The Farm Bill (H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018), scheduled to be brought to the House floor next week that has amendments to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region. Amendment number 85:
Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) submitted an amendment to remove ESA protections for gray wolves across the continental United States. This would not only place gray wolves in peril, but also undermine the ESA by taking away the decision-making power from scientists, as the law mandates, giving it instead to partisan members of Congress. This amendment also blocks judicial review, meaning that citizens can’t challenge the delisting in court. Shielding agency actions from review by independent federal courts violates citizens’ rights under the ESA and is simply undemocratic. Animal Welfare Institute
The War On Wolves Continues. Wolf advocates we must make our voices heard. By Alex Krevitz, M.A. Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Science Editor
In recent years state and federal natural resource agencies have targeted grey wolves Canis lupus, for elimination. Scientific organizations and reputable non governmental wildlife organizations have had their peer reviewed scientific research eschewed by policy makers. Individual scientists have had aspersions cast upon their professional legitimacy for questioning wolf management policies.
The purveyors of the anti wolf misinformation have been affiliated with groups associated with extractive industries, agricultural interests and trophy hunting. Their goal has been a mission to depict wolves as wanton killers of deer and livestock. Their interests have been served by legislators whose campaigns they have funded. Cases before the Supreme Court of the U.S. such as Citizens United and Montana Copper Kings have infused those who seek to exploit public land for private gain often at the expense of wildlife with a source of revenue with which to influence policy makers. Fortunately, the judiciary on several occasions have restored protections to wolves. Justices have characterized the fervent and scientifically unfounded war on wolves as “arbitrary” and “irresponsible.”
Historically, over decades, Americans, in polls and on ballot initiatives, have expressed strong support for banning wolf hunting and protecting public lands. Surreptitious attempts by extractive industries and ranchers to devastate these lands for personal gain have met with massive and vocal public opposition and some plans have been stopped or delayed.
Miraculously, persistent communications to legislators by wolf advocates resulted in the species continued protection. Numerous NGOs and grass roots activists update each other and the public on legislative maneuvers and upcoming votes. Countering large well funded and experienced entities determined to remove wolves from Endangered Species protections is an ongoing task. Certain members of Congress with hitherto positive environmental records have capitulated to their well funded cohorts with opposing agendas.
The current Interior Secretary has elevated the trophy hunting and mineral extraction as top priorities of his department. He has faced skepticism and criticism from scientists, the conservation community and the public. Naturalists at all levels have been appalled by this single minded focus on transforming the Interior Department into a safe haven for those intent upon killing trophy animals and exploiting natural resources on public lands as primary objectives.
Once a species had been extirpated there is no return. The cumulative effects of killing, border walls and habitat destruction is terminal.
So the fight goes on to advocate for our wildlife who cannot protest in their own right. To protect our sacrosanct and irreplaceable natural resources; It is imperative that severe exploitation actions be publicized, and that those who advocate for these destruction be held accountable.
We must make our voices heard as individuals through the media, petitions, at public meetings, using our informed communications networks to rally support. We must all vote. America’s natural resources, including wolves, were protected in the past due to public support. It is incumbent upon all of us to provide that same support for wildlife and wildlands now.
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. Make a tax deductible contribution here to support the film project.
These stories will be the inspiration that helps the viewer to gain insight into the heart of wolf advocacy. Marc Cooke is one of the wolf advocates with a story to tell. Mark Cooke founded the nonprofit called Wolves of the Rockies headquartered out of Stevensville, Montana.
Marc Cooke was born in Connecticut and living between both Cape Cod and Connecticut to a family of law enforcement officers. He attended parochial, public and private educational institution. During his childhood, he began what was to become a lifelong enjoyment and commitment to both domestic animals and wildlife well-being.
After completion of higher education at Johnson & Wales University, he joined the United States Army to begin what would become a steady commitment to giving back to this country and causes he believed in. While in the military he was stationed in Germany and helped support Desert Storm and Desert Shield. It was during this time he met and married Lorenza and eventually moved to Switzerland.
After being Repatriated to Cape Cod Massachusetts for several years and continuing to have an interest in horses and wildlife. He eventually moved west and settled down in North West Montana.
Enjoying all that Montana has to offer he quickly realized that wildlife was unnecessarily being abused for pleasure and profit. He became active at the grassroots level to abolish trapping in Montana. All the while watching the beginning of irrational hatred and abuse meant for wolves that had been reintroduced into Yellowstone and Idaho. He quickly shifted gears and began attending wolf related private and public hearings. It didn’t take long to realize that wolves were being railroaded and had virtually no grassroots support to defend and protect these animals at the local level. Livestock producers and all consumptive and trophy hunting organization were having their way with future wolf management in Montana and elsewhere.
