Movie Review: “The Wolf and the Lion”

The Wolf and the Lion” in theaters February 4, 2022.

A wolf pup and a lost lion cub are rescued by a girl in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. Their friendship will change their lives forever.

Film plot: A headstrong music student from New York who attends her grandfather’s funeral on a remote Canadian island and unexpectedly discovers a lost lion cub who had been destined for the Vancouver circus, before also rescuing an endangered, female wolf who is being pursued by researchers. At Alma’s cabin, the wolf gives birth to a single cub, Mozart, who immediately bonds with the rescued lion cub, Dreamer. The wolf mother is soon captured and Alma is left to tend to the babies. But their world soon collapses as Mozart and Dreamer are captured and separated, and must embark on a treacherous journey to be reunited as Alma also searches for them.

Staring Molly Kunz and Graham Greene

Release date: February 4, 2022 (USA), Director: Gilles de Maistre, Producers: Gilles de Maistre, Jacques Perrin, Catherine Camborde, Valentine Perrin, Claude Léger, Jonathan Vanger, Nicolas Elghozi, Sylvain Proulx, Screenplay: Gilles de Maistre, Prune de Maistre, Story by: Gilles de Maistre, Prune de Maistre

Animal Stars trained at Instinct, Animals For Film

An Unlikely Friendship. An Incredible Adventure.

“The Wolf and the Lion is a glimmer of hope! I’m looking forward to seeing this film because it’s been a rough year for America’s wild grey wolf and those allies that fight passionately for them.” Rachel Tilseth, author at Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

“Everyone in the world needs in these dark times a dream of hope, a fairy tale that brings light back into the hearts of those who care for wild animals and Nature. We hope to see the film soon in Italy too!” Brunella Pernigotti, author at Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

This film could not come at a better time. Stories like these serve to remind us of our shared existence which is at once a responsibility and a privilege. No doubt, the Wolf and the Lion will bring some much needed hope to us all! —
Manish N. Bhatt, Esq., author at Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

A Walk in the Woods

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach”

– W.E.B. Dubois

A walk in the woods is therapeutic, doing so with a child adds inspiration. I have been fortunate that my wife and I have enjoyed a lot of time in the woods with our daughter – long before she could walk. Her earliest naps were in the fresh air and included long slumbers in a hiking backpack chair. Whether it is looking for butterflies, snakes, raptors or insects, a simple stroll off the concrete immediately turns into an adventure with real and make-believe characters. 

Being outside with a child has taught me to be more mindful – to focus on the journey not the destination. A one mile out-and-back hike might take more than the short time I had budgeted but leaves us with many hours of opportunity to discuss what we saw and how it behaved. As our daughter has grown, we have become more intentional about exposing her to new environments beyond the local hiking trails. During a recent trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee side), our three year old taught us to look beyond what we saw and ask “why aren’t we seeing more?” 

Photo taken by the author near Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Our trip began on a crisp weekday morning a week before Thanksgiving celebrations here in the U.S. We exited our rented cabin and traveled to the closest Visitor Center.  We hoped to meet a park ranger – who our daughter reveres. Due to COVID, we had to wait a short while to enter the Visitor Center but we were able to gather some hiking maps and checked trail conditions. We were ready to begin our day exploring the park. We did not have anything big planned beyond some short hikes, nature viewing and a picnic lunch.

On our way back to our car we were greeted by a park volunteer and our daughter immediately engaged in conversation.  She explained that we were on the lookout for the park’s wildlife – bears, elk, snakes, birds and wolves. Wolves? Yes, our daughter equates the presence of elk with wolves due to having spent a year living in the Northern Rockies. The volunteer politely explained that wolves no longer lived in the park but that there were plenty of other animals to see, if we were lucky.

I noted an immediate change in our child. She went from exuberant to pensive – even sad. Why were there no wolves in the park? Where did they go? Were they coming back? She did not hesitate to ask these questions to the volunteer who responded that “all of the wolves had been hunted” and there were no longer any wolves inside the park. The question “why?” from a toddler is both an expression of incredulity and an invitation to join in a never ending conversation.  In this case, our daughter could not understand why humans had extirpated wolves from a place that seemed perfect for them to live. 

Hoping to put that sadness behind us we went on a hike. We did not see a bear or a raptor but we did continue our conversation about the wolves. Our daughter asked me again why people had hunted all of the wolves? Why would we make them go away? I tried to explain that man has not always coexisted with nature in a peaceful manner. We often do not understand the balance that nature requires. As we walked and talked the conversation grew, our daughter’s frustration heightened and the question “why?” kept arising. As we turned around to walk back to the trailhead we saw a pickup truck driving on the trail – it was a park ranger. 

…our three year old taught us to look beyond what we saw and ask “why aren’t we seeing more?” 

