Letter to the editor (LTE) writing campaign: the public needs to hear from you! 

Great Lakes wolves could be delisted anytime now and placed in the hands of state management.  Wisconsin legislature mandates in Act 169 that when wolves are not listed on either federal or state endangered lists that they must be hunted. (Wisconsin Act 169) Wisconsin is the only state that allows the inhumane act of  “wolf Hounding” and Quite literally, throws dogs to wolves. Michigan voters, said no to a wolf hunt, yet in a shocking reversal of democratic principles,  Gov. Snyder signs wolf hunt bill in spite of voter opposition.  In Minnesota wolves are on the threatened list, which means the state has more authority on management of any wolf depredations on livestock, but legislators still push for a wolf hunt. 

Wisconsin wolves are in jeopardy and need your help.  I’m asking every Wisconsin wolf advocate to take action for wolves by submitting letters to the editor.

 I’ve included;  why write a letter, tips on writing a letter, and several links to Wisconsin newspapers. 

Now get to work advocates….

Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor (LTE), Writing a letter to the editor of your local or regional newspaper is the best way to reach a large audience with your message. LTEs are printed on the editorial page.  The editorial page is one of the most read pages in the paper. Members of congress keep a close eye on media coverage, including LTEs, in their local papers so they can keep an eye out for issues of importance to their constituents. Letters that get published helps reach both a wide public audience and your elected officials.  Even if your letter is not published, it is important for educating and persuading editors. The more letters they receive on a given topic, the more likely they are to dedicate more time in their newspaper to that issue, both on the editorial page and in news articles. It clearly expresses the issue’s importance to the community. 

The following tips are from: Union of Concerned Scientists

Keep your letter short, focused, and interesting. In general, letters should be under 200 words, 150 or less is best; stay focused on one (or, at the most, two) main point(s); and get to the main point in the first two sentences. If possible include interesting facts, relevant personal experience, and any local connections to the issue. If you letter is longer than 200 words, it will likely be edited or not printed. 

Write the letter in your own words. Editors want letters in their papers to be original and from a reader. Be sure that you take the time to write the letter in your own words. 

Refute, advocate, and make a call to action. Most letters to the editor follow a standard format. Open your letter by refuting the claim made in the original story the paper ran. Then use the next few sentences to back up your claims and advocate for your position. Try to focus on the positive. For example: According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, investments in renewable energy would bring over $200 million to our state and create 36,000 jobs by 2020. Then wrap your letter up by explaining what you think needs to happen now, make your call to action. 

Include your contact information. Be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number; the paper will contact you before printing your letter. 

 

-Submit your letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Journal Sentinel welcomes readers’ letters. Timely, well-written, provocative opinions on topics of interest in Milwaukee and Wisconsin are given first preference. All letters are subject to editing. The form below is for submission to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial department for possible publication. Letters selected for publication in the newspaper will also be posted on JSOnline.com.
Guidelines
Generally, we limit letters to 200 words. Name, street address and daytime phone are required. We cannot acknowledge receipt of submissions. We don’t publish poetry, anonymous or open letters.  Each writer is limited to one published letter every two months. Write: Letters to the editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 

P.O. Box 371, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0371

Fax: (414)-223-5444

E-mail: jsedit@journalsentinel.com

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel click HERE to submit a letter to the editor

-Submit your letter to the editor to the Wisconsin State Journal: click madison.com to submit

-Submit your letter to the editor to the La Crosse Tribune Click HERE for the online form

The Tribune encourages letters to the editor on current issues. Please limit letters to 250 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit all letters and require that all letters include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification purposes. Letter writers will be limited to no more than one letter a month. Please do not send poetry, items taken from other publications or from the Internet. Send letters to: Letters to the editor, La Crosse Tribune, 401 N. Third St. La Crosse WI 54601 or e-mail letters@lacrossetribune.com. Click here to use our online form.