As an individual, no county, state or federal decision-makers were listening. This was when Marc and several other pro-wolf individuals began National Wolf Watcher Coalition a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit. This eventually led to another nonprofit he founded called Wolves of the Rockies headquartered out of Stevensville, Montana.
Wolves of the Rockies is the most active local and national wolf defender and protector in Montana. Wolves of the Rockies has developed long-term relationships with other hunting and pro-wolf state and national conservation organizations. Along with decision makers such as Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commissioners and state and federal elected officials.
Under Wolves of the Rockies leadership, we have achieved many pro-wolf accomplishments. The creation of two subunits 313 & 316 that border Yellowstone National Park. They have gone from no wolf killing quota to only being able to hunt or trap two wolves in each. Also, no individual hunter can kill more than one wolf in 313 & 316. Rewards for the apprehension of Yellowstone wolf poachers, derailing the intention of extending wolf hunting season in the Bitterroot Valley that would have allowed the hunting of midterm pregnant wolves. He pushed for a Montana Trapping Advisory Committee that will represent the anti-trapping public. Closing the wolf hunting season around Yellowstone National Park for several months one year. WotR has derailed or softened many legislative bills that were considered anti-wolf and carnivore.
More on this documentary film project …
Inside the “Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone” Story is the story of the people that advocate to preserve the legacy of wolves in Yellowstone. Here’s more on the other wolf advocates in the film.
Ilona Popper writer, wolf watcher and member of Bear Creek Council.
Rick Lamplugh author and member of Bear Creek Council.
Nathan is the owner of The Wild Side, LLC, a wildlife touring business specializing in outfitting groups of all ages to view wolves and other wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.
And more interviews…
Along with interviews from the Yellowstone Wolf Project Doug Smith, Rick McIntyre and Kira Cassidy.
“Inside the Heart of Wolf Advocacy-The Yellowstone Story”. 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 hunts taking place just beyond the park’s borders.
About the producers…
Maaike Middleton Co Producer
M.A Documentary by Practice, University of London – Royal Holloway
Graduated with Merit B.A Media & Theatre Arts, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, Graduated Cum Laude
Raised in the Paradise Valley, schooled in London, traveled to 25+ countries, rooted in the Montana wilds. Growing up in Paradise Valley all I wanted to do was travel and see the world. After getting my BA in Filmmaking from Montana State University I did just that. I traveled to some amazing places, from the wild Gobi dessert in Mongolia to the temples of Angor Wat in Cambodia to the hustle and bustle of London where I received a Masters in Documentary filmmaking from the University of London. Returning to Paradise Valley to document the beauty that surrounds me daily. My passport ever ready for the next international adventure and hiking boots ready to explore the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Rachel Tilseth Co Producer and Director
Rachel holds a Batchelor of Science Degree in Art Education, graduated Cum Laude and is a retired art teacher. Tilseth’s interests in nature, specifically wolves, led her to advocate for wolves and wildlife. In the year 2000 she became involved in WI DNR Wolf Recovery Program working as a volunteer winter wolf tracker to present. She founded the blog and social media network Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin to bring education and awareness to Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Tilseth has spent several years speaking out against wolf trophy hunts. Tilseth is active in working to ban Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin. She has a strong background in the visual arts. She’s a sculptor and oil painter. Tilseth has expanded her interest into filmmaking. She’s currently in the process of creating a documentary film about the heart of wolf advocacy.
We now have a fiscal sponsor for our film. To make a tax deductible contribution go to Plan B Foundation and donate today! Five percent of your donation goes to help wolves and wolf programs throughout the USA.
Hearing students of all ages from elementary, middle school, high school and university express their respect and admiration for wolves is hopeful. As an educator, when I hear a fifth grader say, “wolves are my favorite animal” I immediately respond in agreement with them. Yes wolves are my favorite animal too!
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela
I have been bringing wolf education and awareness in my local school community since 1998. I’ve taken local high school biology classes out wolf tracking and on howl surveys for two decades now. Even helped a friend and local biology teacher screen the film “Medicine of the Wolf” for his class. This is what makes a difference, wolf advocates, by opening the conversations in your local school community about wolf awareness and education. Share your respect and admiration for wolves with students of all ages. It begins with planting the seeds, and watching them grow into young adults who become wolf advocates. Several organizations have developed wolf education curriculums, Gray Wolf Educators Guide Living With Wolves and Timber Wolf Alliance. I teach a science summer camp and invited Timber Wolf Alliance to share their wolf education curriculum with my classes. It was a big hit! If you want to know more email me at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to connect you with these two organizations for wolf education curriculum.
