Tag Archives: wolf hunts

Service to Initiate Status Review of Gray Wolf in the Western U.S.

Excellent news for gray wolves in Idaho, Wyoming & Montana and other western states!

In a press release dated September 15, 2021, The US Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) has completed the initial review of two petitions filed to list gray wolves (Canis lupus) in the western U.S. as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service finds that the petitions present substantial, credible information indicating that a listing action may be warranted and will initiate a comprehensive status review of the gray wolf in the western U.S.

On June 1, 2021, the Service received a petition (dated May 26, 2021) to list the gray wolf Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment (DPS) or a new western U.S. DPS as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA. The Service received a second, similar petition on July 29, 2021(addendum). The Federal Register notice will serve as the 90-day finding for both petitions.

Under the ESA, a DPS is a portion of a species’ or subspecies’ population or range and is described geographically instead of biologically. The first petition proposes listing a Northern Rocky Mountain DPS consisting of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and a small portion of north-central Utah. Both petitions also propose some alternative Western U.S. DPS to include all, or part, of the Northern Rocky Mountain DPS states with the addition of California, Colorado, Nevada, and in one petition, northern Arizona.

The Service finds the petitioners present substantial information that potential increases in human-caused mortality may pose a threat to the gray wolf in the western U.S. The Service also finds that new regulatory mechanisms in Idaho and Montana may be inadequate to address this threat. Therefore, the Service finds that gray wolves in the western U.S. may warrant listing.

Substantial 90-day findings require only that the petitioner provide information that the proposed action may be warranted. The next steps for the Service include in-depth status reviews and analyses using the best available science and information to arrive at a 12-month finding on whether listing is warranted.  If so, listing a species is done through a separate rulemaking process, with public notice and comment.

The public can play an important role by submitting relevant information to inform the in-depth status review through www.regulations.gov, Docket Number: FWS-HQ-ES-2021-0106, beginning September 17, 2021, upon publication in the Federal Register and will include details on how to submit comments.

The 90-day finding and petition review form associated with this announcement are now available for review.

Visit the Service online to learn more about gray wolves and the ESA petition process.

In the meantime while the review process is in progress gray wolves are being hunted at an unprecedented rate. In Montana hunters get to bag 10 wolves each and there’s no bag limit in Idaho. Wolves of the Rockies organization is working to get an emergency order in place to stop the hunts now.

US Rep Sean Duffy (R-WI) Proposes Removing Endangered Species Act Protection for Gray Wolves in the Lower 48 States…

…Duffy wants management returned to the states and court challenges of management plans would not be allowed under his proposal. Duffy proposes removing wolves from Endangered Species Act Law would eliminate possible court challenges by Rick Olivo Ashland Daily Press rolivo@ashlanddailypress.net

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy again is trying to kill Endangered Species Act protection for wolves, this time as he is headed into a contentious election.

His proposal introduced earlier this month marks the fourth time in three years that members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation have tried to reverse federal court actions that reinstated wolf protections. Previous efforts by Duffy and former Republican Rep. Reid Ribble of Shorewood have gone nowhere.

In a news release issued by Duffy, he said the bill would return management of the roughly 900 wolves in Wisconsin to state officials.

“Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to use science-based wildlife management for our own gray wolf population, because we know what’s better for our state’s ecosystem better than activist judges in Washington,” Duffy said. “I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to delist the gray wolf because Wisconsin farmers deserve to be able to protect their livestock, and they should not suffer because of the decisions made by an overreaching federal government a thousand miles away.”

The wolf decline

Wolves were virtually extirpated in Wisconsin by hunters and farmers who feared depredations to livestock and who were also encouraged by bounties for wolf kills. Although wolves were essentially extinct in the state by the 1950s, the bounty remained in existence until 1957.

In the 1970s, wolves naturally began to make a comeback in the state and they were added to the Endangered Species Act in 1974, with the state following suit in 1975. In the face of growing numbers of wolves in the state, wolves were removed from the Endangered

Species Act in 2012 after a number of court challenges. A further legal challenge resulted in wolves being relisted in 2014.

Opponents of the relisting say it gives farmers and ranchers no legal avenue to protect their livestock from wolves.

Duffy’s proposal would allow all 48 of the continental United States to control their own populations and it includes a clause that says the action “shall not be subject to judicial review.”

Duffy Communications Director Mark Bednar said the bill, known as the Manage our Wolves Act, has bipartisan support. Its cosponsors include Washington representatives Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside and Cathy McMorris Rogers, R-Spokane and Minnesota congressman Collin Peterson, D-Detroit Lakes. He said the bill is different than earlier efforts.

“This would delist grey wolves over a wide range, the entire 48 states, rather than just reissue the older Fish and Wildlife Service rule, which is what the previous bill did; it was more narrow in scope, delisting protections only in the upper Midwest and in Wyoming.”

In an interview with radio-based Brownfield Ag News, Duffy said he has a slim-but-real possibility of getting the bill passed in the House by the end of September.

“We have the votes to pass it (in the House). Once that happens, I’ve got a few senators who have indicated they will introduce a companion bill in the Senate so we can get a package to the president’s desk,” Duffy told Brownfield.

Bednar said the act reflects the policy not only of the Trump administration, but also of the Obama administration, both of which agreed that wolves should be delisted.

“But they were and are being prevented from doing so because of the courts,” he said.