The ranger stopped and asked how we were doing. My daughter responded, “why are you driving a truck on this trail?” The ranger smiled and answered, “ because I work here.” Seeing an opportunity to learn more about the disappearance of wolves our daughter did not hesitate to ask “ok, then why did you let all of the wolves get hunted?”  The ranger was wide-eyed. Frankly, I would have been too. What was intended to be a genuinely kind interaction with the public turned into an interrogation by a three year old. The ranger politely answered that wolves left many decades ago then gave us another smile and went on her way. My daughter was not satisfied but she understood. She looked at me and said “Papa, I am going to save the wolves, I am going to bring them back.” I asked how she planned to do that. She replied, “I’ll go back to Wyoming and pick up a few and bring them here.” Some may say this is a three year old’s uninformed reintroduction plan though I am sure many said the same when it was suggested that we reintroduce Canadian wolves to the U.S. Northern Rockies.

Our trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park was amazing and to this day our daughter mentions the wolves and the need to save them. She taught me that I cannot simply accept the reality that wolves once lived in a place, but that I need to be an active force to make sure that the wolf is protected, able to thrive, and coexist with us. In essence, my young daughter reminded me that I need to be an ally for the wolf, for in doing so I will be an ally for our environment.  She believes, and I agree, that our world is better with wolves on the landscape.

Children are wise beyond their years and not anchored with the pessimism or cynicism of adults. Through my work with and for the Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, I hope to grow into an empathetic voice for wolves. I also hope to engage in meaningful conversations with those that disagree with me or share a different worldview. Most of all, I hope that my daughter sees her father working to protect what we both love. If I want my daughter to be a caretaker of this world, I need to be one now for she will learn more from what I am than what I teach her. 

Sources Consulted: 

National Park Service. “Animals.” Accessed January 08, 2022. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/animals.htm

National Park Service. “Mammals.” Accessed January 08, 2022. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/mammals.htm

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Gray Wolf.” Accessed January 08, 2022. https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/4488

Wheeler, Timothy B. “Effort to Return Red Wolves to Great Smoky Mountains Ends in Failure.” Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1998. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-dec-13-mn-53449-story.html?_amp=true

 

 

 

Talk Show di persone e lupi: Sulle tracce del Canis lupus-Italicus

Live in Italy. Brunella Pernigotti ha condotto un altro incontro che ha potuto fornirci ottime informazioni. Siamo tornati “Sulle tracce del Canis lupus-Italicus” con i nostri amici e graditi ospiti Luca Giunti, guardiaparco dell’Ente di Gestione delle Aree Protette delle Alpi Cozie in Piemonte; Antonio Iannibelli, fotografo, appassionato divulgatore di lupi e Guardia Ecologica Volontaria di Bologna; Silvia Bonomi, allevatrice di pecore Sopravissane, residente ad Ussita nel cuore del territorio dei lupi dei Monti Sibillini. Con loro abbiamo cercato di capire quali soluzioni possono essere adottate dagli uomini, per mantenere una sana e serena convivenza con i lupi, predatori fondamentali per l’equilibrio naturale dell’ambiente. Producer Rachel Tilseth at http://www.wolvesofdouglascounywisconsin.com

Luca Giunti

Laureato in Scienze Naturali con una tesi magistrale sul ritorno del lupo sulle Alpi piemontesi, risiede a Susa dal 1987 dove lavora come Guardaparco per l’Ente di gestione delle Aree protette delle Alpi Cozie.  Collabora con l’Università di Torino, tiene corsi di fotografia naturalistica, lezioni sulla ricerca naturale ed ecologica, e sulle Valutazioni di Impatto Ambientale. Ha pubblicato, assieme ad altri autori, articoli scientifici su riviste nazionali e internazionali, e alcuni libri, soprattutto fotografici. Inoltre nel 2021 ha pubblicato il libro: Le conseguenze del ritorno – Storie, ricerche, pericoli e immaginario del lupo in Italia – Edizioni Alegre.

Antonio Iannibelli

E’ nato e ha vissuto nel cuore del Parco Nazionale del Pollino fino alla prima adolescenza, maturando un grande amore per la natura e per gli animali e creando le basi di una conoscenza profonda della fauna appenninica, in particolare del lupo (Canis Lupus Italicus), di cui è un divulgatore appassionato. Ha fondato l’Associazione culturale “Provediemozioni.it” che si occupa di fotografia ed educazione ambientale.
Attraverso il network nazionale “Italian Wild Wolf” (italianwildwolf.com) ha dato voce ai tanti volontari, appassionati e studiosi di lupo. Ha ideato nel 2008 l’evento biennale di divulgazione sul ruolo naturale del lupo, la “Festa del lupo”. Nel libro “Un cuore tra i lupi”, autoprodotto, ha descritto come nasce il suo amore per la natura e per i lupi. Dedica buona parte del suo tempo libero ad attività di volontariato a difesa dell’ambiente e della biodiversità come Guardia Ecologica Volontaria, GEV Bologna.

