…Why one species is given a black mark beside it and another is elevated to a position of reverence.

I enjoyed reading John Anderson’s perspective concerning his recent opinion editorial where he makes a strong case for the wolf; Perhaps it is time for us to ask why one species is given a black mark beside it and another is elevated to a position of reverence. I give you the wolf and the bald eagle.”

Community Columnist for The Chippewa Herold

John Andersen: The difference between eagles and wolves Mar 3, 2018

Over the past few weeks I read some great news in several newspapers, including this one. With great fanfare it has come to pass that the bald eagle has returned from the brink of extinction. Through the use of science and facts, DDT was banned as a pesticide in 1972. The result today is that there are 1,600 occupied eagle nests in virtually every part of the state.

This is outstanding news. Using simple math, that means there are about 3,200 adult eagles around. All 72 counties have eagle nests in them, and here in Lake Hallie, eagles are becoming a more common sight. No longer do you have a take a trip “up north” or drive down to Wabasha, Minnesota, to see them in the winter months. Bald eagles are becoming a success story throughout the nation and in Wisconsin. So when does the hunting season on them start?

In consulting the literature, there are plenty of problems with having too many bald eagles. First of all, the moral character of the bald eagle is appalling. No other than Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said about bald eagles:

““For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labour of the fishing hawk; and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him.” Ben Franklin wished our national symbol to be the wild turkey, which considering what is going on in Washington right now, is not a bad idea.

Of course we have all heard the stories of bald eagles carrying off small children. Eagles also have been known to carry off pets. Bald eagles raise a holy terror with the family chickens, and of course everyone has lost fish off a line to bald eagles. Perhaps the Legislature could petition the federal government to remove the bald eagle from the endangered species list and leave the regulation of bald eagles to the state of Wisconsin and the other 49 states.

Wisconsin could then set up a lottery for hunting bald eagles. There would be no age requirement for a license, you could wear blaze pink while hunting them, and a local merchant could set up a “big eagle” contest for the largest wingspan. Yes I know that some eagles would be poached and some would not be registered, but what the heck. Stuff happens. Yes I also know that the Native Americans have legends about the eagle and revere them in tribal culture, but we can do what we have done for the wolves and give then 50 percent of the kill permits.

At this point, some people’s heads have exploded, and they are wondering what ear I am pulling this nonsense out of. Perhaps it is time for us to ask why one species is given a black mark beside it and another is elevated to a position of reverence. I give you the wolf and the bald eagle.

“But it is a funny thing, I never hear people blame bald eagles when they don’t catch any fish. Fish are the main course for them. Yet they blame wolves when they don’t shoot a deer.”

As of 2017 the Wisconsin DNR projects the wolf population in Wisconsin to be 925 or about one third as many bald eagles. Remember the same DNR also did the projections on the bald eagle count in Wisconsin. We still see TV ads and print ads featuring the wolf as the bad guy. Perhaps it is time to stop that nonsense.

The wolf and the bald eagle fit into the ecosystem for a purpose. Both are predators that thin the populations of the prey they feed on. But it is a funny thing, I never hear people blame bald eagles when they don’t catch any fish. Fish are the main course for them. Yet they blame wolves when they don’t shoot a deer.

The town of Hallie was built upon land that our ancestors called “Wolf Prairie.” The bald eagles have returned here. Maybe someday a wolf will wander through its ancestral home; hopefully it won’t be promptly shot by “accident.”

John R. Andersen of Lake Hallie is a former state employee who remains active in the fields of fire prevention, government and education.

It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad.

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) 

In congress Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) is proposing legislation to delist the wolf in Wisconsin and three other states. Two Wisconsin state legislators are pushing for delisting in order to return wolf management back to Wisconsin as well. Read on:

“A joint statement from state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and state Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, said, “The overpopulation of gray wolves on Wisconsin’s landscape is harming farmers, hunters and residents of rural Wisconsin.  Last August, the state Department of Natural Resources said a record number of hunting dogs had already been killed by wolves for the year. As of the close of Wisconsin’s bear season in October, at least 40 hunting dogs were confirmed killed by wolves, far exceeding the previous record of 23. Source

Let’s check the facts.

During the 2016 Wisconsin bear hunting season 37 hunting dogs were lost in the pursuit of bear. A few Wisconsin legislators claim these deaths were due to the high wolf population of 866 in 2016, but there’s a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye.  Adrian Wydeven, former Wisconsin DNR Head Wolf biologist, wrote in a opinion editorial, “Numbers don’t add up in wolf-hound debate” written on November 12, 2016 and suggested that:

“Do wolf numbers correlate with wolves killing hounds? The evidence suggests this might not necessarily be the case. In 2012, only seven dogs were killed and yet there were nearly as many wolves in 2012 as there were in 2016 (815 wolves in late winter 2012).” Source

What could be causing the high deaths of hunting hounds? 

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 licence. Because of that change it’s impossible to know; just how many dogs in pursuit of bear are running through the woods. 

Wolves are defending their pups against free ranging hunting dogs in the pursuit of bear. 

Wolf pups are born around mid-April and are approximately two and a half months at the time Wisconsin bear hunters begin training dogs on bear starting on July first. Typically wolves leave their pups at a rendezvous site for safe keeping to be watched over by a babysitter. The pup’s family members keep a close eye on the rendezvous site while off hunting. WODCW blog

This conflict between bear hunters and wolves continues in the north woods of Wisconsin, and now has become one of the reasons Wisconsin legislators want to delist wolves.  One such Wisconsin legislator stated:

“We’re seeing depredations have almost doubled this year, and it’s not just hunting dogs, it’s people’s pets,” said State Senator Tom Tiffany. “They’re expanding throughout the state, we’re beginning to see it, it’s really a big problem.” Source 

There is -no-big-bad-wolf here to blame.  However, there is a lack of regulations with bear hunting & training and it has led to a conflict between wolves and bear hunters. Once the training & hunting class B license was removed, that change allowed for an undetermined number of dogs running through wolf habitat. That could definitely be the cause of the 37 bear hunting dog deaths. 

Are wolves decimating the White-Tailed deer herds in Wisconsin?

Wolves are not eating all the deer. All one needs to do is go to: News Release Wisconsin Natural Resources for Wisconsin’s annual nine-day gun deer hunt sees increase in statewide buck harvest posted on November 18, 2016:  The largest change in buck harvest occurred in the Northern Forest Zone (30 percent increase from 2015) after two consecutive mild winters and limited antlerless tags.
Wolves are not decimating the deer herds in Wisconsin. In fact, the Northern Forest Zone is home to Wisconsin’s wild wolf.  So there is no-big-bad-wolf killing all the fringe hunter’s deer. I use the term ‘fringe hunter’ only because real ethical hunters know that deer will hide from predators such as the wolf. 

Are wolves killing more livestock? 

Let’s take some statistics from The Wisconsin Gray Wolf Monitoring Report for the period of 15 APRIL 2015 THROUGH 14 APRIL 2016 and read the graphic for yourself. There were 52 wolf depredations on livestock. 

There were 52 wolf depredations from April 15, 2016 through April 15, 2016. To put it in perspective, that was 52 livestock deaths by wolves out of 3.50 million head of livestock in Wisconsin. Read for yourself:

“The total inventory of cattle and calves on January 1 rose 3 percent from 2014 to 2015, to 3.50 million head. The number of milk cows rose by 5,000 head to 1,275,000 head and the number of beef cows rose 25,000 head to 275,000 head. On the U.S. level, slaughter prices rose to $153.00 per cwt. for cattle and $255.00 per cwt. for calves. As a result, Wisconsin’s value of production rose 33 percent to $1.92 billion.”  Source: USDA Wisconsin statistics

In conclusion, It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad. When in reality the facts prove otherwise. Facts such as; a lack of bear hunting regulations caused the increase of wolf depredations on hunting dogs, the largest change in buck harvest occurred in the Northern Forest Zone (30 percent increase from 2015) and 52 livestock depredations out of 3.50 million head, proves; there’s no-big-bad-wolf here.

There’s only politicians with carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad.


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Please take action for wolves; click HERE

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Photographs used to make the graphics are by John E Marriott Wilderness Prints
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Tell congress to stop the attacks on the Endangered Species Act: please take action for wolves

In congress several lawmakers are working on legislation to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota & Wyoming. This legislation by Senator Ron Johnson (D-WI) calls for delisting of wolves. 

A brief History on wolf delisting.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed federal protections for gray wolves in 2012 and turned over state management. Shortly after the 2012 delisting these states rushed to create legislation that allowed for hunting of gray wolves. Wisconsin became the only state that allowed the barbaric use of dogs to hunt wolves; Wisconsin quite literally throws dogs to wolves. Source Wyoming called for shooting wolves on sight. Minnesota allowed for the use of inhumane snare traps on wolves. In Michigan the legislature tried to go against the public referendum that voted no against a wolf hunt. 

 Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in 2012 filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore federal protections for Great Lakes wolves under the Endangered Species Act. 

After three years of state sanctioned wolf hunts in Wisconsin and Minnesota a federal judge intervened with a decision on the 2012 HSUS lawsuit. 

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ruled that the removal was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.

In her ruling, Howell wrote: “Wolves are the subject of heated disputes, with those on every side of the issue offering heartfelt arguments as to how best to manage this unique species. The last decade of litigation is a testament to those passions.”  Howell said that while the Fish and Wildlife Service and others may have “practical policy reasons” for removing protections for wolves, federal regulations protecting endangered species trump those concerns. “At times, a court must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough,” Howell wrote in the decision. “This case is one of those times.” Judge Howell’s statement

Recent wolf delisting threats.

The GOP led anti-wolf senators want Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to use her influence to push her democratic colleagues to pass this bill. But there is one senator, Senator Maria Cantrell (D-Washington) that is standing in the way. 

The ant-wolf senators from Wisconsin are not happy that Washington State Senator Maria Cantrell (D) is holding up their wolf delisting bill. In the following news statement these anti wolf legislators stated:

“It is our understanding that Congress is on the brink of passing this bill,” the GOP lawmakers said. “However, we have been informed that Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) is standing in the way of the delisting legislation. We expect Senator Baldwin to use her new influence as a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team to push her colleagues to pass this bill.” Source

It’s time to tell congress to stop the attacks on the Endangered Species Act: please take action for wolves

First contact your senators using this easy form Democracy.io (click on the blue highlighted words)

Tell your members of congress that you want them to protect wolves from states that have proven they cannot manage an endangered species. Ask them not to sign onto any legislation or riders that call for delisting wolves. 

Next contact Senator Tammy Baldwin and ask her not to support GOP led wolf delisting bills or riders. Ask her to stand against any threats to the endangered speciecies act.


If you are on twitter:


For Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Facebook page click HERE

Lastly please contact Senator Maria Cantrell (D-WA) and thank her for holding the line against wolf delisting legislation. We support your efforts on behalf of the imperiled wolf! 

Senator Maria Cantrell’s Facebook page click Here

Please also note a new threat to wolves in Michigan from Humane Society of the United States: 

Michigan: Speak up to stop a wolf hunt

Michigan’s wolves are under threat once again.
In the 2014 general election, Michigan voters soundly rejected two referendums on the trophy hunting and trapping of the state’s small population of wolves. But now, the Michigan legislature is trying to rush through another bill, SB 1187, that would once again designate wolves as a game species to be hunted and trapped—in spite of that public rejection of wolf hunting at the ballot box just two years ago.

The Michigan legislature should heed the voice of its citizens, who have stated in no uncertain terms that they do not support the recreational hunting and trapping of wolves. Your voice is needed now to protect Michigan’s wolves.

TAKE ACTION

Calling is the one of the most effective actions you can take. Please make a brief, polite phone call to your state representative and state senator now. Look up your legislators’ phone numbers. You can say, “I am a constituent who cares about wolves, and I’m calling to urge you to respect the voice of the people and reject SB 1187.”

After your call, use the form below to send a follow-up message. Editing your message will help it stand out.


Your Message Click HERE to fill out HSUS action for Michigan wolves

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Feature imaged a wolf used in action alert is a photograph by John E Marriott

Two Wisconsin politicians are calling for a Great Lakes wolf summit to resume wolf hunting

In recent news two Wisconsin politicians call for Great Lakes ‘wolf summit’ because they want the state to manage wolves.  Over the last four years the Wisconsin wolf has become a political pawn for politicians like Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Adam Jarchow because they want to resume wolf hunting in the state. 
  
The Wisconsin wolf was placed back on endangered species list on December 19, 2014 by a federal judge . “In the short time since federal protections have been removed, trophy hunters and trappers have killed more than 1,500 Great Lakes wolves under hostile state management programs that encourage dramatic reductions in wolf populations,” Lovvorn said. (Source)

The Great Lake’s wolf was delisted in 2012 and states like Wisconsin rushed to hunt them. 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: Fact Sheet: Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”

Wolves must remain under federal protections until states such as Wisconsin can be trusted to manage an endangered species like the iconic wolf. A new study just out this week dispels the myths that wolf hunting stops illegal killing of wolves. This study by Guillaume Chapron and Adrian Treves, Blood does not buy goodwill: allowing culling increases poaching of a large carnivore.

Making the Wisconsin wolf a game animal did not improve tolerance among trophy hunters and it only increased poaching.  

Let’s get back to wolf recovery in Wisconsin and learn methods of coexisting with wolves.

Wolf education and awareness should to be a top priority not grand standing by extremists and politicians with hidden agendas. 

Let’s put wolf management back in the hands of the Wisconsin public and out of the hands of the politician.