-The Green Bay Press-Gazette welcomes letters to the editor of 250 or fewer words. You can send us your letter online by filling out the information below. Rules for Submission:

Letters must include your first and last name, complete address, and daytime phone number. Only your name and community will be published. Anonymous contributions, pseudonyms and first initials are not allowed. Contributors whose identities cannot be verified to our reasonable satisfaction may be required to submit further identification or their contributions will be withheld from publication. Contributors are limited to one published letter per month. Letters must be no longer than 250 words. They will be edited if necessary for clarity or brevity. Include sources for facts and figures included in your letter, either in the text of your letter or as a note at the bottom for our reference. Unless otherwise noted, all material must be original to the author. Mass-mailing letters will not be accepted. Guest columns must be no longer than 600 words and will be held to a higher standard of reader interest than letters and calls. It’s recommended to contact us before submitting a guest column. Letters to the editor may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms. Submit letters via:

♦ E-mail at forum@greenbaypressgazette.com
♦ Fax at (920) 431-8379
♦ Regular mail at Green Bay Press-Gazette, Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 23430, Green Bay WI, 54305-3430
♦ Or drop them off at the Press-Gazette office at 435 E. Walnut St., Green Bay. Lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Submit your letter to the Leader-Telegram Click HERE

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Social media is a tool to educate & advocate 

I’m sharing an article about how to be an effective activist. Wolf advocacy is evolving and growing with a solid base, because of the wide range of tools at its disposal.  News, action alerts and message boards have connected wolf advocates creating a strong force to be reckoned with; fighting the War On Wolves Act in congress is full speed ahead and the lines in congress are ringing off the hook! 

The following article, “How effective is social media?” By Erin Lee published on 2/12/16 from Source is a worthwhile reader for every wolf advocate:

As Shonda Rhimes wrapped up her insightful Dartmouth commencement speech back in 2014, she slipped in a little zinger admonishing social media activism — “A hashtag is not helping.”
“Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter,” she said. “But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing on your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show.”
Rhimes went on to encourage her young, Ivy League audience to instead go out and do something. But is Shonda right?

“Something I’ve learned in years with technology is that technology is a tool and not a toy,” Sholkoff said. 

April Reign, creator of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, said she has seen the power of social media and the influence that “hashtag activism” can have. She created #OscarsSoWhite in response to the lack of racial diversity in the 2016 Oscar nominations, sparking a national sensation. Mainstream media picked up the hashtag, and some celebrities announced they would boycott the Oscars in protest. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences eventually said it would make significant changes to its voting requirements and governing structure to work towards increasing the diversity of its membership.

“I think we can credit the conversations stemming from the hashtag and the issues behind it to making system change for the first time in the 80 year history of the Academy,” Reign said.

She said that young activists often use social media as a way to communicate, organize and raise awareness, citing the Black Lives Matter movement’s active use of hashtags.
“We’re connected more by the internet than by a personal relationship or a geography,” she said. “Those who think hashtags don’t work or that young millennials are apathetic really haven’t spend a lot of time being a part of that, because it does exist and it is successful.”
Kevin Bui ’17 said social media works as a forum to share articles and contribute to a greater social conversation.
“I want to put a certain message out there through my social media and state what I believe about certain issues,” Bui said. “The majority of people won’t care, but what it can do is help challenge the people who do care to think about things in a new way or different way.”
Bui added that many young people are unaware of current social and political issues, which is something social media can help solve.
“I do think in general the current generation is more resistant to change and activism because the structural inequality we see today isn’t as blatant,” Bui said. “A lot of people think we have already achieved equality, which I don’t think is true.”
Columbia University journalism professor Todd Gitlin said that historically, college students are generally not socially and politically active because they have other more immediate priorities.
“Most students at most times are apathetic in that whatever they think or think they think, they have other priorities besides stepping up and doing political work,” he said. “With the exception of episodic excitements, only a small percentage of students participate in any kind of political activity.”
Robert Wright ’18, a Dartmouth organizer for Bernie Sanders’ campaign, noted that many students are not as politically active because they are not immediately affected by policy changes.

“A lot of young people are already jaded and feel like no matter what they do nothing big is going to change,” he said.

Gitlin said he believes social media does not make a difference in levels of student activism, as many high points in student activism, such as the anti-Vietnam war movement in the 1960s, occurred before the advent of social media and the internet.
“It could even be argued that social media makes it easier to pull people out to a single action,” he said. “It also inflates the feeling that the movement is already on top of its environment, that it’s got momentum.”
Gitlin added that popular social media-driven movements, such as President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign or the Occupy Wall Street movement, tend to be short-term moments that can distract from enduring efforts.