Silvia Bonomi

Allevatrice di pecore di razza Sopravissana, residente ad Ussita (Mc), paesino dell’entroterra Marchigiano, nel cuore del territorio dei lupi dei Monti Sibillini. La sua azienda era nata ufficialmente nel Maggio 2016, dopo anni di allevamento amatoriale che aveva consentito un recupero capillare dei rari e pregiati animali, ma dopo soli cinque mesi di fervente attività, a seguito dei tragici eventi sismici, l’attività dovette subire una pesantissima battuta d’arresto. Silvia e il suo compagno Riccardo, però, non si sono mai arresi e, dopo innumerevoli difficoltà, ora vantano una ben avviata impresa locale di allevamento e vendita di capi ovini di razza Sopravissana, iscritti al Registro Anagrafico, con Programma di Conservazione su un piccolo numero di capi. Sul loro sito leggiamo le attività che portano avanti con coraggio e determinazione: Allevamento di biodiversità locali – Riproduttori Razza Sopravissana – Riproduttori Cani custodi del gregge – Vendita di animali per l’aumento numerico – Vendita della lana Sopravissana. (https://sopravissanadeisibillini.it)

Brunella Pernigotti

Brunella loves wolves, nature in general. Even if She’s not a biologist, Brunella is improving her knowledge of wolves and their problems to survive in Italy, she devotes herself to the protection of the environment and of the endangered species.

Brunella lives in Turin, Italy. She is a teacher, a writer and a photographer. She published a novel and a book of tales and have to to her credit about ten one-man exhibitions of photos. She is a member of the board of a no-profit association of Turin, “Tribù del Badnightcafè”, that organizes cultural and artistic events. She created a group of volunteers to help women who are victim of domestic violence.

Children’s Literature: Strange Beasts Find Common Ground

…Can adults do the same? This is one of my favorite children’s books.  I believe adults could benefit from reading this book.  Many adults have forgotten how to get along with others they disagree with because “they only see it their way.”

A tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Robertson is a book that that teaches children about different perspectives. It is broken into two chapters. The first one tells the story from the perspective of the girl, who when walking home through the “deep dark woods,” spies a strange little beast and “rescues”  him. She takes him him, wraps him in a scarf, gives him a bath, and shows him to her friends but despite all her good care, he runs away. Chapter two tells the same story but this time from the “strange beast’s” perspective. He tells us how he was swinging happily on a branch when all of a sudden he is “ambushed by a terrible beast” who ties him up, carries him to her secret lair, makes him disgustingly clean, and shows him off to a “herd of even wilder beasts. Each of the two stories close with either the girl or the animal realizing that perhaps the other person isn’t such a terrible beast after all and that perhaps they misread each other.

About the Author

Fiona Roberton was born in Oxford and studied art and design in London and New York. She has lived and worked all over the world and is currently based in London. Fiona’s debut picture book Cuckoo won the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. She is the creator of the bestselling  “A Tale of Two Beasts”, which has sold over 220,000 copies around the world.

This past year has been quite the whirlwind for Wisconsin’s grey Wolf!

Wolves were delisted in January 2021 and the fight began. Fringe hunters wanted their trophy wolf! And in February 2021 they got their trophy wolf hunt because a conservative advocacy group filed a lawsuit and won. In February the hunters went over there quota causing a firestorm of controversy.

A Douglas County wolf. Credit Snapshot Wisconsin .

February 2021 wolf hunt went over quota taking the tribe’s portion plus more. A total of 218 wolves were harvested by state license holders. Of the 218 wolves harvested, hunting accounted for 208 wolves (95% of total take) while trapping accounted for 10 wolves 3(5% of total take). Of the 208 wolves taken by hunters, 188 (86%) were taken with the aid of trailing hounds, 16 (7%) were taken with the aid of predator calls and 4 (2%) were taken by stand/still hunting. Of the 10 taken by trappers, 7 (3%) were taken with foothold traps and 3 (2%) were taken with cable restraints WDNR Data

Of the 208 wolves taken by hunters, 188 (86%) were taken with the aid of trailing hounds. WDNR February 2021 Wolf Hunting Data. Photograph credit Wisconsin Wolf Hunting’s Facebook page.

Six Chippewa tribes filed a lawsuit on Sept. 21 seeking to block the hunt, saying hunters killed too many wolves during the state’s February season and kill quotas from the fall hunt aren’t grounded in science.

I think the Six Ojibwa Tribe’s Lawsuit has the strongest case yet to settle the never ending argument regarding how wolves are managed in the state of Wisconsin. The tribe’s lawsuit actually has solutions that can work and it is all about the tribe’s partnership with their brother, the “wolf”! They have lived in partnership for centuries with grey wolves, and they understand that the wolf belongs on the land where he is needed; working in harmony with nature, and the creator. And they do not want their brother hunted for a trophy. They want their treaty rights! And I’m definitely for this solution!

