According to News 6 uppermichiganssourse.com Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with governors DeWine (R-OH), Evers (D-WI), Wolf (D-PA), Pritzker (D-IL), and Walz (D-MN), sent a to chairman and ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources voicing their support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
“The decline of our fish and wildlife, and their natural habitats, are one of the greatest threats to our environment and our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “The future of Michigan, and the entire country, rests on our ability to come together and protect our wildlife and natural resources. That’s why this bipartisan coalition of governors have come together to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. I want to thank Congresswoman Dingell for being a fierce leader on this issue and assure Michiganders that I will not stop working to protect our natural resources and environment on behalf of future generations.”
“Bold solutions are needed to safeguard our nation’s fish and wildlife from further decline,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. “Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan leads the nation in innovative conservation programs to safeguard the environment for current and future generations. The broad, bipartisan support from these Great Lakes governors for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a strong commitment to tackling the biodiversity crisis.”
Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will represent the largest investment in conservation funding in more than a generation and help ensure that future generations can enjoy the same abundant fish, wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities that we have today.
The governors’ letter was sent to Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-3), and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1).
Take Action for the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act
On July 23, Wildlands Network hosted a U.S. Capitol briefing that brought scientists, the media and congressional staff together to highlight the importance of the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019. It would allow for designation of wildlife corridors on federal public lands, while providing support for collaboration with state governments and private landowners to assist in efforts to preserve corridors across the country. Introduced in Congress earlier this year by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a dozen Senators from across the country have already signed on as co-sponsors. With growing bi-partisan support in Congress, the time to take action is now!
Help us move the bill forward by contacting your Representatives and Senators today and asking them to join as a co-sponsor to the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019. Click here to take action now.
Ecosystem Services: Think of bees that pollinate more than 90 commercial crops in the U.S. That’s the beauty, or bounty, that the Endangered Species Act provides. The ESA ensures these beneficial ecosystems just don’t unravel. You see the Endangered Species Act doesn’t just protect the individual species, it also protects the lands, or habitats, the endangered species need to survive. For sure protecting these habitats can make it difficult for certain industries, mainly extractive industries, such as; oil & gas, mining and lumbering. Renewable energy is out pacing coal, oil & gas extractive industries in America. It’s a well known fact that, extractive industries cause more harm for our vital ecosystems; such as land, water, air and wildlife. But there are several politicians, like Senator Barrasso, Republican from Wyoming, that supports these extractive industries and wants to rewrite the ESA to accommodate these dying-extractive-industries.
The Trump administration is making drastic changes to how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is applied announced this week.
Chief among the changes is the removal of blanket protections for threatened animals and plants.
Until now, any species deemed threatened — a category for organisms at risk of becoming endangered — by the FWS automatically received the same protections as endangered species. They include bans on killing threatened and endangered species. Now, those protections will be determined on a case-by-case basis, a move which will probably reduce overall protections for species that are added to the threatened list, says Hartl.
The US government says that these updates will ease the burden of regulations and increase transparency into decisions on whether a species warrants protections. But critics say that the revisions cripple the ESA’s ability to protect species under increased threat from human development and climate change.
“These changes tip the scales way in favour of industry,” says Brett Hartl, government-affairs director for the environmental advocacy group the Center for Biological Diversity, who is based in Washington DC. “They threaten to undermine the last 40 years of progress.” Source
What are the economic benefits the Endangered Species Act generates from protecting vital habitats?
In the following article from Time The Endangered Species Act Is Criticized for Its Costs. But It Generates More than $1 Trillion a Year.
“Yeah, there are costs: it might slow down certain industries and help certain industries,” says Jason Shogren, an economics professor at the University of Wyoming. “We have to think about all the non-market benefits that exist for knowing these species exist, for knowing the web of life is intact, for knowing that these ecosystems aren’t going to unravel.”
Economists often describe this broad set of benefits as “ecosystem services,” and their value to the U.S. economy is enormous. Think of bees that pollinate more than 90 commercial crops in the U.S. like fruits, nuts and vegetables or birds that eat mosquitoes that would otherwise spread disease to humans.
A 2011 study prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a government-affiliated conservation group, tabulated the total value of ecosystem services at about $1.6 trillion annually in the U.S. The value totaled more than $32 billion in National Wildlife Refuges protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Critics of the Endangered Species Act often couch their concerns in terms of the damage that it does to specific industries.
Speaking at a hearing on the law in 2017, Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming went through a laundry list of economic interests he said were being harmed by the 1973 law.
“States, counties, wildlife managers, home builders, construction companies, farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders are all making it clear that the Endangered Species Act is not working today,” he said.
Biologist warn that changes to the ESA could be disastrous for species like the Monarch Butterfly.
But as the Trump Administration prepares a set of regulatory changes that could dramatically undermine the law, some supporters are highlighting the economic benefits of protecting endangered species.
