KILLING GAMES: Wildlife in the Crosshairs chosen as “Best Interpretation of a Conservation Theme” from Conserve Sauk Film Festival

Conserve Sauk Film Festival will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 2:00 until 9:00 at UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Tickets are FREE and will be available at the ticket booth on November 9 beginning at 2:00 PM.

KILLING GAMES: Wildlife in the Crosshairs chosen as “Best Interpretation of a Conservation Theme” from 2019 Conserve Sauk Film Festival

On any given weekend, some of America’s most iconic wild animals are massacred in wildlife killing contests. Bloodied bodies are weighed and stacked like cords of wood, and prizes are awarded to the “hunters” who kill the largest or the most of a targeted species. Coyotes, bobcats, wolves and foxes are common victims of these contests; children as young as 10 are encouraged to participate. Fueled by anti-predator bias, these legally sanctioned but relatively unknown contests are cruel and foster ignorance about the critical role apex predators play in maintaining healthy ecosystems. These contests occur on both public and private lands in almost every state except California — where killing predators for prizes has been outlawed. In KILLING GAMES, a groundbreaking exposé, actor, conservationist and Project Coyote Advisory Board Member Peter Coyote — with environmentalists, ranchers, public officials and Native Americans — brings these shadowy contests to light and speaks out against this hidden war on wildlife. Project Coyote’s KILLING GAMES inspires viewers to call on their state and local legislators to bring an end to these brutal contests where wild animals become living targets. For more information click here

The Conserve Sauk Film Festival will include screenings of prestigious feature-length films, and finalists from the Conserve Sauk competition. The event will also include facilitated discussions on the films and their themes. There will be local food and beverage vendors. Local organizations will share information about conservation efforts and opportunities for involvement.

Conserve Sauk Film Festival will educate attendees and participants about important resources, environmental challenges we face, best management practices that can be implemented on farms or in our own yards, and lessons we can draw from significant environmental history or historical figures. We hope to inspire creative thought, discussion, and potential solutions to these challenges.

Conserve Sauk Film Festival Philosophy

Through this festival we will better understand and appreciate the natural beauty and resources of the area, celebrate our conservation successes, reflect upon our relationship to the environment, address challenges that we face, consider how we can be part of the solution, and connect as a county and a community over our shared world.

Conserve Sauk Film Festival concept of community includes the land itself. As Aldo Leopold, one of the many conservation figures to leave his mark on Sauk County, said, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

Conserve Sauk Film Festival invite you to be a part of this project and celebrate the beauty and conservation legacy and future of Sauk County.

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project—Re-establishing the Species in Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project aims to improve public understanding of gray wolf behavior, ecology, and options for re-establishing the species in Colorado. The benchmark of our success: Wolves again roaming the snow-capped peaks, rim rock canyons, and primeval forests of western Colorado. To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Click Here.

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project works to:

Disseminate Science-Based Information about wolves and dispel existing myths. Engage Coloradans about the reality of co-existing with wolves, including ways to mitigate the effects on hunters, ranchers, and others concerned about wolves. Cultivate Enthusiasm among Coloradans about returning wolves to the Western half of the state.

Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Coalition is comprised of individuals and organizations—from wildlife biologists to Colorado landowners to conservationists—dedicated to returning wolves to Colorado. We will encourage thoughtful, public conversation with all stakeholders, including ranchers and sportsmen. To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Click Here.

Take Action

Re-establishing wolves in western Colorado could connect the entire North American wolf population. It would be difficult to overestimate the biological and conservation value of this achievement. Click Here to Make Your Voice Heard

Watch Canis Lupus Colorado

“Wolf Spirit” Screens at the Twin Cities Film Festival Sunday October 20th.

“Wolf Spirit” screens at the Twin Cities Film Festival in the Documentary Shorts Block: Persistence and Vision on Sunday October 20th at 05:00 PM To Purchase Tickets Click Here

Friends of the wolf Jim Brandenburg, Larry Stillday (Chi Ma’iingan) and Barry Babcock all who have spent most of their lives in wolf country are featured in the film.

“Wolf Spirit” Minnesota Premiere at the Twin Cities Film Festival Sunday October 20th. Photograph by renowned National Geographic Photographer Jim Brandenburg.

