…that directs the Secretary of the Interior to turn over management of wolves to the state governments.
Turning over management to state governments such as Wisconsin would be a death sentence for wolves. Wisconsin allows the harassment of endangered species:
“Wolves are an imperiled species, that are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy, and are being pushed to the brink of extinction; by conservation policies that favor a group of fringe hunters. These special interest, fringe hunters take advantage of the current political environment. They cause harm to wildlife by the “loosening” of regulations; they pushed for the removal of the Class B bear training & hunting licence that allowed for an undetermined number of dogs running through wolf habitat. That could definitely be the cause of the 37 bear hunting dog deaths. ” WODCW’s Blog
“I’ve been helping with wolf recovery since 1998. I’ve witnessed the conflict between bear hunters and wolves while radio trapping wolves in the Chequamegon national forest. They’ve hated wolves for decades, and I’ve seen how this sport wears on the people & wildlife living in the north woods. Common sense dictates that; if bear training & hunting license requirements are removed conflicts occur between dogs and wolves. That’s a fact as plain as the nose on your face. If you run dogs on bear through wolf rendezvous sites; conflict will happen. Wolf pups are three months old when bear hunters start running their dogs on bear starting July first.” WODCW’s Blog
Please take action by urging your senators to oppose S. 1514
How to Contact Your Member of Congress
Member websites provide comprehensive contact information: Click HERE
Send a letter today urging senators to oppose S. 1514
If these politicians: Senator Barrasso (R-WY), along with Senators Boozman (R-AR), Capito (R-WV), Cardin (D-MD), Baldwin (D-WI), and Klobuchar (D-MN) get their way and turn management of wolves back to states, such as Wisconsin, it’s certain death for wolves.
This is how the state of Wisconsin manages the Gray wolf population
Changing the perceptions of people who have negative views of wolves begins with dialogue. If we want to change this negative to a positive perception we must open the dialogue, and engage, ask questions, and plant seeds – seeds of compassion that will grow into new perceptions of valuing the role wolves play in balancing the ecosystem.
“You only have one way to convince others – listen to them.” – George Washington
Trying to change negative perceptions by demeaning, insulting, and shouting down the other side won’t get us anywhere, and will most likely only harden their resolve. Think of how we feel when an anti-wolf voice makes derogatory comments about wolves or wolf advocates – it just makes us angrier and widens the divide.
“The most powerful way to win an argument is by asking questions. It can make people see the flaws in their logic.” -Unknown
It can be extremely difficult not to scream angrily back when we see injustices to those animals we fight so hard to protect. I travel to Yellowstone to watch wolves and follow their lives on a daily basis. I have come to know these wolves on a personal level – their different personalities, their families, their successes and hardships. When one of them is killed, especially by the hand of man, it breaks my heart.
When I learned of the poaching of the 12-year-old Canyon pack alpha female earlier this year, my gut reaction was to hurl insults at the anti-wolf crowd. I was angry and hurt, and I wanted to hurt back. In my heart, I knew this wouldn’t help the wolves at all; in fact, in the long run, it might be more detrimental. I also realized that this would be going against the basic philosophy of Compassionate Conservation – “first do no harm”. If I truly believe that, it also means showing compassion towards those with whom I wholeheartedly disagree by raising a voice in compassion for all beings.
“You cannot force someone to comprehend a message that they are not ready to receive. Still, you must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.” – Unknown
If we want to see the end of the persecution and hatred of wolves, we must sow the seeds of compassion and knowledge; nurturing the seeds of compassionate conservation will lead to valuing the wolf as part of the natural world.
Great Lakes wolves could be delisted anytime now and placed in the hands of state management. Wisconsin legislature mandates in Act 169 that when wolves are not listed on either federal or state endangered lists that they must be hunted. (Wisconsin Act 169) Wisconsin is the only state that allows the inhumane act of “wolf Hounding” and Quite literally, throws dogs to wolves. Michigan voters, said no to a wolf hunt, yet in a shocking reversal of democratic principles, Gov. Snyder signs wolf hunt bill in spite of voter opposition. In Minnesota wolves are on the threatened list, which means the state has more authority on management of any wolf depredations on livestock, but legislators still push for a wolf hunt.
Wisconsin wolves are in jeopardy and need your help. I’m asking every Wisconsin wolf advocate to take action for wolves by submitting letters to the editor.
I’ve included; why write a letter, tips on writing a letter, and several links to Wisconsin newspapers.
Now get to work advocates….
Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor (LTE), Writing a letter to the editor of your local or regional newspaper is the best way to reach a large audience with your message. LTEs are printed on the editorial page. The editorial page is one of the most read pages in the paper. Members of congress keep a close eye on media coverage, including LTEs, in their local papers so they can keep an eye out for issues of importance to their constituents. Letters that get published helps reach both a wide public audience and your elected officials. Even if your letter is not published, it is important for educating and persuading editors. The more letters they receive on a given topic, the more likely they are to dedicate more time in their newspaper to that issue, both on the editorial page and in news articles. It clearly expresses the issue’s importance to the community.
Keep your letter short, focused, and interesting. In general, letters should be under 200 words, 150 or less is best; stay focused on one (or, at the most, two) main point(s); and get to the main point in the first two sentences. If possible include interesting facts, relevant personal experience, and any local connections to the issue. If you letter is longer than 200 words, it will likely be edited or not printed.
Write the letter in your own words. Editors want letters in their papers to be original and from a reader. Be sure that you take the time to write the letter in your own words.
Refute, advocate, and make a call to action. Most letters to the editor follow a standard format. Open your letter by refuting the claim made in the original story the paper ran. Then use the next few sentences to back up your claims and advocate for your position. Try to focus on the positive. For example: According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, investments in renewable energy would bring over $200 million to our state and create 36,000 jobs by 2020. Then wrap your letter up by explaining what you think needs to happen now, make your call to action.
Include your contact information. Be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number; the paper will contact you before printing your letter.
-Submit your letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The Journal Sentinel welcomes readers’ letters. Timely, well-written, provocative opinions on topics of interest in Milwaukee and Wisconsin are given first preference. All letters are subject to editing. The form below is for submission to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial department for possible publication. Letters selected for publication in the newspaper will also be posted on JSOnline.com.
Generally, we limit letters to 200 words. Name, street address and daytime phone are required. We cannot acknowledge receipt of submissions. We don’t publish poetry, anonymous or open letters. Each writer is limited to one published letter every two months. Write: Letters to the editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
The Tribune encourages letters to the editor on current issues. Please limit letters to 250 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit all letters and require that all letters include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification purposes. Letter writers will be limited to no more than one letter a month. Please do not send poetry, items taken from other publications or from the Internet. Send letters to: Letters to the editor, La Crosse Tribune, 401 N. Third St. La Crosse WI 54601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to use our online form.
-The Green Bay Press-Gazette welcomes letters to the editor of 250 or fewer words. You can send us your letter online by filling out the information below. Rules for Submission:
Letters must include your first and last name, complete address, and daytime phone number. Only your name and community will be published. Anonymous contributions, pseudonyms and first initials are not allowed. Contributors whose identities cannot be verified to our reasonable satisfaction may be required to submit further identification or their contributions will be withheld from publication. Contributors are limited to one published letter per month. Letters must be no longer than 250 words. They will be edited if necessary for clarity or brevity. Include sources for facts and figures included in your letter, either in the text of your letter or as a note at the bottom for our reference. Unless otherwise noted, all material must be original to the author. Mass-mailing letters will not be accepted. Guest columns must be no longer than 600 words and will be held to a higher standard of reader interest than letters and calls. It’s recommended to contact us before submitting a guest column. Letters to the editor may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms. Submit letters via:
♦ E-mail at email@example.com
♦ Fax at (920) 431-8379
♦ Regular mail at Green Bay Press-Gazette, Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 23430, Green Bay WI, 54305-3430
♦ Or drop them off at the Press-Gazette office at 435 E. Walnut St., Green Bay. Lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
-Submit your letter to the Leader-Telegram Click HERE
Many animals are harmed (through suffering and killing) to serve human interests and values without due consideration of other animals’ interests and intrinsic value. ~Compassionate Conservation
Wisconsin can no longer afford to go back, back to the old way of thinking; the killing of wildlife in order to conserve them. For example; Wisconsin spent decades on wolf recovery, recovery of an imperiled species that was hunted to near extinction; then in a shocking twist, the state of Wisconsin legislature mandated a trophy hunt of wolves fresh off the Endangered Species List;
If the wolf is not listed on the federal endangered list and is not listed on the state endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves and shall regulate such hunting and trapping as provided in this section and shall implement a wolf management plan. In regulating wolf hunting and trapping, the department may limit the number of wolf hunters and trappers and the number of wolves that may be taken by issuing wolf harvesting licenses. 2011 Wisconsin Act 169, wolf hunt.
