Great Lakes Wolf News Highlights of the Year 2015

This year in review for the Great Lakes wolf has seen it all from being federally protected, to threats of delisting, and anti- wolf riders being rejected. The year 2015 started out on a positive note for wolf advocates, because a federal Judge had ordered the Great Lakes Wolf back on the ESA on December 19, 2014. This positive news didn’t last long and wolf advocates began to brace themselves against the possibility that the Great Lakes wolf could be delisted at any given moment. Anti-wolf factions were angered by the decision that returned the wolf back under federal protections. These anti-wolf factions began to work with special interests groups to undermine the endangered species act by attaching riders on legislation that would prevent any judicial review and return wolves back into the hands of states. Thus began the battle to save the Great Lakes wolf. 

On Friday December 19, 2014 the news broke that Great Lakes wolves were put back on the Federal Endangered Species Act immediately.

IMG_2654
Great Lakes wolves ordred back on the ESA , December 19, 2014

Several organizations challenged a rule that had removed the Great Lakes wolf from the Endangered Species Act. The humane society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity, Help Our Wolves Live, Friends of Animals and their Environment, and Born Free USA were the organizations that successfully sued to have the Great Lakes wolf put back on the ESA.
The following is a press release from HSUS…

“Sport hunting and trapping of wolves in the Great Lakes region must end immediately, a federal District Court has ruled. The court overturned a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision that removed Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves living in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.” Cited from HSUS http://bit.ly/1Qozn3U

The following is excerpts from the ruling…

“In its 111-page ruling, the court chided the USFWS for failing to explain why it ignored the potential for further recovery of wolves into areas of its historic range that remain viable habitat for the species. The court also noted that the USFWS has failed to explain how the “virtually unregulated” killing of wolves by states in the Great Lakes region does not constitute a continued threat to the species.”  Cited from HSUS http://bit.ly/1Qozn3U

Great Lakes states were not willing to protect an endangered species. The following are some examples of unregulated sport hunting of wolves that took place while they were off the ESA list.

IMG_2612
Young wolf killed in Wisconsin’s third wolf hunt. Wisconsin is the only state that allows unregulated wolf hound hunting.

1. Wisconsin rushed to hunt wolves with the aid of hound hunting dogs. 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.” 
http://bit.ly/1P3877L

2. Minnesota used snares to kill wolves. Can it get any more violent? Wolves were killed in Minnesota using these snare traps. Minnesota hunting regulations MDNR use of snare for trapping begins. Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/221SBjM

In other news, Michigan citizens worked hard to overturn any and all bids to hunt wolves and to keep wolves protected. For more information on this fight visit Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. http://bit.ly/1RNqiB6

Returning wolves to the ESA was the best news of the year for wolf advocates in the Great Lakes region.  Shortly after this good news broke, anti-wolf legislators started designing legislation calling to delist wolves without any judicial review. In response to this anti-wolf legislation, several pro wolf organizations called for a compromise.

“… a petition from 22  regional and national conservation and wolf advocacy organizations, to keep protections in place – asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify wolves from “endangered” to “threatened.” The proposal would ensure federal oversight of wolves, encourage the development of a national recovery plan, and keep funding in place for wolf recovery while permitting states to address specific wolf conflicts.” Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/1QCCmWy

The fight to keep Wolves on the endangered species list continued in June, as the US Fish and Wildlife Service denied the threatened status for the gray wolf.  Science was ignored  by Wisconsin and Minnesota and trophy hunting became the only acceptable tool used to manage the Great Lakes wolf.  It was no wonder a Federal Judge ordered them back on the ESA on December 19, 2014 after three years of unregulated trophy hunting in the Great Lakes region. 

In WI news, it was determined that a trophy hunt on wolves did not increase tolerance of wolves and that WI residents need wolf education to increase tolerance of wolves.

Scientists began to speak out against trophy hunts on wolves…

“There was a notion held widely in the scientific literature and said at public meetings that a public hunting season would increase acceptance of wolves,” says Adrian Treves, professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and co-author of the study. In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cited “maintaining social tolerance” as a goal of the wolf harvest in a statement in 2013… While wolf hunting is again illegal — the animals were relisted as a federally endangered species in 2014 — study lead author Jamie Hogberg, a researcher at the Nelson Institute, suggests policymakers and wildlife managers might consider other ways to improve social tolerance and reduce conflict between the animals and people going forward.” Cited from, Tolerance of wolves in Wisconsin continues to decline, UW-Madison news http://bit.ly/1NZQrGW

In an attempt to satisfy anti-wolf special interests, several members of congress began to push legislation to delist the Great Lakes wolf.