“Wolf Spirit is dedicated to the memory of Chi Ma’iingan a spiritual teacher of mine from Red Lake Nation and to the wolves of northern Minnesota.” Julia Huffman, Producer and Director

“Wolf Spirit” screens at the Twin Cities Film Festival Documentary Film Shorts (Shorts Block) on Sunday October 20th at 5pm!

Purchase Tickets here: https://www.showplaceicon.com/Browsing/Movies/Details/h-HO00002753

Wolf Spirit is Endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall:

“BEAUTIFULLY and sensitively filmed with commentary from people who not only admire but understand the role of the wolf in the American landscape. A film that needs to be watched by as many people as possible right now in the face of the horrifying and inhumane slaughter of wolves supported by State Wildlife Services and the US government’s Senate and House of Representatives.”

A Message from “Wolf Spirit” Producer and Director Julia Huffman

Bipartisan Coalition of Great Lakes’ Governors Support the Recovery of America’s Wildlife Act.

According to News 6 uppermichiganssourse.com Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with governors DeWine (R-OH), Evers (D-WI), Wolf (D-PA), Pritzker (D-IL), and Walz (D-MN), sent a to chairman and ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources voicing their support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

“The decline of our fish and wildlife, and their natural habitats, are one of the greatest threats to our environment and our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “The future of Michigan, and the entire country, rests on our ability to come together and protect our wildlife and natural resources. That’s why this bipartisan coalition of governors have come together to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. I want to thank Congresswoman Dingell for being a fierce leader on this issue and assure Michiganders that I will not stop working to protect our natural resources and environment on behalf of future generations.”

“Bold solutions are needed to safeguard our nation’s fish and wildlife from further decline,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. “Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan leads the nation in innovative conservation programs to safeguard the environment for current and future generations. The broad, bipartisan support from these Great Lakes governors for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a strong commitment to tackling the biodiversity crisis.”

Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will represent the largest investment in conservation funding in more than a generation and help ensure that future generations can enjoy the same abundant fish, wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities that we have today.

The governors’ letter was sent to Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-3), and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1).

To view the full letter, click here.

Take Action for the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act

On July 23, Wildlands Network hosted a U.S. Capitol briefing that brought scientists, the media and congressional staff together to highlight the importance of the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019. It would allow for designation of wildlife corridors on federal public lands, while providing support for collaboration with state governments and private landowners to assist in efforts to preserve corridors across the country. Introduced in Congress earlier this year by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a dozen Senators from across the country have already signed on as co-sponsors. With growing bi-partisan support in Congress, the time to take action is now!

Help us move the bill forward by contacting your Representatives and Senators today and asking them to join as a co-sponsor to the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019. Click here to take action now.

Montana Wolf Hunts are Taking Place Right Now…

Last November, 2018, we remember the tragedy of Spitfire, the daughter of the famous wolf 06, was shot just outside of Yellowstone National Park’s boundary. Inside of the Heart of Wolf Advocacy: The Yellowstone Story Film Project obtained cell phone audio of Spitfire’s family members.

“Listening to the mournful calls from Little T, Small Dot and the five pups that they made while searching for 926F, their lost family member, leaves no doubt in my mind and heart that they feel strong family bonds. There must be a way to protect YNP wolves that wonder outside the park boundary.” Rachel Tilseth, Director and Producer Of The Yellowstone Story Film Project.

Listen to the cell phone audio here

It’s almost a year since she was shot just outside of Yellowstone National Park. The head biologist of the Yellowstone Wolf Project stated: “Wolf hunters talk about seeing a pack of park wolves outside the boundary and being able to pick the one they want,” said Doug Smith, the park’s wolf biologist. “They just stand there and have no fear.”

Spitfire, or 926F, was killed just a few miles outside the park in Montana near the northeast entrance to the park, between the tiny communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Mont.

She left behind a daughter that wolf watchers have named Little T, so-called because of a small white marking. Another wolf, Small Dot, is the male, and for the first time in three years a litter of five pups was born to the Lamar Canyon pack.

