Ruling is expected soon from the appeals court on Great Lakes wolf protections being lifted

Gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan could find themselves in the crosshairs of hunters as soon as this fall. Source

A ruling is expected soon from the same appeals court that recently lifted protections for wolves in Wyoming. Officials say that whether Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan can hold wolf seasons this fall would depend in part on how soon the court rules.

Meanwhile, wolf-hunting supporters in Congress aren’t giving up even though a Minnesota representative was instrumental in killing an effort that would have allowed the three Midwest states to resume wolf hunting. Source

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Wisconsin can no longer afford to go back, back to the old way of thinking; the killing of wildlife in order to conserve them. For example; Wisconsin spent decades on wolf recovery, recovery of an imperiled species that was hunted to near extinction; then in a shocking twist, the state of Wisconsin legislature mandated a trophy hunt of wolves fresh off the Endangered Species List; 

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. 2011 Wisconsin Act 169, wolf hunt. For more information got to WODCW’s Blog

Howling For Wolves Wolf Day 2017 MN Capital, Wednesday, March 22, 2017 – 10:00

KEEP THE PACK INTACT: WOLF DAY 2017

When: Wednesday, March 22, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (doors open 9:30 AM)

Noon Rally in Rotunda (lets fill it with wolf howls too!)
Where: Minnesota State Capitol, Saint Paul, MN, Basement room and Rotunda
Wolf Day 2017 is in the newly-renovated Capitol Building.

Volunteers are needed before and on Wolf Day. Write us at volunteer@howlingforwolves.org to help.
Click here to: RSVP TODAY  to advocate and stand up for the wolf! 
Get a free specially designed T-shirt in 100% organic cotton

Come stand for the wolf, join other wolf advocates and tell your lawmaker to protect the wolf. Minnesota’s and the Great Lakes wolves need us to advocate and speak for them with Minnesota state lawmakers in St. Paul. The wolf may soon lose federal protections and the drum beat for wolf hunting that uses cruel methods will begin again. This 2017 legislative session we intend to introduce bills that include but are not limited to supporting nonlethal wolf livestock conflict prevention methods and eliminating all wildlife snaring. This is the first year of the two year session. As a Constituent, you are vital to persuade lawmakers to protect the wolf. The wolf needs us to speak for her and her pack. 
Please accept our new shirt designed just for this day. While we know some people may not want a new shirt, we ask that everyone wear a wolf shirt (older ones too) to let lawmakers know we are there for the wolf. We will have a bus from Duluth and encourage people to relax for the trip and take the bus.
Volunteers are needed before and on Wolf Day. We need people to help with set up and take down and distributing materials and others willing to stand in places throughout the office buildings to be seen and to direct people.

Click HERE for more information about Wolf Day.
Click HERE to download and share the Keep the pack intact poster.

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Action Alert: politicians from four states pressuring House Speaker Paul Ryan for a fast floor vote 

Call House Speaker Paul Ryan Phone: (202) 225-0600

In congress politicians from Wisconsin, Wyoming, Michigan and Minnesota are using propaganda to pressure congress to hold a fast floor vote to take wolves off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten their livestock. 

Out of 3.5 million head of livestock in Wisconsin there were 52 wolf depredations, hardly a number worth calling for the immediate removal of wolves off the ESL.  

The following is the latest news:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — By STEVE KARNOWSKIA Associated Press Source
Pressure is building in Congress to take gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list, which would allow farmers to kill the animals if they threaten their livestock.
Representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming have asked House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for a fast floor vote before the season when most cows and sheep will be giving birth begins in earnest. That followed recent testimony before a Senate committee from a Wisconsin farm leader who said producers need to be able to defend their livestock and livelihoods.
Meanwhile, both sides are waiting for a federal appeals court to decide whether to uphold lower court rulings that put wolves in the four states back on the list.

Take action for wolves by calling House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Washington, D.C. office 

Contact the Speaker

 Office of the Speaker

H-232 The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-0600

Make the call today!  Tell Speaker Ryan to keep wolves listed! 

It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad. Source: WODCW’s blog

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) 

Action Alert: Stop the War on Wolves Act 

Senators from Midwest introduce bill to strip protections from endangered gray wolves. The legislation would stop citizens right to challenge this legislation in a court of law. There are currently two bills in congress that call to delist the wolf in three 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).