“Johnson’s bill would mirror H.R. 884, a bill introduced last month by U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble that would again remove wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan from the Endangered Species List. The bills would override a December federal court ruling that outlawed wolf hunts. Cited from Wisconsin Public Radio, Sen. Johnson Plans To Introduce Bill Delisting Wolf Under Endangered Species Act, Legislation Would Mirror Rep. Ribble’s Bill In House,” Friday, March 6, 2015, 6:50pm, By Glen Moberg http://bit.ly/1NsFv5a

Conditions worsened for the Great Lakes wolf,  as anti-wolf legislation took the form of a  rider attached to federal budget that called to delist the wolves without any judicial review.

Great Lakes wolf advocates rushed to defend the endangered species Act from being undermined. Advocates held tweetstorms, letter writing, and email campaigns to stop anti-wolf legislation.

  
The most recent news on the delisting question took place in November 2015…

However, a greater debate broke out between scientists. There were many who advocated delisting, but there were even more who did not believe wolves should be delisted. The following is an account of the pro-wolf listing scientists:

Scientists Sound Off Over Gray Wolf Hunting, Species Currently Protected But Congress, Courts Could Change That, Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 5:10pm, By Chuck Quirmbach of WPR

“In recent weeks, scientists and researchers have been speaking up. Adrian Treves, a University of Wisconsin-Madison environmental studies professor, has co-authored a paper in the journal Biological Reviews that says by allowing hunters to shoot and trap wolves, Wisconsin legislators violated the Public Trust Doctrine that says governments must maintain natural resources for the use of current and future generations of the general public… This week, Treves joined 28 other scientists in arguing that Endangered Species Act protection for the wolves should be kept. Treves contends a different group of scientists that released a pro-delisting letter last week misunderstood the finer points of law, public attitudes and scientific evidence.”  Cited from WPR http://bit.ly/21h1be4

The following information concerns scientists who asked that wolves be delisted:

“Former DNR wolf biologist Adrian Wydeven, now coordinator of the Timber Wolf Alliance at Northland College in Ashland, said the group has a message for Congress: “Just want to let them know that many of us feel wolves have recovered and they should be a state-managed species at this point,” Wydeven said.”  Cited from WPR http://bit.ly/21h1be4

I even weighed in on the debate in the same post…

“Various advocates are lining up behind the two groups of scientists. Rachel Tilseth, of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, disagreed with Wydeven…”Can states be trusted to manage wolves? I think not, and many other scientists agree that individual states cannot be trusted,” Tilseth said.” Cited from WPR http://bit.ly/21h1be4

Since the Great Lakes wolf were returned to the endangered Species Act on December, 19, 2014, the news coming out of Washington D.C. has been a steady stream of of anti-wolf legislation.  Keeping the Great Lakes Wolf under federal protection has been the biggest battle of the year. 
Wolves must remain under federal protection until individual states in the Great Lakes, can learn how to protect an iconic species. Scientists have just begun to understand how essential wolves are to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Hunting wolves as a management tool only serves special interest groups bent on eradication. Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/1Yfo79h

  A welcomed bit of hope for the wolf came out in April 2015 in the form of a documentary, Medicine of the Wolf, a film made in Minnesota. This film features wolf advocates, such as renowned National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg and Michigan Scientist John Vucetich. This film was produced and directed by Julia Huffman. I recommend you purchase this film available for sale now. The following link will take you to the film’s website: http://bit.ly/1fufXDP

At last, a victory came for the Great Lakes wolves, almost one year after they were ordered back under federal protections. The rider ordering the delisting of our wolves was removed from the omnibus budget bill:

“A proposal that would have taken gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list did not make it into a massive year-end congressional tax and spending package, an omission that surprised its backers but was welcomed Wednesday by groups that support maintaining federal protections for the predators… “Cooler heads prevailed in Congress,” said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. He said a letter written by Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Barbara Boxer, D-California, and signed by 23 other senators including Gary Peters, D-Michigan, helped make the difference. Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/1QuCpUd

Although this is good news for Great Lakes wolves, they are not out of the woods yet; read on:

“The Obama administration, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming are appealing the two decisions. Minnesota is not formally a party to the Midwest case, but the state attorney general’s office filed an amicus brief Tuesday supporting a reversal…The brief says Minnesota’s wolf management plan will ensure the animals continue to thrive in the state. It says Minnesota’s wolf population and range have expanded to the point of saturating the habitat in the state since the animals went on the endangered list in 1973, creating “human-wolf conflict that is unique in its cost and prevalence.

