prey populations for human consumptive use,” according to a 2007 article in the Alaska Law Review by University of Alaska, Fairbanks, professor Julie Lurman and NPS subsistence manager Sanford Rabinowitch.
“Predator control”, which aims to suppress numbers of bears, wolves and coyotes in order to boost prey species, including moose and caribou, is incompatible with the Park Service’s mandate to preserve “natural ecosystems,” including at its 20 million acres of national preserves in Alaska (Sport hunting, illegal in national parks, is allowed in Alaska’s national preserves under a law Congress passed in 1980).
NPS first proposed a permanent ban on three predator hunting practices in 2014. These practices were illegal under Alaska law until approval (several years ago) by the state’s Board of Game. That proposal bans the baiting of brown ‪‎bears‬, the hunting of wolves and‪ coyotes‬ during the denning and pupping period, and the use of artificial light to shoot black bear sows and cubs at their dens, a technique known as “spotlighting.”
Now, after a long and heated battle, National Park Service will implement tighter restrictions on sport hunting with the closure regulations become effective Nov. 23, and new hunting regulations effective January 1st of next year. State officials, needless to say, are not pleased.
The new restrictions include these changes to sport hunting regulations on national preserves:

*NPS prohibits taking wolves and coyotes during the denning season.
*NPS prohibits the taking of any black bear using artificial lights at den sites including cubs and sows with cubs.
*NPS prohibits taking brown and black bears over bait.
*NPS will not allow hunters to use dogs to hunt black bears, while it is permitted by state rules.
*NPS will not allow hunters to shoot swimming caribou from a boat or shoot caribou that have emerged from the water onto the shoreline while the hunter is still on the boat, though state rules permit both.

wpid-1422915858934.jpg

Featured Graphic: National Parks Conservation Association

The manipulation of natural population dynamics conflicts with National Park Service law and policy. National park areas are managed to maintain natural ecosystems and processes, including wildlife populations and their behaviors. While sport hunting is allowed by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in national preserves in Alaska, NPS policies prohibit reducing native predators for the purpose of increasing numbers of harvested species.

For years, the National Park Service had repeatedly requested the State of Alaska and the Alaska Board of Game to exempt national preserves from state regulations that liberalized hunting methods, seasons and bag limits for predators. State officials denied those requests, as well as also objecting to the use of repeated temporary federal closures.

“Sport hunting” occurs on about 38 percent  (more than 20 million acres) of the land managed by the National Park Service in Alaska. In these national preserves, sport hunting generally occurs under state regulations. Though a large majority of state sport hunting regulations would remain unchanged, this is an enormous step in the right direction and puts a stop to these abhorrent acts of inhumanity in and around Alaska’s national parks and preserves.

National Park System areas, including preserves, already prohibit other predator control actions, such as aerial shooting of wolves, a horrific practice which the State of Alaska conducts as part of its statewide wildlife “management” program.

———-

Hunters Say Trophy Hunting Helps Animals. Here’s Why They Are Wrong.   2 comments

October 05, 2015 Source

Ever since the death of Cecil the lion, the world’s been looking at trophy hunting a bit more closely. While many people have condemned the practice as cruel, ardent big game hunters have stood up to defend it, arguing that it’s a selfless act of conservation and that both animals and local people benefit from the hobby.

But with wildlife populations in Africa continuing to plummet — and with iconic species at risk of disappearing in our lifetime — these defenses don’t hold up. Here’s why.

Shutterstock

“The money goes to local communities.”

Big game hunters say they help support local communities and conservation efforts by paying for big game hunts. However, while hunters pay roughly $200 million each year for big game hunts in Africa, only around 3 percent of those funds go to local communities, and the amount dedicated to conservation efforts is nearly negligible. The overwhelming majority of hunting fees ends up lining the pockets of middlemen, large companies and local governments.

“Hunting helps wild populations.”

Big game hunters argue that killing can help a species by removing older animals from the population, or say that they trust governments to set sustainable hunting quotas.

