Politicians have no Idea of the Gray Wolf’s Intrinsic Value to the Land…

… the party in power only values economic growth, and caters to special interests where the big money is concerned. In the featured photograph is a young gray wolf that was one of the last to die in Wisconsin’s wolf hunts that took for three years from 2012 to 2014. This young Gray wolf was taken by a wolf hunter using the barbaric practice of Wolf-Hounding; an age old hunting practice that pits large packs of dogs against a gray wolf.

This young male gray wolf was born far too late, his fate sealed by a hunter’s desire for an opportunity to shoot a trophy wolf for a pelt to be used as a rug by the fireplace or a mount for a game room.

It was a few decades ago that Wisconsin’s Gray wolf was placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, and Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program was born. When I became involved in the program in the year 2000 there were only 66 gray wolf packs in Wisconsin. Today’s Gray wolf population estimates are 945 individuals. I never imagined that Wisconsin would become so reckless in its management of the Gray wolf, but they did. In 2011 just a couple of months before USF&WS delisted them, Wisconsin legislators rushed through Act 169 designating grays wolves as a game animal to be hunted.

This is how the state of Wisconsin manages an endangered species just off the list. Is that not reckless?

Like naughty school boys, without batting an eye, or having any idea of the Gray Wolf’s intrinsic value upon our planet, politicians work to return management of Gray wolves to states like Wisconsin; where the party in power only values economic growth., and caters to special interests where big money is concerned.

Senator Barrasso is working to revise or rewrite the Endangered Species Act to accommodate extractive industries, such as oil & gas, mining and lumber. The majority in power is clearly trying to rewrite the Endangered Species Act in favor of big monied special interests that want the land (animal’s land it protects) and this would place endangered species in even more danger of extinction. Please be the voice for the Gray wolf. #ExtinctionIsForever

#GetInvolved like Ani Conrad from California! Post your selfie today!

There’s No Price Tag on Our Mother Earth…

…Get involved. Protect the earth from unscrupulous land grabbers. In the early 1990s I met activists John Trudell, Floyd Crow Westermman and Walter Bresette at a Protect the Earth Pow Wow held on the Lac Court Oreilles reservation in northern Wisconsin. Back then it was about Native Spearfishing exercising rights off the reservation and Sulfate Mines in ceded territories.

“One Earth, one mother – one does not sell the Earth.” ~John Trudell

I participated in the protests of a gold mine at Ladysmith.  I remember walking into the site, and having to be so careful not to trip over the television new’s crews. The TV crews were laying on the ground filming our feet as we walked by them. I watched as Walter Bresette hit the bulldozers with the war club of the famous Sauk chief Black Hawk. The war club was a gift given to Bresette for his work. I remember helicopters flying over-head watching our every move.

“Oil is drowning our oceans and drowning our boreal forests.” ~Winona LaDuke

Today my activism is about protecting the Gray Wolf. The Gray wolf has become the most talked about animal as of late. Thousands of activists across the world are working to preserve the Gray Wolf’s legacy from unscrupulous land grabbing; special interests that want the wolf as a trophy, and his habitat.

Photograph of Gray wolf credit: NPS

These unscrupulous land grabbers are working to rewrite the Endangered Species Act in order to accommodate the extractive industries of oil & gas, mining and lumber. We cannot afford to lose this fight!

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, released draft legislation That will significantly overhaul the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under Barrasso’s proposal, individual states would be given key authority over the federal program to conserve threatened and endangered species.

Earthjustice anticipated Barrasso’s legislative proposal more than a year ago. The environmental law nonprofit said that Barrasso has received substantial campaign contributions from extractive industries that wish to mine or drill land that overlaps with wildlife habitat. Citing campaign finance records, from 2011 until 2016, Barrasso received $458,466 in total campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, plus $241,706 from the mining industry.

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.

The valley below the Roan Plateau is dotted by oil and gas development. Photo credit: Ecolight

…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. Read more click here.