The tribes are represented by the California-based environmental group Earthjustice. The Ojibwa’s case took an unusual turn due to a preliminary injunction all ready in place on the wolf season handed out Oct. 22 in a similar case by a Dane County judge. With the season already effectively blocked, judge Peterson said he wasn’t able to issue relief. But he heard arguments and testimony over 7 hours Friday. I have no doubt that the tribe’s injunction would of been granted but for another lawsuit that was granted first.

Traditionally the first week of December is when wolf hunters are allowed to use dogs to track and trail grey wolves. Wisconsin is the only state that allows wolf hunters to use dogs because of a law, 2011 Wisconsin Act 169 that was enacted during the Walker administration. But a Dane County Circuit Court Judge issued a temporary injunction Friday halting the season, which was set to begin Nov. 6.

The following is my opinion editorial that I wrote in August 2021.

NRB POLITICS THREATENS WOLF RECOVERY.

Laid out before me was the skeleton remains of a White-tailed deer: clear signs of a wolf kill site. The ribs were facing up-right, the hide was in a tight bundle beside the remains, and the fur lay on the ground in a circle all around the remains. I felt a great deal of respect for both the deer and the wolf. This was part of nature’s plan, part of the predator and prey dynamics. I came upon the site in the year 2003 while scouting my wolf tracking block, and those memories remind me of my time spent observing wolf signs during Wisconsin’s wolf recovery program. 

When I became a volunteer Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Winter wolf tracker in the year 2000, there were just 66 wolf packs. I was assigned a wolf tracking block in Douglas County, Wisconsin. The gray wolf population flourished while under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Thirty years after Wisconsin began its wolf recovery program, I witnessed it disappear altogether. Wolf recovery went from zero to sixty, resulting in three consecutive wolf hunts, mandated by the conservative controlled state legislature.

The most unfortunate aspect of this process was the loss of public education & input: the conservative party controlled wolf management. And, to top it off, anti-wolf fringe hunters also came to dominate politics. They pushed misinformation instead of science. They began campaigns full of political rhetoric designed to scare the public. The propaganda by anti-wolf politicians & fringe hunters were claiming wolves are killing all the deer, and the people in the northwoods don’t want them in their backyards. 

Today I’m reminded of these same political dynamics that surrounded gray wolf management in Wisconsin back then. I debated writing about the recent events surrounding wolf management in Wisconsin because I felt drained by the drama of it all. It’s just more of the same, just a different day, different year and different decade with politics that surrounds the wolf. It’s more about people than wolves because people drive the politics. 

Take for instance the recent August 11, 2021 meeting of the Natural Resources Board (NRB). The chair, Dr. Prehn (R), wants a wolf hunt so bad that he refuses to relinquish his seat to Governor Ever’s (D) appointee Sandy Naas and it’s made headlines all over the world.

The Natural Resources Board chair Dr. Prehn (R).

At the NRB meeting, chair Prehn and four other board members went against the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) scientific recommendations of a wolf quota of 130 and voted to up it to 300. They also voted that the DNR must get approval from the NRB if they change the 300 quota number. That move puts conservatives in the majority to control wolf hunting in November 2021. 

For the most part, it’s interesting to add for public information that many are the same players from the past decade.  The same party holds majority power, and refuses to hear any scientific evidence, just as before during the prior three wolf hunts. These same tactics led to the gray wolf being relisted. A Federal Judge ordered that endangered species protection be restored immediately in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan on December 19, 2014. 


I’m witnessing the same political ploys being carried over to today’s NRB.  In the past, the wolf advisory meetings that were run under then DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp (R) were chalked full of dirty politics and it’s no different today. It was as hard to watch then as today. Because the same anti-wolf propaganda is being carried on in today’s wolf management. Just like back then, the anti-wolf crowd would have you believe everyone living in wolf country doesn’t want them there. 

Meanwhile, I don’t believe the anti-wolf’s argument that all the people living in wolf territory want them gone or hunted down to a population of 350.

Based on my experience, not everyone in wolf country hates & fears wolves. I track wolves in Douglas Ccounty, Wisconsin. In 2004 I needed a plot map for tracking and went over to the Douglas County forestry office to purchase one. While I was standing by the counter, in the office waiting for someone to wait on me, I looked up to see several pictures hanging above the counter of wolf puppies.

Douglas County Forest Office in Solon Springs, Wisconsin

In conclusion, in a DNR Public Attitudes Towards Wolves Survey taken in 2014, Douglas County has the highest density of wolves and people, with 56% of the citizens wanting to live with wolves. Interestingly enough, Douglas County has the oldest populations of wolves and the most tolerant people, showing that Wisconsinites can coexist with wolves. 

Therefore, I encourage Wisconsinites to get involved in the wolf management plan that is in the process of being written.

