Holding a trophy hunt on an endangered species just off the list must never be tolerated 

Wolves need your help…

It wasn’t that long ago when Richard Thiel spent every weekend snowshoeing along the Wisconsin Minnesota border in Douglas county searching for established wolf packs.  When he found established wolf packs in Wisconsin the Department of Natural Resources had to give him an office.  That’s when Wisconsin’s wild wolf recovery program began in the late 1970s.

Congress’s Fiscal Year 18 spending bill has provisions that will remove ESA protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes.

When I began tracking wolves in Douglas County Wisconsin there were 66 wolf packs (the year 2000). I could of never imagined that eleven years later wolves would be designated a game animal to be hunted as a prized trophy animal.  It did happen on December 28, 2011 “Gray Wolves Delisted in Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment” by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Shortly after wolves were delisted the Wisconsin legislature, pushed by Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and others, on April 2, 2011 Act 169 mandated a wolf hunt. Not only did the Wisconsin legislature mandate a wolf hunt for when they were delisted, but they sanctioned the use of dogs to hunt wolves. When the Wisconsin wolf isn’t listed on the Endangered Species List he’s hunted down with hounds. The barbaric wolf-hounding used for centuries in Europe to exterminate the Gray wolf was now part of Wisconsin’s trophy hunt of wolves.

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?

Holding a trophy hunt on an endangered animal just off the list should never be tolerated, but in Wisconsin it’s legislatively mandated, and considered wolf management.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, charged with overseeing the wolf hunt, has no rules in place that require hound handlers to report dogs injured or killed in the pursuit of wolves during a hunt. In fact, there is no monitoring or certification program whatsoever in place for the use of dogs in the wolf hunt; thus the state has little ability to hold hound hunters accountable for training or hunting violations or to prevent deadly and inhumane wolf-dog confrontations (e.g., hunters allowing dogs to overtake and kill rifle-shot wolves). These circumstances explain why Wisconsin stands alone: using dogs to hunt wolves is no better than state-sponsored dog fighting.

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.

Here’s an easy link you can use to email your members of congress at democracy.io #KeepWolvesListed! And out of the hands of states, like Wisconsin for one, that sanctions wolf-hounding!

Below I’ve included some history of Wisconsin’s wild wolf for you to read.

It was 1978, and there had been no resident timber wolves in Wisconsin for twenty years. Still, packs were active in neighboring Minnesota, and there was the occasional rumor from Wisconsin’s northwestern counties of wolf sign or sightings. Had wolves returned on their own to Wisconsin? Richard Thiel, then a college student with a passion for wolves, was determined to find out.

Thus begins Keepers of the Wolves, Thiel’s tale of his ten years at the center of efforts to track and protect the recovery of wolves in Northern Wisconsin. From his early efforts as a student enthusiast to his departure in 1989 from the post of wolf biologist for the Department of Natural Resources, Thiel conveys the wonder, frustrations, humor, and everyday hard work of field biologists, as well as the politics and public relations pitfalls that so often accompany their profession.

We share in the excitement as Thiel and his colleagues find wolf tracks in the snow, howl in the forest night and are answered back, learn to safely trap wolves to attach radio collars, and track the packs’ ranges by air from a cramped Piper Cub. We follow the stories of individual wolves and their packs as pups are born and die, wolves are shot by accident and by intent, ravages of canine parvovirus and hard winters take their toll, and young adults move on to new ranges. Believing he had left his beloved wolves behind, Thiel takes a new job as an environmental educator in central Wisconsin, but soon wolves follow. By 1999, there were an estimated 200 timber wolves in 54 packs in Wisconsin.

This is a sequel to Dick Thiel’s 1994 book, The Timber Wolf in Wisconsin: The Death and Life of a Majestic Predator. That book traced the wolf’s history in Wisconsin, its near extinction, and the initial efforts to reestablish it in our state. Thiel’s new book looks at how successful that program has been. Available on Amazon

~~~

Featured image of wolves by John E Marriott 

Help Wisconsin’s wild wolf remain protected under the Endangered Species Act

Wisconsin’s wild wolf faces delisting threats from politicians & big monied special interests; oil & gas, logging, Big Ag and Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association. They want to hold a trophy wolf hunt. Please contact your members of congress & tell them to say NO to wolf delisting. Use this easy form democracy.io to contact your members of Congress. 
Politicians seek to undo 40 years of wolf recovery in Wisconsin. Once these politicians get their way wolves in Wisconsin become a game animal for trophy hunters. Wisconsin is the only state that allows the barbaric practice of wolf hounding.  
Watch the following video of Wisconsin’s wild wolf after you write your members of congress #KeepWolvesProtected

Featured image by John E Marriott

Stacy Gibson: Keep wolves on the endangered species list

Capital Times, Madison
Dear Editor: I am very disappointed in our current administration running meetings to build support to eradicate our wolves. I have heard Tammy Baldwin, Sean Duffy and Ron Johnson on local newscasts actually say wolves are a danger to our children, pets and livestock. These three representatives of Wisconsin fail to mention the real reason they want wolves delisted. Money.

The good wolves do for the ecosystem far exceed the bad, and it’s not the big bad wolf but the big bad politicians spewing fear into the public about an animal they obviously have never researched. Climate warming is real; let’s stop killing our wildlife and get to work on saving this planet, not greedy hidden agendas.

Trophy hunting is not a sport, it is nothing but a ridiculous disrespect for life. Putting animals’ heads and skins on walls and floors is not wildlife conservation in any shape or form. Shame on anyone who thinks this OK.

Delisting the wolf from the endangered species list is reckless and unnecessary. Education to coexist and nonlethal methods work. Keep wolves listed.

Stacy Gilson
Weston

Featured image by John E Marriott Photography
~~~