Unfortunately, in practice these arguments don’t hold up. For one, some governments are more interested in how much a dead lion can bring them than in establishing sustainable hunting limits. For example, there are around 20,000 to 35,000 wild lions left in Africa, depending on whom you ask, and big game hunters legally kill around 600 each year. That’s an annual population loss of 2 to 3 percent, which is entirely unsustainable, even if you don’t add in deaths due to poaching and livestock protection.

And while nature likes to pick off the weakest members of a population, big game hunters target the largest, strongest members of a population. For lions, that means the male pride leader; for elephants, the oldest elephant with the biggest tusks. Killing these animals, who play a crucial role in their societies, puts the rest of their families at risk.

Shutterstock

For example, killing a male lion with an impressive mane leaves his fellow pride leaders open to challenges from other males. If a new male does come in, they could kill an entire generation of cubs, which means that the permit for one lion hunt leads to the death of several animals.

And the loss of older elephants means leaving male or female youngsters without guidance — which can actually lead to so-called teenage delinquents who are more likely to have negative interactions with humans, and therefore be killed.

The loss of any animal also means the loss of any offspring they could have parented, a knock to conservation that goes far beyond taking just one animal out of the population. And while some proponents of big game hunting advocate for only killing animals who have already contributed their genes to the population, most animals will continue to propagate until they die.

Of course, the biggest rebuttal to the hunting-helps-populations argument is in the numbers. Lions have lost 95 percent of their population since the 1940s. The African elephant population has dropped from several million at the turn of the century to roughly 500,000 today. During the past century hunting has been the primary — if not only — method of conservation, but the perilously low numbers of these animals proves that hunting is ineffective as a conservation method.

And even with these reduced populations, trophy hunters still kill around 105,000 animals in Africa every year, including 600 elephants and 800 leopards, at a time when every individual is crucial to the survival of the species.

Shutterstock

“Canned hunting helps repopulate animals.”

Some hunters tout canned hunting — an unsportsmanlike practice in which lions and other animals are bred in captivity then released into pens where they can’t escape so hunters can shoot them — as a sustainable alternative, arguing that canned hunting incentivizes captive breeding, which can be used to repopulate wild populations.

But animals bred at canned hunting facilities are completely unsuitable for release. Taken away from their mothers at just a few days old and raised by humans, the lions are incapable of surviving on their own. Many of them are inbred, which means breeding with wild lions could weaken the species’ gene pool. And releasing a captive-bred lion into wild lions’ territory could lead to fighting, upsetting the delicate balance — and the safety — of existing prides.

Shutterstock

“Hunting helps protect locals.”

Local communities often find themselves at odds with African wildlife. Elephants destroy crops; lions and other predators can target people or livestock. These animals are often killed — and tourism hunting is often encouraged — in the name of protecting humans from African wildlife.

But as human lands continue to increase, animals continue to be pushed into smaller and smaller territories. In many cases these negative interactions are the result of animals simply trying to survive. Iconic African wildlife is at risk of disappearing, and the solution is to learn to live with animals, not keep killing them.

Shutterstock

“It’s an industry that Africa couldn’t do without.”

While trophy hunting does bring in some capital to African countries, it makes up as little as 1.8 percent of tourism revenues. The majority of tourists come to see Africa’s wildlife, not kill it. And if big game hunting continues to deplete that wildlife, it could take down the other 98 percent of Africa’s tourism income.

An individual animal, particularly if it’s a member of the more iconic species, is worth far more to a country alive over the course of his lifetime than dead. Need proof? Look at Botswana. Beginning in January 2014, the country banned almost all hunting after comparing the conservation cost of big game hunting with the income generated from photo tourism: The photo tourism season is longer, makes better use of animals and employs significantly more locals. In the first year of the ban, the country brought in around $344 million from nonlethal tourism.