Listen on SoundCloud as Adrian and Peter discuss the following questions. Why did the State Circuit Court pass an injunction on the Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season? What decision did the federal court make in the case by Earthjustice on behalf of the Ojibwe Tribes? Do these two court cases eliminate the possibility of any wolf hunting and trapping season occurring this fall or winter? What is the current wolf population and how does this compare to 10, 20, and 30 years ago? Does it appear that the wolf population is still growing rapidly or starting to stabilize? How does the DNR count wolves? What current regulations on use of dogs for hunting wolves exist for Wisconsin, and will this change with a new wolf plan? What efforts are being made to update the state wolf conservation and management plan? Will the wolf plan make any major changes in wolf hunting and trapping regulations in Wisconsin?

Sulle orme del Canis Lupus Italicus

Canis lupus italicus cucciolo che cammina

Il 9 gennaio alle ore 18, sulla pagina Facebook: Talk Show di persone e lupi, ( Talk Show di persone e lupi—Lupi Italiani | Facebook) Brunella Pernigotti condurrà un altro incontro che potrà fornirci ottime informazioni. Torneremo “Sulle tracce del Canis lupus-Italicus” con i nostri amici e graditi ospiti Luca Giunti, guardiaparco dell’Ente di Gestione delle Aree Protette delle Alpi Cozie in Piemonte; Antonio Iannibelli, fotografo, appassionato divulgatore di lupi e Guardia Ecologica Volontaria di Bologna; Silvia Bonomi, allevatrice di pecore Sopravissane, residente ad Ussita, nel cuore del territorio dei lupi dei Monti Sibillini. Con loro cercheremo di capire quali soluzioni possono adottare gli uomini, per mantenere una sana e serena convivenza con i lupi, predatori fondamentali per l’equilibrio naturale dell’ambiente.

Il 9 gennaio alle ore 18, sulla pagina Facebook: Talk Show di persone e lupi, ( Talk Show di persone e lupi—Lupi Italiani | Facebook).

Luca Giunti

Laureato in Scienze Naturali con una tesi magistrale sul ritorno del lupo sulle Alpi piemontesi, risiede a Susa dal 1987 dove lavora come Guardaparco per l’Ente di gestione delle Aree protette delle Alpi Cozie.  Collabora con l’Università di Torino, tiene corsi di fotografia naturalistica, lezioni sulla ricerca naturale ed ecologica, e sulle Valutazioni di Impatto Ambientale. Ha pubblicato, assieme ad altri autori, articoli scientifici su riviste nazionali e internazionali, e alcuni libri, soprattutto fotografici. Inoltre nel 2021 ha pubblicato il libro: Le conseguenze del ritorno – Storie, ricerche, pericoli e immaginario del lupo in Italia – Edizioni Alegre.

Antonio Iannibelli

E’ nato e ha vissuto nel cuore del Parco Nazionale del Pollino fino alla prima adolescenza, maturando un grande amore per la natura e per gli animali e creando le basi di una conoscenza profonda della fauna appenninica, in particolare del lupo (Canis Lupus Italicus), di cui è un divulgatore appassionato. Ha fondato l’Associazione culturale “Provediemozioni.it” che si occupa di fotografia ed educazione ambientale.
Attraverso il network nazionale “Italian Wild Wolf” (italianwildwolf.com) ha dato voce ai tanti volontari, appassionati e studiosi di lupo. Ha ideato nel 2008 l’evento biennale di divulgazione sul ruolo naturale del lupo, la “Festa del lupo”. Nel libro “Un cuore tra i lupi”, autoprodotto, ha descritto come nasce il suo amore per la natura e per i lupi. Dedica buona parte del suo tempo libero ad attività di volontariato a difesa dell’ambiente e della biodiversità come Guardia Ecologica Volontaria, GEV Bologna.

 

Silvia Bonomi

Allevatrice di pecore di razza Sopravissana, residente ad Ussita (Mc), paesino dell’entroterra Marchigiano, nel cuore del territorio dei lupi dei Monti Sibillini. La sua azienda era nata ufficialmente nel Maggio 2016, dopo anni di allevamento amatoriale che aveva consentito un recupero capillare dei rari e pregiati animali, ma dopo soli cinque mesi di fervente attività, a seguito dei tragici eventi sismici, l’attività dovette subire una pesantissima battuta d’arresto. Silvia e il suo compagno Riccardo, però, non si sono mai arresi e, dopo innumerevoli difficoltà, ora vantano una ben avviata impresa locale di allevamento e vendita di capi ovini di razza Sopravissana, iscritti al Registro Anagrafico, con Programma di Conservazione su un piccolo numero di capi.  Sul loro sito leggiamo le attività che portano avanti con coraggio e determinazione: Allevamento di biodiversità locali – Riproduttori Razza Sopravissana – Riproduttori Cani custodi del gregge – Vendita di animali per l’aumento numerico – Vendita della lana Sopravissana. (https://sopravissanadeisibillini.it)

VI ASPETTIAMO DOMENICA 9 GENNAIO ALLE ORE 18, SULLA PAGINA TALK SHOW DI PERSONE E LUPI – LUPI ITALIANI (https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani)

 

English

In the footprints of Canis lupus-Italicus

On 9 January at 6 pm CET, on https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani, Host Brunella Pernigotti returns with another informative show, “In the footsteps of Canis lupus-Italicus” with guests Luca Giunti, park ranger for the Management Body of the Protected Areas of the Cottian Alps in Piedmont; with Antonio Iannibelli, photographer, enthusiastic divulger of wolves and Voluntary Ecological Guard of Bologna; and with Silvia Bonomi, a breeder of Sopravissana sheep, resident in Ussita, living in the heart of the wolves territory of the Sibillini Mountains. With them we will try to understand what solutions men can adopt, to maintain a healthy and peaceful coexistence with wolves because they are essential for the natural balance of the environment.