Compassion for animals should be fundamental for conservation because poor conservation outcomes are often consistent with the mistreatment of animals. ~Marc Bekoff
During the 2016 Wisconsin bear hunting season 37 hunting dogs were lost in the pursuit of bear. But instead of looking at current conservation policies; wolves, that were defending their pups against free ranging hunting dogs in the pursuit of bear were wrongly being scapegoated.
It’s a mystery as to just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods during training & hunting. Why is this a mystery? Because a change in regulations took place that removed the Class B bear training & hunting licence. Because of that change it’s impossible to know; just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods.
Wolf pups are born around mid-April and are approximately two and a half months at the time Wisconsin bear hunters begin training dogs on bear starting on July first. Typically wolves leave their pups at a rendezvous site for safe keeping to be watched over by a babysitter. The pup’s family members keep a close eye on the rendezvous site while off hunting. WODCW Blog
However, there is a lack of regulations with bear hunting & training and it has led to a conflict between wolves and bear hunters. Once the training & hunting class B license was removed, that change allowed for an undetermined number of dogs running through wolf habitat. That could definitely be the cause of the 37 bear hunting dog deaths.
Wolves that were defending their pups against free ranging hunting dogs in the pursuit of bear are targeted by special interests instead of the real problem; that being, conservation policy favoring the killing of one species to save another, for the benefit of sport hunting.
For decades there has been a conflict between bear hunters and wolves in the north woods of Wisconsin, and now that conflict has become one of the reasons Wisconsin legislators want to delist wolves. Watch the following Wisconsin Public Television show from the year 2010.
Wolves are an imperiled species, that are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy, and are being pushed to the brink of extinction by conservation policies that favor a group of fringe hunters. These special interest, fringe hunters take advantage of the current political environment. They cause harm to wildlife by the “loosening” of regulations; they pushed for the removal of the Class B bear training & hunting licence that allowed for an undetermined number of dogs running through wolf habitat. That could definitely be the cause of the 37 bear hunting dog deaths.
Therefore; the legislative process will move forward; to remove the use of dogs to hunt wolves (when wolves are taken off ESL this is one of the methods used to hunt them in Wisconsin), runnng dogs on bear is causing conflict between bear hounders, wolves and northern residents.
The following is a Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet:
Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”Hound hunters traditionally train their dogs to focus on specific prey by releasing their dogs to surround, attack and terrorize a prey animal (e.g. a bear cub or fox) for hours on end (up to 16 hours/day) enclosed in a small, open barrel or “roll cage.” At this point it remains disturbingly unclear as to how hound hunters will train their dogs to pursue wolves instead of other animals—will it be by capturing wolves and allowing their dogs to attack them in barrels and pens? How isn’t this worse than illegal dog fighting?
“There has never been a more important time for the people of Wisconsin to show they are not going to give in to a small group of people that want to torture animals for fun under the guise of “sport.” WODCW Blog
Here’s how you can help;
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact us if you have filed written complaints with your local law enforcement concerning issues with bear hounders.
With a guiding principle of ‘first do no harm’, compassionate conservation offers a bold, virtuous, inclusive, and forward-looking framework that provides a meeting place for different perspectives and agendas to discuss and solve issues of human-animal conflict when sharing space. Source
*Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin is made up of concerned citizens who volunteer their time to make changes for the betterment of Wisconsin’s wolves and wildlife. WODCW is all volunteer and is not a non profit.
Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin does not partner with or align with the ideas or actions of Wolf Patrol, Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf or Wisconsin Wolf Front.
Call House Speaker Paul Ryan Phone: (202) 225-0600
In congress politicians from Wisconsin, Wyoming, Michigan and Minnesota are using propaganda to pressure congress to hold a fast floor vote to take wolves off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten their livestock.
Out of 3.5 million head of livestock in Wisconsin there were 52 wolf depredations, hardly a number worth calling for the immediate removal of wolves off the ESL.
The following is the latest news:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — By STEVE KARNOWSKIA Associated Press Source
Pressure is building in Congress to take gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten their livestock.
Representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming have asked House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for a fast floor vote before the season when most cows and sheep will be giving birth begins in earnest. That followed recent testimony before a Senate committee from a Wisconsin farm leader who said producers need to be able to defend their livestock and livelihoods.
Meanwhile, both sides are waiting for a federal appeals court to decide whether to uphold lower court rulings that put wolves in the four states back on the list.