Pros and cons

There are arguments for and against delisting. Farmers are among those who most vocally favor removing protections.

Jack Johnson, a director with the North Central Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association, told Wisconsin Public Radio in January that he supports any effort to delist the wolf.

“The state could start managing them and get a little control over the numbers, because right (now) they’re expanding way more than we’ve got room for them,” Johnson said.

The state spent $200,505 in wolf-damage payments to those who lost animals or livestock in 2015. Earlier this year, state officials were organizing claims from 2016, primarily from farmers and bear hunters whose dogs strayed into wolf territory and were killed.

“Given the number of dogs that were killed, the significant increase in the compensation payments related to hunting dogs, that is likely to drive an increase in the total amount of compensation,” said Dave MacFarland, large carnivore specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

He said 31 farms experienced wolf depredation or harassment in 2016 compared to the 35 farms in 2015.

Wolf advocates remain opposed to placing the wolf back under state management. Rachel Tilseth, founder of the website Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, said her organization has little faith in the state to do what is best for the animals.

“Because apparently management of wolves means a wolf hunt,” Tilseth said. “For them, that’s the only way that they feel they can manage them, is through the hunting and trapping and barbaric use of dogs.”

Peter David, wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, said tribes also are concerned about the precedent that could be set with wolf delisting legislation.

“There are real concerns about any effort that undermines the Endangered Species Act if we start cherry-picking,” David said.

Wisconsin tribes oppose a wolf hunt and did not allow wolf hunting on reservations prior to the relisting.

“The tribes in general have supported maintaining wolves on the Endangered Species Act because of the cultural significance of wolves,” said David. “The tribes have felt those types of protections are appropriate for wolves.”

Meanwhile, the Sigurd Olson-based Timber Wolf Alliance is not opposed to the concept of delisting, but according to Alliance head Adrian Wyd even, the devil is in the details.

“Historically, the Timber Wolf Alliance has supported efforts to downlist and delist wolves in the western Great Lakes region, done through normal Endangered Species processes through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” he said. The Alliance has favored reducing the timber wolf status to threatened from endangered and supported delisting in 2006 and 2011.

“But I think we would have some concerns about delisting wolves throughout the U.S. without a much more thorough assessment and analysis, something that should be done through the Fish and Wildlife Service, not just as a congressional action.”

Wydeven said that by agreeing with delisting in the past, the Alliance has concluded that states can be good conservationists in managing state wolf populations.

Nevertheless, many members of the Alliance were uncomfortable with the “overly aggressive” hunting goals set by the state.

“I am sure there would be concerns by our membership if that is done nationwide,” he said.


Featured image credit NPS photo / JMills


September 1 2018, 7:00 a.m.

JULIE HENRY WAS jogging when she got the call from the FBI. She didn’t recognize the number, which had a Washington state area code, but she answered anyway. The FBI agent identified herself as Kera O’Reilly, and said that Henry wasn’t in any trouble. O’Reilly was there to help.

The phone call, which Henry received on February 22, 2018, brought her back to an internal conflict that she thought she’d finished wrestling with two years earlier. O’Reilly wanted to talk to Henry about her online account of sexual assault, which was strange if you consider that the offense is a crime over which federal agents rarely have jurisdiction. But it made perfect sense considering the person she wanted to discuss: Rod Coronado.

Rod Coronado

To his supporters in the animal rights community, Coronado is a folk hero who has lived his convictions. People have even written songs celebrating him. To the FBI, Coronado is an eco-terrorist, an arsonist, and a criminal. Although the agency has already managed to put him in prison four separate times, including for setting fire to a mink research facility and dismantling a mountain lion trap, law enforcement apparently still isn’t finished with the 52-year-old activist, who publicly denounced sabotage as a tactic more than a decade ago.

Yet for all of his public accolades and detractors, Henry knew a different side of him.

Nearly four years ago, Henry says, in the midst of a campaign to monitor a state-sanctioned wolf hunt with Coronado’s organization Wolf Patrol, in a remote area outside Yellowstone National Park, Coronado sexually assaulted her. Henry says she didn’t even think about calling law enforcement. Activists aren’t supposed to talk to cops, and definitely not to FBI agents. For months, she stayed silent. But then, after agonizing over the decision, she participated in an alternative attempt at accountability — she described Coronado’s assault in an email posted to a closed activist listserv and later published the details publicly in the activist Earth First! Journal.

Henry doesn’t regret her decision, but the process was painful and disappointing. Coronado denied that anything nonconsensual happened. Although many supported her, others — including some she’d considered friends and allies — didn’t believe her. Some went so far as to label her a snitch and a federal operative, smears often directed at someone perceived to have weakened the movement by talking publicly about internal divisions that law enforcement can exploit.

julie-1535583321A self-portrait Julie Henry took after she was assaulted, she says, in November 2014 near the northern border of Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Courtesy of Julie Henry

The FBI call brought all of that flooding back. “I’m a woman working in a man’s world, so I get it,” Henry recalls O’Reilly telling her. “I just want you to know that I believe you, and I’m so sorry that that happened.”

“We’re in the throes of the #MeToo moment,” O’Reilly told Henry, and that had inspired her to reach out. Henry hung up as quickly as possible, sharing nothing. But O’Reilly promised she’d call back.