Of course, changes can take getting used to, but in an age when iconic species are at risk of being lost forever, killing any individual animal for sheer pleasure — especially in the name of conservation — is highly counterproductive.

To find out more, watch Blood Lions on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

The views expressed here are The Dodo’s and do not necessarily reflect those of MSNBC.

By Ameena Schelling – Email: ameena@thedodo.com – Twitter: @amschelling

———–

Wildlife: Possible Black Hills wolf sighting spurs calls for increased hunter education to avoid accidental shooting   2 comments

From Summit County Citizens Voice August 19, 2015

South Dakota a hot spot for wolf deaths

FRISCO — Since the Dakotas are sandwiched between Montana and Minnesota, it’s probably not completely surprising that wolves turn up there from time to time.

But the latest sighting of what certainly looks like a wolf has spurred a call for more education and public outreach to prevent the animal from being shot, either by accident or purposefully by over-eager hunters.

Other wolves have been shot been shot and killed in South Dakota in recent years, as reported by newspapers there, and the Center for Biological Diversityhas also tracked the fate or wolves that wandered out of the northern Rockies.

“Most hunters, just like other folks, try to do the right thing,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “They appreciate wolves’ important role in natural ecosystems. We hope this wolf will continue to enchant viewers and contribute to recovery of his species,” Robinson said, reacting to the most recent sighting in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Wolves are larger and appear bulkier than coyotes, with longer legs and more rounded ears. In two recent wolf killings in Colorado and Utah, hunters said the mistook wolves for coyotes — one of the reasons that wolves are having a hard time re-establishing populations in new areas.

Wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act throughout the United States except in Alaska, Idaho, Montana and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington.

The Center for Biological Diversity has urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help educate the public about the difference between wolves and coyotes — and about the fact that wolves are protected under federal law — in order to enhance protections for the animal seen in the recent video. So far the Service has declined to take action.

Moreover, despite the steady push by gray wolves to expand into areas they historically inhabited, instead of expanding public education and wolf-management programs the federal agency has proposed stripping their Endangered Species Act protections across most of the country.

“Removing wolves from the endangered species list would increase the number that are killed, confine wolves to artificial islands of habitat where they risk becoming inbred, and cut off the benefits these beautiful animals provide to ecosystems, wild places and other animals in the food web,” said Robinson. “The antidote is twofold: More room in people’s hearts for wolves, and keeping them protected under the law.”

While the wolf restoration effort in the northern Rockies has been successful, the predators haven’t been able to recolonize much territory outside that area even though they once roamed widely across most of North America.

Scientists say it’s critical to maintain linkages between wild wolf populations for the long-term genetic health of the species. The Black Hils region is not mapped as potential wolf habitat, primarily because of the road density in the area, according to Robinson.

The Center for Biological Diversity has documented the fates of 56 wolves known to have dispersed from established recovery areas since 1981. Forty-eight of those were found dead, including 36 by gunshot, including five in South Dakota between 1981 and 1991.

The other 12 wolves among the 48 that died included four in South Dakota: two with the causes of mortality not disclosed, one hit by a vehicle and another thought to have been hit — in 2001, 2006 and two in 2012. Genetic tests on the 2012 animals determined that one was from the northern Rockies and the other from the upper Midwest.

By Bob Berwyn

California Bans Bobcat Trapping in 3-2 Vote   1 comment

From Kcet August 5, 2015 by Chris Clarke

A bobcat stakes out a gopher hole in Marin County | Photo: Len Blumin/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to ban bobcat trapping everywhere in California. The vote, which took place at the Commission’s regular meeting in Fortuna, caps a controversy that started when a Joshua Tree resident found traps illegally placed on his land less than a mile from the National Park.

Concern over the threat to bobcats in Joshua Tree and elsewhere in the state prompted the California Legislature to pass AB1213, the Bobcat Protection Act of 2013, which directed the Fish and Game Commission to establish trapping-free buffer zones around national parks, wildlife preserves, and other areas where trapping is already prohibited.