They note that the law doesn’t just protect individual species, it also protects the ecosystems that support that species. That work sustaining natural lands and the species that call them home helps ensure everything from a hospitable climate to clean drinking water.
The Trump administration and republican law makers have been working to change the ESA…
The changes finalized today by Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service apply to ESA sections 4 and 7. Section 4, among other things, deals with adding species to or removing species from the Act’s protections and designating critical habitat; section 7 covers consultations with other federal agencies.
These changes spell disaster for our natural resources…
The rule change would tighten standards for protecting new land, potentially allow regulators to ignore the effects of climate change on a species and, perhaps most significantly, allow for cost considerations when previously decisions were made on science alone.
Democrats are likely to fight these changes to the ESA…
Tinkering with the Endangered Species Act isn’t a political winner with polls showing most Americans broadly supporting the law, along with other environmental protections. But Democrats argue that their Republican counterparts have bet that reforming the popular law are ok with that so long as they reward the interest groups that helped put the current Republicans in office in the first place.
In a statement last year…
“The Trump Administration doesn’t seem to know any other way to handle the environment than as an obstacle to industry profits,” said Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, in a statement. “If a single company can make a single dollar from the destruction or displacement of an endangered species, it’s full speed ahead.”
Take action to preserve the Endangered Species Act…
Contact you Senator today! Center for Biological Diversity has an easy to use form and note to your congressman to tell the Trump Administration to stop gutting the ESA!
From D.C. to Yellowstone National Park’s Montana boundary the Gray wolf has been persecuted. Delisting Legislation is being considered in the senate (already passed by the House) that would remove gray wolves from the lower 48 and take away any judicial review. And return wolf management back into the individual states hands. States such as Wisconsin that quite literally throws dogs to wolves in a state sanctioned trophy hunt. It’s legal in Wisconsin to use dogs to hunt wolves.
Paying the price for our love out of Yellowstone’s Montana boundary “Spitfire” wolf 926F, daughter of famed O-Six was killed as part of Montana’s wolf trophy hunt; shot as she left the safety of YNP. Park wolves are at even great risk when the leave the protection of YNP because they are used to being viewed by park tourists. 926F leaves behind her daughter Little T, along with five vulnerable pups of the YNP Lamar’s Pack. It’s a tough world if you’re a gray wolf in America. Trophy hunters are chomping at the bit to get them in their sights; along with land grabbing special interests that want gray wolves out of the way. The ESA protects both the animals & their habitats they depend on for survival.
Contact your senator now and tell them to say NO to any wolf delisting bills or riders! Alternatively, you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you want.
Wolf photo from 2016 of the then 11-year-old alpha male of the Yellowstone NP Canyon pack – Neal Herbert-NPS
A film project about advocates working to protect wolves…
“Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy- The Yellowstone Story”
A film that presents the viewer with a complete picture of what it means to advocate for an imperiled species protected within Yellowstone National Park; contrasted against an uncertain future because of wolf hunting taking place just beyond the park’s borders.
Yellowstone’s wolves face trophy hunters ready to kill them as soon as they step across park boundaries. Meet the wolf advocates fighting for the legacy of Yellowstone’s wolves…
“Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy- The Yellowstone Story” tells the stories of people working to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone National Park. A Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Film. Produced by Rachel Tilseth and Maaike Middleton and Directed by Rachel Tilseth. In this clip wolf advocates share their stories. Ilona Popper is a writer and advocate for wolves. Dr. Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston Wildlife biologists and business owners of The Wild Side Tours & Treks in Yellowstone National Park. Song credits: “Don’t Know Why, But They Do” Words & Music by Joe De Benedetti & Noah Hill. B roll credits thanks to National Park Service. www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com for more information.
There’s more than one side to a coin. One side of the coin demonstrates the pro side for preserving the Endangered Species Act; While the other side pushes to role back progress made in preserving our wildlife & wild lands. But if you pick up that same coin, and begin rubbing your fingers along all the sides; You become acutely aware of a third side to the coin with a new edge to it. It’s called checks and balances that remind us what democracy is all about. And the Endangered Species Act is the “gatekeeper” that ensures the preservation of our wildlife & the habitat they depend on.
The War on Wolves Continued this week in Congress. The House of Representatives, passed a bill, H.R.6784 – Manage our Wolves Act calling for Gray wolf delisting in the lower 48 states and prevents any judicial review of this bad legislative decision. The bill even includes the delisting of the Mexican Gray wolf as well. This bill is a desperate attempt to push through rotten legislation at the zero hour before Democrats take over the house. I use the term “rotten” to describe this legislation because it undermines decades of environmental progress starting with the Endangered Species Act itself. H.R. 6784 is a bill backed by big-monied special interests because they want free and easy access to the land.
TheEndangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 is a key legislation for both domestic and international conservation. The act aims to provide a framework to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats. “And their Habitats” part is what extractive industries hate. They hate it because it’s what prevents them from gaining free and easy access to wild lands. In other words, the ESA is the “gatekeeper” that ensures the preservation of our wildlife & the habitat they depend on.