There are still several anti-wolf bills in congress that would delist the wolf in the Great Lakes region, but at the end of this year, the Great Lakes wolf is still federally protected by the endangered species act. The question I ask for the coming year is this: will the president and congress protect iconic and endangered species? We must constantly remind both that they should do exactly that.

For more information on how to help keep the Great Lakes wolf listed, click on the following links: 

Howling for Wolves http://bit.ly/1anEY4R

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin http://bit.ly/1HOF6Nw

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected http://keepwolvesprotected.com/about

  

Learning How to Coexist with Wolves by Meeting the Needs of the Local People

People share the northern Wisconsin forests with wolves. ​These folks​view the wolf from several perspectives:​​​ some fear him, others love him, ​and still ​​there are those who outright ​hate him.  ​​Regardless of opinion, the wolf is the most talked about wild animal in Wisconsin. ​So how do we all live in these woods with such a well-known creature? ​

Dr. Jane Goodall believed in order to save Chimpanzees local people’s needs must be addressed; she said: ​”People living in the forests surrounding critical chimpanzee habitat are among the poorest on the planet. Consequently, it is short-sighted to develop solutions for chimps without addressing the needs of local people. Effective programs must provide win-win solutions for both chimps and people. Thankfully, conserving forests benefits both local people as well as chimps and other fauna (Source:​ Lessons Learned from Dr. Jane Goodall, by Nancy Merrick).

Dr. Jane Goodall

​We can apply these same words to our situation by meeting the needs of our own locals.​ Firstly, these needs can be economic. If local communities rely heavily on hunting to meet their financial needs, then we need to offer alternatives. Wolf-ecotourism could be that alternative. Such an endeavor would offer job opportunities to many. But how does that affect wild wolves?  People traipsing all over wolf habitat in the hope of viewing the elusive wild wolf will likely only disturb them. Perhaps then, we should arrange for guided tours that are allowed to go only in certain areas.

   

Secondly, another way to meet the needs of the local people would be in providing wolf education and awareness.  Living with Wolves and National Geographic developed a Grey wolf Educator’s Guide for schools.  This guide is about: “The purpose of this guide is to provide educators of students from kindergarten to high school with activities that will enrich students’ understanding about the gray wolf of North America. The activities are intended to dispel common myths and prejudices that are held about these animals and to encourage youth to get involved in conservation efforts.” (Source: Grey Wolf Educator Guide, by Living with Wolves and National Geographic.) These guides would benefit local people and wolves.  People would have a new perspective about how beneficial wolves are for ecosystems.

Living with Wolves

Lastly, helping local people live alongside a large carnivore such as the wolf requires a way to mitigate conflicts. Wisconsin Department of Natural resources has a Wildlife Damage Specialist, Brad Koele.   Click here to watch WODCW’s video interview with Koele The WDNR Wildlife Damage program could be expanded to add citizen liaisons as volunteers. Volunteers would attend local county board meetings. The volunteers would take any wolf related concerns back to the WDNR Wildlife Damage specialist.  A volunteer wolf liaison program would give local people a voice in wolf management.

Solving the needs of the local people is a necessary step to resolving conflicts that stand in the way of coexisting with wolves.

 

 

Wolves may be recovered enough to delist but are individual states prepared to protect them? 

 

Wild wolf howling in the Canadian Rockies Copyright : John E Marriott
 
Point counter point:

The newest debate on the fate of America’s wolves comes in the form of a letter…”The 18 November (2015) letter, sent to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is intended to support the federal government’s position that wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan are fully recovered and that states should now manage the species.” Science Insider

The letter from 26 scientists states that wolves have recovered enough in the Great Lakes region and do not need protection under the Endangered Species Act. 

Recovery of wolves has made great strides over the last four decades in the region with a population of over 3,700 wolves. 

That is until 2011 when wolves were officially delisted in the Great Lakes and states like Wisconsin rushed to enact emergency legislation that mandated a wolf hunt…”Department authority. 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

States caved in to the pressure from sportsman and agricultural special interest groups. Wolf recovery ended and trophy hunting of wolves began. 

Wisconsin was the worst, even allowing the use of dogs to track and trail wolves proving it cannot be trusted to protect an endangered species…

“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.”” Fact Sheet: Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”

Wisconsin went as far as to stack wolf management in favor of hunting interests.

 The majority of the seats on Wisconsin’s Wolf Advisory Committee consisted of hunt clubs.  (WI Bear Hunters Association and WI Bow Hunters Association to name a few).

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary, Cathy Stepp, admitted that wolf advocacy groups were booted…

“Stepp confirmed what her critics have alleged: that wolf hunting opponents were by and large kicked off the committee…When we’re charged to manage and to implement a hunt, coming in and telling us, ‘Don’t hunt wolves,’ is not a productive way to run a committee, frankly,” said Stepp. “That’s just the candid way to lay it out. We had to have people who were willing to work with us in partnership, and be willing to help us and advise us along the way in implementing state law.” Wisconsin Public Radio

Is this an example of how Wisconsin protects an endangered species? Can states be trusted to manage wolves?

I think not and many other scientists agree that individual states cannot be trusted to manage wolves

“John Vucetich, a wildlife ecologist at Michigan Technological University in Houghton and a signer of the February letter, sees things differently. “The problem is that the recovery criteria don’t meet the standards of the ESA,” he says. And “if wolves are threatened by peoples’ hatred, then the ESA requires this threat to be mitigated.” He predicts that if the wolves are taken off the federal list, “every one of these states will have a wolf hunting season, ending any further expansion of the gray wolf.”  Science Insider

Science not hatred must be the deciding factor in the fate of America’s wolves.

That’s why (January 2015) the Humane Society of the United States, along with other wolf advocacy groups signed on to a letter sent to Secretary Jewell asking to downlist wolves from protected to threatened status. This is a compromise that would allow farmers and ranchers to address any concerns but not allow the hunting of wolves. 

“Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin signed onto this proposal. WODCW believes this threatened status will give non-lethal opportunities to address concerns regarding wolves with livestock producers and maintain the health of wolves. WODCW believes wolves should remain healthy, wild and not harassed from trophy hunts.” WODCW Blog January 27, 2015

Threatened status was rejected by Secretary Jewell proving states are not interested in a compromuse that would protect wolves.  

Wolves must remain under federal protection until individual states, such as Wisconsin, can learn how to protect an iconic species. Scientists have just begun to understand how essential wolves are to maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Hunting wolves as a management tool only serves special interest groups bent on eradication. 

Will individual states be trusted to protect wolves? 

~~~

Image: John E. Marriott

 

Trapping of Wisconsin Wolves Ends-Wolves have moved on and are not considered a threat. 

This is good news for a pack of wolves that were rearing their pups at the Colburn Wildlife Area in Adams county Wisconsin.

In news released on Friday October 30, 2015 in an article from WKOW Channel 27

“DNR carnivore specialist Dave MacFarland says no wolves were captured in traps.”

“MacFarland says signs of wolf activity in the wildlife area included tracks, scat and disturbed tree bark.”

“MacFarland says the wolves used the area as a rendezvous point as part of pup rearing. He says it’s an activity that takes place in the summer, and the wolves have moved on to other habitat.”

“Officials say the wolves’ aggression was likely a product of their proximity to activity in the state preserve.”  WKOW channel 27

The trapping of a pack of wolves in Adams County started back in September 23, 2015 when a hunter had an encounter with wolves. The hunter according to the DNR may have stumbled into a rendezvous site. 

A rendezvous site is where wolves place their pups while they are out hunting.

The hunter shot one of the wolves in self-defense and the wolf carcus was never found. United States Fish & Wildlife Service did a full investigation with no charges filed against the hunter from Friendship Wisconsin.  

Wisconsin wolves are on the Endangered Species List and are illegal to hunt. 

You can read the hunters story of his encounter with wolves in The NRA American Hunter article click here.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and USFW determined that the Freindship Wisconsin hunter’s encounter with a pack of wolves in Adams county was not a wolf attack. 

 Areas of the Colburn Wildlife area were closed after a second encounter occurred between a hunter and his son and the same wolf pack.

 In a news article by Ryan Mathews of the Northwoods River News on October 30, 2015…

DNR Large Carnivore Specialist David MacFarland said a second encounter, which supports Nellessen’s claim, occurred Oct. 10 at the same location as the Sept. 23 encounter.

“An individual and his son were hunting during the Youth Deer Hunt, and they actually were in the same exact location, down to the tree, as the first incident,” MacFarland said. “It was the same situation where wolves came uncomfortably close. Not the same interaction that the first individual had, but wolves getting a little too close and acting in a bold manner.”  The Northwoods River News

The Department of Natural Resources followed protocal on these two wolf encounters considering them to be a threat to human safety.

“MacFarland said the USDA Wildlife Services, in consultation with the USFWS and the property manager, has begun trapping in the area with the intent to lethally remove wolves from the area. Despite being protected federally, the state retains the authority to implement lethal control methods if animals are deemed a threat to human health and safety.”  The Northwoods River News

David MacFarland DNR carnivore specialist.

No wolves captured in traps…

In news released on Friday October 30, 2015 in an article from WKOW Channel 27

“ADAMS (WKOW) — Trapping for wolves in a state wildlife area in Adams County ends Friday, as wildlife specialists say the threat from the animals appears over, after hunters had two frightening encounters.”  WKOW Channel 27

  

Wildlife officials believe the wolves have moved out of the Colburn Wildlife Area and are not a threat to human safety. 

Feature imaged by John E. Marriott

Federal Campaign to Keep Wolves Protected Asks for Your Help

This came in today to WODCW from HSUS Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedtrowe. Please follow the directions and share. 

Hello everyone!
I’m writing to share a quick update on our federal campaign to keep wolves protected, and to ask for your help.
 

Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Barbara Boxer of California have composed a letter to President Obama, pointing out that a record number of anti-environmental provisions undermining the Endangered Species Act have been included in the Senate and House versions of the FY 2016 Interior appropriations bill. The letter, now co-signed by 14 other Senators, urges President Obama to flatly reject all riders that would undermine Endangered Species Act protections for particular species or otherwise erode the Act.  

 

We would like Senator Tammy Baldwin to sign onto that letter. In fact, I’ve been told that she is the most pivotal Congressperson to reach; if she signs on, it changes the dynamics in the Democratic caucus on the wolf issue.

 Will you please help me by making a call to Senator Baldwin’s D.C. office (202-224-5653) and saying the following:

 I am calling to ask Senator Baldwin to sign onto the Booker-Boxer letter to oppose delisting of wolves and other endangered species in the omnibus spending bill.

 And then please circulate this request among your networks!

 Thanks so much,

 Melissa

 ——–Melissa Tedrowe
Wisconsin State Director, State Affairs

mtedrowe@humanesociety.org

t 608.572.3122 f 414.755.0634

The Humane Society of the United States

2100 L Street NW Washington, DC 20037