How to contact U.S. Senators

You can contact your senators by writing a letter or a message using your senator’s web contact form, by calling, or by visiting. All questions and comments regarding public policy issues, legislation, or requests for personal assistance should be directed to the senators from your state. 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.

Contacting The Senate

By E-mail

All questions and comments regarding public policy issues, legislation, or requests for personal assistance should be directed to the Senators 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

By Telephone

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.

Vehicle Collisions and Illegal kills Were the Leading Causes of Death for Wisconsin’s Gray Wolf

The Wisconsin Gray Wolf Monitoring Report describes wolf management and monitoring activities conducted in Wisconsin during the wolf monitoring year, April 15th, 2017 to April 14th, 2018. Gray wolves (Canis lupus) reverted to federally endangered status in the Western Great Lakes region as the result of a federal court decision in December 2014. They have been in this status for the entire monitoring period. The Gray Wolf Monitoring Report done through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and can be found on their website.

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 the report.

Figure 5 Wisconsin Wolf Monitoring Report WDNR Website

Wolf population monitoring was conducted using a territory mapping with telemetry technique, summer howl surveys, winter snow track surveys, recovery of dead wolves, depredation investigations, and collection of public observation reports.

A total of 36 wolf mortalities were detected during the monitoring period. Detected mortalities represented 4% of the minimum 2016-2017 late winter count of 925- 952 wolves.

Wolf mortality was monitored through field observation and mandatory reporting of control mortalities. Cause of death for wolves reported dead in the field was determined through field investigation or by necropsy when illegal activity was suspected or where cause of death was not evident during field investigation. A total of 36 wolf mortalities were detected during the monitoring period. Detected mortalities represented 4% of the minimum 2016-2017 late winter count of 925- 952 wolves according to the report.

Vehicle collisions (39%) and illegal kills (19%) were the leading causes of death for detected mortalities and were similar to the rates detected the previous year. Human caused mortality represented 72% of known cause detected mortalities overall. [for more details click here]

Eleven collared wolves died during the monitoring period. All were being actively monitored at the time of death (Table 5). Cause of death could not be determined for 3 collared wolves. For the 8 where cause of death could be determined, 3 (38%) were illegally killed, 2 (25%) were killed by vehicle collision, 1 likely died as a result of capture related myopathy, 1 died as a result of disease, and 1 apparently died as a result of intraspecific strife.

Livestock depredations included 29 cattle killed and 1 injured, and 4 sheep killed. The number of farms affected was the same as the previous monitoring year.

Wolf depredation incidents were investigated by United States Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Services. During the monitoring period, Wildlife Services confirmed 59 wolf complaints of the 103 investigated (Figure 6).

Table 6 Wisconsin Wolf Monitoring Report

Unconfirmed complaints were either confirmed to be due to causes other than wolves or lacked sufficient evidence to attribute a cause. Thirty-one incidents of wolf depredation to livestock and 6 incidents of wolf threat to livestock were confirmed on 31 different farms during the monitoring period (Table 6). This included 13 of 34 farms classified as chronic wolf depredation farms (38%). Livestock depredations included 29 cattle killed and 1 injured, and 4 sheep killed. The number of farms affected was the same as the previous monitoring year (Figure 7).

Twenty incidents of non-livestock depredation and 2 incidents of non-livestock threats were confirmed during the monitoring period. his included 17 dogs killed and 10 injured while actively engaged in hunting activities, and 1 dog killed and 2 injured outside of hunting situations (Figure 8). This was a 55% decrease from 2016-17 when 44 incidents of non-livestock depredation were confirmed. Fifteen of seventeen (88%) of hunting dog incidents occurred between July 15th and October 1st. One incident occurred in January and 1 occurred in March.

Looking at the Figures 6 & 7 with years 2007 to 2018, there’s a marked decrease. This disproves the theory that wolf hunts, that took place in 2012, 2012 & 2014 would decrease wolf depredations on farms. In other words, wolf complaints have gone down as the wolf population stabilizes.

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.

