Education and Awareness Wins Over Angry Rhetoric Every Time…

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.

Respect for all matters…

Featured image from John E Marriott

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Join us at Sedona Wolf Week

Wolves are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy…

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.

Featured image by John E Marriott

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Enhancing the Lakota Culture through Indigenous Science…

Featured photograph is of sun setting at camp 

Generations Indigenous Ways is a community based Native nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering American Indian youth with the knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education enhanced by Oglala Lakota values and way of life using Indigenous Sciences.  Click HERE to make a donation

About Generations Indigenous Ways
We provide year-round education programs for American Indian students from the large land base of the Seven Council Fires, which covers the state of South Dakota. We are

Sharing Lakota Songs

currently located near the community of Lost Dog, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Centered amid the Oglala people of the Titowan Oyate; the largest nation of the Seven Council Fires, our current range and focus encompasses the Pine Ridge reservation area. However, we welcome the participation of youth from all backgrounds, who have a desire to understand and strengthen the Oglala Lakota relationship with land through discovering and exploring the unique ecosystems and environmental issues of the area. 

Discovery

Generations Indigenous Ways offers a K-12th grade Indigenous Science curriculum that incorporates Oglala Lakota Culture and Western Sciences. This curriculum is derived from the Medicine Wheel Model that was established by the successful outcomes of the Native Science Field Centers at Hopa Mountain and on the Blackfeet Reservation.

Click HERE to support Generations Indigenous Ways

Camps
The goal of the Lakota Summer Science Field Institute is to motivate youth to discover and explore science, technology, engineering, and math. Youth will learn how physics, mathematics, and the scientific method are required and used in designing a traditional

Bow Making

bow, harvesting traditional plants and foods, and creating traditional beadwork and quillwork. Other learning topics that supplement the STEM curriculum are Lakota Plant Sciences, Paleontology & Geology, and a Tipi erecting presentation.  

Horse Culture

Lakota Summer Science Field Institute Click HERE to learn more about the Camps

 – “Lakota Physics Camp” June 5-9, 2017

 – “Journey through the our Ancestral Lands”

     June 26-29, 2017 & July 3-6, 2017

After School Program
Our afterschool program is called: “Ithacan Kigali” -Creating Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Looking at data collections.

It is proven that a student’s willingness to engage in science activities increases when they are linked to the Oglala Lakota culture.

The programming is modeled to teach leadership skills, as well as, fundamental aspects of college preparation.

 The current locations are at the American Horse School in Allen, SD and the Crazy Horse School in Wanblee, SD. 

Tipi Camping

 Topics and Activities include:

Wolakota (Oglala Lakota way of life) Leadership (Oglala Lakota Kinship)

Community involvement-Service Learning Projects

Environmental Stewardship

Buffalo Sciences

Native Medicinal Plants

Traditional Foods Preparation

Oglala Lakota Traditional Foods 

Astronomy (Creation stories, constellations, special sky events)

Geology (Creation Stories, Lakota land uses)

Equine Sciences (Lakota Horsemanship)

Oglala Lakota Physics (Archery, Lodge building, Fluvial Morpholo

Let’s Connect

Executive Director – Helene Gaddie

“People have to realize that science is innate, we are born with it. But in order to balance it out, you put the culture first. You have to know who you are.” Helene Gaddie Co-Founder

Physics Camp 2016

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I first met Helene Gaddie, one of the founders, while teaching art at Little Wound School on Pine Ridge in 1992. Helene, an 8th grader at the time, exhibited leadership qualities, and has proven her ability to lead youth by developing this remarkable “Generations Indigenous Ways” science and culture program for k12 youth. Please take the time to read and view their video. Then, please support them with a donation.