“Social media are like wisps of oxygen — they get people excited but then they wear out,” he said.

However, Alcides Velasquez, communications professor at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, wrote in an email that his research shows social media does have a mobilizing effect among young adults, though the degree varies depending on the type of social media activity.
He said social media can make college students feel like they have a greater ability to effect change in the real world.
“Political uses of social media among college students increases how capable young people feel about achieving their own political objectives,” he said.
Velasquez said movements generated on social media do not often result in concrete, institutional change, though some do turn into offline movements. Perceptions of efficacy, social resources and the level of cohesion of the group all play a role into how successful a movement becomes, he said.

 “Social media can be fun, but it also is a tool to educate and advocate.”

Avi Sholkoff, a first year student at the University of Michigan student, wrote a Huffington Post article advocating for hashtag activism in the midst of the 2014 uproar over events in Ferguson, Missouri. In an interview, he said social media can amplify awareness of issues, which sometimes translates to more legitimate action. He cited the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as a social media campaign that raised a significant amount of money for a cause, moving beyond the confines of the internet.
“Something I’ve learned in years with technology is that technology is a tool and not a toy,” Sholkoff said. “Social media can be fun, but it also is a tool to educate and advocate.”
Wright, who started the “Dartmouth Students and Staff for Bernie” Facebook group, said social media was an effective way to reach out to large groups of people, though it is more of a “means to an end.” The goal is to use social media to help recruit people to campaign door-to-door, phone bank and actually vote, he said.

“The only way to make a democracy work is to get off social media and do things in the real world,” he said.

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Featured image by John E Marriott

Amaroq Weiss – An Insiders Guide to Advocacy -What YOU can do for wolves

 
 A Broadcast in Education Friday at 7:00 pm – Ms. Weiss will be taking your questoins at 9:00 pm live est.  Go to wolfdogradio.com  for broadcast details.

About Amaroq Weiss

Amaroq Weiss, West Coast Wolf Organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity, coordinates campaigns for the restoration and protection of wolf populations in California, Oregon and Washington, and also works to maintain protections for wolves at the federal level. A biologist and former attorney, Amaroq has worked for 19 years for wolf conservation in the Pacific West, Northern Rockies, Southwest and Alaska. She was an appointed stakeholder that helped Oregon develop its state wolf plan, and was similarly a stakeholder-advisor in California’s process to craft its state wolf plan. She has testified at state, federal and county hearings about wolves, successfully argued the administrative petition to fully protect wolves under California’s state endangered species act, and given countless public presentations about this charismatic species.
Amaroq routinely acts as ground support in wolf–related litigation and science matters for the Center for Biological Diversity, is a regularly invited speaker at the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, given interviews on NPR radio programs including KCRW’s Which Way L.A.? with Warren Olney and KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny; and was a panelist on the Idaho Public Television Broadcasting program, Predators in the West, which aired in five western states. She is a contributing author and editor of multiple publications including Making Room for Recovery: The Case for Maintaining Endangered Species Act Protections for America’s Wolves (2014), Social and Ecological Benefits of Restored Wolf Populations (2007), Places for Wolves (2007), Places for Grizzly Bears (2007), Livestock and Wolves: a Guide to Nonlethal Tools and Methods to Reduce Conflicts (2008), and Social and Ecological Benefits of Restored Wolf Populations (2008). She also appears in two recent documentaries about California’s first known wild wolf in 87 years, “OR7 – The Journey” and “The OR-7 Expedition.” 

 
 Amaroq holds a BS from Iowa State University, an MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a JD from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. In her spare time, Amaroq enjoys urban dryland trail mushing with her two Siberian huskies, Miranda and Taiga.

About wolfdogradio.com 

Wolfdog radio was created to give those within the wolfdog community an avenue to be heard on topics that need to be addressed to highlight those that are dedicated to the Education, research and responsible rescue/placement/housing/rehoming of animals in need and to bring accurate, factual information regarding wolfdogs and wolves to it’s audience.  