After studying a pair of proposals for those buffer zones’ boundaries, the Commission voted in a narrow majority to adopt so-called “Option 2,” which essentially declared the entire state a buffer zone in which trapping is prohibited.

California bobcats had come under increasing pressure from trappers in recent years as acombination of fashion trends and illegality of other cat furs increased the global price for bobcat pelts.

“The vote today is historic and shows California’s national leadership in wildlife protection,” said Camilla Fox of the group Project Coyote, which had worked to promote both the Bobcat Protection Act and the more extensive buffer zone proposal. “This victory will help protect California’s native bobcats from the insatiable international fur market where individual bobcat pelts can sell for as much as $1,000 per pelt.”

The vote came after Fox delivered a petition with more than 30,000 signatures in favor of a total ban.

Observers had been far from certain about the outcome of Wednesday’s vote, as two of the Commissioners who voted for the statewide ban — Anthony C. Williams of Huntington Beach and Eric Sklar of St. Helena in Napa County — were attending their first meeting as Commissioners, and thus had little track record on wildlife issues. They were joined in their vote for a statewide ban by Commission president Jack Bayliss of Los Angeles.

Commissioners Jim Kellogg of Contra Costa County and Jacque Hostler-Carmesin of Humboldt County voted against the statewide ban.

Though the number of bobcat trappers in California has been steadily dwindling since the 1970s as the sport goes out of fashion, individual trappers had been taking more cats in recent years as a partial result of the boost in the potential financial gain from bobcat pelts. Trapping advocates opposed both the statewide ban and Option 1, which would have banned trapping in about half the state. The California Trappers Association had asked the Commission to delay a decision until the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife could complete a bobcat population census, which hasn’t been done for 36 years.

Wednesday’s vote protecting all of California’s bobcats wasn’t what Tom O’Key imagined when he found a trap in 2013 that had been illegally placed in a rock pile on land he owns near the National Park in Joshua Tree. His find, reported to local media in the area, generated a firestorm of opposition to trapping. A local group, Project Bobcat, organized to support a legislative ban, and a broad coalition of groups from Project Coyote and the Center for Biological Diversity to national humane groups lent their full support.

Reached in Fortuna in the wake of the vote, O’Key admitted to KCET that he was celebrating. “I feel liberated,” he said. “I never had an inkling that it all would end up this way.”

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Killing Cecil the lion: A tipping point in exposing hunting’s rape of wildlife   1 comment

From Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic – Vote Our Wildlife on August 04, 2015

cecil

cecil2

“The revulsion about the lion Cecil’s death is an indication of changing times.” — Thom Hartmann

Walter Palmer, Minneapolis area dentist, paid some guides to tie a carcass to their vehicle to bait a protected lion, a beloved mascot for Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. He shined a spotlight on Cecil to shoot him at night, bow-hunting. What is not widely known by non-hunters is that bow-hunting, like trapping and hounding, causes an extremely cruel and torturous death. Palmer and his guides wounded the lion, but he was left to die slowly, killed 40 hours later by rifle. It is common once an animal has been wounded with an arrow to allow him or her to bleed out slowly, to weaken that animal for an easy kill a day or more later. Baiting, killing using lights, killing a father with a pride — this is extremely sick behavior. The Wisconsin DNR avidly promotes much of this in hunting, adding in packs of dogs, traps, and snares. Shining is not promoted, but there is little oversight.

Bow-hunting has not always been considered an ethical way to kill large animals. But now bow-hunting seasons are the longest in any hunting category. Deer season in Wisconsin was extended from nine days to four and a half months for bow-hunters.

“The 13-year-old big cat was known to the park’s visitors and seemingly enjoyed human contact, according to reports.” He brought in millions of wildlife watcher dollars annually.