This “rotten” House Bill will head to the Senate now. It’s hard to believe that any senator will pass a bill that calls for delisting gray wolves on such a grand scale let alone removes any judicial review of the misguided decision. This H.R. 6784 bill is a far reaching piece of legislation that undermines the Endangered Species Act. What will happen next in a senate version remains to be seen.
It’s vital that Americans throw their full support behind preserving the ESA because if these factions get their way by delisting gray wolves throughout the lower 48 states, it’s only the beginning of the end. It’s only the beginning of the end for our Wildlife that are already at the brink of extinction & destruction through habitat loss and climate change.
The Bald Eagle was a symbol for ESA and you could even say was the “spearhead” that brought us the ESA in the 1970s. I believe that the gray wolf is now that spearhead in today’s fight for preservation of wildlife & wilderness. The Gray wolf stands between extractive industrial special interests & Preserving the Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf has been a scapegoat of Big Ag for centuries ever since the development of expensive cattle breeds. The Gray wolf was a threat to these fat cows, and a bounty was placed on their heads. Today the gray wolf in the lower 48 states occupies less than 2% of their historic range. I ask the question when is enough, enough? The recent action in the House of Representatives proves our politicians are not for the people. They are about themselves and as corrupt as ever. Even president Richard Nixon, that resigned or face prosecution for the Watergate break in, was for preserving our endangered & threatened wildlife. He had more integrity it seems than the political parties in power now.
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was created to protect animals and plants that were in danger of becoming extinct. “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed,” said President Richard Nixon while signing the act on December 28, 1973.
Gray wolves have evolved as nature’s best tool for keeping our ecosystems healthy. A gray wolf can detect disease in White-tailed deer because they have such a powerful olfactory sense. According to Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources Wolf Progress Report Winter 2017-2018:
White-tailed deer density estimates increased 2% statewide from the previous year estimate (Stenglein, 2018). In wolf management units 1, 2, and 5, considered to be primary wolf range and containing 80% of the minimum winter wolf count, deer density estimates increased 19% compared to 2016.
Statewide continuous wolf pack range was estimated to be 23,687 mi2 in northern and central forested regions of Wisconsin. Using the 2018 minimum population count of 905-944 wolves, wolf density is estimated to be 1 wolf per 25.1 to 26.2 mi2 of contiguous wolf range, calculated by dividing contiguous wolf range by the minimum population count range according to thereport.
Yet, Representative Duffy (R-WI) who is behind this “rotten” legislation that passed the House proves he has no interest in his own state’s scientific data.
It’s essential that we throw our support behind stopping this “rotten” legislative attempt at delisting gray wolves throughout the lower 48 states, that is now headed for the senate. There’s more than one side to a coin. One side of the coin demonstrates the pro side for preserving the Endangered Species Act; While the other side pushes to role back progress made in preserving our wildlife & wild lands. But if you pick up that same coin, and begin rubbing your fingers along all the sides; You become acutely aware of a third side to coin with a new edge to it. It’s called checks and balances that remind us what democracy is all about. And the Endangered Species Act is the “gatekeeper” that ensures the preservation of our wildlife & the habitat they depend on.
Take action contact your senator
All questions and comments regarding public policy issues, legislation, or requests for personal assistance should be directed to theSenators from your State.Some Senators have e-mail addresses while others post comment forms on their web sites. When sending e-mail to your Senator, please include your return postal mailing address. Please be aware that as a matter of professional courtesy, many Senators will acknowledge, but not respond to, a message from another Senator’s constituent.
By Postal Mail
You can direct postal correspondence to your Senator or to other U.S.Senate offices at the following address:
For correspondence to U.S. Senators:
Office of Senator (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
For correspondence to Senate Committees:
(Name of Committee)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Alternatively, you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
#GetActive Thank you!
The following graphic represents how individual states such as Wisconsin value our wildlife.
The following is a 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? To read more click here
During wolf recovery in 2006 on a snow covered road in northern Wisconsin I found wolf sign every tenth of a mile while tracking. This was on the very edge of wolf territory. I found wolf tracks, raised leg urination, squat urination and scent marking. This was a lucky find! Even better was finding a snow capped pine tree sapling with rust colored urine on it. This was the sign of estrus, meaning the alpha female was ready to mate. This was the time of year when wolves created new life. Alpha males are very protective this time of year.
Flash forward to the year 2014 and the memory of finding wolf breeding sign came flooding back to me while I was sitting in on a WDNR Wolf Advisory committee meeting. The topic of discussion was about training hound hunting dogs on wolves during wolf breeding season. The pro wolf hunt members were arguing that they should be allowed to train dogs on wolves during mating season. Yes! You heard that right! Out of all the states that hunt wolves Wisconsin is the only state that allows the barbaric practice of wolf Hounding.