Wolfdog radio has been privileged to gain access to guests thought unreachable, discussed topics that touch the heart and bring fire to one’s soul, bringing topics forth that are sometimes not easily discussed or popular to many.  
We invite you to join us on this path, to share in the enrichment and betterment of these majestic companion animals of wolf content that we are endeared by and enjoy.
Wolfdog Radio will continue to grow, will never stand still, will never be confined by borders or boundaries, we will ask when, why, how, and most importantly…what can we do to be proactive responsible citizens. 

Mission Statement – Wolfdog Radio was created to bring current, relevant, educational and legislative issues to the forefront and be a proactive voice. Our path is always changing, as are the issues and topics which we will bring to our listeners. Wolfdog Radio wishes to keep our listeners informed, entertained and be a constant reminder that YOUR voice does count!

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Featured imaged: John E Marriott

Facebook is changing the face-of-activism.

Just how has Facebook changed activism?  I’m sure many wolf advocates can identify with the concept that awareness alone cannot further a cause. How many times have we heard that unity is the key to saving the wolf and preached by those lacking any expertise or experience in the cause they defend. Their battle cry is unity and the fights on Facebook timelines are carried on in a thinly-veiled attempt at activism. 

The following article expounds on this topic of  Three Big Problems With Facebook Activism by BY REBECCA TEICH (guest blogger) on Big Think’s blog

Many of us have fallen victim to it: changing our profile picture to those white equals signs atop a red background because someone said that it meant you support marriage equality, sharing the now-infamous #Kony2012 video that no one ever watched in full, or reposting the Huffington Post article only because the title was too witty and relevant not to.
From warring perspectives on the conflict in Gaza to the now strangely dated hashtag #bringbackourgirls, the viral social issue of the hour floods Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with content that looks, on the outside, like deeply felt social activism. But for all the pathos running rampant over news feeds and blogging sites, there is little depth to speak of, and virtually no change afoot in the real world. “Slacktivism” online is exactly as deep as the paper-thin knowledge and commitment that fuels it.

Social Gain vs. Social Change
Social media might be said to revolutionize political activism, connecting us to like-minded peers in previously inconceivable ways. The hive is easier to stir than ever before. But these technologies have a much darker side. Facebook activism amplifies harmful underpinnings of capitalism. It drastically alters how we conceive of ourselves. And ironically, Facebook does harm to the social causes offline that we champion online. Why? Social media platforms transform social issues into cultural capital: issues become labels of political alignment and lend an appearance of social awareness attached to a digitally curated self. They become a means to the end of social gain, rather than of social change. 
Through social media, we engage in personal branding. We cultivate a name and image that we can manipulate for social gain: “likes,” retweets, comments, and shares—rather than real change on the ground—become our primary goal. We choose how we desire to be seen by others and then manipulate that artificial “self” in accord with our known, or desired, audience.

…But for all the pathos running rampant over news feeds…there is little depth to speak of, and virtually no change afoot in the real world.

No self-presentation through social media can be fully genuine. The prospect of social rewards always taints that decision-making process. Individuals cultivate their amplified selves on such platforms by sharing a given set of signifiers to attach to their “profile” through the sharing of news articles, the act of ‘liking’ pages, or re-posting other people’s writings. There is a hyper-awareness of our image in the eyes of others; whether consciously or not, our profiles become a self-promoting narrative. 
The Perils of “Slacktivism”
And the end-goal of this online “activism” is typically limited to raising awareness. As valuable as it is to widen people’s understanding of the world, no tangible change flows from awareness alone. In addition, many online activist campaigns reveal their true colors when they raise awareness of convenient untruths. 

“Slacktivism” online is exactly as deep as the paper-thin knowledge and commitment that fuels it… 

Last year we saw massive numbers of our Facebook friends change their profile pictures to a red equals sign to support marriage equality, which inadvertently served as mass-advertising for the organization that uses the emblem as its logo (with a few color changes from time to time). What these Facebook users might not care to know is that the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the organization behind the logo, has been subject to devastating criticism from the LGBTQ+ community. The HRC, Derrick Clifton writes, represents a “well-off, able-bodied, gender conforming, non-immigrant and white” audience that ignores problems of racial injustice in the LGBTQ+ community and has “a long history of throwing trans people under the bus.” Few users adopting the logo as their own profile picture had any idea they were promoting not only a political position but also a specific (an deeply flawed) organization. 
Most people jumping at the chance to use the hashtag #bringbackourgirls had little to no knowledge of the history and politics of the country in which they obliquely advocated foreign intervention. And they no clue that many Nigerians not residing in America are opposed to US intervention due to a history of the negative effects of US foreign aid and meddling there. 