The legislation would further strip citizens of the right to challenge these lethal programs in court. ~Earthjustice 

The War on Wolves Act would turn management of wolves back over to states that are clearly hostile to wolves. The state of Wisconsin’s wolf management plans include; 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   Wyoming’s wolf management plans include; In Wyoming, this would allow the state to resume a hostile management program that allowed for unlimited shoot-on-sight killing of wolves across 85 percent of the state.  Source

Take action to stop the War on Wolves Act by calling your members of congress 

Tips on Calling Your Member of Congress

When you dial 202-224-3121 you are directed to an operator at the Capitol switchboard. This switchboard can direct you to both senators as well as representatives.
Once the operator answers, ask to be connected to whomever you are trying to reach. They will send you to your senator’s or representative’s office line, and a legislative assistant will answer the phone.
It is important to let them know why you are calling and what issue you are calling about. You will sometimes be able to speak directly to your senator or representative, but more often you will speak to a staff person in the member’s office. This person keeps track of how many people called and their positions on issues, and provides a summary to the member. Be assured that your call does count, even if you are not able to speak directly to your senator or representative.
It is usually most effective to call your own senators and representatives, as each is primarily concerned with residents from his or her district. However, you may occasionally find it useful to call other members, if they are on a certain committee or in a particular position to help get a bill passed.
*Although you may find it easiest to always call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach your senators or representative, you can also find the direct number to any member’s office by consulting the Senate Phone List or House Phone List.


More information on the War on Wolves Act:

It’s all carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad
Lawmakers renew war on wolves HSUS
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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. 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 



Dear Senator Tammy Baldwin; As a Wisconsin resident, I am writing to implore you to keep gray wolves listed 

WODCW’s letter writing campaign yielded several fact filled letters urging Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin to withdraw her support of federal delisting. Unfortunately the senator did not withdraw her support of removing the wolf from the endangered species list in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Wyoming & Michigan. The federal wolf delisting action is a real possibility with this new congress. The following is one of these letters written to Senator Baldwin, read on:

Dear Senator Tammy Baldwin,
As a Wisconsin resident, I am writing to implore you to keep gray wolves listed as endangered species per the recommendations of U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell of Washington, D.C. The decision to once again delist gray wolves in Wisconsin and resume hunting and trapping should be based on science not politics. 
I’ve included some of my reasons for opposing this decision as well as quotes from two of the letters that were sent on Sept. 27 2014 and October 15, 2014 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer regarding this topic by wildlife biologist, Adrian Treves, director of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab for the UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute, B. Bergstrom, PhD, D. Parsons, MS, P. Paquet, PhD, R.P. Thiel, Certified Wildlife Biologist (Retired), and Jonathan Way, PhD. Their detailed analysis sheds light on the misleading statistics reported by Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) related to wolf hunt mortality rates; birth rates; unreported poaching; effects of year round, unregulated training of free-running dogs on wolves, night and day, year-round, with no rules or safeguards for law enforcement to implement; and inadequate recording and monitoring of wolf populations in general.
After reading the analysis of mortality levels of wolves before and after “harvest,” and reviewing the lack of adequate monitoring of populations, I am gravely concerned that delisting wolves from the endangered species list will result in severely diminished populations. In addition, the post-delisting monitoring (PDM) rules required by the Endangered Species Acts (ESA) of 1973 and published in the Federal Register require the USFWS to exert regulatory authority monitoring for not less than five years. C.M. Wooley, acting regional director for USFWS out of Minnesota, declined to implement PDM, saying, “The service no longer serves as a regulating entity to protect the wolf” nor has “a role in regulating gray wolves in any of the states of the Western Great Lakes.” This is clearly in violation of the ESA.
Other concerns regarding delisting wolves and the subsequent wolf hunts presented in the Sept. 27 and Oct.15 letters include:
The USFWS was given inaccurate and incomplete data by the Wisconsin DNR and was not able to determine wolf populations in Wisconsin. 

Other factors Indicating a potential cause for concern included a significant adverse change in wolf, wolf prey, or wolf habitat management practices or protection across a substantial portion of the occupied wolf range in the Western Great Lakes wolf population. (Including Wisconsin.)

Data on successful reproduction of Wisconsin wolf packs have not been presented publicly or presented to the independent scientific community for review. These data were provided in the past, thus interannual comparisons require them. These data are essential to proper estimates of population status because substantial population declines can occur at moderate levels of mortality if reproduction is impaired.

Wisconsin did not submit all wolf carcasses for necropsy as required. … Without these data we cannot assess if poaching has risen with initiation of harvest or deregulation of hound training in Wisconsin.

On July 10,2014, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals allowed training hounds on wolves year-round, night and day, without strict regulation anywhere free-running hounds are allowed, and without safeguards for wolves or hounds. The unregulated use of this novel training method cannot guarantee the safety of wolf pups or older wolves confronted by a pack of ≥6 hounds. This activity is currently unmonitored because the timing, location, and method of hound training are not currently regulated and there are no provisions for informing law enforcement when training is underway. Both of these potential threats could be severe and could require additional regulation by the ESA as ‘”to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct’, ESA Sec. 3(19)) (Wisconsin is the only state in the US to allow dogs be used in wolf hunts.)