“My loyalty always has to be with the movement, because the FBI could do so much damage,” Henry told The Intercept. She had no interest in assisting the agency in investigating activists, but she worried that ignoring O’Reilly’s questions about sexual assault could risk endangering other women. “Something was going to happen either way, and I felt, and still feel, completely responsible,” she said. “Whether it’s nothing that happens and he continues to hurt people, I feel responsible for that.”

After O’Reilly left a voice message a few days later, Henry called her back, despite the risks. “I know this is dangerous without having a lawyer. But I have to do this for me,” Henry recalls thinking. “I wanted to ask her why.”

O’Reilly repeated many of the same things she had said before, but one thing stuck in Henry’s head. “‘I understand, it may be hard to talk about the details; we can talk about other things,’” Henry recalls the FBI agent telling her. “And every time she said that I was like, that’s what she really wants.”

After she hung up, Henry Googled O’Reilly. She found a Seattle Times story describing O’Reilly’s years at the bureau, and her previous job as a counselor for sex offenders. But what really caught Henry’s eye was a report in The Stranger, a Seattle newspaper, that described how O’Reilly and two other FBI agents had visited six climate activists in July 2013 and asked “about opposition to tar sands development and brought photographs, hoping the activists would identify the people in them.”

“This has nothing to do with me,” Henry realized. “She wants to get to everyone.”

Henry hired a lawyer, Daniel Ayoade Yoon, to follow up. Ayoade Yoon made a recording of the call, which Henry provided to The Intercept.

“We are in the throes of the #MeToo movement, women are coming forward and being very strong about [how] this is not OK,” O’Reilly repeated in her call with Ayoade Yoon. “Women aren’t going to stand for it, and so I just thought I’d provide this opportunity if she wanted it to report it.” O’Reilly said she realized she had been thinking of her investigation of Coronado “too narrowly” after she stumbled across the Earth First! article providing Henry’s account. She acknowledged that she didn’t know what federal charges might be applicable to Henry’s case. She tossed out hypotheticals — Did Coronado take photos of Henry? Did they cross state lines? — but admitted, “Traditionally, as you know, most of these charges are handled on a local level.”

Their 38-minute conversation quickly shifted to Coronado’s other activities. “Maybe there’s other different criminal charges that don’t have to do with sexual assault she may be aware of — I’m open ears to any of those things.” O’Reilly said. She said that Coronado was “on her radar” as a possible suspect in a 2008 arson of a real estate development called Street of Dreams in a suburb of Seattle. A spray-painted sign nearby included the initials ELF, which stand for Earth Liberation Front, an organization for which Coronado had acted as a spokesperson in the past.

O’Reilly offered to make Henry an informant, technically known as a confidential human source, saying that there was “no pressure” and “if she doesn’t want it to go anywhere … I’ll take it as that.”

She told Ayoade Yoon that in addition to information about Coronado, she was interested in building trust so that the FBI would know about “direct actions that are outside the bell curve of what is normal — acceptable within the code of conduct within activist communities.”

Her final touch: an argument not so different from the one that left Henry so conflicted after the initial outreach. “I just think Rod Coronado is a bad person, and I think he uses his power and control — just a lot of men in different industries are now getting in trouble for — to hurt women,” O’Reilly said. “I would love for the activist community to say, ‘You’re not our guy — you’re not the centerfold of our platform.’”

“Ms. O’Reilly is on a fishing expedition for information regarding Rod Coronado, other dirt, other people who may have dirt on him,” Ayoade Yoon wrote to Henry after talking with O’Reilly. He was not impressed.

The fact that O’Reilly was unable to describe how any charges could be pursued against Coronado for the alleged sexual assault, Ayoade Yoon wrote, “further leads me to believe that she is merely hoping to get an inside look at Rod Coronado, his organization, or the activist community in general. As opposed to actually helping you in prosecuting him on your behalf.”

The FBI had weaponized #MeToo to pressure Henry into becoming an informant. To Henry, O’Reilly’s call was a clear attempt to prey on her desire for accountability and twist it to meet the bureau’s own ends. Henry refused to cooperate.

Rod Coronado poses with his cat, Nau, in his home in Tucson, Ariz. Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007. Coronado thinks of himself as an environmentalist, while others would prefer the term eco-terrorist. Renowned for helping sink whaling ships in the North Atlantic and firebombing a Michigan animal-research facility, he toured the country after prison time telling others how to make do-it-yourself Molotov cocktails. (AP Photo/John Miller)Rod Coronado poses with his cat, Nau, in his home in Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 23, 2007. Photo: John Miller/AP

The Green Scare

The FBI has a long history of using sex to gather information or encourage illegal behavior in order to further its investigations. Most notoriously, under COINTELPRO, FBI agents attempted to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. into killing himself by threatening to reveal his extramarital affairs.

More recently, the FBI has repeatedly used women as “honeypots” in terrorism cases, dispatching female agents or informants to entice Muslim men into manufactured plots. Craig Monteilh, a longtime FBI informant, said that his handlers told him to have sex with Muslim women to gather information that could be used against suspects.

In the mid-2000s, during a period of such intense FBI targeting of environmental activists that it became known as the “Green Scare,” the bureau went after Eric McDavid, whose flirtation with a woman named Anna led to a vague plot to take down targets in northern California. Anna, it turned out, was Zoe Elizabeth Voss, a paid FBI informant. McDavid was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison.

O’Reilly’s overture to Henry inverted this long-standing dynamic. Instead of using sexual relations to coax information or action out of unwitting individuals, the FBI positioned itself as a corrective to abuse. Where activists had fallen short, O’Reilly could provide justice — if only Henry would share information.

And even though the dynamic had been reversed, O’Reilly’s approach is common in law enforcement: Find a vulnerability and exploit it. “This is kind of what the FBI does,” says Mike German, a fellow at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice and a former FBI agent. “If they’re seeking information about a particular target, they look everywhere they can find that information, and they use whatever tools are available lawfully.”

When it came to O’Reilly’s comment that she wanted to undermine Coronado as a movement leader, German acknowledged that it was “inappropriate for the FBI to decide who should be leading any kind of political organization.” But, he added, it wouldn’t be considered unacceptable for an FBI agent to say something like that to a potential cooperator in furtherance of an investigation.

In an emailed statement, FBI Public Affairs Officer Ayn S. Dietrich-Williams said, “The FBI does not police ideology. When an individual takes action based on belief or ideology and breaks the law, the FBI will enforce the rule of law.” The spokesperson said that investigative activity is required to follow the agency’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide.

“All allegations of criminal activity are reviewed using a myriad of investigative techniques and are vetted for jurisdiction. Even if investigators were to determine that an alleged activity does not constitute a violation of federal law, we refer the matter to appropriate agencies, in the interest of victims’ rights and the administration of justice,” she said. “Often, investigative efforts uncover information that suggests possible additional, related criminal activity.”

“In some cases, a potential victim of a crime may be offered opportunities to provide information anonymously and with a degree of federal protection. We do so with the individual’s safety considered, which in turn provides investigators the best opportunity to collect complete information,” said the spokesperson.

But Henry’s story isn’t just about the FBI. The same misogynistic power dynamics present in the culture at large also permeate social movements that publicly pledge liberation and justice. And in movements that have been heavily targeted by law enforcement, holding abusers accountable can be exceedingly difficult — especially when an activist describes abuse by a movement martyr.

Coronado carried out some of the radical animal rights movement’s earliest and most notorious actions. In the late 1980s and early 90s, he released 200 wild horses and freed turkey vultures, beagles, coyotes, and minks. He launched an organization to capture disturbing footage of the mink farm industry’s pelting season. And in a slew of attacks that he called Operation Bite Back, he torched buildings and used hydrochloric acid to destroy the work of research facilities supporting the fur industry or practicing animal testing. He hit state universities in Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan.

Bombed-out remains of a mink research lab at MI State Univ.; the militant ALF, the Animal Liberation Front, which opposes human exploitation of animals, was responsible for the bombing. (Photo by Chris Holmes/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)In 1992, Rod Coronado firebombed a mink research facility at Michigan State University under the banner of the Animal Liberation Front. Photo: Chris Holmes/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

In a movement that is largely white, Coronado, who grew up in the suburbs of San Jose, is of Yaqui heritage, something that has been an important part of his identity. After Coronado went into hiding in the mid-1990s, federal agents found him on the Pascua Yaqui reservation in Arizona. He spent four years in prison for his involvement in torching the Michigan State University research facility. But the government’s pursuit of Coronado never really let up.

In 2003, at a talk Coronado was giving in San Diego, an undercover police officer overheard him tell the audience how to build an incendiary device — instructions that can be found on the internet, as well as in books sold on Amazon. He was arrested two and a half years later under a 1999 anti-terrorism statute that had rarely been applied. He was sentenced to another year in prison.

And in 2010, he was arrested again for violating parole terms that demanded he abstain from communicating with anyone in the activist community. For friending another activist on Facebook, he was sentenced to another four months.

He wasn’t alone. During the Green Scare, more than two dozen activists were indicted between 2004 and 2008 for involvement in actions that the FBI framed as eco-terrorism. Old loyalties were shattered as some exchanged lighter sentences for information about their comrades, and the paranoia and distrust that had long permeated the movement deepened.

In radical activist communities, arenas imagined to be internal, personal, or private have always been potential tools for the FBI, and some activists have used the bureau’s past misdeeds as a shield against allegations of abuse.

Brian Frank, an organizer with Earth First! and Rising Tide during the early 2000s, has seen his share of well-liked activists accused of intimate partner violence or sexual assault. “I think pretty much every time someone has been called out that doesn’t fit in that raging asshole category, there’s someone that’s going to say, ‘That’s not real, maybe that’s an infiltrator or provocateur of some kind,’” he said.

“People can’t fathom that someone could both be a nice person in a meeting and hit their girlfriend or sexually assault someone,” said Frank. “For some people, it’s so unbelievable they think it must be a conspiracy.”

P1030867edit-1535581747Julie Henry, center-right, joined the inaugural Wolf Patrol campaign led by Rod Coronado, standing, in September 2014 in Montana. Photo: Courtesy of Julie Henry

Wolf Patrol

In 2014, Henry was searching for something new. Two long-term relationships were ending — with her romantic partner and with her activist community. She’d spent the last two years organizing in Texas with the Tar Sands Blockade, and her experience with the movement was mixed. She cared deeply about the work, but she says she’d also been sexually assaulted while she was there, an allegation some in the Earth First! community later used in an attempt to discredit her as a serial accuser. She didn’t know much about Coronado, but a Facebook post about his latest project, Wolf Patrol, caught Henry’s eye. She signed up.

Henry’s first tour with Wolf Patrol was in Montana in September 2014. A group of about 10 activists hiked mile after mile each day on land adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, monitoring a brief annual wolf hunting season made possible after the gray wolf lost its protection under the Endangered Species Act. Compared with Coronado’s earlier activism, the campaign was low key. The group did not release wolves caught in traps or sabotage the hunt. Instead, they simply monitored hunters’ activities, attempting to capture footage of illegal tactics.

Henry and Coronado grew close over the three-day campaign. “The way we clicked together, we got a lot of work done,” she told The Intercept. It was clear that Coronado wanted a romantic relationship, she said, and he broached the topic at the end of the trip. Henry underlined that past trauma left her uninterested in a physical relationship. She was there to do the wolf work.

While Coronado disputes her account of what happened, Henry says it was during a second campaign the next month in Wisconsin that things got weird. “When I returned, it was almost like he decided I was his property,” she said. He would make decisions for her — what her task for the day would be, which vehicle she would be in (always his). “If I disagreed with him, or went against — then I wasn’t a valuable person anymore.” Henry said Coronado presented shared sleeping quarters with him as a given.

Mariam Rauf, who works with victims of domestic and sexual abuse at Sakhi, an organization focused on ending violence against women, said Henry’s story was familiar. “Abusers can take on manipulative tactics to pull someone in, ‘groom’ them with their charm, and then the situation escalates,” she said. “Controlling behavior might at first have been flattering because of the attention the person was getting from the abuser. Physical abuse doesn’t always happen immediately; the emotional and psychological abuse usually comes first.”

P1040375edit-1535582961A view of the mountainous landscape in Montana as winter set in, during the November 2014 Wolf Patrol campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Julie Henry

Things only got worse when Henry returned to Montana for her third and final campaign. By then it was November, and temperatures regularly dipped below zero.

At night, Henry said, Coronado tested her boundaries. “I would wake up, and he would be touching me,” she said. She felt that her willingness to accept his advances at night correlated directly with how things would go the following day.

“He’s going to treat me like garbage tomorrow if I make him feel bad tonight,” she remembers thinking.

Brett Jarczyk, an activist who was on the trip, witnessed Coronado’s behavior toward Henry. He said one morning he overheard sounds coming from the tent the two shared, just a short distance away. Henry was telling Coronado to stop doing whatever he was doing and sounded “irritated,” says Jarczyk.

Toward the end of the trip, Henry confronted Coronado about the unwanted advances. “You’re making it hard for me to do my job,” she says she told him, to which his response was, “OK, yeah, sure.”

As a blizzard blew toward the park that November, Coronado prepared to head back to his home in Michigan. The night before he left, the group celebrated a campaign Henry didn’t think had accomplished very much. Later that night, Henry says, Coronado assaulted her in a Super 8 Motel room they were sharing with another member of their group who had already fallen asleep.

As they went in, Henry said, she asked Coronado to turn on an air conditioner so they could talk without waking their roommate. She said Coronado was inebriated and wasn’t interested in talking. “He never asked, he never even attempted to use a condom,” Henry told The Intercept. She said she stayed quiet to avoid waking the other person.

Henry recalls that Coronado was in a good mood the next morning before he and most of the group left. “He looked me in the eye and was like, ‘Hey, are we good?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ He kissed me on the forehead and got in the car.”

Henry sat down in the motel lobby, across from another activist, Stephanie. “I told her what happened,” Henry said. “And she was like, ‘Oh hell no, you call him, you make him come back, you need to talk about that.’” Stephanie, who asked that only her first name be used due to the sensitivity of the subject matter, confirmed that Henry told her that morning that Coronado had sexually assaulted her.

Henry called Coronado. “I’m not OK with what happened,” Henry recalls telling him. “He basically was like, ‘I’m not going to talk about this.’”

Matt Almonte, who also stayed behind that morning, remembered Henry was “distraught,” and that she told them about the alleged assault almost immediately. He said they offered to take Henry to a pharmacy to get Plan B, or to a doctor’s office. At one point, Stephanie said, Henry began saying the encounter had in fact been consensual, but she didn’t like that Coronado fell asleep immediately afterward. (Henry denied this characterization.)

That night, Henry says Coronado called and said he was no longer interested in her.

Coronado’s recollections of his relationship with Henry differ significantly. In an interview with The Intercept, he said that when the topic of a romantic relationship between them was broached, he remembers kissing and agreeing that any physical relations would involve a lot of talking. He says he followed through with that and denies that any physical interaction happened without consent. He doesn’t recall any instance of Henry telling him there could be no physical relationship.

“I would preface any intimacy with conscious talking,” Coronado said.

He also denies that he determined where Henry would sleep at night. “I slept in my tent and she chose to sleep with me – there were plenty of tents for everyone, and everyone got to sleep where they wanted to sleep. It was not an issue because we were a couple,” Coronado said.

In Coronado’s version of his last night on the campaign, he asked Henry if she wanted to have sex, and she consented, asking him to turn on the heater to cover any noise. He says they didn’t use protection, but that they had previously talked about the fact that he had had a vasectomy. He remembers Henry approached him in the morning, and she seemed upset. “We need to talk about last night,” she said, according to Coronado. “I think something happened that you don’t remember.”

He says his impression was she was hurt that he didn’t remember having sex. “I started recounting it,” Coronado recalled. “I said, ‘Do you mean when we had sex? Do you mean when I asked you whether it was OK? Do you mean when you asked to turn on the heater to provide white noise?’ She said, ‘OK.’ She started giggling and laughing. I said, ‘I remember everything.’”

When Henry called as he was driving away, Coronado said he does not recall her specifically mentioning the events of the night before, only that she said she needed to talk and that he refused to turn around. And he says he did not call her back the next day to break things off.

The rest of the campaign went poorly for Henry — she didn’t get along well with the other two activists, and Coronado texted her throughout, jokingly calling her “White Noise” – a reference to the air conditioner that was turned on in the hotel room. She appeared to laugh off the nickname, which Coronado sees as evidence their encounter was consensual. “He was trying to keep things sexual,” Henry said when asked about the texts. “There was just no point in trying to fight it.”

Worn down and frustrated with the group dynamic, Henry found herself calling on Coronado to pick her up. Almonte said that when Coronado arrived, he confronted him about Henry’s account. “‘She said you straight-up assaulted her,’” Almonte recalled telling Coronado. “He looked at me very puzzled, said, ‘I have no idea why she would say that.’ I said, ‘I don’t know either, but that’s between you two, and it needs to be addressed.’” (Coronado said he does not recall the conversation.)

She went back with Coronado to his house, where the two shared a bed, and although they did not have intercourse again, she said, his groping resumed. She did not bring up the assault again while they were together. Even after everything that had happened, Henry still hoped to continue on with Wolf Patrol. The group was preparing for another campaign in Wisconsin, and Henry was desperate not to lose another community. But Coronado told her that she would not be invited on the next trip — he blamed the tension between her and the other activists.

Exiled from Wolf Patrol, she left Coronado’s home, planning to tell no one else about the assault. “I was a deep, dark hole,” she recalled.

intercept_spots_final_binoculars-1535583064Illustration: Hokyoung Kim for The Intercept

Attempted Accountability

Unbeknownst to Henry, during the time that she was working with Wolf Patrol, a debate over how to address Coronado’s behavior had already been roiling the radical environmental activist community.

A few months prior to the alleged assault on Henry, Coronado had trashed his ex-wife Chrysta Faye’s home after he saw her with a new boyfriend, emptying garbage, kitty litter, and compost throughout the house.

In February 2015, an activist named Toby Fraser sent out a notice on an email list describing the trashing of Faye’s home and noting that Coronado had violated consent with people he had worked with — a reference to Henry, who was still unsure about sharing her story publicly. “While Rod is more than just these actions, and he has been a huge inspiration for many of us, it is actions like these that people also need to know so they can make an informed choice,” Fraser wrote in his email. “If you have friends in the northern states where Rod is directly working on the wolf hunts please share this with them.”

It was at that point that Henry decided to go public by releasing a statement on an Earth First! email listserv. “My name is Julie Henry,” she wrote, “and I was sexually assaulted by Rod Coronado.”

Henry’s email was forwarded from one activist to another and spread via social media, but it was more than a year before the editors of Earth First! Journal decided to address the issue.

“It is the job of the Journal to post news, analysis, and thought pieces regarding defense of the earth, of other species, and of the wild,” wrote one activist in a thread of emails debating whether to cover Henry’s accusations. “It could make a difficult situation much worse, but bottom line is it is not the Journal’s job.”

Eventually, the journal published an interview with Henry by Kiera Loki Anderson, a writer and longtime environmental activist, who is writing their doctoral dissertation on sexual assault within the environmental movement.

The Earth First! community quickly took sides. The reaction of some movement leaders was shaped by the years of persecution they’d faced from law enforcement. Henry was framed as a potential informant, at worst, and, at best, a security risk who could hurt the movement. Some of the doubters claimed that Henry was unstable or questioned her credibility because she’d accused others of assault in the past.

The official Wolf Patrol Facebook page called Henry a “fraud and a liar.” Coronado wrote on Facebook that he wouldn’t “engage with dysfunctional activists or my lying and cheating ex-wife who use FBI-style smear tactics.” He threatened to sue the Journal, arguing he’d had no opportunity to give his side of the story.

Just over a month after the interview with Henry was published, a site called It’s Going Down published an interview with a lawyer named Lauren Regan by an activist named Lilia who was on Henry’s final Wolf Patrol campaign. The post was titled “Informants and Information,” and was illustrated with large photos of former activists who had taken deals and testified against other activists. “Green Scare Snitches” read a large label on each photo.

“A huge issue though is the extent that activists are making the government and private spy’s jobs so easy by using facecrack or email to put the most dirty laundry of movement participants out into these public domains. They are basically giving them clear road maps of where vulnerable targets for government repression might be located, or who might be more likely to be a snitch or an infiltrator,” Regan said. “For me personally whenever I see some of that stuff happening I am really suspicious of the sources of it.” (Regan said she wasn’t responding to a specific incident.)

But for all those who questioned Henry, there were at least as many who supported her.

“People that have been persecuted by the state are martyrized and lionized in ways that survivors aren’t,” Anderson told The Intercept. “The way the movement takes more seriously state repression versus political violence against women allows people like Rod — not to milk it, but to use it as a shield.”

An editor at the Earth First! Journal who calls himself Rabbit recalled how split the reaction was. “I’d get off the phone with one person who was super pissed that we hadn’t immediately published a thing showing solidarity with Julie like the next day,” he said. “And the phone rings when I’m done with that, and someone’s super pissed we haven’t put out a condemnation of Julie for doing this because Rod would never do this.”

“Rod Coronado went from a hero and an idol and member of the Earth First! community, to a person who is not welcome at all,” Rabbit said. “If Rod showed up to an Earth First! rendezvous or organizers conference, I don’t care who is hosting it, I guarantee you he’d be thrown out immediately.”

Coronado told The Intercept that the last time he’d attempted to attend a radical environmentalist gathering — of forest defenders in Eugene, Oregon — the lug nuts were removed from his tires.

For her part, Faye has struggled with what accountability and justice should mean for Coronado, her ex-husband. “I believe Julie and I support Julie,” she said in an interview. She too had a difficult relationship with the activist.

Faye was married to Coronado throughout the Green Scare, when he was in and out of prison. Their relationship was marked by nearly constant surveillance, which, combined with the intoxicating effects of Coronado’s hero status, resulted in years of dysfunction and finally separation by 2014.

“We had our telephone monitored. We had our computers monitored. We were being surveilled by the FBI. They knew where I was at times that seemed totally irrelevant. It does something to your psyche, it truly does,” Faye said. “I think if we would have just been a normal, going to work, doing the 9-to-5, raising kids, things could have been really different, but the amount trauma that his being an activist brought into our lives had devastating effects.”

Coronado confirmed in an interview that some of the problems in his marriage to Faye had centered around sex and consent. “Me touching her in bed when she was asleep, that was one of the many dysfunctional things I did,” he said. He said that the behavior took place in the context of a relationship in which both parties were behaving in ways that hurt the other deeply. “There was inappropriate things that I did, that she spoke to me about, and I definitely acknowledge that.”

Faye found a way to heal her relationship with Coronado — something she felt was necessary given how intertwined their lives were. She believes deeply in the power of transformative justice, which aims to address conflict and violence outside the criminal justice system. “It’s super complicated, but it has to come from a compassionate view versus a punitive view, and it’s scary — it’s scary because it’s new for all of us. It’s a new system for all of us to be considering not exiling the perpetrator.

Read more from The Intercept article click here.

Protecting wolves: Activism with ‘Heart’ 

The Grand Teacher or The Big Bad Wolf

Can Native American activism and ancient wisdom save the wolves? Source

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Last summer Roger Dobson, a tribal spokesman for advocacy group Protect the Wolves, spent two months in Yellowstone observing and videotaping 911M, an old pepper-gray wolf with sparkling eyes. He watched the blacktail alpha male of the Junction Butte pack uncharacteristically introduce another male into his pack to breed with the females.
Dobson observed him watch his pack with the wisdom of an old sage. Later that year, after a valiant fight and several injuries, Prospect Peak wolves killed 911M.
After three wolves from the pack were harvested in late 2016, and another disappeared, the Junction Butte pack was only seen sporadically and it was difficult to identify its wolves.
Dobson says a turning point for him as an activist was when he videotaped outfitters riding right by the den where the Junction Butte pack lived in Yellowstone. “They were within 75 feet of the den, which is illegal, and their horses were loose, but they didn’t receive a ticket or get banned,” he said. A district park ranger called them 30 times, and Dobson asserts, “they saw the missed calls but claimed their phone never rang.” He believes this is what drove the pack out of the area to create another den, which had a negative impact on the size and health of the pack.
“It’s disgusting,” Dobson said, “what people—ranchers and hunters—get away with.” He said a lot of Native Americans believe in protecting wolves but don’t want to be outspoken or ruffle feathers. But a true activist, he said, doesn’t sugar coat the issues or compromise integrity by allowing rich outfitters to get away with disturbing a wolf sanctuary. When they’re “in bed” with the local politicians and ranchers who have donated to advocacy groups that play “both sides of the fence,” then prominent wolf experts support management plans that put ranchers ahead of wildlife and treat wolves like “pests.”
Dobson said he has received more than 100 death threats, but it doesn’t bother him. He told one caller, “We’ll just meet in the woods and handle this the old Indian way,” and never heard from him again.
Native American traditions depict the wolf as a “grand teacher” and sage who returns after many years upon a sacred path to relay knowledge and wisdom to the tribe. Their sacredness is extolled by people who study the natural world. “The gaze of the wolf reaches into your soul,” wrote naturalist and author Barry Lopez.
Indeed, wolves are important in the history of almost all Native American tribes. They are considered closely related to humans, and loyal to their packs and mate. In Shoshone mythology, the wolf plays the role of the noble creator. Some tribes have wolf clans, and there are wolf dances, totem poles with wolf carvings, and clan crests for tribes of the Northwest Coast, such as the Tlingit and Tsimshian.
In contrast, Western folklore has a different outlook with stories like Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs. American idioms, too, illustrate a notion counter to what Native Americans believe: “Throw you to the wolves”; “A wolf in sheep’s clothing”; and Don’t “put one’s head in the wolf’s mouth.”
In Native American teaching, the wolf embodies wisdom, courage and faith. The material world is comprised of relentless sorrows and difficulties, and to overcome them one must trust in a higher spirit. The wolf is a symbol of that spirit on earth, as is the grizzly and the owl. But Western ideology tends to separate the human spirit from the earth and its creatures. It is a dichotomy that has fueled the debate about who gets control of what land and who has the right to hunt what animal. To read full article click here.