Individuals craft their public selves and accompanying opinions to obtain social reward from a positive response from their followship…

These examples of “slacktivist” rebellion from current events are prevalent within social media, especially (but not exclusively) among the liberal class who claim to advocate for social justice. The irony lies in the fact that when the labels of “rebel” enters popular culture and “trendiness,” it becomes conformity. The idea of rebellion becomes another commodified modifier to one’s online self. “Rebellion” acts as a signifier to denote a sense of global awareness and a self-directed, educated position within the subject matter. Despite the appearance of rebellion in this public display of a seemingly more radical opinion, the individual is doing just the opposite. We are always keenly aware of our audience; often that audience is one of similar opinion, as that audience is comprised of “friends” or “followers.” 
Individuals craft their public selves and accompanying opinions to obtain social reward from a positive response from their followship. Social issues and critique become buzzwords or clickbait. They function as modifiers for that online public self, and lose their rebellious force. Those issues become objects used to accumulate cultural capital in exchange for social reward. In this process it becomes apparent that both the public self and the social issues become commodified to achieve an end reward that’s external to the function and existence of the commodity.
This isn’t to say that all that happens on these platforms is negative. With this new form of media and communication, there are many liberating and redeeming qualities that arise from these platforms, including the newfound ability to bridge conversational gaps and the opportunity for a larger number of people to engage in a conversation and disseminate knowledge and opinions relatively freely. Social media is fast, easy, cheap and, in one sense, democratic. 

Money Troubles

But there is the corrupting matter of money. Facebook shareholders’ bottom line is not how much social change the site inspires. No, social media sites are profit-maximizing corporations, as all those ads and “sponsored” content in our newsfeeds remind us. Social media sites, and even some social movements, should not be misunderstood as fully public. There is censorship involved, either by internal community policing or external policing from the platform to ensure a profit, making sure that voices are in line with an ideology that benefits themselves. In addition, it requires a critical eye both in terms of what we consume and what we put out because anything displayed on social media platforms is going to be mass-consumed. We must be aware of the way we, consciously or subconsciously, manipulate how we are portrayed such that it does not serve to hinder and devalue issues that require selflessness. 
We must also foster awareness for the way these platforms we engage with have profit-based agendas of their own. A blind progression into social media activism is extremely harmful. This new medium is greatly influenced by hegemonic structures that surround it and ought to be the target of critique rather than the foundation of dissemination. 
This is not a call to block off social media as an outlet for exchange. Instead, this newfound presence of hijacking the pressing issues of our time for our own personal gain requires of us to reevaluate how we get involved and participate in this new form of interaction. It’s a call to think more critically about the way information is exchanged and portrayed and to redirect activism in a direction that remains truer to its cause. 

Source: BIG THINK blog

Great Lakes Wolf News Highlights of the Year 2015

This year in review for the Great Lakes wolf has seen it all from being federally protected, to threats of delisting, and anti- wolf riders being rejected. The year 2015 started out on a positive note for wolf advocates, because a federal Judge had ordered the Great Lakes Wolf back on the ESA on December 19, 2014. This positive news didn’t last long and wolf advocates began to brace themselves against the possibility that the Great Lakes wolf could be delisted at any given moment. Anti-wolf factions were angered by the decision that returned the wolf back under federal protections. These anti-wolf factions began to work with special interests groups to undermine the endangered species act by attaching riders on legislation that would prevent any judicial review and return wolves back into the hands of states. Thus began the battle to save the Great Lakes wolf. 

On Friday December 19, 2014 the news broke that Great Lakes wolves were put back on the Federal Endangered Species Act immediately.