Luca Giunti – Graduated in Natural Sciences with a master’s thesis on the return of the wolf to the Piedmontese Alps, he has lived in Susa since 1987 where he works as a park ranger for the management body of the protected areas of the Cottian Alps. He collaborates with the University of Turin, holds courses in nature photography, lessons on natural and ecological research, and on Environmental Impact Assessments. He has published, together with other authors, scientific articles in national and international journals, and some books, especially photographic ones. In addition, in 2021 he published the book: The consequences of the return – Stories, researches, dangers and imagery of the wolf in Italy – Edizioni Alegre.

Antonio Iannibelli – He was born and lived in the heart of the Pollino National Park until his early adolescence, developing a great love for nature and animals and creating the basis for a deep knowledge of the Apennine fauna, in particular of the wolf (Canis Lupus Italicus), of which he is a passionate popularizer. He founded the cultural association “Provediemozioni.it” which deals with photography and environmental education.

Through the national network “Italian Wild Wolf” (italianwildwolf.com) he gave a voice to the many volunteers, enthusiasts and wolf scholars. He conceived in 2008 the biennial event for the dissemination of the natural role of the wolf, the “Wolf Festival”. In the book “A heart among wolves”, self-produced, he described how his love for nature and for wolves was born. He dedicates a large part of his free time to volunteer activities in defense of the environment and biodiversity as a Voluntary Ecological Guard, GEV Bologna.

Silvia Bonomi – Sheep breeder of the Sopravissana breed, resident in Ussita (Mc), a village in the Marche outback, in the heart of the territory of the Sibillini wolves. Her company was officially born in May 2016, after years of amateur breeding which had allowed a capillary recovery of rare and precious animals, but after only five months of fervent activity, following the tragic earthquakes, the business had to undergo a very heavy setback. Silvia and her partner Riccardo, however, never gave up and, after countless difficulties, now boast a well-established local business of breeding and selling Sopravissana sheep, registered in the Registry Register, with a Conservation Program on a small number of heads. On their website we can read about the activities they carry out with courage and determination: Breeding of local biodiversity – Breed Sopravissana breed – Breeders Dogs guardians of the flock – Sale of animals for the numerical increase – Sale of Sopravissana wool. (https://sopravissanadeisibillini.it)

JOIN US ON 9 JANUARY AT 6PM CET ON FACEBOOK PAGE “TALK SHOW DI PERSONE E LUPI – LUPI ITALIANI” (https://www.facebook.com/TalkShowdipersoneelupiitaliani)

Happy “Howlng” Season!

Over here at Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin we are wishing you a season full of love, Peace & Joy!

I met John Trudell back in 1989 while working as an activist to “Protect the Earth ” Pow Wow that was held on the Lac Courte Oreille reservation and his message is even more relevant today!

“We are a spirit, we are a natural part of the earth, and all of our ancestors, all of our relations who have gone to the spirit world, they are here with us. That’s power. They will help us. They will help us to see if we are willing to look.” —John Trudell

Peace, Love & Joy! —Rachel & Brunella

An informative and important “Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Discussion” is now on SoundCloud

If you missed the live show you can listen to the December 6th Access Hour, for an in-depth conversation regarding the lawsuits and the use of dogs in Wisconsin’s wolf hunt with special guests Adrian Wydeven; who led the Wisconsin DNR Wolf Recovery Program from 1990 through 2013, and Peter David; a wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Traditionally the first week of December is when wolf hunters are allowed to use dogs to track and trail grey wolves. Wisconsin is the only state that allows wolf hunters to use dogs because of a law, 2011 Wisconsin Act 169 that was enacted during the Walker administration.

Listen on SoundCloud as Adrian and Peter discuss the following questions. Why did the State Circuit Court pass an injunction on the Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season? What decision did the federal court make in the case by Earthjustice on behalf of the Ojibwe Tribes? Do these two court cases eliminate the possibility of any wolf hunting and trapping season occurring this fall or winter? What is the current wolf population and how does this compare to 10, 20, and 30 years ago? Does it appear that the wolf population is still growing rapidly or starting to stabilize? How does the DNR count wolves? What current regulations on use of dogs for hunting wolves exist for Wisconsin, and will this change with a new wolf plan? What efforts are being made to update the state wolf conservation and management plan? Will the wolf plan make any major changes in wolf hunting and trapping regulations in Wisconsin?