Photo credit a grey wolf in Amalik Bay. NPS Photo/D. Kopshever.
Advice for wining the war-on-wolves. There’s a culture of trolling, attention seekers, and the haters in the comment section on every wolf advocacy page. Those trolls can create a culture of angry rhetoric real fast. It’s my experience (been doing this since the year 2000) that anyone claiming to kill a wolf and use the “SSS” method more than likely are ALL talk. Probably have never even seen a wolf, and if they did would pee their pants in fear. Spending our time fighting these types is a real waste of time. It gets the wolf advocacy movement “nowhere” real fast. The aggressive approach simply doesn’t work.
“How can you stop yourself from yelling and shouting and accusing everyone of cruelty? The easy answer is that the aggressive approach simply doesn’t work.” ~Jane Goodall
We cannot create an atmosphere of compassion, respect & coexistence for wolves if we are fighting and arguing online with the small fish (trolls & attention seekers). Meanwhile, the politicians are enjoying the online show of angry rhetoric. It’s what politicians live for and use to keep the focus off the real issues.
Angry rhetoric on Facebook keeps the wolf advocacy movement polarized. There’s probably many people out there who would get involved, but won’t because of all the screamers, ranters, the trolls, and the likes of which are displayed within wolf advocacy sites. Let’s face facts that extremist’s voices are drowning out any and all intelligent conversation within the wolf advocacy movement.
Education and awareness are key components to winning the war on wolves.
Instead we must use scientific facts and real life experiences working with wolves as our best weapon to win the war on wolves. We must rise above the angry rhetoric, after all we have the moral-high-ground because trophy hunts are about power not conservation. Wolves are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” ~Plato
We must carry the banner forward in compassion for both humans and wolves and wildlife in order to win the war on wolves being waged by special interests groups and unscrupulous politicians.
Wisconsin’s northern and central forests are home to 955 gray wolves. Wisconsin is one of about a dozen states in the country with a wild gray wolf population. Gray wolves, also referred to as timber wolves, are the largest wild members of the dog family. Wolves are social animals, living in family groups or packs. A wolf’s territory may cover 20-80 square miles, which is about one tenth the size of an average Wisconsin county. WDNR Website about wolves
The following video clip was shot in July 2017. When we got out of the vehicle a Raven began to talk to us.
The gray wolf in the western Great Lakes region is currently on the Federal Endangered Species List. This listing status limits the state of Wisconsin’s management authority including the authority to hold a trophy hunts on wolves.
Photograph by Rachel Tilseth 03/04/18. Gray wolf travels down gravel road in northern Wisconsin.
Photograph by Rachel Tilseth 03/04/18. Lichen covered trees in northern Wisconsin.
Photograph by Rachel Tilseth 03/04/18. A wolf scat in the center of the gravel road. White-tailed deer hair and bones can be seen in this wolf scat.
Photograph by Rachel Tilseth 03/04/18. Gray wolf track in mud.
Photograph by Rachel Tilseth 03/04/18. There are gravel roads in wolf habitat spanning up to nine miles with little or no signs of human development.
I filmed this video clip two summers ago.
Featured photograph by Rachel Tilseth 03/04/18 in wolf county.
Wolves have an amazing olfactory sense. They will blow on the bed where a White-tailed deer slept causing all the particles to flow up and into their olfactory sense. By doing this the wolf can tell if the White-tailed deer is healthy or not. A wolf can tell if the tick that fell off the White-tailed deer has puss in the blood. Wolves can tell if a White-tailed deer has a tooth infection by smelling a chewed leaf. Wolves have kept a healthy balance in the wild for centuries. Yet, the politician claims to be the best at deciding the fate of the wolf. Stand firm, speak for wolves, because we have the moral high-ground. Wolves are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy. They keep the White-tailed deer healthy.
Wisconsin’s wild wolf faces delisting threats from politicians & big monied special interests; oil & gas, logging, Big Ag and Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association. They want to hold a trophy wolf hunt. Please contact your members of congress & tell them to say NO to wolf delisting. Use this easy form democracy.io to contact your members of Congress.
Politicians seek to undo 40 years of wolf recovery in Wisconsin. Once these politicians get their way wolves in Wisconsin become a game animal for trophy hunters. Wisconsin is the only state that allows the barbaric practice of wolf hounding.