IMG_2654

Great Lakes wolves ordred back on the ESA , December 19, 2014


Several organizations challenged a rule that had removed the Great Lakes wolf from the Endangered Species Act. The humane society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity, Help Our Wolves Live, Friends of Animals and their Environment, and Born Free USA were the organizations that successfully sued to have the Great Lakes wolf put back on the ESA.
The following is a press release from HSUS…

“Sport hunting and trapping of wolves in the Great Lakes region must end immediately, a federal District Court has ruled. The court overturned a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision that removed Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves living in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.” Cited from HSUS http://bit.ly/1Qozn3U

The following is excerpts from the ruling…

“In its 111-page ruling, the court chided the USFWS for failing to explain why it ignored the potential for further recovery of wolves into areas of its historic range that remain viable habitat for the species. The court also noted that the USFWS has failed to explain how the “virtually unregulated” killing of wolves by states in the Great Lakes region does not constitute a continued threat to the species.”  Cited from HSUS http://bit.ly/1Qozn3U

Great Lakes states were not willing to protect an endangered species. The following are some examples of unregulated sport hunting of wolves that took place while they were off the ESA list.

IMG_2612

Young wolf killed in Wisconsin’s third wolf hunt. Wisconsin is the only state that allows unregulated wolf hound hunting.


1. Wisconsin rushed to hunt wolves with the aid of hound hunting dogs. 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.” 
http://bit.ly/1P3877L

2. Minnesota used snares to kill wolves. Can it get any more violent? Wolves were killed in Minnesota using these snare traps. Minnesota hunting regulations MDNR use of snare for trapping begins. Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/221SBjM

In other news, Michigan citizens worked hard to overturn any and all bids to hunt wolves and to keep wolves protected. For more information on this fight visit Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. http://bit.ly/1RNqiB6

Returning wolves to the ESA was the best news of the year for wolf advocates in the Great Lakes region.  Shortly after this good news broke, anti-wolf legislators started designing legislation calling to delist wolves without any judicial review. In response to this anti-wolf legislation, several pro wolf organizations called for a compromise.

“… a petition from 22  regional and national conservation and wolf advocacy organizations, to keep protections in place – asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify wolves from “endangered” to “threatened.” The proposal would ensure federal oversight of wolves, encourage the development of a national recovery plan, and keep funding in place for wolf recovery while permitting states to address specific wolf conflicts.” Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/1QCCmWy

The fight to keep Wolves on the endangered species list continued in June, as the US Fish and Wildlife Service denied the threatened status for the gray wolf.  Science was ignored  by Wisconsin and Minnesota and trophy hunting became the only acceptable tool used to manage the Great Lakes wolf.  It was no wonder a Federal Judge ordered them back on the ESA on December 19, 2014 after three years of unregulated trophy hunting in the Great Lakes region. 

In WI news, it was determined that a trophy hunt on wolves did not increase tolerance of wolves and that WI residents need wolf education to increase tolerance of wolves.

Scientists began to speak out against trophy hunts on wolves…

“There was a notion held widely in the scientific literature and said at public meetings that a public hunting season would increase acceptance of wolves,” says Adrian Treves, professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and co-author of the study. In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cited “maintaining social tolerance” as a goal of the wolf harvest in a statement in 2013… While wolf hunting is again illegal — the animals were relisted as a federally endangered species in 2014 — study lead author Jamie Hogberg, a researcher at the Nelson Institute, suggests policymakers and wildlife managers might consider other ways to improve social tolerance and reduce conflict between the animals and people going forward.” Cited from, Tolerance of wolves in Wisconsin continues to decline, UW-Madison news http://bit.ly/1NZQrGW

In an attempt to satisfy anti-wolf special interests, several members of congress began to push legislation to delist the Great Lakes wolf.

“Johnson’s bill would mirror H.R. 884, a bill introduced last month by U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble that would again remove wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan from the Endangered Species List. The bills would override a December federal court ruling that outlawed wolf hunts. Cited from Wisconsin Public Radio, Sen. Johnson Plans To Introduce Bill Delisting Wolf Under Endangered Species Act, Legislation Would Mirror Rep. Ribble’s Bill In House,” Friday, March 6, 2015, 6:50pm, By Glen Moberg http://bit.ly/1NsFv5a

Conditions worsened for the Great Lakes wolf,  as anti-wolf legislation took the form of a  rider attached to federal budget that called to delist the wolves without any judicial review.