Take action for wolves by calling House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Washington, D.C. office
As with any cause, a biased or misleading view can be used to promote, to publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Here we have several anti-wolf politicians making claims to distort the public’ veiw of wolves; wolves are decimating the White-tailed deer herds, attacking livestock and killing hunting dogs. Let’s set the record straight; wolves do hunt White-tailed deer, have killed some some livestock and did kill 37 bear hunting dogs. But in reality; is there a big-bad-wolf here? Let’s get the facts before we sanction the killing of an endangered species.
There are currently two bills in congress that call to delist the wolf in four states, S. 164 (Senate) introduced on 01/17/2017 by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and H.R. 424 (House of Representatives) introduced on 01/10/2017 by Representative Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)
Congress seeking to unwind decision by professional wildlife managers and restart inhumane and unethical hunting practices on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska
Congressional Review Act used to put American wildlife icons in line of fire
The Humane Society of the United States launched a hard-hitting television advertising campaign to stop a movement in Congress to allow egregious killing methods targeting grizzly bears and wolves in Alaska on National Wildlife Refuges – the one category of federal lands specifically set aside for the benefit of wildlife.
A commercial depicting the wolf cubs and bears killed in their dens or scouted by planes or baited and killed in other cruel ways under Congressional Review Act Joint Resolution H.J. Res. 69 will run on CNN, FoxNews, and MSNBC in the first go-around for this campaign.
“Killing hibernating bears, shooting wolf pups in their dens, and chasing down grizzlies by aircraft and then shooting them on the ground is not the stuff of some depraved video game,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “It is exactly what Don Young is trying to restore on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. No decent person should support this appalling, despicable treatment of wildlife.”
Specifically, H.J. Res. 69 would overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule prohibiting inhumane and scientifically unjustified killing methods – including shooting or trapping wolves while at their dens in the spring when they are rearing pups, using airplanes to scout for grizzly bears to shoot, trapping of bears with cruel steel-jawed leghold traps and wire snares, and luring grizzly bears with food to get a point blank kill – on over 76 million acres of special federal lands in Alaska. The rule does not apply to subsistence hunting or restrict the killing of wildlife for public safety purposes or defense of property. The professional wildlife managers within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service drove this policy, after attempting to work with Alaska’s Board of Game for years.
H.J. Res. 69 would also block the Administration from ever issuing a rule on this topic, leaving the power to pass a law prohibiting these egregious hunting methods solely in the hands of Congress.
Most Alaskans favor the rule and object to these barbaric practices. A 2016 poll conducted by Remington Research Group showed that Alaska voters strongly support eliminating these cruel and unsporting practices used to kill bears and wolves on National Wildlife Refuges in their state. “Driving down grizzly bear and wolf numbers on refuges is a prescription for drying up tourism and starving the gateway communities that benefit immensely from tourist dollars,” added Pacelle.
Alaskan non-profit organizations including Alaskans FOR Wildlife, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Friends of Alaska Wildlife Refuges, Lynn Canal Conservation, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oasis Earth, Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, Sierra Club – Alaska Chapter and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council support the FWS rule and oppose H.J. Res. 69.
Media Contact: Anna West: 301-258-1518; email@example.com
The theft of Wisconsin’s natural resources must not be tolerated. Wisconsin has a long rich history of public owned water, land and wildlife. This is a call for Wisconsin wolf advocates to step forward to protect an endangered species because the current administration, Wisconsin’s governor, has called for a hunt on its wolves. Killing an endangered species is not how to manage them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved.
Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin continues to work for education, awareness & advocacy for the benefit of Wisconsin’s wild wolf. WODCW advocates for wolves to be kept on the Endangered Species list. In the case that wolves are taken off the ESL: WODCW works for transparency at the state level of wolf management that includes all stakeholders. WODCW will work legislatively to stop trophy hunting of Wisconsin’s wolves. WODCW will promote non lethal wolf management. WODCW is about nonviolent and peaceful actions that work for Wisconsin’s wild wolves. WODCW works in the interest of the public trust to bring back wolf management to the people of Wisconsin.
I have it from a reliable source that Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is getting more calls and emails from the folks that want to delist wolves; and they are Senator Baldwin’s constituents too. Wisconsin wolf advocates must call & email the senator now. You can email on her website By clicking HERE. Next Click on the red square share your opinion on legislation
Senator Tammy Baldwin’s D.C. Office is getting more calls from folks in favor of delisting Wisconsin wolves.
Wolf advocates take action for wolves by calling Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Washington, D.C. Office.