Trophy hunters, as all hunters, kill under the guise of “conservation.” Rare and endangered species are highly prized. Hunters’ claims that “killing is for conservation” is like BP claiming that they devastate landscapes for oil to promote renewable energy. BP oil money goes into making more oil profits. Hunting money goes into providing more hunting targets, recruiting more hunters and trappers to keep their power base, and creating more hunting opportunities. The Pope and Young Club touts: “Components of the Club’s Conservation Program include wildlife research, education, pro-bow-hunting activities, partnerships, wildlife conservation projects and kids programs.” They are not conserving wildlife. They are conserving their killing access.

Jimmy Kimmel quipped that Palmer “has killed half of the animals that were on Noah’s Ark.” Learning to kill wildlife at age 5, he has killed all but one of the 34 species indigenous to North America measured by Pope and Young trophy killing standards. Palmer had a conviction for killing a black bear illegally in Wisconsin in 2008. The penalty was a paltry $3,000 and one-year probation. Head hunters like Palmer also travel to kill exotic species in other countries — even endangered species like the leopard and rhino he killed.

Ironically the skull-measuring and antler-points mentality is framed on the Pope and Young site as “a poignant opportunity to honor each individual outstanding big game animal, for posterity and throughout all of time.” Poignant: “keenly distressing to the feelings.” Poignant for whom? Certainly not the dead animal. Certainly not the braggart killer.

Johnny Rodrigues, head of Zimbabwe’s Conservation Task Force, said it is likely that Cecil’s 12 lion cubs have been killed by rival lions since Palmer killed Cecil on July 1: “When two males fight over a pride, the winner kills all the cubs and introduces his own bloodline.” Lack of funding and sanctuary for the cubs inhibit any action to save them.

The arrests of the local poachers hired by Palmer is unusual and due to negative publicity. Rodrigues said that 24 radio-collared lions have been lured from the park to be killed, adding, “Most of the hunters are unethical.”

Rodrigues says that a moratorium on all lion hunting is the only way to protect lions from extinction within a few decades, if not sooner. Fifteen lion breeders now breed lions for canned hunts in fenced enclosures.

The Born Free organization estimates that lion populations have declined from 80,000 in 1980 to 25,000 today. Killing this lion is proportionate to killing 400,000 humans out of a population of nearly 8 billion. The 12 cubs killed because of Cecil’s death compares to killing 5 million people and their potential offspring.

The goal to keep lions from extinction depends on putting high value on the remaining lions. With cheap poisons being used to protect cattle from lions, their lives depend on money getting to these farmers. Although hunters proclaim that trophy killing brings a high price, a 2013 analysis by Economists At Large exposes that only 3 percent of that money reaches communities adjacent to hunting grounds. Most of it goes to government agencies and elites in positions of power.

We are allowing the few to terrorize and kill dwindling wildlife on dwindling habitat. Ultimately it must be stopped by changing the funding of wildlife agencies to give a value to life, not death. Jeff Flocken from the International Fund for Animal Welfare is calling for protection of world wildlife, with even highly endangered species “being killed in mass numbers we have not seen in half a century.” He says that many buy package deals that are perfectly legal.

Brent Stapelkamp, researcher with the Oxford University lion project, working from his office in Hwange National Park, realized that Cecil’s radio collar had stopped transmitting data on July 3. The next day his team found Cecil’s carcass, stripped of his skin and beheaded.

He said that the one positive thing about Cecil’s death is that it will raise questions about conservation and hunting. “People have got away with so much nonsense, going on for years,” said Stapelkamp. “I have no faith in hunting and it needs to be cleaned up.”

“I was trained and taught that hunting was good for conservation.”