Population monitoring and law enforcement efforts detected 7 wolves illegally killed within the monitoring period. Law enforcement staff conducted 4 wolf related investigations and issued 2 citations during the reporting period (Table 7).

White-tailed deer are the primary prey species for wolves in Wisconsin. Units used for monitoring Wisconsin deer are counties, or in some cases, partial counties. Counties were assigned to the wolf management unit that the majority of the county falls in to compare deer density changes in the wolf management units (Table 8). 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. New recommendations from the County Deer Advisory Councils for deer population objectives were approved by the Natural Resources Board in 2018. The current recommendations are more varied than the previous recommendations, but are still primarily to increase or maintain the deer population in each of the 6 wolf management units. There is no indication that prey density is, or will negatively impact the wolf population.

For the Full Report go to WISCONSIN GRAY WOLF MONITORING REPORT 15 APRIL 2017 THROUGH 14 APRIL 2018

The House Passed the Department of Interior funding bill, which includes language that would delist wolves throughout the lower 48 states and preclude legal challenges to delisting. And now is on its way to the senate.

And…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.

Here’s what you can do…

You can help stop this threat to the Endangered Species Act by contacting your senator. Click here for their contact information.

Here’s another way you can help. Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor (LTE), Writing a letter to the editor of your local or regional newspaper is the best way to reach a large audience with your message. Click here for more information on how to get involved.

Furthermore…

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun reviewing the status of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Working closely with federal, state, tribal and local partners, the Service will assess the currently listed gray wolf entities in the lower 48 states using the best available scientific information. If appropriate, the Service will publish a proposal to revise the wolf’s status in the Federal Register by the end of the calendar year. Any proposal will follow a robust, transparent and open public process that will provide opportunity for public comment.

Featured photograph credit: belongs to owner

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Join WODCW’s #GetInvolved Campaign to Show Support for the Endangered Species Act. Post your selfie today!

Your sign should say:

#GetInvolved

#StopExtinction

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 wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com

#GetInvolved: A Campaign to Show Support for America’s Endangered Species Act

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:

#GetInvolved

#StopExtinction

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 wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com

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.

Earthjustice anticipated Barrasso’s legislative proposal more than a year ago. The environmental law nonprofit said that Barrasso has received substantial campaign contributions from extractive industries that wish to mine or drill land that overlaps with wildlife habitat. Citing campaign finance records, from 2011 until 2016, Barrasso received $458,466 in total campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, plus $241,706 from the mining industry.

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.

A 1973 conference in Washington, D.C. led 80 nations to sign the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which monitors, and in some cases, restricts international commerce in plant and animal species believed to be harmed by trade.

Later that year, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It

• 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.

Learn about the principal amendments made in 1978, 1982, 1988, and 2004.

View the comprehensive timeline of the ESA.

join WODCW’s #GetInvolved Campaign to Show Support for the Endangered Species Act. Post your selfie today!

Your sign should say:

#GetInvolved

#StopExtinction

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 wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com

Plan B To Save Wolves has joined #GetInvolved Campaign to Show Support for the Endangered Species Act!

Use the hashtag #GetInvolved to help drive traffic to the campaign!

Thank you!!!

Rachel

The Latest News on Senate Republican’s Bid to Overall the Endangered Species Act

The Hill reported on Tuesday that more than 100 Dems oppose GOP efforts to change endangered species law

More than 100 Democratic lawmakers are pushing back against Republican efforts to include provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act that would weaken certain endangered species protections.

On Tuesday, 119 House Democrats sent a letter to various lawmakers in both chambers urging them to remove specific language in the House version of the defense bill that could weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act.

You can help stop this threat to the Endangered Species Act by contacting your senator. Click here for their contact information.

The Democrats wrote that the provisions in the bill would “have widespread, negative consequences.”

“The 2019 Defense Authorization bills contain numerous, controversial, anti-environmental provisions that are unrelated to military readiness,” the lawmakers wrote. “These deceptive provisions would cause irreparable harm to our wildlife and public lands.”