Thank You,

Rachel Tilseth ~ author of WODCW Blog


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 

~~~

Featured image by John E Marriott

Top predators like wolves, bears, lions and tigers have declined dramatically around the world over the past century

Conservationists widen toolkit for predator management

Source: Berkeley News 
By Brett Israel,  12/13/16

Top predators like wolves, bears, lions and tigers have declined dramatically around the world over the past century. One major driver of these declines is retaliatory killing by people following predator attacks on domestic livestock. This lethal approach to predator management is increasingly controversial not only because of ethical concerns, but also the role predators can play in healthy ecosystems. A new UC Berkeley study shows that many non-lethal methods of predator control can be highly effective in protecting livestock from predators and in turn, saving predators from people.
A tiger drags a cow at Jennie Miller’s study site in India

The Berkeley study examined 66 published, peer-reviewed research papers that measured how four categories of lethal and non-lethal mitigation techniques — preventive livestock husbandry, predator deterrents, predator removal, and indirect management of land or wild prey — influenced attacks on livestock. The most consistently effective tools (showing 70 percent or greater effectiveness in at least two studies) were guard dogs, electric fencing, electrified fladry (electric fence with hanging colored flags), light and sound devices, shock collar, and removal of predators, which includes both killing and translocation to other places.
“Livestock owners spend immense resources on stopping carnivore attacks but may never know whether the costs were truly worthwhile,” said Jennie Miller, a researcher at Panthera who will become a postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley in the Department of Environmental, Science, Policy and Management in January. “If livestock owners can’t choose the most efficient tool for handling their problem predator and protecting their livelihood, how can we possibly expect them to peaceably coexist with large carnivores in their backyards?”
The study was published December 13 in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.
Large carnivores are critical to protect because, as top predators, they can stabilize entire ecosystems. Despite their importance, 77 percent of the 31 largest terrestrial carnivores are declining in population, with 61 percent listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. The global decline in large carnivores is due to many factors, including human-carnivore conflict that often stems from the need to stop carnivores from attacking livestock. At the same time, chronic conflict with large carnivores can threaten agricultural systems, which must be viable to support rural livelihoods and economies.
Currently there is little consensus on which management techniques are most useful and under what circumstances, or on the associated tradeoffs between duration and effectiveness level. That’s partly because so few studies have quantitatively measured the effects of some promising methods. For example, human guards and killing predators — both of which involve high financial and time costs and implications for human and animal well-being — have been quantitatively tested by just one study each.
A night enclosure for livestock at Miller’s study site in India 

A night enclosure for livestock at Miller’s study site in India. (Photo by Jennie Miller)
The new study found that preventive husbandry and deterrents were most effective in reducing livestock losses. These methods, however, showed wide variability due to a suite of external factors, such as how well equipment was installed and maintained. Husbandry methods ranged between 42 percent and 100 percent effective, while deterrents ranged anywhere from highly effective to wholly ineffective.
The wide variability could also be due to an apparent tradeoff between the effectiveness of protective methods and the length of time a given tool remains effective. Deterrents, therefore, are likely most effective when implemented during brief times of high carnivore risk, such as the calving or lambing season, when short-term protection of livestock would save the most animals from attacks.
“This paper shows that if we step back and take a broader look, we can derive some working principles to help guide more effective control of livestock depredation and minimize the need for lethal control of these iconic animals,” said co-author Oswald Schmitz, Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Lethal predator control has received particularly little study and monitoring, the study’s authors pointed out.
“In spite of lethal control being very widely used, it really hasn’t been studied well enough to make scientific comparisons with other, non-lethal methods, which is surprising,” said Arthur Middleton,an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and a study co-author.
As a result, the authors suggest the lethal management method should receive closer monitoring and more rigorous testing.
The study also identified many negative biases in studies of techniques to reduce livestock losses, including the lack of replication across carnivore species and geographic regions, a heavy focus on the Canidae family (wolves and coyotes) and on the United States, Europe and Africa, and a publication bias towards studies that reported positive results. To prevent these biases in future studies, the authors are recommending a review group and additional funding to support rigorous testing of methods, especially the usefulness of human guards and lethal control, since these techniques involve large financial and time costs and have detrimental impacts on human health and carnivore populations.
“Chronic conflict between large carnivores and livestock not only limits the long-term viability of many carnivore populations – it also carries economic and emotional costs for the livestock producers and others involved in these conflicts,” Middleton said. “All these are important to alleviate, no matter how long it takes.” Source

In Canada, Ontario government decides to scrap their ill-advised proposal to increase the hunting of wolves and coyotes.

Government is finally listening to science. Source: April 6, 2016 Ontario Government Scraps Proposal to Increase Hunting of Wolves and Coyotes

Animal protection and conservation groups encourage responsible approach to wildlife management

Humane Society International/Canada, Animal Alliance of Canada, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, Born Free, Canadians for Bears, Coyote Watch Canada, Earthroots, Wolf Awareness, Zoocheck

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has scrapped a plan to allow increased killing of wolves and coyotes across the province. The poorly-conceived proposal was branded as an effort to protect moose populations, yet even the province’s own data showed that the indiscriminate killing of predators is not an effective wildlife management practice. 
A coalition of animal protection and conservation organizations in Ontario and across Canada worked to oppose this proposal. The coalition is comprised of: Animal Alliance of Canada, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, Born Free, Canadians for Bears, Coyote Watch Canada, Earthroots, Humane Society International/Canada, Wolf Awareness and Zoocheck. The groups released the following statements in response to the MNRF’s proposal:
“We welcome the Ontario government’s decision to scrap their ill-advised proposal to increase the hunting of wolves and coyotes,” said Gabriel Wildgen, campaign manager for HSI/Canada. “The Ontario public cares about animals, and it would be simply inexcusable to allow the indiscriminate killing of some of our most majestic wild animals at the behest of special interest groups. The best available science does not support scapegoating and targeting of a species to make up for wildlife and habitat mismanagement.” Click HERE to read more.

  

 
Image: John E. Marriott Photography

An explanation of why wolves kill more than they can eat.

Source: The Truth About Wolf Surplus Killing: Survival, Not Sport What gets called “surplus killing” actually isn’t, it’s killing for future feeding By: Wes Siler Apr 5, 2016

You probably saw the headlines a couple weeks ago when a pack of wolves near Jackson, Wyoming, killed 19 elk in a single night. The event was blown up by CNN, The Guardian, and others as an example of the threat re-introduced wolf populations in the American west present to game and livestock. But I knew there must be more to it than just big bad wolf fears, so I started digging.
“We’re not sure what triggers surplus killing,” regional wildlife supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department John Lund told USA Today, “In many cases, predators will kill with the intent to eat, but in this case, something triggered, and they went crazy, and just took down each elk, and moved onto the next.”
Why do wolves kill more animals than they can eat? I think I just found out. And it’s not because they’re crazy. 

The first thing this event reminded me of was the Chinese movie Wolf Totem. The story follows two young men who are sent from Beijing to Mongolia to teach rural herders about communism. Those herders live peacefully with the wolves who occasionally prey on their livestock, accepting it as nature’s balance. At one point in the movie, the wolves drive a herd of elk into deep snow, killing them, but also preserving their carcasses for future use throughout the harsh winter. It got me wondering about the incident in Wyoming, and whether storing meat for future use could be a real behavior of wolves here in North America. Click here to read more.


Featured image by: John E Marriott Photography