Wolves in Peril: The Hunt has Begun

Anger, disgust, fear – those are the emotions running through me right now.

The 6-month-long wolf hunting season in Montana begins today, September 15th and runs through March 15th – six long and stress-filled months. Montana has mapped the state into 18 Wolf Management Units (WMUs) which it opens to wolf hunting. Of these 18 WMUs, only 3 have quotas. The remaining 15 have no limits on how many wolves are killed.

What makes the Montana scheduled wolf hunt all that much worse is that many of the WMUs immediately surround Yellowstone, Teton, and Glacier National Parks, where wolves are protected, and which also serve as corridors for wolves dispersing into or out of these parks. The Yellowstone wolves, especially, are more used to and tolerant of human presence. If these wolves happen to take one step over the invisible park boundary, they can be shot and killed by trophy “hunters”. How “sporting” is it to sit with a loaded rifle just outside of a National Park waiting for a wolf to step over a human-drawn border of which the wolf has no knowledge?

How lonely is the night without the howl of a wolf. ~Unknown

I realize that Yellowstone wolves are no more or less important than any other wolves, but the Yellowstone wolves are the wolves I have come to know – I know their stories. I have watched them in person, I have photographed them, I read about their lives on a daily basis. I care deeply about these wolves because I know them. Each day between now and March 15th I dread that I will read that one of the Yellowstone wolves that I have come to know has fallen victim to the wolf hunt.

Yellowstone wolves are in even greater peril, as the first wolf hunting season since 2013 begins in Wyoming on October 1st and runs through December 31st. Wyoming has designated 12 wolf hunting units surrounding Yellowstone National Park where up to 44 wolves can be shot and killed. In the remainder of the state, wolves are considered predatory animals and can be shot and killed 24/7, 365 days a year.

When I was twelve, I went hunting with my father and we shot a bird. He was laying there and something struck me. Why do we call this fun to kill this creature [who] was as happy as I was when I woke up this morning. ~Marv Levy

It seems that wolves everywhere are under attack. In my home state of Wisconsin, wolves are being used as political pawns and may soon be hunted like Montana’s and Wyoming’s wolves. What’s worse, is that in Wisconsin it is legal to use dogs when hunting wolves – pitting dogs against wolves – it doesn’t get much lower than that.

With the ever-growing movement of protecting and preserving wolves and wildlife, it appears our politicians and state wildlife agencies are doing just the opposite and keeping the recovery and future of wolves in peril.

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The Revelator, an online news and ideas initiative of the Center for Biological Diversity 

The Revelator aims to be a new voice for conservation in the 21st century. The Revelator provides investigative reporting, analysis and stories at the intersection of politics, conservation, art, culture, endangered species, climate change, economics and the future of wild species, wild places and the planet. www.therevelator.org

Coming in May

About The Revelator

The Revelator, an online news and ideas initiative of the Center for Biological Diversity, provides investigative reporting, analysis and stories at the intersection of politics, conservation, art, culture, endangered species, climate change, economics and the future of wild species, wild places and the planet.
Our aim is to:

Hold politicians and corporations accountable through incisive reporting on environmental issues;

Provide in-depth and on-the-ground understanding of the day’s conservation news;

Drive and deepen the national conversation among the public, politicians, environmental groups, scientists and academics on the important environmental issues of our age;

Pursue and promote transparency and citizen participation;

Expose wrongdoing, promote righteous efforts, illuminate dark places, stir complacent minds and hearts; and pursue the very best ideas for saving wildlife, people and the planet.

We adhere to the highest journalistic and intellectual standards and have an unapologetic love for the wild. To contact The Revelator go to www.therevelator.org 

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Featured image by Jim Brandenburg

Bold reflections of the natural world can be seen in the paintings of artist Dimitra Milan

I was immediately drawn in by her bold  & expressive style. 

The art works of  Dinitra Milan “expresses herself through rich color and bold designs. Her paintings reflect a dreamy world where anything is possible and fearless subjects harmoniously coexist. Her original art can be found in fine art galleries in Arizona and Hawaii.

  
www.dimitramilan.com
  

Dimitra Milan on Instagram @dimitramilan
  

I want my artwork to inspire people and make them feel that anything is possible for them. Help them understand who their true self is and how they are capable of anything they put their mind to.  – Dimitra Milan

About Dimitra Milan 

 A celebrated artist by the age of 15, Dimitra Milan’s extraordinary paintings can be found in private collections across the U.S. and Europe. Born into a family of established artists, Dimitra has been developing her style and ability from a very young age at the Milan Art Institute in Arizona, founded by her parents, Elli and John Milan. Whimsical and surreal, Dimitra expresses herself through rich color and bold designs. Her paintings reflect a dreamy world where anything is possible and fearless subjects harmoniously coexist.  www.dimitramilan.com

View the full art work of Dimitra Milan at www.dimitramilan.com



At this year’s event – Speak for Wolves will be featuring the French artist Virginie Baude 

July 15-17, 2016, Speak for Wolves is extremely proud to announce that French artist Virginie Baude will be displaying her beautiful and inspiring paintings at this year’s event! www.speakforwolves.org
 “Virginie Baude is dedicating herself to create images that convey the intensity and spirit of the wild and to inspire the viewer to preserve all that is natural wild and free. She is greatly inspired by the wolf because it is emblematic for the great wild places remaining and is a symbol of a free spirit living among us.”  www.amongthewolves.com

 

The Artist Virginie Baude

 

About Virginie Baude, her life, her art and her love of wildlife
A native of France, Virginie E Baude has always loved wild animals, especially the large ones of the North. She imagined them as she was reading Jack London’s books as a child. She began drawing these animals early on and her talent was noticed by her teachers and closed ones.

A Howl In The Storm – oil on linen – 20×30

 

Instead of taking the Art route, Virginie received a Master’s Degree in France in wildlife biology and learned more about animals’ behaviors and ecology.
After graduation she came regularly to the American West and started her first wildlife encounters while in Yellowstone National Park, Denali National Park in Alaska and in the Canadian Rockies. She finally made permanent move to America and now resides in the Teton Valley, just outside of Jackson Hole, WY.

 

On the hunt – oil on linen -24×30

 

As a self-taught artist, Virginie began using charcoals and acrylic paints to depict vast wilderness landscapes and wild animals. She now paints with oils, and it has been a love affair since then. She appreciates the spontaneity and freedom the medium leaves her.

 

The Story Teller – oil on linen – 36×60

 

Her work is contemporary, fresh, made of abstract shapes, impastos and is impressionistic. She is interested in textures, the study of colors and light and always tries to capture the true essence of the wild animals.

The colors are enough to set the mood…


She also reviews literature to study different styles and techniques and finds inspiration in the work of the old Masters such as Sargent and Zorn and other contemporary artists she admires, including Bob Kuhn, Jeremy Lipking, Mickael Klein, Jeremy Mann, James Reynolds, Greg Beecham…and whenever possible she studies under the guidance of contemporary masters such as Zhaoming WU and Huihan Liu.

  

www.amongthewolves.com website of artist Virginie Baude

Museum and gallery trips help get her creative juice flowing as well as the seasonal field trips to Yellowstone to observe wildlife and most importantly wolves.

 

Peaceful warrior – oil on linen – 36×48

 

paint wild animals but have the greatest admiration for the wolf …


Virginie Baude will be at Speak for Wolves event July 15-17, 2016 in West Yellowstone, Montana. We hope you can be part of this family-friendly event, too! www.speakforwolves.org

To find out more on Virginie Baude and her art go to: www.amongthewolves.com


The wolf has forever been misunderstood…
~Virginie Baude 

  

 

‘Behind the Eyes of a Dog’ by Artist – Diana J. Smith, 

‘Behind the Eyes of a Dog’ by Artist Diana J. Smith

The inspiration for this body of work comes from the way dogs looks at you with intense concentration as if trying to understand your words or thoughts. I am intrigued by the intelligence and extreme focus in their eyes and the depth of their concentration as well as their beautiful noses, detecting smells we cannot even acknowledge.

All dogs evolved from mother wolf, and I suggest that by blending of images the dog with his kind and his forbearers. Embracing collage techniques, I collect countless pictures of dogs and wolves from old discarded books and magazines. As I begin each piece, I select several hundred of these images based on color and value; I cut out each one and adhere it to the canvas surface. When grouped together, these tiny pictures form a much larger image, the crux of the composition. My style is loose and suggestive with painted detail reserved for eyes and nose.

 

I ask the viewer to experience each painting at a distance, and then, as they approach, discover the hundreds of elements which make up the piece. In so doing, the viewer develops a new awareness and admiration for the beauty and intelligence of the wolf. They should ponder evolution and the hundreds of breeds of companions we enjoy today, all descended from the wolf. I want them to treasure the wolf as they do their dogs.

Behind the Eyes of a Dog by Artist Diana J. Smith website

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

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Norse Mythology for Smart People, The Binding of Fenrir

Earthjustice #JoinThePack 

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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