I’m convinced, after what I witnessed at that wolf advisory committee meeting, that there’s no way Wisconsin should be allowed to manage its gray wolf population. That’s not responsible wolf management. Under Wisconsin’s current political party in power gray wolves will never be managed for conservation. You might as well throw a ring around wolf territory and call it “Dog Fighting” cause running dogs on wolves during mating season is cruel to dogs and wolves! Photo by Niebrugge Images
…the success of the wolf pack depends on the strength of the alpha female.
I’ve chosen Betsy Klein for my first Woman in Wolf Advocacy Series of Interviews. I’ve known Klein for four years and have had the distinct pleasure of watching her grow into her role as a wolf and wildlife advocate. In that brief time she’s co-founded an organization, Plan B To Save Wolves, who’s mission is to assist wolf organizations in achieving their goals. Klein also co-organized the successful event Sedona Wolf Week 2017 & 2018.
About Betsy Klein
Betsy Klein is co-founder of Plan B to Save Wolves, the annual event Sedona Wolf Week and founder of I Am Wolf Nation™. She started working with a wolf rescue in 2014 at a sanctuary in California and upon moving to Sedona, formed her own nonprofit to help educate people about wolves while driving awareness of their plight in addition to saving wolves and wolf dogs in need of rescue and care. She has recently joined the HSUS as a District Leader, joined the HSUS Wildlife Team of Arizona and is working to become a lobbyist for wolves and wildlife.
For over 20 years Betsy has collaborated with many nonprofits beginning with her position as Marketing Chair on the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Board of Directors in the mid 90s. Her nonprofit experience is diverse and has included Board, staff and volunteer positions with an emphasis on her development, marketing and leadership skills. Currently Betsy lives in Sedona, Arizona with her husband Timon, two cats and two wolfdogs, all rescues. When she is not working on her wolf projects, she is managing her own company The SmartGal Marketing Services.
Woman in Wolf Advocacy Series Interview of Betsy Klein
Tell us about a particular experience in your childhood that inspired the advocacy work you do today.
To be honest there isn’t an incident from my childhood that led me to this path of animal advocacy and specifically to wolves. In fact I grew up in a very rural area where we raised our beef and pigs for our family’s consumption, as well as chickens for their eggs, and the men in the family hunted during deer season. My neighbors owned the local slaughterhouse, and it was not unusual to see dogs and cats outside, never inside, at most of the surrounding homes and farms.
I think the turning point came much later in life when I connected to my inner spirit. When I refer to inner spirit I am referring to the understanding that we are all connected, including people and animals. I began to understand that because of this connection, what we do to animals we are essentially doing to ourselves. Hence our tagline “When we save wolves, we save ourselves” because wolves are especially connected to humans through culture, history, the ecosystem, our food and more.
I know that you were a volunteer for Wolf Connection. When did you start volunteering there and why?
When I lived in Sedona, Arizona in 2013 I went to the Medicine Wheel Lodge in Rimrock and met Healing Wolf and her wolves. I had begun following the plight of the wolf prior to that visit, and having that personal interaction with them solidified for me; that I was going to do all that I could to help these magnificent creatures. I had no idea at the time what that would be other than signing a lot of petitions and writing letters.
In the photograph: Timon Pratt and Betsy Klein husband and wife co-founders of Plan B Foundation
At the end of 2014 I moved back to LA and in my job search came across someone, who upon learning my passion for wolves, mentioned he was on the Board of Directors for Wolf Connection. He’s suggested I consider volunteering there. I immediately signed up, and the volunteer process is quite rigorous, as they work with you to gauge your commitment; in addition to learning about wolves. When I first started I washed a lot dishes and raked. I didn’t even get to pick up wolf poop for my first three months as that required going into their enclosures, and you had to go through a process first in order to be able to do that. I was so excited the day I learned I was eligible to now pick up wolf poop. Kind of funny when you think about it. 😉
I learned a lot at Wolf Connection, and it truly gave me my start to where I am today. I learned so much about wolves, wolf dogs and myself. We did a lot of programs at Wolf Connection and it is such pure joy to watch people experience wolves for the first time because it is in that moment they realize wolves are not the demons of fairy tales. But are rather magnificent animals that are essential and must be saved. If I could bottle that moment, and give it to everyone, I absolutely would.
“When we save wolves, we save ourselves” ~Betsy Klein
I will always be thankful for Wolf Connection, and that is where I met Paula Ficara and Steve Wastell who are the co-founders of Apex Protection Project . Our friendship has flourished and together we have made such an impact with the creation of Sedona Wolf Week and most recently I AM Wolf Nation. Paula and Steve are as close to Timon and I as anyone can get with what we have experienced together in this shared passion; to save wolves and wolf dogs. I sincerely could not imagine my life without them.
Why wolves? What about the Gray wolf inspired you to work to protect him?