Facing unmonitored new threats (hound-hunting and hound-training), potential increases in an old threat (poaching), and changes in monitoring methods, we express strong scientific concerns about Wisconsin’s wolf management.

In sum, mortality data are not reported using the best available science and these data remain unclear more than 60 days after our first letter of concern and over two years after delisting. … Therefore we urge emergency relisting pending independent scientific review.

Most importantly, the wildlife biologists recommended in the Sept. 27 letter:
We recommend an independent scientific review by scientists from multiple disciplines who have peer-reviewed, scientific publications on wolf mortality, hound-hunting, or human dimensions of poaching.

The independent scientists should be chosen to avoid those with conflicts of interest or otherwise beholden to the USFWS or the WDNR. That panel should be authorized by the USFWS to inspect all data collected by the State of Wisconsin. 

In other words, Senator Baldwin, in order to obtain the best available science for making decisions regarding the management of gray wolf populations in Wisconsin, it is necessary to have knowledgable scientists from multiple disciplines who are free from conflicts of interest or other political pressures making recommendations for state regulations related to wolf management.
One last issue to mention, which is also addressed by Adrian Treves, (director of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab, UW-Madison) regards the justification of a wolf hunt based on a decreasing deer population:
Although consumption of deer has increased as the wolf population has grown, wolves are not driving deer numbers down to dangerous levels,” the biologist says. The biggest factor that affects our deer herd are winters and the hunting [season] harvest.

In closing, I’ve chosen to address the issue of delisting gray wolves in Wisconsin by quoting unbiased, wildlife scientists whose analysis and recommendations were presented in two letters from September 27, 2014 and October 15, 2014 to the USFWS. Using best available science, their recommendations reflect the management strategies that were envisioned when the Endangered Species Act was first created in 1973, These scientists are not beholden to politics, gun hunting organizations or environmentalists. They have used their knowledge of wolf biology to assess our current wolf management practices, and based on that knowledge, requested the gray wolf be relisted on the endangered species list in 2014.
I am asking you, Senator Baldwin, to please consider the scientific views presented by the wildlife biologists quoted in this letter when making your decision regarding delisting. I would also encourage you to read the letters in their entirety that are attached to this email. 
In addition, keep in mind that the majority of Wisconsin residents support a wolf population (2014) at least as large as the state has now, according to a survey released by the Department of Natural Resources. 
Thank you for taking the time to consider my opinions that reflect the best available science-based information I’ve presented.
I’m hopeful you’ll make the right decision to keep the gray wolf on the endangered species list and work with the USFWS and the Wisconsin DNR to provide better monitoring and management practices, which will allow transparency in evaluating gray wolf populations in the future. Currently, neither organization has provided evidence they have achieved this goal.

Sincerely,

Patricia Lowry

Madison 

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Featured image by John E Marriott

Wolf Awareness Week event: Wisconsin’s premiere of the award-winning documentary film “Medicine of the Wolf.”

The Humane Society of the United States, (HSUS), and Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin present in celebration of Wolf Awareness Week the Wisconsin premiere of the award-winning documentary film “Medicine of the Wolf.”
Produced and directed by Julia Huffman, the showing will take place on Wednesday October 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI, 53704.

In 1991 Governor Tommy Thompson proclaimed this week – Sunday October 16th through Saturday October 22nd – as Timber Wolf Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

Reserve your tickets Tickets are $10.00 advance/$12.00 day of show.

Advance tickets are only available on-line at: http://www.barrymorelive.com/tickets/1610194.html or 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 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wolf Program Administrator, and emcee Carl Anderson.

Wolves are part of Wisconsin’s wild heritage.

Medicine of the Wolf trailer
https://vimeo.com/113797412

250 Commemorative posters will be given away at the screening 

This is the official commemorative poster for the Wisconsin premiere screening of Medicine of the Wolf taking place in Madison Wisconsin. These masterfully designed commemorative posters by artist Ned Gannon http://bit.ly/2aDsrRO Commemorative posters will be given away at the event by our donor Timothy Jon Coburn.  

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 focuses on these extraordinary sentient creatures and the remarkable, world-renowned National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg who has photographed and studied 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. Documented with stunning cinematography of the Northern Minnesota landscape “wolf country”, Medicine of the Wolf tugs at the emotions while presenting the complexities and highly charged politics now surrounding an animal being pushed towards extinction. 