One of the amendments, submitted by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), would prevent the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service from being able to list the greater sage-grouse and the lesser prairie chicken as endangered species for 10 years. Both animals have been the topic of debate in Western states regarding species and habitat management.

That amendment also would permanently remove the American burying beetle from the ESA list.

Another provision that Republicans want to include would delist gray wolves found near the Great Lakes and Wyoming, while another amendment would block ESA protections for all gray wolves in the continental U.S.

“Decisions about how to protect species under the ESA should be based on science and made by the experts at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, not Congress,” Democrats wrote.

Separately, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday considered legislation introduced by Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) that would overhaul the ESA. The ambitious effort would bestow more powers and responsibilities to state officials, allowing them to determine how animals and plants should be protected within state lines.

Republicans contend that the power shift would not weaken protections but rather allow state regulators to use their on-the-ground experience to determine how best to protect a species.

Featured image credit NPS

Jane Goodall Introduces World Chimpanzee Day Set for July 14…

After years of planning and wishing, today we finally announce the creation of the FIRST EVER World Chimpanzee Day to be celebrated on this July 14th, 2018! The Jane Goodall Institute global network of chapters and Roots & Shoots Offices celebrates World Chimpanzee Day, along with many other NGOs and individuals around the globe, in honor of the day in 1960 when our founder, Dr. Jane Goodall, first stepped foot in what is now Gombe Stream National Park to study wild chimpanzees. The day will be a celebration of our closest living relatives and all we know and continue to learn about them. It is also a rallying cry to invite participants around the world to take action in efforts to conserve this magnificent species, and improve their well-being and care in and outside of captivity. Join the celebration and learn more at worldchimpanzeeday.org!

Why We’re Celebrating

Dr Jane Goodall opened our eyes to the wonder of this extraordinary species, our relationship to these beings and our responsibility to protect them. As Dr. Goodall called attention to the remarkable behaviors and lives of wild chimpanzees and continues to advocate on their behalf, we now carry the torch, taking that message and work to conserve this species even further!

What We’re Doing

To celebrate this momentous day, we commit to invigorating the hearts and minds of global audiences, as Jane did and does, to connect to chimpanzees, learn more about them, including threats to their existence and well-being, and to take action on their behalf. We hope to share our passion and love for chimpanzees through our work to expand knowledge of wild chimpanzees with continuing research in Gombe, build holistic conservation plans and actions for chimpanzees, their habitats, and other species, while developing sustainable livelihood options for community- centered conservation initiatives, and educating and empowering a generation of compassionate, chimp-loving citizens around the world.

Why It’s Important

Chimpanzees are highly intelligent and show remarkable problem-solving abilities, memory, adaptability and complex social interactions. Chimpanzees also have strong social bonds, fascinating hierarchies, and dynamic relationships. They are great communicators who use vocalizations, facial expressions, touch, and nuanced body language to convey a wide variety of emotions with others. Chimpanzees can make tools to problem solve, something that was first observed by Dr. Jane Goodall in 1960 when she saw a chimpanzee, she named David Greybeard, in Gombe National Park creating a stick out of a twig to “fish” for termites out of a dirt mound. Chimpanzees can also learn to create tools from objects in their environment and develop behaviors like nut cracking by watching others, in their species as well as from other species.

Baby Vienna, a rescued chimpanzee at JGI’s Tchimpounga sanctuary

Chimps have unique personalities and are sentient beings, capable of logic and building emotional connections with other species – especially humans – and are vital members of their ecosystems, as essential “seed dispersers”, helping to ensure the life of many plant and other animal species. Chimpanzees also teach us more about humankind’s primate lineage and great ape evolutionary behavioral inheritance because we share a most recent common ancestor. What we learn from chimpanzee behaviors, especially social behaviors, has potential correlations to human behaviors and thus can help identify some of our most innate responses and behaviors.

Unfortunately, Chimpanzees are endangered on the IUCN’s Red List. At the turn of the 20th century, there were an estimated 1-2 million chimpanzees across 25 countries in Equatorial Africa. Current estimates suggest there are now as few as 340,000 chimpanzees remaining in only 21 African countries. They suffer due to threats like habitat loss, disease, fragmented populations, and illegal wildlife trafficking. In captivity, many sadly remain in biomedical research facilities around the world, and are kept as illegal pets, in roadside attractions and unaccredited zoos. Together we must work to stop these threats, improve their well-being in captive environments, and save chimpanzees!

How to Get Involved

There are so many ways to become a part of the movement to protect chimpanzees! To start, learn more about chimpanzees by visiting our website and wiki, and share your knowledge with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter using #WorldChimpanzeeDay! You can also sign up to become a Chimpanzee Guardian to support the care of our rescued chimpanzees, survivors of the illegal pet or bushmeat trade, and/or support our other community-centered chimpanzee conservation programs here.

Sample Social Messages:

▪ Twitter
Click to Tweet: https://ctt.ec/a2oTb

▪ “On July 14 1960, Dr. #JaneGoodall @janegoodallinst entered Gombe, Tanzania to study the lives of wild #chimpanzees. July 14 2018, we celebrate the first ever #WorldChimpanzeeDay, to honor these highly complex beings & ignite action to protect them. Join me! worldchimpanzeeday. org

▪ Facebook
Click here to share this blog

▪ Example Post: Did you know chimpanzees share nearly 98.6% of their genes with humans? Through the groundbreaking research of @Dr Jane Goodall and those scientists that followed her, we now know so much more about all of the behaviors we share with our great ape cousins, like tool making and use, compassion, and so many others. The more we learn, the more we must also realize our connection and responsibility to protect these complex and intelligent beings.Join me and @janegoodallinst in sharing your connection to our great ape cousins and your commitment to protect them for the first ever #WorldChimpanzeeDay on July 14th!Website: www.worldch impanzeeday.org
Event Page: https:// www.facebook.com/WorldChimpanzeeDay/

Pant-Hoot with us for WCD!

Chimpanzees greet one another using a vocalization known as a “Pant-Hoot”, something Dr. Goodall does at every one of her lectures. Record your best Pant-Hoot and post to social media tagging #WorldChimpanzeeDay @janegoodallinst ahead of July 14th for a chance to be featured on the day!

Wisconsin’s Gray Wolf Needs Your Help…

Every summer hunters running dogs on Black Bear in the north woods come into conflict with Gray wolves. Gray wolves keep their three month old pups at rendezvous sites while they go hunting. Conflicts arise when bear hunters run their dogs through rendezvous sites because gray wolves are forced to defend vulnerable pups from free ranging packs of hunting dogs.

Bear Hunters and Wolves

In the 1960s Wisconsin started allowing the use of dogs in the pursuit of bear. At that time there were maybe a handfull of wolves in Wisconsin if any. Wolves were not a threat to bear hunters because they were all but wiped out of Wisconsin by the 1960s.  It all changed for bear hunters when Wisconsin Wolf recovery began in the late 1970s.

This conflict between bear hunters and wolves isn’t new. Watch the following Wisconsin Public Television piece from 2010.

A Brief History on Wisconsin’s Gray Wolf

In 1967 and 1974 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the eastern timber wolf a federally endangered species. In 1975, wolves were listed as a state endangered species as they began to recolonize along the Minnesota border. Wolves crossed over into Wisconsin from Minnesota and established territories on their own. Today, Wisconsin’s Gray wolf is listed on the Endangered Species List. Final Rule to Delist – – Due to a Federal court decision, wolves in the western Great Lakes area (including Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) were relisted under the Endangered Species Act, effective December 19, 2014.

Wisconsin’s Gray Wolf Current Population

The 2017-18 overwinter minimum wolf count is 905-944, a 2.2% decrease from the 2016-17 minimum count of 925-956.