The gray wolf is iconic and represents so much. Yet modern man has been on this campaign to eradicate them from the planet. How did the original man’s best friend become the perceived worse enemy? Why is there so much fear and complete lack of science and logic when it comes to dealing with wolves? My inspiration came from this injustice, and I knew I had to become a voice for them. To do what I could to try and penetrate the misperceptions, to remove the fear and loathing based on fairy tales. Just knowing if I could just impact one person, they in turn could impact another, and so on. I cannot and will not a world without wolves.
I have known you for a couple years now. I’ve watched you grow into your advocacy work; starting with being a Wolf Connection volunteer, then creating your own organization called Plan B To Save Wolves. At Sedona Wolf Week 2018 you talked about how you came up with the name for Plan B. Can you tell us that story?
When I moved back to Sedona, Arizona at the end of 2015, I knew I wanted to do something to help wolves, and wolf dog. But I just wasn’t sure what that would be. Timon was very supportive, we knew we didn’t want to start a sanctuary, but rather create something that would be helpful to many. A quick side note, I should mention Timon calls me “B” and I call him “T” as our nicknames for each other. With that said he would frequently say to me “What’s the plan B?” within our daily lives.
One day at lunch I was pitching to Timon the idea of creating an organization that helped other non profits that specifically supported wolves and wolf dogs with marketing, development/fundraising and board development. You see I have many years experience in this area, and I know a lot of smaller organizations cannot either afford full time staff or consultants. I would of course offer this for free to those groups.
As usual I was hesitating because I didn’t know if it was a good idea, if anyone would be interested or how to get started. A bit ironic given what I do for a living, but when it comes to yourself, and your personal journey, sometimes it is hard to put that focus on yourself.
So during my back and forth, wondering out loud if it was a good idea, and what we would even call the organization, Timon pulled out his phone and called up a file on his screen and showed it to me. It was a logo he had already created with the name Plan B. “You are their Plan B.” he said, “Everyone needs a Plan B.”
So obviously I started to cry because of his overwhelming love and support of my intentions that really gave me that final nudge to move forward by creating the name and logo. Officially we are Plan B Foundation, Inc., with the dba Plan B to Save Wolves. And pretty much daily Timon will say to me “What’s the plan B?”
Another interesting element to this story is when I first arrived in Sedona, I started working part time at the Humane Society of Sedona. The Executive Director at the time was Birgitte Silver and everyone just called her “B”. When she first interviewed me she reviewed my resume and said simply “I cannot afford you.” My reply? I didn’t mind I just wanted to work with animals, and so I started the following week. Life in rescue is tough and sometimes you have to make decisions that no one else ever wants to make. B gave her life to the humane society and I highly respected her. Unfortunately she passed unexpectedly one night in December 2012, but she is someone I will always honor.
You’ve organized an event for wolves called Sedona Wolf Week. When and why did you create this event? When is the next Sedona Wolf Week 2019?
So just thinking about the answer to this question brings a few tears of joy to my eyes. Such a journey! It all started unofficially in 2016 when I asked Patrick Schweiss, the Executive Director of the Sedona International Film Festival to take a look at the film Medicine of the Wolf, and consider it for the festival, which he did. However he did not put it in the festival but rather scheduled it for two showings before Earth Day giving it the attention it warranted.
At this time Paula, Steve, Timon and I had been talking back and forth about various things we could do together and so we came up with the idea of them coming to Sedona with the pack, and they could do a Q&A after each film so the audience could see a wolfdog up close and personal. And from there it just grew! We booked school presentations, decided to host a fundraising party at our home, and executed a raffle where the highest bidder could win a private hike with the pack.
Needless to say the four days were whirlwind, and exceeded all expectations. In fact the first two showings of the film sold out so Patrick called and asked if we could add a third, and we said yes. That sold out in 40 minutes. So he called and asked if we could add another showing and we did which also sold out with a waiting list. Patrick has since told me this is the first and only time this has happened in the history of the festival.
At the end of it all we were all sitting outside at Poco Diablo Resort restaurant, nine of us, plus four wolf dogs all completely exhausted eating, and drinking while we relived the last few days. It was at that point Kristen Lee, Lee Wastell’s (brother to Steve) girlfriend said “you guys should do this every year and call it Sedona Wolf Week.”
That is literally how the idea came into being.
Sedona Wolf Week 2017 we planned in about five months, 2018 we began as soon as the 2017 event was over, and we are in midst of planning 2019 which will take place March 25th through the 30th.
The reason for the tears of joy I mentioned? Because we have met and connected with so many people who have become lifelong friends and supporters. Because we watch children interact with a wolf dog, an experience so few ever will have, and know their lives are changed forever. Because people we consider our heroes come and tell us we are theirs because of our efforts to save wolves. Because I do this event with the three best people in the world. There is just so much love in Sedona Wolf Week.
Has working in wolf advocacy changed you? In what way or ways has it changed you?