Send your letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Urgent action needed for wolves: Persuade Your Senators to Oppose S. 1514…

…that directs the Secretary of the Interior to turn over management of wolves to the state governments.

Turning over management to state governments such as Wisconsin would be a death sentence for wolves.  Wisconsin allows the harassment of endangered species:

Wolves are an imperiled species, that are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy, and are being pushed to the brink of extinction; by conservation policies that favor a group of fringe hunters. These special interest, fringe hunters take advantage of the current political environment. They cause harm to wildlife by the “loosening” of regulations; they pushed for the removal of the Class B bear training & hunting licence that allowed for an undetermined number of dogs running through wolf habitat. That could definitely be the cause of the 37 bear hunting dog deaths. ”  WODCW’s Blog

“I’ve been helping with wolf recovery since 1998. I’ve witnessed the conflict between bear hunters and wolves while radio trapping wolves in the Chequamegon national forest. They’ve hated wolves for decades, and I’ve seen how this sport wears on the people & wildlife living in the north woods. Common sense dictates that; if bear training & hunting license requirements are removed conflicts occur between dogs and wolves. That’s a fact as plain as the nose on your face. If you run dogs on bear through wolf rendezvous sites; conflict will happen. Wolf pups are three months old when bear hunters start running their dogs on bear starting July first.”  WODCW’s Blog

Please take action by urging your senators to oppose S. 1514

How to Contact Your Member of Congress

Member websites provide comprehensive contact information: Click HERE
Send a letter today urging senators to oppose S. 1514


If these politicians: Senator Barrasso (R-WY), along with Senators Boozman (R-AR), Capito (R-WV), Cardin (D-MD), Baldwin (D-WI), and Klobuchar (D-MN) get their way and turn management of wolves back to states, such as Wisconsin, it’s certain death for wolves. 

This is how the state of Wisconsin manages the Gray wolf population


~~~

Wolves in Wyoming face uncertain future as ESA comes under attack

For almost two centuries, American gray wolves, vilified in fact as well as fiction, were the victims of vicious government extermination programs. By the time the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, only a few hundred of these once-great predators were left in the lower 48 states.  ~Lydia Millet

 Source A U.S. appeals court on Friday ruled to lift protections that kept gray wolves an endangered species in Wyoming for years after federal officials removed packs in neighboring states from that list.
The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia doesn’t take effect immediately, however. Environmental groups that want to keep the protections in place will have a chance to appeal. Read full news story click HERE

This decision will effect Yellowstone National Park wolves, that often travel off of the park boundaries. The state has yet to decide if there will be a year round wolf hunt or scheduled wolf hunt. This decision undermines the Endangered Species Act by setting a precedent, that; sport hunting of an imperiled species, just of the ESL, is acceptable wolf management policy. 

The Endangered Species Act is the strongest and most effective tool we have to repair the environmental harm that is causing a species to decline.  ~Norm Dicks

~~~

Take Action for wolves in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota & Michigan click HERE

Action Alert: politicians from four states pressuring House Speaker Paul Ryan for a fast floor vote 

Call House Speaker Paul Ryan Phone: (202) 225-0600

In congress politicians from Wisconsin, Wyoming, Michigan and Minnesota are using propaganda to pressure congress to hold a fast floor vote to take wolves off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten their livestock. 

Out of 3.5 million head of livestock in Wisconsin there were 52 wolf depredations, hardly a number worth calling for the immediate removal of wolves off the ESL.  

The following is the latest news:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — By STEVE KARNOWSKIA Associated Press Source
Pressure is building in Congress to take gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten their livestock.
Representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming have asked House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for a fast floor vote before the season when most cows and sheep will be giving birth begins in earnest. That followed recent testimony before a Senate committee from a Wisconsin farm leader who said producers need to be able to defend their livestock and livelihoods.
Meanwhile, both sides are waiting for a federal appeals court to decide whether to uphold lower court rulings that put wolves in the four states back on the list.