The following is what Dr. Jane Goodall has to say about the film ‘Medicine of the Wolf’ “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.” Review by Dr. Jane Goodall

Let’s send a clear message that; wolves are part of Wisconsin’s wild heritage! Wolf advocates join us on October 19th for the Wisconsin premiere of Medicine of the wolf. Get tickets here: http://bit.ly/24FDUkL



Listen Wort Radio http://www.wortfm.org/  to win Medicine of the Wolf Wisconsin premiere tickets.

An exclusive sneak peek at ‘Teachers in the Forest’ a new book by Barry Babcock

Teachers in the Forest is a new book written by Barry Babcock about his life experiences living simplistically with and not against nature.  

“Nothing has more symbolic meaning for me than the wolf. For thousands of years we have waged a campaign of eradication against the wolf in the worst possible manner.” ~Barry Babcock, ‘Teachers in the Forest’

To purchase a copy of ‘Teachers in the Forest’ by Barry Babcock Click HERE

Babcock lives off the grid in the Mississippi Headwaters Country of northern Minnesota. His lifestyle is one of simple and self-sustaining existence. He gathers what he needs from the land by gardening, hunting, harvesting, and his only electricity is harnessed from the sun, and his water from a well which is pumped daily by hand.

  He lives an intimate balance with the natural world. He has pursued a way of life distanced from the economic and consumptive norms which he believes can hinder a persons connection to the natural world. He truly lives on the perimeter of society. With a deep love and respect for the land, he has been active in curbing the transformation of northern Minnesota which has been enacted by extractive industry, motorized recreation, and development.

For over two decades he has been active with the Tri-County Leech Lake Watershed Project, and is the founder of the grassroots organization Jack Pine Coalition. Since the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act, Babcock has been pro-actively fighting to protect this animal. This has included speaking to legislature in conjunction with the non-profit group Howling for Wolves, and assisting with the production of the documentary Medicine of the Wolf.”

Excerpt from book:

“Several winters later while again out on snowshoes with Babsy on the Twin Pines trail; I came across an old deer kill from earlier that winter. All that was left were the rib bones in the middle of the trail bleached white by the winter sun. Babsy was out ahead of me and stopped to sniff the bones with more than her usual interest. As I approached, I notice right away two sets of fresh wolf tracks in the snow and some bright yellow urine on the rib bones that was still wet and unfrozen which meant it happened recently. As I knelt to get a closer look, I noticed Babsy’s attention was focused elsewhere. I stood and looked off to the south side of the trail, and on a small rise in some old tamaracks saw two wolves beautifully yet mysteriously silhouetted against the low sun. They were standing one directly behind the other, appearing to be relaxed and attentively watching us. There was no fear, no hatred, only four living organisms meeting one another, and then they casually turned and disappeared. My only emotion was of contentment that they were here. Nothing has more symbolic meaning for me than the wolf. For thousands of years we have waged a campaign of eradication against the wolf in the worst possible manner.”

Message from the author, Barry Babcock:

It will be released soon. TEACHERS IN THE FOREST discusses my life experiences living simplistically with and not against nature and and how through the teachings of Larry Stillday, Aldo Leopold, and Thoreau, I have learned that by closely observing the natural world around me has taught me, both spiritually and academically, how to live a better life. 

My publisher – Riverfeet Press – will be hosting a prerelease sale, and you can find that info by going to Riverfeet Books Facebook page by clicking HERE .  

To order your copy of Teachers in the Forest from www.riverfeetpress.com click HERE



My friend Michael Meuers is one of two people (besides the publisher, Daniel Rice of Riverfeet Press) who have read it. This is what Michael Meuers says: 

“Barry uses his extraordinary ability for recall to blend his own vast knowledge of living off the grid and the teachings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Larry Stillday.” ~Michael Meuers
 

I have the great privilege of being a close friend of Barry Babcock. I had the opportunity to read his new book Teachers of the Forest several weeks before publication. I’ve been eager for others to share in my experience. Pictured: Barry Babcock with his good Friend Michael Meuers

 

Barry walks the walk. He and his wife Linda own 40 acres living literally “off the grid.” You’ll read stories of that land, about gardening, a hidden lake, three dogs, a gas refrigerator, an outdoor hand pump, with 100% of their electricity generated from solar collectors. The author fishes, hunts with a bow, wild rices, and does sugar bush.
  There are stories of the earth, about plants for nourishment and medicine. Stories of the winged ones; chickadees, grosbeaks, ruffed grouse, eagles and swans, and there are tales of the four-legged; deer, bear, beaver, and our besieged brother, the wolf.
Barry blends his experience with science and the world-view of our Indigenous cousins. In the end, Barry taught me about the teachers of the forest.

One of the many woodland visitors at the Babcock’s home.

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Featured image is of Barry Babcock with his dogs.