“But it is no longer the case.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sign the petition to help protect lions by putting them on the U.S. endangered species list.
https://www.causes.com/posts/959161?conversion_request_id=307515283&ctag=9471d827cfbb7486770b3655b881e8d35c&ctoken=lJBkTNoKGUNQ78LGhpBezq2AMUMT0WC-nzZRkMQMfCi-LszbtFDYCzoX11HpJb3BDmPZeWt8Ni4w9DejYEPqu3lf8Mqzw0-W&message_id=a1185797136961325b2dc7796b46f8a6%40causes.com&uid=181411883&utm_campaign=user_post_mailer%2Fcampaign_leader_picked.cb_67368&utm_content=preview_article&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cause

Ban trophy lion body imports into the USA:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/516/100/136/ban-lion-trophy-imports-to-the-us/

Please network the column to network the petitions and raise awareness of the suffering caused by the massive expansion of killing, bow-hunting and trapping.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife.madravenspeak@gmail.com or http://www.wiwildlifeethic.org orhttp://www.facebook.com/wiwildlifeethic?fref=ts

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/columnist/patricia-randolph-s-madravenspeak-killing-cecil-the-lion-a-tipping/article_8b05c1c3-21b0-5698-b029-80a91367cb87.html#ixzz3hu9fQFPR

As wolf hunt near Denali looms, state rejects calls for another emergency ban   Leave a comment

From Alaska Dispatch News July 21, 2015 by Zaz Hollander

A wolf stares out of the brush alongside the Denali National Park road where it was hunting for small game. | Bob Hallinen

WASILLA — With a disputed wolf hunt on state lands outside Denali National Park set to resume next month, wildlife groups are ramping up calls for state officials to again make use of an emergency ban to block the hunt as they did earlier this year.

Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten in mid-May closed the Denali corridor wolf huntnortheast of the park two weeks early after a hunter legally killed two wolves. But the ban expired with the regulatory year June 30; it’s again legal to take wolves starting Aug. 10.

State wildlife officials this week made it clear they had no plans to take that highly unusual action again.

Denali’s wolves are at their lowest density since monitoring began in 1986, with a 2015 estimate of about 52 animals, according to a report from park biologist Steve Arthur.

The park described as one of the best places in the world to see wolves in the wild now gives the half-million annual visitors a roughly 1-in-25 chance of seeing them.

There are significant disagreements over the rationale behind Denali’s low wolf numbers.

Wildlife advocates say a renewed ban would protect wolves this summer but also buy time for negotiations toward a permanent conservation easement for the Denali corridor state lands around the Stampede Trail and Nenana Canyon.

“The last thing we need to do is lose more park wolves as they negotiate a solution,” said Rick Steiner, an environmental activist and scientist who requested the initial ban in April.

Steiner pointed out that hunting and trapping are one of many factors in wolf declines but the only one controllable by managers. Steiner said killing even one “significant breeding wolf,” like a female trapped on state lands in 2012, can decimate a family group: That wolf’s group declined from 15 to 3 animals.

But the state’s director of wildlife conservation contends there’s no “biological problem” with wolves in or out of the park and no reason to stop the hunt now whereas there was in the spring.

The only reason for Cotten’s decision was the “potential unintended consequences” of a 2013 Alaska Board of Game decision that allowed brown bear hunting at bait stations in the spring, said Bruce Dale, the state’s wildlife conservation director. That drew hunters to the Denali area in May, which was unusual. GPS data showed one of the dead wolves scavenged at a bait station the week before he died, the park biologist wrote in his report.

Dale said the hunting and trapping wolf harvest is considered light and isn’t affecting wolf populations. That leaves what he called “the usual culprits”: hard-to-catch prey or other factors. He said both wolf density and moose density are much higher east of the park and across the Nenana River.

The park’s April wolf report finds that causes of the population drop are unknown, though several factors may be involved: low snowfall during past winters reducing moose and caribou vulnerability to predation; poor pup success; and mortality of wolves “from both human and natural causes.”

The state estimates that people kill four or five wolves a year on the state lands next to the park. A limited hunt within the park is thought to take one or two more. There’s also a push to eliminate that hunt: More than 230,000 people from all 50 states and dozens of countries have signed an online petition to stop the park and corridor hunts.

The state banned wolf hunting and trapping in the state-owned corridor area from 2000 to 2010 but the Alaska Board of Game in 2010 allowed hunting and trapping in all areas bordering the park. The board rejected an emergency petition to close the area to hunting and trapping in March.