I have a meeting with Senator Tammy Baldwin’s aide next week to discuss concerns about the wolf delisting threat in congress.
Here’s to recap; Wisconsin state anti-wolf republican legislators, Senator Tom Tiffany and representative Adam Jarchow are pressing Senator Baldwin to take their side. They asked democratic Senator Baldwin to use her influence with colleagues to get them to pass Senator Ron Johnson’s anti-wolf delisting bill. Senator Baldwin made a statement siding with delisting wolves in Wisconsin, but her statement is based on anti wolf legislator’s propaganda.
It’s up to you and I to dispel the anti wolf propaganda by using factual & scientific information.
I have a meeting next week with Senator Baldwin’s aide. Wisconsin wolf advocates here’s how you can help. At the meeting I will show Senator Baldwin’s aide emails from you. Here’s what I need in an email to:
In the subject line:
Senator Baldwin Keep Wolves Listed
In the body of your email:
Why you want her to keep wolves listed on the Endangered Species List. Present facial reasons. Ex: Wisconsin has proven they cannot be trusted to manage an endangered species. Wolves are not killing all the deer. Use DNR website and google to get facts.
Lastly, Senator Baldwin needs to know that you are one of her Wisconsin constituents.
Sign your email:
Your name and full address.
I would forward your emails to Senator Baldwin’s aide at the meeting and then they will forward your emails directly to the senator.
Please send your email to me by Tuesday December 13th.
Now is our chance to present Senator Baldwin factual & scientific information about why wolves need to be protected.
Again, it’s urgent that you act today by sending a clear message to Senator Baldwn that you want her to keep wolves listed on the Endangered Species Act.
In congress several lawmakers are working on legislation to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota & Wyoming. This legislation by Senator Ron Johnson (D-WI) calls for delisting of wolves.
A brief History on wolf delisting.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed federal protections for gray wolves in 2012 and turned over state management. Shortly after the 2012 delisting these states rushed to create legislation that allowed for hunting of gray wolves. Wisconsin became the only state that allowed the barbaric use of dogs to hunt wolves; Wisconsin quite literally throws dogs to wolves. Source Wyoming called for shooting wolves on sight. Minnesota allowed for the use of inhumane snare traps on wolves. In Michigan the legislature tried to go against the public referendum that voted no against a wolf hunt.
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in 2012 filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore federal protections for Great Lakes wolves under the Endangered Species Act.
After three years of state sanctioned wolf hunts in Wisconsin and Minnesota a federal judge intervened with a decision on the 2012 HSUS lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ruled that the removal was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.
In her ruling, Howell wrote: “Wolves are the subject of heated disputes, with those on every side of the issue offering heartfelt arguments as to how best to manage this unique species. The last decade of litigation is a testament to those passions.” Howell said that while the Fish and Wildlife Service and others may have “practical policy reasons” for removing protections for wolves, federal regulations protecting endangered species trump those concerns. “At times, a court must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough,” Howell wrote in the decision. “This case is one of those times.” Judge Howell’s statement
The ant-wolf senators from Wisconsin are not happy that Washington State Senator Maria Cantrell (D) is holding up their wolf delisting bill. In the following news statement these anti wolf legislators stated:
“It is our understanding that Congress is on the brink of passing this bill,” the GOP lawmakers said. “However, we have been informed that Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) is standing in the way of the delisting legislation. We expect Senator Baldwin to use her new influence as a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team to push her colleagues to pass this bill.” Source
It’s time to tell congress to stop the attacks on the Endangered Species Act: please take action for wolves
First contact your senators using this easy form Democracy.io (click on the blue highlighted words)
Tell your members of congress that you want them to protect wolves from states that have proven they cannot manage an endangered species. Ask them not to sign onto any legislation or riders that call for delisting wolves.
Next contact Senator Tammy Baldwin and ask her not to support GOP led wolf delisting bills or riders. Ask her to stand against any threats to the endangered speciecies act.
Please also note a new threat to wolves in Michigan from Humane Society of the United States:
Michigan: Speak up to stop a wolf hunt
Michigan’s wolves are under threat once again. In the 2014 general election, Michigan voters soundly rejected two referendums on the trophy hunting and trapping of the state’s small population of wolves. But now, the Michigan legislature is trying to rush through another bill, SB 1187, that would once again designate wolves as a game species to be hunted and trapped—in spite of that public rejection of wolf hunting at the ballot box just two years ago.