With the matriarch gone, Dr. Smith said, the famed pack could be in trouble. Even though the breeding pack is intact, its seven-member size may not be as resilient as bigger groups. “Its survival is an open question,” he said.” New York Times article November 2018

Wolf 926F Photo credit by Vanessa Vought

Timber Wolf Alliance—Science, Outreach & Education

Wisconsin’s Wolf Awareness Week Begins on October 20, 2010. Join Timber Wolf Alliance in celebration of Wisconsin’s Gray wolf.

From Timber Wolf Alliance website:

In 1987, only eighteen wolves were estimated to live in Wisconsin and fewer in Upper Michigan. That year, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute began the Timber Wolf Alliance to assist twenty-one organizations and many private individuals in promoting wolf recovery in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through public education, citizen science, and volunteer activities.

The Timber Wolf Alliance is committed to investigating the facts and relies on research to dispel myths and unfounded fears associated with wolves. TWA provides training in wolf biology and ecology, develops and disseminates educational materials on wolves, and supports volunteers to help with wolf monitoring efforts.

Mission

To use science-based information to promote an ecologically-functional wolf population within areas of suitable habitat, and promote human coexistence with emphasis on Michigan and Wisconsin.

Timber Wolf Programs

Schedule a program to come to your library, fair, club, or event. Learn more about programs topics:

Myths about the Wolves of Wisconsin

Wolf Folklore

Pup Development

Wolf Ecology, & Management

Wolf Communication

Canids of Wisconsin

The Timber Wolf Alliance announced it has selected the work of Diane Versteeg for its 2019 Wolf Awareness Week poster. Versteeg’s work was selected in 2004, as well.

Versteeg of Spokane, Washington, has worked as an animal keeper in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and animal shelters for more than forty years. She started sketching in her free time in the early 1980s and later switched to scratchboard, also called scraperboard.

The Timber Wolf Alliance selected her scratchboard of a pair of bonded wolves nuzzling one another. Versteeg says she observed the two wolves—Nehani and Ramses—at Wolf Haven International where she worked in the mid-1990s.

“Ramses was always a very shy boy—curious but kept his distance,” she said. “Nehani was very friendly and outgoing, at least to me. She always came up to visit when I did daily rounds.”

Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator Jordyn O’Gara says she and the selection committee chose Versteeg’s work because it is different than recent Wolf Awareness Week posters.

“We’re hoping it will make people pause and look at the poster because it is so unique,” she said. “Just like with the theme—we are hoping people will pause and reassess wolf management from a non-western culture point of view.”

Each year Wolf Awareness Week celebrates a broad theme in wolf conservation. In 2019, the Timber Wolf Alliance will be celebrating ma’iingan’s (wolves) relationship with the Ojibwe as well as other Native American cultures within North America.

As a part of Wolf Awareness Week, Timber Wolf Alliance will be hosting a documentary entitled “Ma’iingan: Brother Wolf,” as well as a keynote speaker Peter David, who will discuss the history of the Ojibwe and ma’iingan. Wolf Awareness Week will be held October 20–26.

Artist’s Statement—The Vision

Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy:

The Yellowstone Story: Director Statement

This is a story of passion, endurance and fighting even when the odds are against you. In this story I want to introduce you to four courageous people working to preserve the legacy of Yellowstone’s wolves. People either love or hate the wolf, and he’s been long misunderstood for centuries. Thousands of people in vehicles line the roads in Yellowstone National Park hoping for a glimpse of a wild wolf. People are everywhere, dozens at a time, searching through spotting scopes for wolves. One of these wolf watchers is advocate Ilona Popper, who’s passion for wolves can be clearly heard in her voice. We introduce the viewer to ilona Popper as she sets up her spotting scope in Lamar Valley home to one of Yellowstone’s beloved wolf packs. As Ilona speaks you can hear the urgency in her voice because it’s September and the Montana wolf hunt is just around the corner. She recounts the tragic story of a famous alpha female wolf that was killed by a wolf hunter because she left the sanctuary of the park.

Time lapses we will introduce the viewer to the ever changing weather that wolves face in Yellowstone. Drones are not allowed in the park boundaries but aerial footage will, along with the time lapses, give a perspective of the immensity of the park landscapes.