humanesociety.org

  

Fenrir Wolf Myth in Norse Mythology Reflects Man’s Fear of the Unknown

Fenrir is the name for the wolf in the old pre-christian Norse legends. Fenrir was the son of the god Loki well known as a trickster. In the tale The Binding of Fenrir from Scandinavian legends the gods raised Fenrir the wolf but soon felt the need to control him. The old Norse gods used trickery to bind Fenrir, but he was smart enough not to trust these gods. 

“Fenrir grew at an alarming rate, however, and soon the gods decided that his stay in Asgard had to be temporary. Knowing well how much devastation he would cause if he were allowed to roam free, the gods attempted to bind him with various chains. They were able to gain the wolf’s consent by telling him that these fetters were tests of his strength, and clapping and cheering when, with each new chain they presented him, he broke free.”  Source Norse Mythology for Smart People

 

“Tyr and Fenrir” by John Bauer (1911)
 
Was Fenrir a real threat to these gods? 

These old world pre-Christian Norse legends are about fearing the unknown.  These gods wanted to control Fenrir because of fear of the unknown.

“When the gods presented Fenrir with the curiously light and supple Gleipnir, the wolf suspected trickery and refused to be bound with it unless one of the gods would lay his or her hand in his jaws as a pledge of good faith. None of the gods agreed, knowing that this would mean the loss of a hand and the breaking of an oath. At last, the brave Tyr, for the good of all life, volunteered to fulfill the wolf’s demand. And, sure enough, when Fenrir discovered that he was unable to escape from Gleipnir, he chomped off and swallowed Tyr’s hand.” Source The Binding of Fenrir

 

“Odin and Fenrir” by Dorothy Hardy (1909)
 
The gods betrayed Fenrir’s good nature. 

In the end the wolf  Fenrir’s fate was to devour all of the earth. This was set in place by gods who wanted control over Fenrir the wolf because they feared the unknown. 

“As the river’s ominous name implies, this was not the end of Fenrir. At Ragnarok, he broke free and ran throughout the world with his lower jaw against the ground and his upper jaw in the sky, devouring everything in his path.[3] He even killed the god Odin before finally being put to death by one of Odin’s avenging sons.” Source The Binding of Fenrir

Fenrir proves himself to be a trickster in the end. After all, fenrir is the son of Loki. Loki was known for acting out and using tricks to deceive the other gods. 

Fenrir the wolf myth is a symbol of nature that can not be managed by trickery. The Norse myth of Fenrir shows how much the Norseman respected the wolf even refering to him as the son of a god during pre-Christinan times.

The Wolf Transformed

During the time period known as The Dark Ages the wolf becomes a monster in myth and legends.

 

Wolf Howling at the Moon|image from bizabin.com

 

Werewolf a blood-thirsty monster. 

A Werewolf is a person who changes for periods of time into a wolf, typically when there is a full moon.

In horror storries read at Holloween a wolf is portrayed howling at the moon as part man, part wolf known as a Werewolf.  This image of a wolf with fangs bared howling at the moon is ficticous and should never be taken serious. Wolves are not blood-thirsty monsters howling at the full moon. 

In fact, healthy wild wolves avoid humans at all cost. I have been within ten feet of a wild wolf without incident.

Science proves that wolves howl to communicate with their pack members not at the full moon.  
  
Wolves have been the subjects of art and literature since the beginning of time. 

Our fascination with wolves must reflect scientific fact not myth. 

The wolf in art. 

As an artist/educator, I found Earthjustce’s campaign to rebrand the image of the wolf through art is a brilliant idea. 

#JoinThePack by Earthjustice’s campaign to keep wolves listed under the Endangered Species Act uses art to rebrand the image of the wolf. Click HERE to take action for wolves.

 

This campaign is meant to strike a playful tone, but the threats to gray wolves are very real. We’re excited to partner with CAN to remind people why wolves are worth protecting and to get people howling for their right to continue to exist. Drew Caputo Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans, Earthjustice
 Scientific facts win out over myth & folklore everytime.
European folklore gives garlic the ability to ward off werewolves, but modern science proves garlic has several health benefits. Science has proven wild wolves are essential for healthy ecosystems. How Wolves Changed Rivers in Yellowstone National Park after being reintroduced there 20 years ago proves wolves are essential. Click HERE to view the short film How Wolves Change Rivers. 

In conclusion, Fenrir wolf myth in Norse mythology reflects man’s fear of the unknown, and at the same time respects the role the wolf played in nature. 

Today we find ourlseves teetering between old myths and scientific fact that threatens to undermine the Endangered Species Act.

Please take action by asking the president to #VetoExtinction. Stop the legislative attacks on the Endangered Species Act. 

To contact the White House click HERE

~~~

Norse Mythology for Smart People, The Binding of Fenrir

Earthjustice #JoinThePack 

An Encounter with Three Wild Wolves in the north woods of Wisconsin 

This is Mickey Nelson’s account of her encounter with wild wolves. This is truly a story of coexisting with wolves…

In September of 2012, I was at our cabin in Douglas County Wisconsin. My husband was in the cabin and I decided to go for a walk with our dog, a Giant Schnauzer weighing in at about 100 lbs.

My husband keeps many trails cut on our property and so Max, my dog, and I started hiking through the trails. Max usually never left sight of me nor me of him and if I called him he always returned.

A few minutes went by and I didn’t see him. I called and he didn’t come back. I was close to a road so I walked through the brush and looked up the road.

There at the intersection stood Max with three wolves. None of them were growling, no teeth showing, no hair standing up. I called to Max but he didn’t come.

They were about 100 feet from me so I started walking toward them with my walking stick, {my weapon of choice} and kept calling Max. I reached them and I just stared at the wolves and grabbed Max by the collar and began backing up with him.

Two of the wolves were on one side of Max and the third was on the other side. As we started backing up, the two turned and went one way and the third turned and went a different way.

I walked back to the cabin as quickly as I could. I told my husband about it and we went out in the truck to track the wolves. There were five sets of tracks. We have had that pack around for a couple of years and we are able to call them in.

If I stand on our deck and howl, and if they are anywhere near, they start howling back and then come in closer, and usually about 30 feet from the cabin.

I am so grateful to have seen these magnificent animals so up close and personal. I talked to Adrien Wydeven head wolf biologist in Wisconsin at the time and he said I was just lucky to have had that experience and yes, their eyes are yellow!

~Mickey Nelson

Mickey Nelson

I am very involved with everything in nature from, gardening, mushroom hunting, tracking and hiking. My husband and I built a small cabin in northern Wisconsin. We have two children and two grandsons. I also make the BEST fruitcake!

~Mickey Nelson – Wolf Howling Grandma

The Big Bad Wolf Gets A Rebranding; A new way to look at the wolf in arts and literature.

The wolf has been given a bad rap through-out western culture. The visual arts and literature has played an active role in perpetuating this fear and hate of wolves. We are all familiar with  ‘The big Bad Wolf’ and ‘The three Little Pigs’ as examples of children’s books written about wild wolves for the purpose of instilling fear. I am a retired art teacher that believes art has an influence on culture. Therefore, was delighted to come across this article on that very subject, and decided to immediately post this on my blog.

Story Source: The Big Bad Wolf Gets A Rebranding By Adele Peters is a staff writer at Co.Exist who focuses on sustainable design. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley. You can reach her at apeters at fastcompany dot com. Continued

The Big Bad Wolf Gets A Rebranding

An endangered species is worthy of our care, not fear.

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]
[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]
Ever since the publication of Little Red Riding Hood—and even long before—wolves have gotten a bad rap in pop culture (with the possible exception of wolf-themed indie band names). A new art campaign seeks to rebrand the Big Bad Wolf as a misunderstood hero, in an attempt to help build support for an endangered species that doesn’t get a lot of love.

“Art plays a role in how we as a society understand certain issues and ideas, and wolves are one case where art and culture have kind of done a misservice,” says Max Slavkin, CEO of the Creative Action Network, which partnered with the nonprofit Earthjustice on the new campaign. The #JoinThePack campaign will crowdsource new gray wolf art from a community of artists and designers, which will be turned into T-shirts and posters.

“The stories that we all kind of know, where wolves are the bad guy, seem innocuous enough, but have a real impact on how we view wolves in real life, where we want them to be, and how we treat them when we encounter them,” Slavkin says. “So much of that seems to have stemmed from stories and art over the last however-many hundred years. It feel like it’s our responsibility as a community of artists to try to set it right, especially now that wolves are maybe more threatened than they’ve ever been before.”

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]
[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]
Twenty years ago, wolves were reintroduced to places like Yellowstone and parts of Idaho—both to help reset local ecosystems that had been thrown out of balance when wolves first disappeared and as actions taken to restore wolf populations under the Endangered Species Act. But though the population has grown, wolves have faced opposition ever since. When wolves accidentally crossed the border from Yellowstone into other parts of Wyoming, until last fall, they could be shot.

There’s also the ongoing possibility that the wolf could be taken off the endangered species list for politically motivated reasons. It’s been delisted in some areas, put back in others, and could easily be delisted elsewhere. This year, Congress slipped a rider into a government spending bill that would eliminate protections for wolves in several states, opening them up to hunters.

“When we started on this campaign, I was surprised to learn just how much is going on today in Congress and state legislatures that’s really bad for wolves,” Slavkin says.

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]
[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]
He’s hoping the campaign can help start a bigger conversation, and do it in a fun way—one of the requirements of the designs is that they display some degree of kitsch. “We didn’t want it to be ‘wolves are awesome, end of story,'” Slavkin says. “We thought something fun and kitschy would make people smile, and make people interested in a way that other images couldn’t.”

[All Images: courtesy Creative Action Network]

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