Steiner said re-enacting May’s emergency closure would give state and federal officials time to negotiate a permanent conservation easement that even game board chair Ted Spraker supports.

Steiner’s organization, Oasis Earth, is one of four groups and many people who in 2013 requested a permanent wildlife conservation buffer for the state lands. He met with Gov. Bill Walker, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and Cotten last month to talk about the easement. As proposed in 2013, it would work like this: The state transfers a “no-take” wildlife buffer to the federal government in exchange for an equal-valued federal property easement, or its purchase value.

Dale said Tuesday that the state “would be interested to look at any proposals that are brought forward” regarding the easement.

Representatives from the Park Service didn’t return calls for comment Tuesday.

Judge upholds constitutionality of Michigan law that enables commission to allow wolf hunting   Leave a comment

July 23, 2015

From the Associated Press

MARQUETTE, Michigan — The Michigan Court of Claims has upheld a law empowering an appointed panel to allow hunting of wolves.

The state Legislature approved the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act last August. It gave the Michigan Natural Resources Commission the authority to classify animals as game species. The commission already had given wolves that designation, which led to the state’s first authorized wolf hunt in 2013.

The law nullified two citizen votes last fall that would have prevented wolf hunts. A group called Keep Michigan Wolves Protected filed suit, saying the law violated the Michigan Constitution.

In a ruling issued Friday, Court of Claims Judge Mark T. Boonstra disagreed, writing that the group’s suit “fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” He said the court was not taking a position on whether wolves should be hunted or not.

“That policy judgment is properly left to the Legislature and the people of the state of Michigan,” Boonstra said. “Rather, the sole question before this court is whether the legislative enactment in question violates the Michigan Constitution as alleged.”

A state spokesman praised the ruling.

MI Wolves (1)

“The citizen-initiated law gives authority to the Natural Resources Commission to regulate sport fishing in Michigan, aligning with the NRC’s authority to regulate the taking of game,” John Pepin, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman in Marquette, told The Mining Journal (http://bit.ly/1e0Sdwz ). “The act gives the NRC the authority to name game species. All of this supports sound scientific management of natural resources in Michigan.”

The Michigan United Conversation Clubs, a leading hunting and fishing group, also praised the decision.

“The court recognized that the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was about just what its title says, managing fish, wildlife and their habitats with sound science,” spokesman Drew YoungeDyke said in a statement.

The wolf protection group said it will appeal.

“The judge was clearly hostile to our case, and did not seriously address the key issues of the complaint,” said Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Director Jill Fritz. “We have good legal arguments and our next step will be to the Court of Appeals.”


Opulence

Luxury, Sustainability, and Beauty.

Jen Dionne's Website

One Family's Adventures in Windsor, CO

One Mom's Journey with CrossFit

Relentlessly Pursuing Excellence in CrossFit & In Life

AtoZMom's Blog

Where God, Life, & Community Meet

Stigfinnaren i Älvsund

vägen inåt är vägen framåt

Wildlife in Deutschland

Naturfotografie von Jan Bürgel

MyYellowFeather

Your guide to style! 💛

European Wilderness Society

Our passion is Wilderness and its wildlife

The Divine Masculine

Striving for the balance between Anima and Animus

On Life and Wildlife

Thoughts on a wild life in wild places

CBS Denver

News, Weather & Sports For All Of Colorado

Busiga mor

My Home My Place My Life

emmzeebee.wordpress.com/

A self-confessed blogaholic since January 2017

THE OBSESSIVE WRITER

Because life is too overrated to ignore

Hugh's Views & News  

A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Mrs S. London

She's Whiskey In A Teacup

Sizzles & Strings

Hostel-friendly recipes from an aspiring little chef. Fire Burn & Cauldron Bubble.

Over the Border

Man made borders not to limit himself, but to have something to cross. ~Anonymous

%d bloggers like this: