Will the Government Ever Get it Right on Delisting the Gray Wolf in the Great Lakes Region?

These and other questions come to mind as the Federal Government Working On Removing Gray Wolf From Endangered Species List . Will Wisconsin be transparent in its management of the Gray wolf population, and once again allow for greater pubic input as it did prior to the 2012 USF&WS delisting decision.

In 2011 WISCONSIN ACT 169 legislation mandated a trophy hunt on the newly delisted Gray wolf. Wisconsin Act 169 allowed reckless management policies such as; 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.” Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet

In 2013 & 2014 Wisconsin sanctioned the use of dogs to hunt wolves.

This reckless management of the Gray wolf was overturned as part of Humane Society of the United States lawsuit of USF&WS’s 2012 delisting. In December 2014 a federal judge put Gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes Region back on the Endangered Species List. USF&WS appealed the 2014 ruling, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled Gray wolves in the Great Lakes region should remain on the endangered species list, July 2017.

Besides the horrific wolf management policies by the state of Wisconsin, problems exist within the way USF&WS determines criteria for wolf delisting in the Great Lakes Region in 2011. It’s seems USF&WS got its “hand slapped” by a judges ruling for trying to delist using the following:

“The proposal identifies the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of wolves, which includes a core area of Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as parts of adjacent states that are within the range of wolves dispersing from the core recovery area.” USF&WS Press Release 2011

But then, on July 2017, the three-judge panel unanimously said the wolves should stay under federal protection. The judges wrote, “The Endangered Species Act’s text requires the Service, when reviewing and redetermining the status of a species, to look at the whole picture of the listed species, not just a segment of it.”

As the Associated Press reports the judges ruled that,

“The service had not adequately considered a number of factors in making its decision, including loss of the wolf’s historical range and how its removal from the endangered list would affect the predator’s recovery in other areas, such as New England, North Dakota and South Dakota.”

Just how reckless is Wisconsin in its management policies of the Gray wolf?

If the Gray wolf in Wisconsin gets delisted tomorrow; it’s a law that a wolf hunt must take place:

“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.” 2012 Wisconsin Act 169

A brief history on Wisconsin’s reckless management of it’s wolf population, 2012 through 2014.

Wisconsin’s Wolf Advisory Committee is not far and balanced. In other words, there is no transparency in WI DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp’s Wolf management process (WDNR secretary at the time).

WDNR Wolf Advisory Committee met once a month during the legislatively mandated trophy hunt on Wisconsin’s Gray wolf. The WAC recommend how wolf management in Wisconsin should be done. Here is a list of Cathy Stepp’s (WDNR secretary at the time) hand Picked WAC, that she thinks better suited to, “…people who were willing to work with us in partnership…”:United States Fish & Wildlife Service(USFWS), United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services(USDA WS), Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission(GLIFWC), Wisconsin County Forest Association(WCFA), Wisconsin Conservation Congress(WCC), Safari Club International(SCI), Timber Wolf Alliance(TWA), Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association(WBHA), Wisconsin Bowhunters Association(WBA), Wisconsin Cattlemans Association(WCA), Wisconsin Trappers Association(WTA), Wisconsin Wildlife Federation(WWF) and 10 WDNR biologists. WODCW blog

Several DNR staff are on the recently created Wolf Advisory Committee, as are representatives of several pro-hunting groups. A smaller number of wolf hunting skeptics also remain on the committee, including a representative of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  WPR reporter Chuck Quirmbach June 2014 

At a WI DNR meeting secretary Cathy Stepp admitted, “When we’re charged to manage and to implement a hunt, coming in and telling us, ‘Don’t hunt wolves,’ is not a productive way to run a committee, frankly,” said Stepp. “That’s just the candid way to lay it out. We had to have people who were willing to work with us in partnership, and be willing to help us and advise us along the way in implementing state law.” Source WPR June 2014

I was was interviewed on June 2014 regarding DNR secretary kicking off wolf hunt opponents Rachel Tilseth of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin was a volunteer DNR tracker of wolves for about a dozen winters, and attended a few meetings of what used to be called the Wisconsin Wolf Stakeholders Group. Tilseth testified about the wolf hunt proposal during Wednesday’s meeting. She later said she didn’t care for Stepp’s remarks.

“I was just appalled that somebody like Cathy Stepp, who’s in charge of this important issue, is saying something like that,” said Tilseth. “It sounds to me like it’s a committee that they want made up of wolf-killers.”

Recap of the last two years in the never-ending political rhetoric designed to stir public sentiment against an endangered species.

Wisconsin’s annual nine-day gun deer hunt sees increase in statewide buck harvest 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. From WI DNR Press Release 

The increase in buck harvest is hopeful news, because fringe hunters, along with some politicians are claiming that wolves are killing all the deer. This news puts a damper on republican Senator Tom Tiffany’s efforts to delist the wolf.

“A Great Lakes Summit in September 2016, was organized by two Republican lawmakers from northern Wisconsin, Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow, who hope control of the wolf population returns to state governments.” MPR News

The 30 percent buck increase in the Northern Forest Zone (where the wolf lives) is good news as DNR’s own scientific data is proving wolves aren’t eating all the white-tailed deer in northern Wisconsin.

Yet, certain politicians in Wisconsin refuse to believe scientific fact.

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.

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, 2015 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

Wisconsin’s wild wolf is the most talked about animal of late.  Politicians in Wisconsin have villianized the wolf, and are pushing to delist him.  It’s no secret that one cannot trust politicians. Politicians are in competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership; they’ve created propaganda to make the wolf look bad.

Politicians have removed science from wolf management and replaced it with political rhetoric. They put together a Wisconsin Wolf Advisory Committee with stakeholders primarily from the hunting community.

The WAC is heavily slanted towards recreational trophy hunting of wolves with 9 citizen pro wolf hunting organizations to 1 pro wolf citizen organization. Further, according to Cathy Stepp this committee is more productive than opponents of the wolf hunt. There is evidence to the contrary that shows the WAC productiveness is comparable to reality TV’s Housewives of NYC.  From WODCW’s Blog

In conclusion, if USF&WS, the government, gets it right this time in delisting the Gray wolf in the Great Lakes Region Wisconsin citizens must push for greater transparency in wolf management. Because trophy hunts are about power not conservation. We owe the Gray wolf, that was exterminated from our forest, an ethical & compassionate conservation management plan, because we have done enough harm to this iconic predator.

Humane Society of the United States exposes predator killing contests in an undercover story.

Killing to conserve a species is not conservation. The following story by Humane Society of the United States exposes the cruelty taking place in predator killing contests.

Undercover video takes viewers into grisly world of wildlife killing contests published on May 3rd 2018.

On a freezing, rainy Sunday night, cold beer flows freely at the weigh-in and judging phase of the Parlin Buck Club’s fourth Annual 24-Hour Predator Killing Contest in Barnegat, New Jersey. An undercover investigator for the Humane Society of the United States films a group of men laughing and posing in front of about 15 dead foxes hanging by their feet from a rack. Several weeks earlier and a few hundred miles away, our investigator filmed participants in the Bark at the Moon Coyote Club’s New York State Predator Hunt in Macedon near Lake Ontario, as they placed the animals they’d killed in rows outside a restaurant. About 200 animals were piled up to be counted, weighed and displayed.

These scenes of casual indifference to the suffering and death of animals are captured in our undercover investigation video of wildlife killing contests in New York state and New Jersey. The investigation was carried out in early 2018.

We’ve discussed these grisly spectacles before, where participants compete to win prizes for gathering the most animal carcasses; sadly, they happen more often than you might imagine. Our investigators’ video gives you a chance to witness for yourself what goes on at these depraved and cruel events.

The most common victims of these killing contests are native carnivores like coyotes, foxes and bobcats, but other species in the crosshairs include crows, wild pigs, squirrels, rattlesnakes, raccoons, rabbits, porcupines, badgers, skunks and even mountain lions and wolves. Countless dependent young may be orphaned during these events, left to die from starvation, predation or exposure.

While some contest organizers say the events provide a service to hunters by removing animal species that also eat deer or turkeys, there is no science to support that claim. On the contrary, it is their victims, the native carnivores they kill, who provide vital ecological services. They do so by controlling populations of other species, benefiting crop and timber growth and supporting biodiversity.

[Related: Wildlife killing contests are animal welfare and conservation disgrace]

We’re making progress in our fight to stop these horrible events. In 2014, California banned contests in which cash or prizes valued at $500 or more are offered. Colorado now limits the number of animals that can be killed by wildlife killing contest participants. In 2017, Maryland placed a moratorium on cownose ray killing contests in the Chesapeake Bay. In New York, Assembly member Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, and Senator Phil Boyle, R-Bay Shore, have introduced legislation that would end this senseless practice. In coming months, more states will put forward proposals that seek to prohibit these killing contests, and we’ll be backing them.

Last fall, we launched our toolkit, “Wildlife Killing Contests: A Guide to Ending the Blood Sport in Your Community,” which has become a valuable resource for wildlife advocates, organizations and even city governments. We have also joined with Project Coyote and 19 other like-minded local, state and national organizations to form the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, to increase public education and to encourage policy change at the local and state levels.

To help make a difference, sign our petition calling on your state’s wildlife management agency to put an end to these cruel, pointless and counterproductive wildlife killing contests.

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Check out Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s new film project about wolf advocates, “The Yellowstone Story” 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…

Watch our pitch trailer

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.

“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. To support the film through a tax free contribution go to https://www.planb.foundation/News/82/inside-the-heart-of-wolf-advocacy

Learn more about our film project by clicking here.

Snare Traps Indiscriminate Killers, Land Mines Concealed in the Wilderness

…Snare Trap is a device concealed underground and baited with tantalizing attractive scents capable of causing great suffering for its victims. A male Timber wolf in northern Minnesota became the latest victim of a snare trap. He became caught in a snare trap meant to catch and ensnare small game. The snare meant for small game, became wrapped tightly around the muzzle of the male wolf. Can we even begin to imagine the pain and suffering that occurred as a result of this man-made killing device. How could the male wolf have known the tantalizing scents concealed a land mine known as a snare trap and set in his home range. The more an unsuspecting woodland creature tries to pull out of the device, the more the noose tightens around the body part caught in the trap. Certain death from starvation became the fate of the male wolf as the noose became tightly wrapped around his mouth. Several people saw the male wolf north of Duluth Minnesota, and tried to help.

I spoke with a volunteer at Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation out of Duluth, Minnesota. They said, “several people saw the wolf and tried to help him.” The Wildwood’s volunteer told me Kelly Looby was able to get within a few feet of the wolf, a photographer, even making eye contact with him. She kept following the wolf, but he seemed very wary of humans, and disappeared and reappeared several times.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Looby

Wildwoods reported the wire snare was wrapped tight around the wolf’s nose, and embedded into the nose. He clearly could not open his mouth at all. The male wolf was very thin, as was told to them by volunteer and eyewitness Kelly Looby.

“He might have been able to lick up some snow and sniff roadkill, but he had not been able to eat,” a volunteer from Wildwoods said. “He had been starving, and was a skeleton of fur and bones.”

Photo courtesy of Kelly Looby

No one knows how long the male wolf suffered. He was first sighted near Tettegouche State Park on Lake Superior’s North Shore earlier in the week, then north of the city in Duluth Saturday February 10th. Wildwoods reported they just didn’t have the equipment needed to catch him. Many people tried to catch him but he was too fast.

In the end the Duluth police made the heart wrenching decision to put him down at 2 pm Saturday afternoon. Wildwoods was able to examine the wolf. They reported that underneath his thick winter coat he was skin and bones.

“Humans caused the initial pain and suffering of this beautiful wolf by creating the snare, and in the end taking his life to end his suffering.” said Kelly Looby.

Photo courtesy of Wildwoods

Wildwoods told me they were able to gain the equipment, a net gun, through donations after this tragedy. With this net gun they will be able to capture and treat victims of snare traps in the future.

“Snares are cruel trapping devices, causing pain, injury and death. Animals caught in snares can suffer from grotesque swelling and hemorrhaging of the head, can be hanged to death by jumping over a nearby fence or branch in a desperate attempt to escape, and can suffer from exposure, dehydration, and starvation. Snares are grossly indiscriminate, capturing any animal of the right height or size unlucky enough to pass through the snare – including pets, imperiled wildlife species, deer and raptors.” ~Melissa Tedrowe HSUS Wisconsin State Representative

Minnesota DNR Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook states the following: Snares may be used by licensed trappers for taking all species of protected wild mammals that may be taken by the use of traps. In the forest zone, snares are allowed on public land and on private land with permission of the landowner.

Take action to ban snare traps in Minnesota

Howling For Wolves Wolf Day at the Capital 2018 in 2018. Join us as we work to #StandAgainstSnaring, require permission to trap on private lands, and have a wolf hunt removed from the books once and for all.

When: Wednesday, April 11

Where: Minnesota State Capitol, Saint Paul, MN

In 2017, Howling For Wolves successfully passed legislation which approved funding for, and the establishment of, Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention grants administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. This program allows applicants to receive reimbursement for the cost of using nonlethal methods which protect the lives of both livestock and wolves.

In 2018, with your active prescence and actions, a ban on all wildlife snaring can become law in 2018. Join us as we work to #StandAgainstSnaring, require permission to trap on private lands, and have a wolf hunt removed from the books once and for all.

We are talking to Minnesota politicians and rallying for the wolf at the State Capitol. Our goal is to protect the wolf for future generations. This is a FREE event.

Volunteers are needed before and on Wolf Day. Write us at volunteer@howlingforwolves.org to join the pack!

RSVP here that you will attend the Wolf day. This is important for us to know you will come, so we can plan in advance.

Howling For Wolves supports current state legislation that would eliminate recreational snaring of all wildlife: House File 2160, authored by Representatives Fischer, Loon, Kunesh-Podein, Rosenthal, Ward, Slocum, Allen, Dehn, R., and Hornstein and its companion bill, Senate File 1447, authored by Senators Hoffman, Wiger, and Dibble.

“To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul – hope you like what you see.” ~Aldo Leopold

Photos used in this story courtesy of Kelly Looby and photo of dead wolf credited to Wildwoods.

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


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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 

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Featured image by John E Marriott

Highlights from Wisconsin’s premiere night of “Medicine of the Wolf” in Madison…

…produced and direct by Julia Huffman. On Wednesday night the Barrymore theatre’s box office line was all the way down the block. 


A big thank you to the panel members for making this a notable celebration of Wisconsin’s Wolf Awareness Week. 

Pictured: panel members, standing (left to right) Robert Mann, Patricia McConnell, Carl Anderson (emcee), & Randy Jurewicz. Seated (left to right) Barry Babcock, Rachel Tilseth (sponsor & organizer) & Melissa Tedrowe (sponsor & panelist).

Panel members; HSUS Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe; certified animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.; Robert Mann, Ho-Chunk Nation Elder; Woodsman, environmentalist and author, Barry Babcock (who appears in the film); Randy Jurewicz, retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wolf Program Administrator, and emcee Carl Anderson.

There was a Q&A after the screening.
The panel members connected very well with the audience! This connection was evident in several ways; audience questions & comments, audience laughter, and keeping the audience’s attention for almost an hour’s time. This was a wonderful tribute to Wisconsin Wolf Awareness Week!

Pictured: Barry Babcock & Ian Whalan

Thank you to the Barrymore theatre for their continued support and for the full page ads they put out; Barrymore management, and staff for all your hard work in making the Wisconsin premiere of Medicine of the Wolf a success.

Thank you to WORT Eighty Nine FM Community Radio in Madison, Wisconsin for their promotion work that contributed to the success of this screening.

Audience at screening of “Medicine of the Wolf” at the historic Barrymore theatre in Madison Wisconsin on Wednesday October 19, 2016

Thank you to Ned Gannon for graciously lending your artistic talents by designing the “Keep The Wild” commemorative posters. Thank you Timothy Coburn for your generous support for funding the poster printing. Thank you Andy Reich for the graphic design work on the event invitation.

Thank you to Andrea Thalasinos for supporting the event with her novel “Fly By Night” along with Mystery to Me Bookstore’s advertising they would be selling books at the event.

Pictured: Barry Babcock, Ian Whalan & Andrea Thalasinos

 
Thank you to Barry Babcock & Andrea Thalasinos for donating their books for the raffle. Thank you Foxlights inventor, Ian Whalan, for supporting non lethal management of wolves with an informative booth at the screening.

Pictured Kevin Knipfer & Timothy Coburn

Thank you to our volunteers Mandy Mortimer, Kevin Knipfer, and LuAnn O’Dell.

Pictured: Julia Huffman

Special thank you goes out to Julia Huffman for the making of this remarkable film, and for donating signed DVDs for the raffle.

Thank you Humane Society of the United States for sponsoring the screening. 

Pictured: Volunteer Mandy Mortimer photobombing Wisconsin HSUS state director Melissa Tedrowe

Here’s how you can view Medicine of the Wolf either online or purchase your copy www.medicineofthewolf.com

Learning to live with predators

A Wisconsin premiere of “Medicine of the Wolf” explores ecological significance

by Craig Johnson Source: The Isthmus 

October 13, 2016

Why are we afraid of the big, bad wolf? Is it because they kill so much livestock, or steal our babies? Or is it because they have been vilified for centuries in every manner of media from folk tales to blog posts?
Julia Huffman’s award-winning documentary, Medicine of the Wolf, explores the lives of wolves in Minnesota, their place in the ecosystem, their relationship with humans and the continued smear campaign against the predators.
It includes footage shot by National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg, and will screen at the Barrymore Theatre Oct. 19 as part of Wolf Awareness Week. The 7 p.m. screening will be followed by a panel discussion with wolf experts and advocates, including Robert Mann, an elder from the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Randy Jurewicz, former wolf administrator for the state Department of Natural Resources.
Wolves once ranged throughout the lower 48 states, but by the late 20th century they could only be found in northern Minnesota. After decades of protection and management, their range expanded to more than 10 states, and they were removed from the endangered species list. Here in Wisconsin, 528 wolves were “harvested” from the north from 2012 until 2014, when a federal court ruling put wolves back on the endangered list.
“A forest with wolves is a healthy forest,” says environmentalist and author Barry Babcock, who appears in the film and will speak on the panel. Babcock says wolves spark a “eutrophic cascade,” which influences plants and animals throughout the wilderness: Wolves cull the deer population, which means the deer don’t eat as much foliage; more foliage means a greater variety of herbivores are sustained, which leads to a greater variety of small predators and scavengers (eagles, foxes, weasels, etc).
Despite their beneficial effects, the vilification continues, with propaganda fueled by exaggerated tales of wolves killing livestock. Now, the push is on in various states, including Wisconsin, to allow wolf hunting again. Sometimes the hatred crosses into the irrational. Animal behaviorist and panelist Patricia McConnell says she heard “one hunter in Northern Wisconsin say he liked to kill wolves in as painful a way as possible, because ‘they are evil.’” The truth is that incidents of wolves attacking humans are about as common as them blowing over pigs’ houses.
Huffman and the panelists hope that Medicine of the Wolf will help turn society’s mistrust and hatred for wolves into a respectful partnership. Learning to share the world with wolves would not only improve their lives, but our own as well.

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Featured Image Jim Brandenburg 

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Purchase tickets here: http://www.barrymorelive.com/tickets/1610194.html

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Tickets on sale now for Wisconsin’s premiere of the award winning documentary film ‘Medicine of the Wolf’ 

 
 The Humane Society of the U.S. & Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin are pleased to announce the Wisconsin premiere of the award winning documentary film ‘Medicine of The Wolf’ produced and Directed by Julia Huffman. Save the date of Wednesday October 19, 2016 at  7 pm during Wisconsin’s Wolf Awareness Week. In Madison Wisconsin at the Historic Barrymore Theatre.

Buy tickets HERE  Tickets: $10.00 Advance/$12.00 Day Of Show Advance tickets only available on-line and by phone at (608) 241-8633.

After the screening there will be a panel discussion and Q&A with:

HSUS Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe; certified animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.; Robert Mann – Ho-Chunk Nation Elder; woodsman, environmentalist and author, Barry Babcock (who appears in the film); Randy Jurewicz, retired WI DNR Wolf Program Administrator, and emcee Carl Anderson

Watch trailer here

  
These commemorative posters designed by Ned Gannon will be available at the screening 
Click HERE for official Wisconsin’s premiere of Medicine of the Wolf Event Website   “The sound of wolves howling under the stars is for me one of the most haunting and beautiful of nature’s voices. Native Americans revered wolves for their wildness, courage, and loyalty. Today science respects them for the important role they play in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. And countless numbers of the general public are fascinated by them. Yet the myth of fierce and dangerous beasts, handed down from early white settlers, informs much of the horrific and unjustified cruelty and persecution that wolves faces today. Medicine of the Wolf explores the facts. It is powerful, informative and moving, and as I watched I was first enchanted and then enraged. I urge you to watch this compelling and courageous film and tell everyone you know to watch it as well. Thank you, Julia Huffman for making it.”  ~Dr. Jane Goodall

About the film:

In this beautiful and important documentary, filmmaker Julia Huffman travels to Minnesota and into wolf country to pursue the deep intrinsic value of perhaps the most unjustly maligned animal on the face of the planet. Medicine of the Wolf centers on the remarkable, world-renowned environmentalist and National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg, who has photographed, studied and been on the ground with wolves for 45 years—longer than anyone in history. As our guide, Brandenburg enables us to see the world of the wolf as we have never seen it before. The film also has a crucial message for us: The gray wolf must be preserved on the endangered species list.

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Watch for my in depth interview with Medicine of the Wolf’s producer/director Julia Huffman.  ~Rachel

 

Medicine of the Wolf website

Who owns these 100 million acres of wildlife habitat on Federal lands? 

From A Humane Nation Wayne Pacelle’s Blog 

Federal Lands Belong to All of Us – Whether In Oregon, Alaska, or Elsewhere, February 5, 2016
Something very anti-American has been happening in our nation. The bonds that have traditionally held us together are popping loose here and there. To my way of thinking, not enough of us – particularly those who claim social leadership – have been speaking out in alarm.
I’d like to.
I’m referring to the foundational covenants of our country. Specifically, the idea of “We the People,” and our collective deed to parks and rivers and refuges – these public-land holdings that are a cornerstone of the American experience that we all share, that we hold in trust for future generations. Let me focus on National Wildlife Refuges, because, for the first time in a long time, they’ve been on the front page – albeit for the wrong reasons.
Who owns these 100 million acres of wildlife habitat?
That’s easy. They teach it everywhere from grade school to grad school. We all do. We the people.
But now, if you listen to a few outlaw cowboys in Idaho, Nevada, and other points West, they’ll tell you, No. It belongs to them, whoever they are. Not you. Them. To do as they please.
There shouldn’t be much fuss about this matter, really. The so-called “sagebrush rebellion” has been an episodic and overblown phenomenon in the West for 40 years.
But I’ve been growing more concerned. I think we should worry when much of our news media and too much of our political leadership takes these criminals at least partly seriously. Their recent “occupation” of Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon was seldom characterized correctly as an act of protest against the conviction of arsonists covering up their poaching, but rather portrayed as the narrative of righteous lads with big belt buckles and fancy hats standing up, Alamo-style, to speak out against a villainous federal government.
The Malheur “uprising” seems to have finally fizzled, and the lads with the big hats are facing some unhappy days in the courthouse.
But the anti-government sentiment still simmers. And too often the “We the People” part of these stories is left for grade-school teachers. Right now, the battleground over “your” national wildlife refuges has shifted to Alaska. There, it’s not a matter of a dozen cowboys with sugar-plum fantasies of John Wayne in their little heads; it’s the state government that proposes to take your deed to these refuges and flush it down the toilet.
I was fascinated, not to say dismayed, this week to read a news story about a bill moving through the state legislature in Juneau that “demands” the U.S. government relinquish all deed to all of the state’s “federally owned land” to Alaska. Including National Wildlife Refuges.
The news story further reported that lawmakers know full well that such a land-grab would be unconstitutional. But pandering to special interests knows no bounds in some places.
And Alaska’s federal lawmakers are getting in on the act, too. They don’t much like a recent proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, developed by managers of Alaska’s refuges, to manage animals within refuge boundaries in the interests of wildlife and with concern for those who enjoy – or appreciate – them on our collective lands. The idea behind the proposed federal rule is not to stop hunting, but merely to curb some truly awful abuses of wildlife and to state some common-sense rules that really shouldn’t provide much argument when it comes to the rights and wrongs of hunting.
This rule would prohibit the killing of brown bears with bait. Good lord, no Alaska hunter worthy of the name should argue on behalf of money-hungry guides who want to set out bait so they can promise busy millionaire outsiders a quick, easy weekend kill for the trophy room.
Another element of the rule would bar hunters from spotting bears from an airplane, landing close-by, and shooting them. Instead, the hunter would have to wait 24 hours. Most Alaska hunters, I’ll wager, and certainly a majority of us Americans who hold deed to these refuges, don’t think we need to deploy air strikes on bears.
And mind you, these are behaviors in question on a national wildlife refuge? If we don’t protect these creatures on a “refuge” from these unsporting and indeed sickening behaviors, where would we provide some safeguards?
Alaska’s junior U.S. Senator, Dan Sullivan, recently pushed through an amendment to a “Sportsmen’s package” in Congress to block any final action from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make this rule final – a rule grounded in the idea of the common good and sportsmanship and fair use and most basic protections for wildlife. He’s not speaking for all Alaskans in pushing this action, since we know that many Alaskans oppose land-and-shoot hunting, baiting, and denning of wolves.
I’ll be writing more about these rules and Alaska’s pandering response.
But for now, I want to make the case as strongly as I can that the “we” in We the People are you, me, our neighbors, and our friends. The millions of us who work, pay taxes, and honor our responsibilities.
We would not tolerate some band of thugs deciding to appropriate Central Park from public ownership, or Yosemite, or LAX airport. We wouldn’t entertain a debate over whether the Bundys should be grazing cattle on the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
And we need to stop accepting the idea that these Bundy-esque contests, these Alaska showdowns, are between people and some vague oppressor institution. Unfortunately, that’s too often where we find ourselves now after 35 years of political mau-mauing about government as something apart from the “we.” It’s not. Read the first three words of the Constitution. The refuges are ours. It’s un-American to say, or think, otherwise.
How government manages public resources in the public interest – that’s a legitimate subject for debate. In that vein, I could offer 20 good arguments for conservative management of national wildlife refuges – but the most important two are (a) for the wildlife who live there and (b) for those of us who care about them.
And when it comes to the specifics of management, I’ll take the word of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the ravings of the Bundy folks, or the Alaska pols who too conveniently forget about our noble tradition of federal land protection as a unique element of the American experience and character.

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Featured image by John E Marriott Photography, click HERE to view his wolf photographs

Help Humane Society of the United States in the Fight to Protect Wisconsin’s Gray Wolf

Humane Society of the U.S. stopped the trophy of hunt of wild wolves in Wisconsin, Great Lakes Region and in the U.S. numerous times. Please review the following Timeline of Gray Wolf Protection (source)  Donate, take action HSUS is on the front lines protecting Wisconsin’s gray wolf. 
 2014: The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issues an order invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 rule delisting wolves in the western Great Lakes region, requiring that sport hunting and trapping of wolves in the region must end immediately.

  

December 2014
: The annual wolf hunt ends early in Minnesota and Wisconsin, with hunters and trappers exceeding state quotas at record pace. In Minnesota, 272 wolves were killed, 22 more than the stated quota, with 84 percent of late season wolves killed in traps. In Wisconsin, 154 wolves were killed, four more than the quota permitted and 80 percent killed in leghold traps.

November 2014
: Voters repeal PA 520 (moving the wolf to the game species list) with a 55 percent “no” vote, and they also repeal PA 21 (giving the NRC the authority to decide which species can be hunted), with a 64 percent “no” vote. Repeal of PA 21 was approved by 69 of 83  a landslide rejection of NRC decision-making power.

September 2014:
Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming are reinstated after a judge invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 rule delisting of the species in that state, requiring that sport hunting and trapping of wolves in Wyoming must end immediately.

August 2014
: The Michigan legislature passes the “Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act” and, not requiring the governor’s signature, the bill immediately becomes law (PA 281).

March 2014
: Keep Michigan Wolves Protected submits signatures to the Michigan Secretary of State, marking its second referendum for the November 4 ballot that would protect wolves and restore the right of Michigan voters to weigh in on critical wildlife issues. This referendum specifically would restore voter’s ability to weigh in on not just wolves, but almost any protected animal the NRC may wish to add to the list of game species to be hunted and trapped for sport.

November 2013
: Michigan’s first-ever annual wolf season begins and a total of 22 wolves are killed. A coalition funded by sport-hunting groups announces plans for its own petition drive for a citizen initiated bill called the “Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act,” which is intended to reaffirm the NRC’s ability to designate game species. In a move to make the bill immune from Michigan voter referendum, the bill included a $1 million appropriation earmark.

  


June 2013
: USFWS publishes its proposal to delist the gray wolf from the federal Endangered Species Act throughout the Lower 48 states where wolves are not already delisted.

May 2013
: Michigan Gov. Snyder signs legislation (PA 21) allowing the Natural Resources Commission to designate new game species instead of just the legislature. PA 21 is intended to allow wolf hunting even if PA 520 was suspended or repealed by referendum.

March 2013
: A coalition of groups including The HSUS called “Keep Michigan Wolves Protected” submit 253,705 signatures to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, marking the coalition’s first petition drive to stop a wolf hunting season through referendum of PA 520. The referendum would allow Michigan voters to decide whether wolves should be hunted in the November 2014 election.

February 2013
: Wildlife protection groups, including The HSUS, file suit against the USFWS over its decision to remove the protections of the Endangered Species Act from gray wolves living in the western Great Lakes region.

  

October 2012
: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs legislation (PA 520) designating the wolf as a game species and authorizing the Natural Resources Commission to establish a wolf hunting season.

December 2012
: The HSUS and The Fund for Animals file a lawsuit to restore federal protections for Wyoming wolves.

September 2012
: The USFWS removes wolves in Wyoming from federal Endangered Species Act protections.

April 2012 – July 2012
: Wisconsin enacts legislation mandating a wolf hunting and trapping season, requiring that the state wildlife agency authorize the use of packs of dogs, night hunting, and snare and leg-hold traps. The state wildlife agency adopts regulations for the hunting and trapping of wolves in 2012-2013 via emergency rules, and sets the quota at 201 wolves.

July 2011 – August 2012
: Minnesota enacts legislation allowing a wolf hunting and trapping season once wolves are delisted. The state wildlife agency adopts regulations for the hunting and trapping of wolves in 2012-2013 via emergency rules, and sets the quota at 400 wolves.

December 2011
: The USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes.

  


April 2011
: Congress delists wolves in Montana and Idaho, and portions of Washington, Oregon, and Utah, marking the first time ever that Congress has removed protections for any species on the Endangered Species List.

August 2010
: In response to litigation brought by The HSUS and others, a federal court ruling reinstates federal protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana and prevents wolf hunts from going forward in those states.

August 2009
: The HSUS and others file suit to block wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana and restore federal Endangered Species act protections to wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains.

July 2009
: The HSUS enters into a court-approved settlement agreement with the USFWS that reinstated federal protections for wolves in the western Great Lakes region.

June 2009
: The HSUS and others file suit in federal court to block the delisting of Great Lakes wolves.

April 2009
: The USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes and northern Rockies, except for those in Wyoming.

September 2008
: In response to litigation filed by The HSUS and other organizations, a federal court overturns the USFWS’ decision to delist wolves in the western Great Lakes, thereby reinstating federal protections for gray wolves in the region.

July 2008
: In response to litigation filed by The HSUS and others, a federal judge issues an injunction restoring northern Rockies gray wolves to the endangered species list pending the conclusion of a lawsuit challenging their delisting.

February 2007
: The USFWS issues final rules delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains.

2005 –
: The USFWS tries to strip wolves of protection by issuing special exemption permits to the state of Wisconsin that authorize state officials to kill dozens of wolves. These permits are thrown out by a federal court in response to a lawsuit by The HSUS.

  

2005
: Two federal courts both rule that the 2003 downlisting was arbitrary and capricious, returning the wolf to endangered status.

2003
: The USFWS issues a final rule downgrading most of the gray wolves living in the lower 48 states from endangered to threatened, making it easier for people to lethally take wolves.

1978
: Gray wolves are listed at the species level under the Endangered Species Act as endangered throughout the coterminous United States and Mexico, except in Minnesota, where gray wolves were listed as threatened.

1974
: Various subspecies of wolves are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

1967
: Wolves are listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, the precursor to the Endangered Species Act.

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All images are from: CAI PRIESTLEY’S WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG

Great Lakes Wolf Delisting Threat Continues in 2016

I have been a supporter of Wisconsin’s wolf recovery for a couple of decades. When I began working, as a volunteer monitoring wolves, only 249 wolves resided in Wisconsin (cited from Progress Report of Wolf Population Monitoring in Wisconsin for the period of April – September 2000). During this time, I have seen it all:

1. Wolves listed as temporary to threatened status.

2. Bear hound hunters ignoring WDNR wolf caution warnings, resulting in over $500,000 dollars in reimbursement costs and many dead dogs.

3. Multiple threats to delist the wolf.

 The year, 2015, began happily with the return of the Great Lakes wolf under federal protection after 3 years of trophy hunts in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The year ended with good news as well, as a rider was excluded from the federal omnibus bill that would have delisted them (Cited from WODCW blog Great Lakes Wolf News Highlights of the Year 2015)

Another threat to the Great Lakes wolf lies within the outcome of an appeal filed on behalf of several organizations:

“Earlier this month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed notices – although it acknowledged that the final decision on whether to pursue the case would be made by the Department of Justice. On Feb. 26, Wisconsin filed an appeal, and a day later, Michigan’s DNR also filed. Now add Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, the National Rifle Association, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Safari Club International, the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, the Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association, the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to the list…The joint effort is an attempt to repeal the December 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell that returned wolves in the Western Great Lakes Region – Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota – to the endangered species list. The judge’s ruling put an end to wolf management hunts and mandated that people can only kill a wolf in self-defense, but not to protect pets or livestock.” (Cited from Michigan Outdoor News, Appeals mount following court’s wolf ruling by Bill Parker Editor on March 12, 2015)

A decision could be forthcoming from this appeal within the next 2 months. Thus, Great Lakes wolves are not out of the woods yet; read on:

“The Obama administration, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming are appealing the two decisions. Minnesota is not formally a party to the Midwest case, but the state attorney general’s office filed an amicus brief Tuesday supporting a reversal…The brief says Minnesota’s wolf management plan will ensure the animals continue to thrive in the state. It says Minnesota’s wolf population and range have expanded to the point of saturating the habitat in the state since the animals went on the endangered list in 1973, creating “human-wolf conflict that is unique in its cost and prevalence.” Cited from Budget Bill Won’t Have Wolf Management Returning To Minn.)

Humane Society of the United States has filed multiple suits to keep wolves under federal protection on the ESA and won those battles. HSUS’s hard work and efforts has kept the Great Lakes wolf protected for now. 

I’m keeping tabs on HSUS for any news about the appeals decision. 

Read the following press releases from HSUS: 

Humane society opposes wolf delisting

In the War Over Management of Wolves, The HSUS Won’t Shrink from Effort to Protect Them
Groups Petition to Reclassify Gray Wolves to Threatened Status under Endangered Species Act

Federal Court: Great Lakes Wolf Hunting Ends Now Sport Hunting and Trapping of Wolves is Over
Wisconsin Voters Support Protecting Wolves by 8 to 1 Margin New poll shows Wisconsin voters statewide oppose a reckless trophy hunt of wolves
October 15, 2012 The Humane Society of the United States Files Notice of Suit to Restore Federal Protection for Great Lakes Wolves

The following is a timeline from HSUS: 

April 2012 – July 2012 – Wisconsin enacts legislation mandating a wolf hunting and trapping season, requiring that the state wildlife agency authorize the use of dogs, night hunting, and snare and leg-hold traps. The state wildlife agency adopts regulations for the hunting and trapping of wolves in 2012-2013 via emergency rules, and sets the quota at 201 wolves.

July 2011 – August 2012 –
Minnesota enacts legislation allowing a wolf hunting and trapping season once the wolves are delisted. The state wildlife agency adopts regulations for the hunting and trapping of wolves in 2012-2013 via emergency rules, and sets the quota at 400 wolves.

December 2011 –
USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes.

September 2010 –
The USFWS issues a finding that petitions to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region “may be warranted.”

July 2009 –
The HSUS enters into a court-approved settlement agreement with the USFWS that reinstated federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes region.

June 2009 –
The HSUS files suit in federal court to block the delisting decision.

April 2009 –
USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes.

September 2008 –
In response to litigation filed by The HSUS and other organizations, a federal court overturned the USFWS’ Great Lakes delisting decision, thereby reinstating federal protections for gray wolves in the region.

February 2007 –
The USFWS issues a final rule delisting the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes. 

2005 – 2006 –
The USFWS tries to strip wolves of protection by issuing blanket permits to the state of Wisconsin that authorize state officials to kill dozens of wolves. These permits are thrown out by a federal court in response to a lawsuit by The HSUS. 

January 2005 –
A federal court rules that the 2003 downlisting was arbitrary and capricious, returning the wolf to endangered status. 

2003 –
USFWS issues a final rule downgrading most of the gray wolves living in the lower 48 states from endangered to threatened, making it easier for people to lethally take wolves. 

1974 – Gray wolf listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act throughout the lower 48 states.

1967 – Wolves listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 – the precursor to the Endangered Species Act.