The Michigan legislature should heed the voice of its citizens, who have stated in no uncertain terms that they do not support the recreational hunting and trapping of wolves. Your voice is needed now to protect Michigan’s wolves.
Calling is the one of the most effective actions you can take. Please make a brief, polite phone call to your state representative and state senator now. Look up your legislators’ phone numbers. You can say, “I am a constituent who cares about wolves, and I’m calling to urge you to respect the voice of the people and reject SB 1187.”
After your call, use the form below to send a follow-up message. Editing your message will help it stand out.
Nobody eats wolves.
If you’re a meat eater, it’s one thing to hunt deer or some other wild animals and consume them. It’s another matter to go on a head-hunting exercise, or just kill for the thrill of it.
In the lame-duck session of Congress, there is a big move afoot to eliminate federal protections for wolves in four states that, for the most part, have a terrible record of caring for their small populations of that species. If Congress subverts the federal courts, and selectively removes wolves from the list of threatened and endangered species in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, it will only serve to enable people to kill wolves for no good reason.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., recently came out with a statement urging Congress to strip federal protections for wolves, even though a series of federal judges have said that there’s no legitimate legal or scientific basis for delisting. Advocates of wolf killing have appealed the latest ruling affirming the need for federal protection, so an end-around the courts amounts to a subversion of judicial review.
If federal lawmakers go down this road, where does it end? To score political points with a favored constituency, or to try to neutralize or win over a problematic constituency, lawmakers will start removing species from the ark willy-nilly. It sets an awful precedent, and Sen. Baldwin should know better.
She would do well to recall the words – in fact, all of us would do well to recall them — of another Wisconsinite about our relationship with wolves. In his essay, “Thinking Like a Mountain,” part of A Sand County Almanac, naturalist and hunter Aldo Leopold recalled a hunting experience in which his party killed a she-wolf at a time when almost all conservationists believed that the killing of predators was necessary. “We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes,” Leopold wrote. “I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes – something known only to her and to the mountain.”
Hateful attitudes toward wolves should be overcome by clear-headed thinking about the role they play in ecology and also their value in rural communities. People trek to wolf-inhabited forests precisely because these animals are there, boosting tourism-related commerce. Wolves also limit deer and moose populations, depressing crop depredation, and shrinking the number of collisions between these animals and cars. Wolves kill weak, sick, and older deer and moose, beavers, and other animals, making the herds healthier, which has a broad, balancing, and beneficial impact on ecosystems. Wolves are a bulwark against the spread of chronic wasting disease, because they kill deer and other hooved animals that show the symptoms of the brain-wasting prion.
A maneuver to delist wolves is a bit of a cover-up and a bait-and-switch for poor oversight over domesticated dogs and farm animals. I’ve run across countless examples, from Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states, where wolves take the blame when a farmer doesn’t provide proper use of non-lethal controls or shows off poor animal husbandry that puts cattle or sheep at risk. Wolves often get the blame for animals they didn’t kill too, because no agency bothers to verify livestock losses that farmers and ranchers claim.
An overwhelming majority of Americans – 90 percent according to a June 2015 poll – support the Endangered Species Act, and it is the most important law our nation has ever passed to protect species at risk of extinction. Michigan voters took up two wolf hunting referendums in 2014 – the only state to have popular votes on the issue – and voters rejected wolf hunting and trapping in landslide votes.
Last year, more than 50 world-renowned wildlife biologists and scientists, many of whom have devoted their entire professional careers toward understanding the social and biological issues surrounding wolves in North America, sent a letter to Congress urging members to oppose any efforts to strip federal protections for wolves in the contiguous 48 states. If Congress were to take this adverse action, according to these scientists, it would upend two recent federal court rulings, which criticized the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for distorting the “plain meaning” of the standards of the ESA and admonished several state wildlife agencies for conducting overreaching and dangerous trophy-hunting and trapping programs upon federal delisting.
Sen. Baldwin, please reconsider your ill-advised recommendation to Congress to delist wolves and subject them not only to trophy hunting, but to being ensnared by steel-jawed leghold traps and being chased and savaged by packs of dogs. This is trophy hunting and trapping masquerading as wildlife management. It’s most definitely not proper stewardship of God’s creatures. And it’s not decent or humane.
Let Sen. Baldwin know you’re unhappy with her stance by calling her at 202-224-5653, and please contact your members of Congress at 202-224-3121 and ask them to oppose this plan.
Source Photo Credit: Hateful attitudes toward wolves should be overcome by clear-headed thinking about the role they play in ecology and also their value in rural communities. Photo by Alamy