Watch the following video of Wisconsin’s wild wolf after you write your members of congress #KeepWolvesProtected
This is what it’s all about. They do not have a voice in the human world, so we must be their voice.
If the wolf is to survive, the wolf haters must be outnumbered. They must be outshouted, out financed, and out voted. Their narrow and biased attitude must be outweighed by an attitude based on an understanding of natural processes. ~L. David Mech
We are currently being outshouted, out financed, and out voted. Our politicians care neither; for the wolf advocates nor for the wolf haters, but only for catering to the moneyed-special-interest groups that are financing their elections. They are currently whipping up a frenzy of anti-wolf rhetoric; the wolf-hating crowd is enraged and engaged.
The Gray wolf needs you to fight for him now!
We all have to step up our game, and be more active & more engaged; more compelling. We should make it a habit, that for every time we log onto Facebook, we also make a call, send an email, or write a letter to our politicians. If we have time to “Like” photos, posts, blogs, we also have time to make a phone call to our politicians.
Please be the voice for the Gray wolf…
The wolves need us now more than ever. The anti-wolf sentiment that our politicians are spewing; is at an all-time high. If we don’t act now, there may be no chance for the Wisconsin wolf.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): 202-224-5653
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): 202-224-5323
Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI): (202) 225-3365
Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) : (608) 266-2509
Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-WI): (202) 225-3365
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN): 202-224-5641
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): 202-224-3244
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI): 202-224-6221
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): 202-224-4822
Photo credit: Jim Brandenburg, “Watching for Deer” available at Siverston Gallery in Minnesota http://bit.ly/2xfCxji
Make the call today! Be the voice for the Gray wolf!
Source: Journal Sentinel by Mary Falk , February 15, 2017
We sure don’t need our state’s U.S. senators signing off on bills allowing wolves to be indiscriminately killed.
I raise cattle, sheep and goats on 200 acres in Burnett County, where my family runs a small cheese plant. Since our farm connects to a wildlife corridor, our land is host to a multitude of wildlife which, in turn, attracts various predators including coyotes, plenty of bears, an odd cougar and gray wolves. Compared to the coyotes and bears, the wolves are pretty rare.
Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson recently joined other lawmakers in introducing legislation to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming. This is a short-sighted proposal that would open the door to trophy hunting and trapping of gray wolves, and it shouldn’t be allowed to move forward.
Leaving aside for a moment how much has been invested into preventing wolves from vanishing altogether, this proposal has the potential to create big headaches for small farmers. The consequences of allowing wolf hunts in my neck of the woods are predictable: It’s going to disrupt the delicate balance we’ve spent years working out to keep predators at bay.
We’re a hunting family, but in 30 years, we’ve never had to shoot a predator to defend our livestock. I give all the credit to my livestock guardian dogs. Last year, for example, as my son was bow hunting he watched a wolf trot through our property and head toward our farm. He then heard our dogs go ballistic, barking up a storm as they ran the wolf off the property. Because of the defense put up by our livestock guard dogs, our livestock were never endangered.
Once predators such as wolves and coyotes become accustomed to the barriers set down by guard dogs, they will train their pups to respect those same boundaries. A pack that respects the guard dog boundaries also helps to keep out other packs by utilizing similar territorial techniques that dogs use.
Sanction the non-prescription killing of wolves, however, and you’re bound to upset this balance and trigger more problems. If hunters take aim at wolves in one place, the wolves will just flee to new territory, possibly catching farmers off guard with unwanted visitors they’ve never before had to confront.
I’ve received quite a few phone calls from farmers in search of guard dogs in central Minnesota, who were being visited by wolves and had not seen them previous to the last sanctioned wolf hunt.
Meanwhile, suppressing wolves — which are already listed as federally endangered because they’re so rare — can bring a host of unforeseen consequences. For instance, scientists tell us that a healthy wolf population can be important to keep populations of wild deer in check. Deer overpopulation can introduce unwanted pests, weeds, disease and overgrazing on natural flora and farm crops.
There are many available tools for protecting livestock from predators. Some farmers utilize permanent electric fencing, portable fencing or night penning to safeguard herds when it isn’t possible to keep watch over them. All of these nonlethal options for dealing with predators can be employed without disrupting the natural balance.
We sure don’t need our state’s U.S. senators signing off on bills allowing wolves to be indiscriminately killed. I hope that Baldwin and Johnson will rethink their position on this short-sighted legislation.
Mary Falk is co-owner of LoveTree Farmstead Cheese in Grantsburg.
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