Great Lakes wolf advocates rushed to defend the endangered species Act from being undermined. Advocates held tweetstorms, letter writing, and email campaigns to stop anti-wolf legislation.

  
The most recent news on the delisting question took place in November 2015…

However, a greater debate broke out between scientists. There were many who advocated delisting, but there were even more who did not believe wolves should be delisted. The following is an account of the pro-wolf listing scientists:

Scientists Sound Off Over Gray Wolf Hunting, Species Currently Protected But Congress, Courts Could Change That, Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 5:10pm, By Chuck Quirmbach of WPR

“In recent weeks, scientists and researchers have been speaking up. Adrian Treves, a University of Wisconsin-Madison environmental studies professor, has co-authored a paper in the journal Biological Reviews that says by allowing hunters to shoot and trap wolves, Wisconsin legislators violated the Public Trust Doctrine that says governments must maintain natural resources for the use of current and future generations of the general public… This week, Treves joined 28 other scientists in arguing that Endangered Species Act protection for the wolves should be kept. Treves contends a different group of scientists that released a pro-delisting letter last week misunderstood the finer points of law, public attitudes and scientific evidence.”  Cited from WPR http://bit.ly/21h1be4

The following information concerns scientists who asked that wolves be delisted:

“Former DNR wolf biologist Adrian Wydeven, now coordinator of the Timber Wolf Alliance at Northland College in Ashland, said the group has a message for Congress: “Just want to let them know that many of us feel wolves have recovered and they should be a state-managed species at this point,” Wydeven said.”  Cited from WPR http://bit.ly/21h1be4

I even weighed in on the debate in the same post…

“Various advocates are lining up behind the two groups of scientists. Rachel Tilseth, of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, disagreed with Wydeven…”Can states be trusted to manage wolves? I think not, and many other scientists agree that individual states cannot be trusted,” Tilseth said.” Cited from WPR http://bit.ly/21h1be4

Since the Great Lakes wolf were returned to the endangered Species Act on December, 19, 2014, the news coming out of Washington D.C. has been a steady stream of of anti-wolf legislation.  Keeping the Great Lakes Wolf under federal protection has been the biggest battle of the year. 
Wolves must remain under federal protection until individual states in the Great Lakes, can learn how to protect an iconic species. Scientists have just begun to understand how essential wolves are to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Hunting wolves as a management tool only serves special interest groups bent on eradication. Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/1Yfo79h

  A welcomed bit of hope for the wolf came out in April 2015 in the form of a documentary, Medicine of the Wolf, a film made in Minnesota. This film features wolf advocates, such as renowned National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg and Michigan Scientist John Vucetich. This film was produced and directed by Julia Huffman. I recommend you purchase this film available for sale now. The following link will take you to the film’s website: http://bit.ly/1fufXDP

At last, a victory came for the Great Lakes wolves, almost one year after they were ordered back under federal protections. The rider ordering the delisting of our wolves was removed from the omnibus budget bill:

“A proposal that would have taken gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list did not make it into a massive year-end congressional tax and spending package, an omission that surprised its backers but was welcomed Wednesday by groups that support maintaining federal protections for the predators… “Cooler heads prevailed in Congress,” said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. He said a letter written by Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Barbara Boxer, D-California, and signed by 23 other senators including Gary Peters, D-Michigan, helped make the difference. Cited from WODCW blog http://bit.ly/1QuCpUd

Although this is good news for Great Lakes wolves, they 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.

There are still several anti-wolf bills in congress that would delist the wolf in the Great Lakes region, but at the end of this year, the Great Lakes wolf is still federally protected by the endangered species act. The question I ask for the coming year is this: will the president and congress protect iconic and endangered species? We must constantly remind both that they should do exactly that.

For more information on how to help keep the Great Lakes wolf listed, click on the following links: 

Howling for Wolves http://bit.ly/1anEY4R

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin http://bit.ly/1HOF6Nw

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected http://keepwolvesprotected.com/about