I would say first and foremost I have a lot more discernment with everything. There is a lot of information out there, and you have to do your homework; your own research to be sure what you say is as accurate as it can be. I feel I have to be in integrity to the best of my ability when it comes to being a voice for wolves as anything I get “wrong” can become a negative reflection on all wolf advocates and wolves themselves.
It has also greatly impacted how I live my life. For me I cannot advocate for wolves, the great balancers of the ecosystem and nature, and not take personal steps to be in balance with our environment, and planet. I have since switched to a plant based diet, I buy only cruelty free products, I no longer purchase leather or even fake fur, and my mantra each day, when I rise; is to do as little harm as possible to where I live which is where I coexist with wolves, and all the other animal beings. I have to say that isn’t easy as so much is made from animals, but I do my best. I’d also like to reiterate this is a personal choice for me. I know many wonderful and amazing wolf advocates who do none or some of those things.
I have also become very aware of so many things I never knew existed including what the department of Wildlife Services really does, that killing contests, and derbies exist, trophy hunting and trapping to name a few. My eyes have been opened.
Speaking out against those atrocities is now my number one priority. I feel as though I have finally found my voice in wolf advocacy and fully plan on using it. In addition to Sedona Wolf Week, this year I will be speaking, along with Paula, at the 2018 International Wolf Symposium. I have also begun lobbying, starting in Phoenix earlier this year and will be going to Washington DC to lobby at our nation’s capital. Additionally I joined the HSUS AZ Wildlife Team and will be attending a conference in August to learn how to create legislation that protects wildlife.
I truly believe these acts, these “events”, these barbaric practices are unacceptable and should be abolished, that if humanity really knew about them, they would no longer exist. That is now my passion and mission.
What’s the hardest part about working to protect wolves? What or who helps you get through the “hard parts” and gives you hope to continue this work?
In terms of the mission of Plan B, Sedona Wolf Week and I AM WOLF NATION™ the hardest part is finding the balance between sharing what is really happening to wolves and wildlife (the bad stuff) with the good stories, and happy endings. Unfortunately we could post and email daily something heinous that is happening to wolves that needs public attention, and response. With that comes compassion fatigue, and pretty soon people won’t take action because they won’t even open the email from us. It gets tedious, and I absolutely understand that.
Unfortunately the more brutal images are what inspires and motivates people to take action. We ran a Facebook ad of a beautiful wolf asking people to sign a petition against trapping with very little response. When we ran the ad showing a wolf caught in a trap and a man laughing with a gun getting ready to kill it; the response was overwhelming. I get criticized for showing those images from time to time, but until it affects someone personally, affects them deeply, and personally, they will not act. It is that simple.
For me personally to say it is challenging sometimes to manage the overwhelming sense of helplessness, and frustration is an understatement. Thankfully I can just cry on Timon’s shoulder which I have done numerous times. I journal. I hike almost every morning with Timon and our two rescued wolf dogs among the gorgeous red rocks of Sedona and just try to be grateful for what has been done, what is being done and what we plan on doing to help make this a better world for wolves.
The important thing is to feel the grief, or the anger, then release it. You cannot let it take you over, and you cannot try to tuck it away.
If you could snap your fingers and cause immediate change; what would that change look like?
That there no longer is duality between animals and people. What I mean by that is that human “beings” recognize the “being” in animals and that we are essentially all beings deserving of love, respect and freedom. With that realization, the senseless need to trophy hunt, exterminate, trap, abuse and more are no longer even in our thought process. They are inconceivable.
We recently updated our mission statement to reflect this desired change we want to create and will be announcing our new vision and updating all of our content accordingly very soon.
About the photograph: Best Congressional meeting ever! Thanks to the staffers in Rep. David Schweikert’s office for sharing their two giant office dogs with us! Taking Action For Animals Conference 2018. Betsy Klein
Tell us about plan B To Save Wolves: what’s the latest news, and what are you working on now?
Such a great question, and very relevant as the team convened last week to discuss the overall strategic direction of Plan B to Save Wolves and I AM WOLF NATION™. Key initiatives for Plan B is an update on the branding, mission statement and initiatives for the organization. What we thought we would be doing 18 months ago when we started is so far from where we actually are as an organization, and I mean that in a great way! Plan B has made such an impact that we need to accelerate our thinking, and refocus our strategy to continue to be effective in making a difference. Expect more in terms of education, and outreach in the form of events including Sedona Wolf Week, speaking engagements, and fundraisers. I am very excited to announce I, along with Paula Ficara of Apex Protection Project, will be speaking at the 2018 International Wolf Symposium, and I hope that is just one of many to come.
Plus we will continue our every day rescue efforts where we fund what we can to help save lives. Most recently we have found ourselves the champions of mislabeled “wolf dogs”, dogs who have been labeled a wolf dog, their fate would have been euthanization if not for Plan B stepping in. Our plan is to reach out to local shelters, and animal control officers for some training in phenotyping to minimize the risk of any dog being euthanized because it has been mislabeled.
For I AM WOLF NATION™ expect to see more lobbying, and focus on major strategic initiatives; such as ending killing contests starting here in our home state of Arizona.
Do you have anything else you would like to tell us?
I hosted a dinner party once, and after talking about wolves one of my guests said to me “I hope you don’t expect me to care about wolves as much as you do.” I responded, “Absolutely not, but I do expect you to care about something. There are many causes that need champions and it is our responsibility to be of service in some way that makes this a better world for all.”
Find that cause that moves you and be their champion. Be a catalyst for transforming humanity.
For more about Betsy Klein’s work go to www.planb.foundation
In the Senate there’s Legislation being proposed that would rewrite the Endanered Species Act. Under Barrasso’s proposal, individual states would be given key authority over the federal program to conserve threatened and endangered species.
The Endangered Species Act, passed by Congress four decades ago, is the nation’s safety net for fish, plants ,and wildlife on the brink of extinction. More than 99 percent of species that have been designated for federal protection continue to exist in the wild today, including the bald eagle, grizzly bear, the leatherback sea turtle, and the Florida manatee. EcoWatch.
Announcing Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s #GetInvolved campaign to show support for the Endangered Species Act: in the picture: sixth grader Ani Conrad from California.
Join WODCW’s #GetInvolved Campaign to Show Support for the Endangered Species Act. Post your selfie today!
Your sign should say:
To my US Senate Representative,
No to rewriting the Endangered Species Act!
Then, send us your selfie with your name and state you are from and we will post it on our Facebook page: send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many Republicans have long sought to weaken the landmark conservation law, as it can block energy production or other developments on critical habitat for endangered species. The current GOP-controlled 115th Congress has introduced dozens of bills that would strip federal protections for specific threatened species or undermine the ESA, according an analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity. That’s one such bill every six days in 2017 alone.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is managed by the “whims” of the political party in power.
The following video is from Now This Politics on Facebook. ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Senate is considering a ‘sweeping attack’ on the Endangered Species Act, environmental groups say. The bill’s author, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), is holding a hearing now. The legislation would empower governors to veto some of the current protections for imperiled species, and limit the ability of citizens to file lawsuits to protect threatened plants and animals.
The entire Conrad family from California has join WODCW to help kick off the #GetInvolved Campaign to Show Support for the Endangered Species Act!
Pictured above is Ani’s 10 year old brother Zion Conrad and pictured below is three month old baby brother Beau Conrad.
History of Endangered Species Act
Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1966, providing a means for listing native animal species as endangered and giving them limited protection. The Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense were to seek to protect listed species, and, insofar as consistent with their primary purposes, preserve the habitats of such species. The Act also authorized the Service to acquire land as habitat for endangered species. In 1969, Congress amended the Act to provide additional protection to species in danger of “worldwide extinction” by prohibiting their importation and subsequent sale in the United States. This Act called for an international meeting to adopt a convention to conserve endangered species. One amendment to the Act changed its title to the Endangered Species Conservation Act.
• defined “endangered” and “threatened” [section 3];
• made plants and all invertebrates eligible for protection [section 3];
• applied broad “take” prohibitions to all endangered animal species and allowed the prohibitions to apply to threatened animal species by special regulation [section 9];
• required federal agencies to use their authorities to conserve listed species and consult on “may affect” actions [section 7];
• prohibited federal agencies from authorizing, funding, or carrying out any action that would jeopardize a listed species or destroy or modify its “critical habitat” [section 7];
• made matching funds available to states with cooperative agreements [section 6];
• provided funding authority for land acquisition for foreign species [section 8]; and
• implemented CITES protection in the United States [section 8].
Congress enacted significant amendments in 1978, 1982, and 1988, while keeping the overall framework of the ESA essentially unchanged. The funding levels in the present ESA were authorized through Fiscal Year 1992. Congress has annually appropriated funds since that time.
In the late 1970s wolf Recovery in Wisconsin began. The Gray wolf made a comeback after being eradicated through hunting and trapping in Wisconsin. It wasn’t long before hunting special interests groups began their bid to get Wisconsin’s Gray wolf delisted. Sadly after 40 years of recovery these special interests (Fringe hunters) hunting groups got their way. In the state of Wisconsin the Gray wolf is hunted (2012-2014) for a fireplace rug & mounted as a trophy when he’s not listed on the Endangered Species Act. He was delisted in 2012 and his domestic relative, the dog, was used to track and trail him until a federal judged ordered the Gray wolf back on the ESL in December 2014. Today Wisconsin’s Gray wolf is facing multiple delisting threats in congress backed by special interests; wanting the Gray Wolf’s habitat for oil & gas, lumbering, and the Gray wolf himself for trophy hunting.
We must make it right…get it right…before we lose everything…the wolf is a social animal just like we are…they depend on family for survival…so do we as human-beings…
The idea that only man is equipped for conserving our planet’s natural resources is a dying concept; dying right along with the untold numbers of wild sentient beings killed in the name of conservation. Such problems drive home a critical flaw in the paradigm of conserving wildlife.
It’s going to take a major shift in thinking that will require opening up lines of communication between the general public; specifically with interests in conserving our natural resources for future generations to come. It’s not about numbers. It’s about sentient beings sharing our planet, and how we can coexist for the benefit of all living upon Mother Earth.
Changing the paradigm from killing to compassionate conservation is a major shift in thinking…
Through my mind’s eye memories flow through the years spent within the Gray Wolf’s range in Wisconsin’s northern forests in Douglas county starting in the year 2000. There you’ll find vast wilderness of forests and barrens where the Gray wolf resides.
Do you think there’s room for the Gray wolf? The following video was shot 2 summers ago in 2015. This landscape is found on a 15 mile long remote gravel road in northern Wisconsin. Do you think there’s room for the wolf?
Last summer, 2018, I visited this same area (in the video) with friend Elke Duerr and who’s filming in the photograph.
When I began helping to monitor Wisconsin’s Gray wolf in the year 2000 there were only 66 Gray wolf packs in the state. Today’s over winter wolf population count is around 945 individuals.
In northern Wisconsin beauty can be found where the Gray wolf resides. I’ve walked these trails for over two decades in search of Wisconsin’s wild & elusive gray wolf.
The Gray wolf in Wisconsin trots freely down the wild and remote gravel roads in Douglas county.
Rains of summer create a lush paradise in wolf range.
The Gray wolf in northern Wisconsin. Photograph screen shot from Red Cliff reservation trail cam.
In summer of July 2018 I met a Raven on a remote gravel road in Douglas county. Douglas county is home for Wisconsin’s wild Gray wolf.
The Gray wolf in Wisconsin deserves our protection…
The War On Wolves Continues. Wolf advocates we must make our voices heard. By Alex Krevitz, M.A. Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Science Editor
In recent years state and federal natural resource agencies have targeted grey wolves Canis lupus, for elimination. Scientific organizations and reputable non governmental wildlife organizations have had their peer reviewed scientific research eschewed by policy makers. Individual scientists have had aspersions cast upon their professional legitimacy for questioning wolf management policies.
The purveyors of the anti wolf misinformation have been affiliated with groups associated with extractive industries, agricultural interests and trophy hunting. Their goal has been a mission to depict wolves as wanton killers of deer and livestock. Their interests have been served by legislators whose campaigns they have funded. Cases before the Supreme Court of the U.S. such as Citizens United and Montana Copper Kings have infused those who seek to exploit public land for private gain often at the expense of wildlife with a source of revenue with which to influence policy makers. Fortunately, the judiciary on several occasions have restored protections to wolves. Justices have characterized the fervent and scientifically unfounded war on wolves as “arbitrary” and “irresponsible.”
Historically, over decades, Americans, in polls and on ballot initiatives, have expressed strong support for banning wolf hunting and protecting public lands. Surreptitious attempts by extractive industries and ranchers to devastate these lands for personal gain have met with massive and vocal public opposition and some plans have been stopped or delayed.
Miraculously, persistent communications to legislators by wolf advocates resulted in the species continued protection. Numerous NGOs and grass roots activists update each other and the public on legislative maneuvers and upcoming votes. Countering large well funded and experienced entities determined to remove wolves from Endangered Species protections is an ongoing task. Certain members of Congress with hitherto positive environmental records have capitulated to their well funded cohorts with opposing agendas.
The current Interior Secretary has elevated the trophy hunting and mineral extraction as top priorities of his department. He has faced skepticism and criticism from scientists, the conservation community and the public. Naturalists at all levels have been appalled by this single minded focus on transforming the Interior Department into a safe haven for those intent upon killing trophy animals and exploiting natural resources on public lands as primary objectives.
Once a species had been extirpated there is no return. The cumulative effects of killing, border walls and habitat destruction is terminal.
So the fight goes on to advocate for our wildlife who cannot protest in their own right. To protect our sacrosanct and irreplaceable natural resources; It is imperative that severe exploitation actions be publicized, and that those who advocate for these destruction be held accountable.
We must make our voices heard as individuals through the media, petitions, at public meetings, using our informed communications networks to rally support. We must all vote. America’s natural resources, including wolves, were protected in the past due to public support. It is incumbent upon all of us to provide that same support for wildlife and wildlands now.
Congress’s Fiscal Year 18 spending bill has provisions that will remove ESA protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes.
In Congress both the House and Senate versions include language that will remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Further, the provision would bar judicial review of the action. This language overrides a federal appeals court ruling last year that maintained protections for wolves in the western Great Lakes region.
Urgent: action is needed to keep Gray wolves protected.
Urge them to reject these harmful provisions being added in the spending bill, and to keep Gray wolves protected under the ESA.