Take action for wolves by calling House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Washington, D.C. office 

Contact the Speaker

 Office of the Speaker

H-232 The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-0600

Make the call today!  Tell Speaker Ryan to keep wolves listed! 

It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad. Source: WODCW’s blog

As with any cause, a biased or misleading view can be used to promote, to publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Here we have several anti-wolf politicians making claims to distort the public’ veiw of wolves; wolves are decimating the White-tailed deer herds, attacking livestock and killing hunting dogs. Let’s set the record straight; wolves do hunt White-tailed deer, have killed some some livestock and did kill 37 bear hunting dogs. But in reality; is there a big-bad-wolf here? Let’s get the facts before we sanction the killing of an endangered species. 
There are currently two bills in congress that call to delist the wolf in four states, S. 164 (Senate) introduced on 01/17/2017 by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and H.R. 424 (House of Representatives) introduced on 01/10/2017 by Representative Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) 

Action Alert: Stop the War on Wolves Act 

Senators from Midwest introduce bill to strip protections from endangered gray wolves. The legislation would stop citizens right to challenge this legislation in a court of law. There are currently two bills in congress that call to delist the wolf in three states, S. 164 (Senate) introduced on 01/17/2017 by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and H.R. 424 (House of Representatives) introduced on 01/10/2017 by Representative Collin C. Peterson (D-MN).

The legislation would further strip citizens of the right to challenge these lethal programs in court. ~Earthjustice 

The War on Wolves Act would turn management of wolves back over to states that are clearly hostile to wolves. The state of Wisconsin’s wolf management plans include; 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.”  Source   Wyoming’s wolf management plans include; In Wyoming, this would allow the state to resume a hostile management program that allowed for unlimited shoot-on-sight killing of wolves across 85 percent of the state.  Source

Take action to stop the War on Wolves Act by calling your members of congress 

Tips on Calling Your Member of Congress

When you dial 202-224-3121 you are directed to an operator at the Capitol switchboard. This switchboard can direct you to both senators as well as representatives.
Once the operator answers, ask to be connected to whomever you are trying to reach. They will send you to your senator’s or representative’s office line, and a legislative assistant will answer the phone.
It is important to let them know why you are calling and what issue you are calling about. You will sometimes be able to speak directly to your senator or representative, but more often you will speak to a staff person in the member’s office. This person keeps track of how many people called and their positions on issues, and provides a summary to the member. Be assured that your call does count, even if you are not able to speak directly to your senator or representative.
It is usually most effective to call your own senators and representatives, as each is primarily concerned with residents from his or her district. However, you may occasionally find it useful to call other members, if they are on a certain committee or in a particular position to help get a bill passed.
*Although you may find it easiest to always call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your senators or representative, you can also find the direct number to any member’s office by consulting the Senate Phone List or House Phone List.


More information on the War on Wolves Act:

It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad
Lawmakers renew war on wolves HSUS
~~~

So many have stepped forward for wolves..


There is a community of wolf advocates from across Wisconsin and the nation coming together to work for wolves. This warms the heart ❤️ and gives hope for the future. We are together as one large body ready to fight the War on Wolves. Anti wolf politicians, lacking core values; are striking at the heart of the environmental movement. But we are there Standing on the moral high ground to defend the earth; wilderness, wolves and wildlife.


Keep fighting on!

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin 



Humane Society of the United States ‘Humane Lobby Day’ set for April 13, 2017 

HSUS Humane Lobby Day is a significant day especially with the US congress’ War on Wolves Act being waged in congress. Wolf advocates need to participate in this day of lobbying; so that we can show Wisconsin state legislators that we are a collective voice for wolves. Join HSUS state representative, Melissa Tedrowe, and animal advocates from across the state for Humane Lobby Day, state capital on April 13, 2017. Please attend!

From HSUS Wisconsin state director Melissa Tedrowe:

Wisconsin animal advocates: Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 13, Humane Lobby Day 2017! Sponsored by The HSUS in states across the country, Humane Lobby Day is a day when animal advocates come to the state Capitol to talk with their legislators about current animal protection issues. This year’s Humane Lobby Day in Wisconsin will include a special award ceremony for standout legislators, a mini-workshop on passing local ordinances to protect animals, and an end-of-day social hour where you can mix and mingle with people who care about animals just like you. Whether you’re new to Humane Lobby Day or a seasoned advocate, we want to see you in Madison on April 13. (If you live outside of Wisconsin, click the link below to learn about Humane Lobby Day where you live.)

HSUS Humane Lobby Day links click HERE


~~~

So many have stepped forward for wolves..


