The Intent Upon Killing Wolves for Trophy on Public Lands is Exploitation

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.

Alex Krevitz,  M.A.

Science Editor

Letters to the editor: Wolf detractor has irrational animosity toward wolves

Shirley Clements of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin gets it right in her letter to the editor, that there is no science behind the push to hunt wolves. Source: Capital Times

Dear Editor: The following is an introduction to Wisconsinite Earl Stahl, whose book “Wolves at Your Door” was displayed at Sen. Tom Tiffany’s “wolf summit.”
Stahl wants to educate ignorant people about wolves. He praises wolf management based on “scientific facts” not “emotional positions.” 
Nonetheless, Stahl is affiliated with Wolf Education International and Wisconsin Wolf Facts. Besides Stahl, the later group consists of Laurie Groskopf (Bear Hunters Association), Mike Brust (Bowhunters Association) and Eric Koens (Cattlemen’s Association). These individuals demonize and devalue the wolf species. They want more people to think like they do, so wolves are unjustifiably killed. The former organization contains a similar cast of characters with highly negative mental views of wolves.
Stahl misleads readers when using his title of “Dr.” and mentioning his “appointment” to WEI. Because Stahl, retired professor of counselor education, actually has no expertise in wildlife sciences. He’s a hunter who joined clubs that propagandize against wolves.
Next to Stahl’s articles there are graphic photos of dead animals supposedly killed by wolves, including a recycled one of Eric Koens with “his” calf “slaughtered by wolves.” (The DNR confirms Koens has never had wolf depredation.) Stahl tells anecdotal stories, detailing how animals were supposedly killed by wolves. 
Stahl employs scaremongering and sensationalism. Animals living in nature are condemned simply for the way they kill to eat to survive.

Wisconsin has an estimated 866-897 wolves. Stahl wants 700 “removed” this fall.

Desiring mass killing tells us Stahl has nothing honest to teach, because he himself takes an emotional position of irrational animosity.

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Letter to the Editor: Don’t let wolf recovery be used to weaken protections

Source: Duluth News Tribune 

I am encouraged by reports that wolves in Wisconsin are finally starting to make a recovery after nearly being wiped out in the Great Lakes region (“Wis. wolf population hits record,” June 17).
What’s not so encouraging, though, is that some officials are hellbent on using this cause for celebration to call to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves and return wolves to state control so they can once again be hunted or trapped for trophies (“Walker wants wolf hunting to resume,” June 21). Wisconsin even permits wolves to be hunted with packs of hounds, unlike any other state.
Removing federal protections is premature. Wolves are not yet recovered to a majority of their historic range. On top of that, they face habitat destruction, disease, poaching and hostile state wildlife managers.
Endangered Species Act decisions must be dictated by science, not politics. A recent, steady stream of peer-reviewed research shows that trophy hunting and lethal control of wolves can exacerbate livestock conflicts. That’s because when wolf packs are disrupted wolves turn to easy prey. Government culling programs may even increase poaching, according to other studies. Science also shows that wolves do not threaten white-tailed deer populations; but rather wolves prey on the weak and sick, including animals infected with chronic wasting disease.
Wolf conservation yields enormous benefits to ecosystem health and increases biological diversity. It would be a grave mistake to heed this call to remove Endangered Species Act protections from wolves simply based on the species reaching a certain number, with no other considerations. Are we actually asking for history to repeat itself?
Melissa Tedrowe
Wauwatosa, Wis.
The writer is the Wisconsin state director for The Humane Society of the United States.

Featured image is of Melissa Twedrowe


Letter to the Editor: To understand wolves, use science

Source: Arizona Daily Sun 

To the editor:
“Wolves are the only animal that kill for pleasure.” A concerned sportsman presented this belief as fact at a Game and Fish hearing dealing with the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf.
I have no idea what goes on in the mind of a wolf, or for that matter, others of my own species. My neighbor who lost a dozen of her chickens can only guess what was going on in the labrador’s head during the slaughter. Although, I no longer hunt, I’m not proud of the fact that recreation played a part in motivating me to kill animals. The man who holds the belief that wolves are the only animal who kill for pleasure need only look in the mirror.
The sun revolves around a 6,000- year-old flat Earth. My faith has more truth than your faith. Some races of people are inherently inferior. The only good wolf is a dead wolf.
As irrational as some beliefs might be, they provide a simple answer to complex questions. Unexamined beliefs fueled by emotions are the antithesis of scientific inquiry. Beliefs provide comfort and security. If we fail to examine our beliefs they may become an obstacle to ever overcoming ignorance and bigotry.
The concerned sportsman is not a fan of the wolf. He believes passionately that they will do harm to his interest. I may not agree with him, but I honor his right to express his opinion. If we were to examine our beliefs we might discover that science proves us both wrong. For the health of the Earth, including wolves, we are best served by science.

DAVID LASH
Flagstaff
{Featured image by Jack Bell Photography}


Letter to the Editor: Humane society opposes wolf delisting – Wayne Pacelle

 Source: Green Bay Gazette
Recently, a few lawmakers in Congress attempted to subvert federal court rulings and attach a rider to a must-pass spending bill to remove federal protections for wolves.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) opposed this action, working with our allies to ensure that gray wolf populations in the Great Lakes states and Wyoming remain protected according to law. Wolves have no track record of hurting people, and under federal law, problem wolves can be removed under certain circumstances.
The Press-Gazette’s hunting writer properly noted our role in defending wolves, but mischaracterized our broader intentions. (“Wolf delisting out of budget package,” Dec. 24). HSUS is not trying to stop deer hunting and other forms of hunting that are conducted humanely and for meat. Nobody, on the other hand, is killing gray wolves for meat; they are inedible. They are killed for their heads and fur.
On the biology of the issue, more than 70 wildlife biologists and scientists recently wrote to Congress to state the ecological and legal reasons against delisting. In the end, Congress made the right call and showed proper restraint in not meddling with the Endangered Species Act.
Wayne Pacelle
Pacelle is president/CEO of the Humane Society of the United States

  
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