SPECIAL GUESTS 

Adrian grew up in northeast Wisconsin, and has a BS in biology and wildlife management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976), and an MS in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University (1979). Photograph courtesy of Adrian Wydeven.

Special Guest Adrian Wydeven grew up in northeast Wisconsin, and has a BS in biology and wildlife management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976), and an MS in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University (1979). His master’s research was on the ecology and food habitat of elk in the Wind Cave National Park, SD. He worked as a wildlife manager in Missouri and Wisconsin from 1980-1990. Adrian headed up the state gray wolf recovery and conservation program for Wisconsin from 1990 through 2013, while also working with other rare mammals and wildlife. He retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2015 after nearly 33 years. Adrian continues to be actively involved in wolf surveys and conservation through the Timber Wolf Alliance and Wisconsin Green Fire.

Peter David assists GLIFWC’s member tribes in the implementation of their off-reservation, treaty-reserved rights.

Special guest Peter David is a wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, where he assists GLIFWC’s member tribes in the implementation of their off-reservation, treaty-reserved rights. He received his education (bachelors and masters in Wildlife Ecology) from UW-Madison, and from the tribal elders and members for whom he has worked for the last 35 years. At the Commission, he has had the opportunity to steward resources as varied as wild rice and wolves.

HOST

Producer & Host Rachel Tilseth is a freelance writer, fine artist, educator, and environmentalist. Tilseth has been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. Tilseth worked with the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program as a volunteer since 1998, and as a result learned about the lives of wild gray wolves. Tilseth worked to draw attention to the plight of Gray wolves during the three years Wisconsin held wolf hunts. Rachel is founder and owner of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. Tilseth received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.

Coexistence Holiday: Let’s take the first path before us and howl a chorus or two together.

To hear those howls a singing away
A howl here and a howl over there
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a howl with you.

Photograph credit John E Marriott

Outside the snow is falling
And families are calling “Howl Howl”
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a howl with you.

Awoo-yip awoo-yip let’s howl
Let’s roll in the snow
We’re running in a wonderland of snow.

Awoo-yip awoo-yip it’s grand
Just nuzzling your nose
Were running along with the sounds
Of a wintry forestland.

Our thick fur coats are nice and warm
And comfy are we
We’re snuggled up together like two wolves
With the whole pack.

Let’s take the first path before us
And howl a chorus or two
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a howl with you.

Wolf Country. Photograph credit Rachel Tilseth

There’s a Birthday party at our friends Farmer Gray
It’ll be the perfect ending of a perfect day
We’ll be Howlng the songs we love to howl
Without a single stop
At the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts pop
Pop pop pop.

There’s a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
When they pass around the blueberries and pie
It’ll nearly be like a picture print of coexistence
From a long time past

These wonderful things are the things
We remember from the first time we shared man’s fireplace
In ancient times long ago.

Have a Howling Good Holiday Season from All of us at Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin!

Poem adapted by Rachel Tilseth from the original song “Winter Wonderland” 1934 by Bregman, Vocco and Conn

Monday December 6th at 7:00 PM Wort Radio’ Access Hour Presents: A Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Discussion

Host Rachel Tilseth returns to the Access Hour where she will update us on the several lawsuits in the works that have stopped the Wisconsin wolf hunt for this year.

I’m Rachel Tilseth, author of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin inviting you to join me Monday, December 6th, at 07:00 PM on WORT Radio’ Access Hour , hosting an in-depth conversation regarding the lawsuits and the use of dogs in Wisconsin’s wolf hunt with special guests Adrian Wydeven; who led the Wisconsin DNR Wolf Recovery Program from 1990 through 2013, and Peter David; a wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Join us by calling in to take part in an informative discussion on Monday December 6th at 7:00 pm – 8:00 PM on Wort Radio’ Access Hour .

Traditionally the first week of December is when wolf hunters are allowed to use dogs to track and trail grey wolves. Wisconsin is the only state that allows wolf hunters to use dogs because of a law, 2011 Wisconsin Act 169 that was enacted during the Walker administration.

SPECIAL GUESTS 

Adrian grew up in northeast Wisconsin, and has a BS in biology and wildlife management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976), and an MS in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University (1979). Photograph courtesy of Adrian Wydeven.

Special Guest Adrian Wydeven grew up in northeast Wisconsin, and has a BS in biology and wildlife management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976), and an MS in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University (1979). His master’s research was on the ecology and food habitat of elk in the Wind Cave National Park, SD. He worked as a wildlife manager in Missouri and Wisconsin from 1980-1990. Adrian headed up the state gray wolf recovery and conservation program for Wisconsin from 1990 through 2013, while also working with other rare mammals and wildlife. He retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2015 after nearly 33 years. Adrian continues to be actively involved in wolf surveys and conservation through the Timber Wolf Alliance and Wisconsin Green Fire.

Peter David assists GLIFWC’s member tribes in the implementation of their off-reservation, treaty-reserved rights.