Carrying capacity is an ecological term for the number of a given species that an ecosystem can sustainably support. Socialcarrying capacity, however, refers to the number of a species that people feel is appropriate.

Wisconsin Black Bear Hunters use dogs to track and trail bears. Conflicts arise when a hunter’s dogs run through Gray Wolf’s rendezvous sites where pups are kept. Rendezvous sites are:

Rendezvous Site Identification and Protection source WDNR Endangered Resources

Active Season for Rendezvous Sites: mid-May – mid-October

Habitat: Rendezvous sites are generally open areas of grass or sedge adjacent to wetlands. The sites are characterized by extensive matted vegetation, numerous trails, and beds usually at the forest edge. Rendezvous sites are often adjacent to bogs or occur in semi-open stands of mixed conifer-hardwoods adjacent to swamps. Sometimes abandoned beaver ponds are used as rendezvous sites.

Description: Rendezvous sites are the home sites or activity sites used by wolves after the denning period, and prior to the nomadic hunting period of fall and winter. Pups are brought to the rendezvous sites from dens when they are weaned, and remain at rendezvous sites until the pups are old enough to join the pack on their hunting circuits. Rendezvous site may be associated with food sources such as ungulate kills or berry patches. Generally a series of rendezvous sites are used by a specific pack. Rendezvous sites are mostly used from mid-June to late-September, but use may start as early as mid-May and may continue to early or mid-October. Some intermittent use of rendezvous sites may continue into the fall. It appears that the average number of rendezvous sites used by wolf packs is 4-6.

Although den and rendezvous sites each serve separate functions for wolves, they are sometimes used interchangeably. Excavations sometimes occur at rendezvous sites and these may be used as den sites in the future. Sometimes rendezvous sites may represent old den site areas. Therefore, a site used as a rendezvous site one year, could be used as a den site the next year or vice versa. Due to the transient use of rendezvous sites, special protections are not necessary. If recent excavations are observed indicating possible use as a den site, protocols in place for den site protection should be followed. Source

“Most Wisconsin citizens want at least some wolf presence in the state, but those who feel strongly, at either end of the spectrum, drive the argument.” Lisa Naughton, UW-Madison geography professor.

Wisconsin DNR puts out the following when there is a wolf depredation on hunting dogs:

When wolves attack dogs in hunting or training situations on public land, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will create wolf caution areas to warn hunters that a specific pack has attacked a dog or group of dogs. Bear hunters are urged to exercise greater caution if they plan to train hounds or hunt bear with hounds near any caution area, especially if near an actual kill site. Table 1 contains a summary of the 2018 dog depredations by wolves.

When a wolf depredation takes place on a Bear hunter’s dog he is compensated $2,500.00 per dog. Wisconsin’s wolf depredation program began in 1982, and soon afterwards bear hunters running dogs in pursuit of bear began receiving payouts. The payouts for wolf depredations were paid in the effort to help compensate hunters, livestock owners and residents living in wolf recovery areas.

We must mitigate the decades old conflict between bear hunters and wolves…

In 2015 Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association (WBA) worked at loosening regulations for bear hunters using dogs in pursuit of bear. It’s a mystery as to just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods during training & hunting. Why is this a mystery? Because a change in regulations took place that removed the Class B bear training & hunting license. Because of that change it’s impossible to know; just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods. It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad. 

I started working on the Wisconsin wolf recovery program as a volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker in the year 2000. I lost track of how many “no-wolf” bumper stickers were encountered in a day of tracking in the the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. This conflict between bear Hunters and wolves is decades-old.

It’s time we begin to address the conflict!

There are a few of us beginning to work towards addressing the conflict between bear hunters and Wisconsin’s Gray wolf.

You can help by emailing me at wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com for more information.

Then, I can add you to our email updates.

The conflict between bear hunters and wolves has become polarized into opposing factions that polarize any campaign to remedy it. I propose we break through and start to mitigate the conflict.

Contact your Wisconsin State Representative. Wisconsin’s Gray wolf needs your help.