We introduce the Viewer to Dr. Nathan Varley as he hikes in a picturesque landscape that is Yellowstone in winter at the Buffalo Ranch situated near the Lamar river. Dr. Varley is on a hike with wolf watcher clients as he explains the history of Yellowstone’s wolf reintroduction. Throughout the year, Dr. Varley along with his business partner and wife Linda Thurston, take their clients into the misty Yellowstone morning to view wolves. We introduce you to Marc Cooke President of Wolves of the Rockies during a flurries of falling snow and within view of the famous northern gate of Yellowstone. The viewer will see herds of bison, elk and antelope in spring time grazing on the moist green grasses as Marc talks about the the famous Lamar Valley wolf pack. I will introduce the viewer to cell phone audio of the Lamar Valley wolf packs’ hauntingly mournful howls that was recorded at the very same spot where their family member was killed by a wolf hunter just out side of the park.

 

I will introduce the viewer to Yellowstone’s wolf watcher community, as they move from one pull out to the next spotting for wolves to count as they work cooperatively to help monitor Yellowstone’s wolf packs. You’ll hear the engine noise from above as head Yellowstone Wolf Project staff Dr. Doug Smith conducts December’s population monitoring. The viewer will meet Yellowstone Wolf Project staff Kira Cassidy as talks about wolf pack dynamics, recounting observations of one wolf pack’s struggle for survival, against the back drop of the Yellowstone River flowing fast and furiously.

I will introduce you to the communities that border the park, through the daily activities of running a national park, from the venders, gate attendees, ranchers, restaurants and motels that surrounds the park. The viewer will get a glimpse of life in the park as the story unfolds layer by layer. It’s a story that will bring the viewer into the lives of advocates working to preserve the legacy of Yellowstone National Park’s Gray wolf.

Filmmaker Bio: Meet the Director

Filmmaker Rachel Tilseth Tracking Wisconsin’s wild wolf.

Rachel Tilseth is a fine artist, educator, environmentalist, wolf advocate and filmmaker. Rachel lives and works in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Rachel earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors. Rachel has been an environmentalist since high school. Rachel participated in the first Earth Day in 1971. Later, Rachel participated in the protests of sulfate mines that took place in the early 1990s. Rachel worked with activists John Trudell and Walter Bresette, whom she met at the Protect The Earth Festival near Hayward, Wisconsin. Rachel’s first art teaching job was in Kyle, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1992.

1991 on a howl survey in the chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Rachel met Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program Head Wolf Biologist, Adrian Wydeven. Seven years later Rachel became involved in Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program. Rachel officially became a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf/Carnivore Tracker in the year 2000, and as a result learned about the lives of wild gray wolves. In 1999, Rachel put together a story proposal about Adrian Wydeven’s volunteer Winter Wolf Tracking Program, and submitted it to National Geographic Television Channel. Although the proposal wasn’t accepted Rachel received a telephone call from them to explain why. The National Geographic Channel at the time was busy working on starting a global network and all of their resources were tied up in working to get it off the ground. The National Geographic Channel advised Rachel to resubmit the proposal in a year. Rachel continued working to draw attention to Wisconsin’s Gray wolf and wrote to Dr. Jane Goodall in Tanzania, Africa about the recovery program. Rachel received three handwritten postcards from Dr. Jane Goodall.

In 2011 Great Lakes wolves were delisted. Rachel worked to draw attention to the plight of Gray wolves during the three years Wisconsin held wolf hunts. Rachel garnered the attention of the press in an effort to bring public awareness to Wisconsin’s wolf hunt, especially the regulations that allowed dogs to be used to track and trail wolves. Rachel made it known that Wisconsin quite literally throws dogs to wolves. Rachel has put together public events, three film screenings, one film festival, in order to public to bring education and awareness about Wisconsin’s wolf hunt, and wildlife issues. In 2011 Rachel started a Facebook Page and named it after the county she tracked wolves in; Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin (WODCW). WODCW became known nationally and internationally. In 2018 Rachel began working on a film series titled Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy. Rachel’s film series tells the stories of advocates/people working to preserve the legacy of wild gray wolves. The first series is about Yellowstone Wolves, “The Yellowstone Story” and Rachel is the Producer and Director. Rachel formed a film company in 2019 Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Films, LLC.