Special guest Peter David is a wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, where he assists GLIFWC’s member tribes in the implementation of their off-reservation, treaty-reserved rights. He received his education (bachelors and masters in Wildlife Ecology) from UW-Madison, and from the tribal elders and members for whom he has worked for the last 35 years. At the Commission, he has had the opportunity to steward resources as varied as wild rice and wolves.

HOST

Producer & Host Rachel Tilseth is a freelance writer, fine artist, educator, and environmentalist. Tilseth has been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. Tilseth worked with the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program as a volunteer since 1998, and as a result learned about the lives of wild gray wolves. Tilseth worked to draw attention to the plight of Gray wolves during the three years Wisconsin held wolf hunts. Rachel is founder and owner of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin. Tilseth received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.

A brief summary.

Judge Jacob Frost halted Wisconsin’s fall wolf season two weeks before hunters were set to take to the woods. Frost issued a temporary injunction halting the season, which was set to begin Nov. 6.

Frost said, “The law creating the wolf season is constitutional on its face, but that the DNR failed to create permanent regulations enacting it.” 

The law gives the DNR great leeway in setting kill limits, hunting zone hours and the number of licenses making it all the more important that the department follow the regulatory process to ensure it doesn’t violate the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches. 

This means if DNR can meet the requirements put forth by Judge Frost there could be a hunt this season.

October 1, 2021 Six Ojibwe tribes file motion for preliminary injunction against the state

Madison, WI—EarthJustice  is back in court today on behalf of six Ojibwe tribes seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Wisconsin from holding a wolf hunt in November. The motion asks the judge to hold a hearing before the planned hunt slated to begin on Nov. 6.

This motion is part of the tribes’ lawsuit filed Sept. 21 in the Western District of Wisconsin against the state claiming the proposed hunt violates the tribes’ treaty rights. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved a quota of 300 wolves, ignoring the recommendations of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and willfully acting to nullify the Ojibwe Tribes’ share of wolves which the tribes seek to protect. Even the lower quota of 130 wolves recommended by the Department has no grounding in sound biological principles because, in developing the recommended quota, the Department failed to obtain a population estimate of the Wisconsin wolves that are remaining after a rushed hunt held in February.

During that three-day hunt, non-Indian hunters killed at least 218 wolves, including all of the Ojibwe tribes’ share in violation of the tribes’ treaty rights. Neither the Board nor the Department has made any changes to the management of the hunt to prevent a repeat of February’s disastrous overkill of wolves. Scientists estimate that a third of all wolves in Wisconsin have been killed since federal delisting.

THE FOLLOWING ARE STATEMENTS FROM EARTHJUSTICE AND TRIBAL REPRESENTATIVES FROM THEIR DECLARATIONS FOR THE COURT:

“This case is about Wisconsin’s responsibility to protect and conserve the natural resources we all share,” said Gussie Lord, managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Tribal Partnerships program. “The Ojibwe’s treaty rights guarantee them the ability to coexist with the natural world in the way that they believe is appropriate and necessary to sustain the future generations. Wisconsin does not have exclusive rights here. The state has set the stage for yet another violation of the Ojibwe’s treaty rights and we are asking the Court to step in and prevent that from happening.”

“Our treaties represent a way of life for our tribal people. Eroding and disregarding our treaties is unacceptable. We view violations of our treaty rights as hostile actions against our tribal sovereignty and the very lives of tribal people.” – From the declarationof Mike Wiggins, Jr., Chairman, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

“What happens to ma’iingan happens to Anishinaabe. What happens to the wolf happens to humanity. That is universal law. The ecosystem is all connected. That is the message the ma’iingan is giving to humanity.  Look at what we are facing today — the fish are dying, the trees are dying, the climate is changing, the water is drying up.  Look at what is going on with the earth — what is taking place. I believe ma’iingan is saying — pay attention.” – From the declaration of Marvin DeFoe, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

“The wolves are part of the ecosystem. The deer herds in Wisconsin are infected with Chronic Wasting Disease. When the wolves see the herd, they take the weak animals to try to keep the herd strong. We need strong deer herds, we need the body of the waawaashkeshi, to feed our families.” – From the declaration of Robert VanZile, Chairman, Sokaogon Chippewa Community.

“The Ojibwe that hunt, fish and gather, we take and give back. We are supposed to be looking out for the next seven generations. I try to do that by teaching my grandsons to just take what they need to survive. We teach our children this — when we know it is wrong to hunt, we do not hunt. We take a step back and assess the damage. We determine how we can help so we can have the animals, the plants, the fish, for our future.” – From the declaration of John Johnson, Sr., President, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Earthjustice represents the tribal nations Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, and St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.

The Ojibwe word for “wolf” is ma’iingan, for “white-tailed deer” is “waawaashkeshi,” and the word to describe the people of the Great Lakes region connected to this culture is Anishinaabe

Wisconsin wolf photograph credit Steve Meurett

“Ally of the Grey Wolf”

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