There is a community of wolf advocates from across Wisconsin and the nation coming together to work for wolves. This warms the heart ❤️ and gives hope for the future. We are together as one large body ready to fight the War on Wolves Act. Anti wolf politicians, lacking core values; are striking at the heart of the environmental movement. But we are there Standing on the moral high ground to defend the earth; wilderness, wolves and wildlife.


Keep fighting on!

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin 

~~~

Featured image by John E Marriott

From Earthjustice: Congress Unleashes War on Wolves

Earthjustice  January 18, 2017

Senators from Midwest and Wyoming introduce bill to strip protections from endangered gray wolves

Washington, D.C. — Senators from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming yesterday introduced the “War on Wolves Act,” a companion bill to legislation introduced last week in the House that would strip federal protections from wolves and allow trophy hunting and trapping of the species in four states. If the legislation passes both chambers and gets signed by the president, it would hand the fate of wolves in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming over to states whose management wolf plans two federal courts ruled inadequate to securing the species at legally required population levels in absence of Endangered Species Act protections.
In Wyoming, this would allow the state to resume a hostile management program that allowed for unlimited shoot-on-sight killing of wolves across 85 percent of the state. The legislation would further strip citizens of the right to challenge these lethal programs in court. The appeals process of two federal court decisions that restored federal protections to wolves in those four states are still underway. Decisions on those cases are expected any day.

The following is a statement from Marjorie Mulhall, Senior Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice:

“A new congress has resurfaced an old vendetta against imperiled wolves. If this legislation is signed into law, wolves in Wyoming will be subjected to unregulated killing across the vast majority of the state, and even on the borders of Yellowstone National Park numerous legal loopholes will authorize widespread wolf killing. Americans widely hailed the return of wolves to the Northern Rockies two decades ago as a triumph of the Endangered Species Act, but now this ‘War on Wolves Act’ would allow for the same unregulated killing that nearly wiped out the species in the first place. Politicians should not meddle in the science-based listing status of a particular species at any stage, but now is an especially bad time as these cases are still playing out in the courts. We urge those who support the protection of wolves to call their senators and representatives and tell them to vote down this lethal legislation.”
READ THE LEGISLATION:
H.R. 424

S. 164
EXPERT AVAILABLE FOR FURTHER COMMENT:
Tim Preso, Earthjustice attorney who leads on the Wyoming wolf case, based in Bozeman, Montana: (406) 586-9699 ext. 1924, tpreso@earthjustice.org
CONTACTS

Rebecca Bowe, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2093,
Marjorie Mulhall, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 5204

Read more on a Earthjustice website

~~~

Featured image:

Polar packs – Opened in 1994 in the the heart of Norwegian Lapland, Polar Park is the world’s northernmost wildlife park. 
The highlight of this animal sanctuary is its population of seven gray wolves. Although they were all bred in captivity, some are more accustomed to humans than others. This means they are divided into three packs, each of which lives in a separate enclosure.

Wolf delisting legislation looms in congress: please contact your representatives in congress

In the news from: Green Bay Press-Gazette Wisconsin senators Ron Johnson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D) have joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to introduce legislation that would remove protections for wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming under the federal Endangered Species Act.
If successful, the effort would return wolf management to the states, and bar courts from overturning the rule.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R) sponsored a similar bill in Congress.
Baldwin said she’s heard from farmers, sportsmen and wildlife experts and they all agree the wolf has recovered and must be managed by the state for the safety and economic well-being of Wisconsinites and the balance of the environment.
Johnson said the bill would not prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from returning the wolf to federal protections if it deems federal protections are needed, but said future decisions should come from wildlife experts, not the courtrooms.
Wisconsin held three wolf hunting and trapping seasons from 2012 to 2014, but a federal judge’s ruling in December, 2014 returned wolves back to federal protection.
The wolf population grew to a minimum estimate of nearly 900 in Wisconsin last winter, the highest in modern times, and a record number of hunting dogs and pets were attacked by wolves in 2016, including 41 dogs killed and at least 11 seriously injured.

~~~

Take action to keep wolves listed

The Wisconsin wolf is subject to a wolf hunting mandate when they are removed from the Endangered Species List. Wisconsin Act 169 ” 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.” 

Wolves are not fully recovered but congress is ready to turn them over to states that hold wolf hunts claiming this is a necessary tool for management of wolves. States are chopping at the bit to kill wolves and Use carefully crafting propaganda to make the wolf look bad. there’s no-big-bad-wolf here just politicians that spread hate and fear. Fifty-two wolf depredations on livestock out of a herd of 3.50 million is not cause for killing an imperiled species in Wisconsin. 

Please contact your members in congress. 

Wisconsin’s members in congress phone numbers:

Click HERE to find you House of Representatives by state

Click HERE to find U.S. Senator by state

~~~

Photography By John E. Marriott