Protect the Wolves
Please Help to not only Support Protect the Wolves™ in this vision, but become part of this Vision as if it was your Vision! None of us have the necessary funding to make this happen on our own. But Together we can make an Impact in the lives of Wolves as well as People . All supporters will be invited to participate in all of her programs, either online, or at The Sanctuary. Please Help Protect the Wolves™ vision to not only keep these animals safe, but to educate the public on their need! Help us make certain that these amazing animals are available for our children’s children to see, thereby insuring that they retain their important role in the circle of life. For more information on Protect the Wolves Click here


Featured image: NPS / Jim Peaco

“Yellowstone Devil Dog” is a full documentary film by independent filmmaker Justin Myhre

       About Yellowstone Devil Dog (Full Documentary)   Wolf #755, an alpha male of a Yellowstone National Park pack, must survive as a fugitive after his mate is legally shot and killed by Wyoming wolf hunters. He must fight for his life in the midst of subzero winters, rival wolf packs, and fierce grizzly bears. His goal is daunting: to become the first wolf in Yellowstone’s history to be the founder of two packs. But his life story begins to symbolically resemble the historical plight of his species. Heavily persecuted during the last century, wolves represent a controversial divide among residents in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Stuck in the middle of a legendary debate, 755 must put everything on the line just to survive.

Justin Myhre is an independent filmmaker producing wildlife and nature documentaries focusing on regions throughout the United States. He also works at independent wildlife research on wild canid territoriality. His efforts in the field of wildlife biology have been recognized by the American Museum of Natural History, the California State Science Fair, the Riverside Natural History Museum, the Broadcom Masters competition, RIMS County Science Fair, and multiple other schools, individuals, and organizations.

           “I have an outstanding passion for wildlife, and there’s no place I’d rather be than in a wildlife sanctuary or National Park. I have been blessed along the way with so many people who have been willing to invest in me through my efforts to research and film wildlife. My ultimate goal, however, is to bring glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has given me the amazing opportunities that I now share with you.” ~Justin

YELLOWSTONE DEVIL DOG www.jmpwildlife.webs.com

Written and produced by JUSTIN MYHRE. 

Narrated by JUSTIN MYHRE.


Original Script by JUSTIN MYHRE. Music Licensed from SMARTSOUND, INC.

Copyright (C) 2014 Justin Myhre. All Rights Reserved.

Beth Phillips: The role wolves play on the health of our ecosystems far outweighs a few negative effects 

Photograph by Beth Phillips taken of the Lamar Canyon Pack while visiting Yellowstone National Park, March 2016

Opinion Editorial: The hauntingly beautiful howl of a wolf stirs something in my inner soul and leaves me wanting these creatures to remain forever in our wild places. But I fear wolves may soon become nothing more than a distant memory; that is if our backward-thinking politicians have their way. Presently, there is legislation in congress to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wyoming, that will hand over management of wolves back to the states.  Wisconsin held three trophy hunts on wolves, just off the endangered species list, and that proves it is hostile to wolves. 

Even worse, Wisconsin is the only state to use dogs to hunt wolves. How is pitting dogs and wolves against each other considered wolf management? Wisconsin’s policy makers must have science- and fact-based policies in place if they want to manage wolves. A wolf hunt is not based on science, or what’s best for the species or people living in wolf range. 

Why does wolf management immediately equate to one thing – hunting? Wisconsin has a law, Act 169, which specifically states, “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….” To immediately begin a hunt on an animal that the state has spent 40 years to protect appears to be backwards in its thinking. In essence, we’ve spent the last half century saving wolves from near extinction only to turn around and begin killing them all over again. 

 According to the WI DNR, the majority of Wisconsin residents have a favorable view of wolves and prefer maintaining or increasing the wolf population. Plus, scientists Adrian Treves of UW Madison and Guillaume Chaperon of Sweden conducted a study that showed that when hunting of wolves was legalized, people’s perceptions of wolves became more negative and instances of poaching increased.

“When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.” ~Anthony Douglas Williams 

 What’s even more outlandish is politicians using depredations on livestock in Wisconsin as an excuse to kill more wolves. Here are the real facts; between April 2015 and April 2016 there were 52 wolf depredations on livestock out of 3.5 million cattle – that’s .001% or one one-thousandth of 1 percent – quite a minuscule number.

 There’s evidence to suggest that wolf hunts don’t solve the wolf depredations problems. In fact, Adrian Treves and Washington State University ecologist, Rob Wielgus have also conducted separate studies showing that hunting wolves actually increases the likelihood of livestock depredations, and that non-lethal deterrents work better than lethal methods to prevent livestock losses to wolves. The role wolves play on the health of our ecosystems far outweighs the few negative effects of living with wolves. 

 The question we must address after forty years of recovery is this; will the fate of Wisconsin’s wild wolf be based on politicians’ choice to use scientific, multi-faceted, non-lethal, and humane approaches to living with wolves – or will it be to put the final nail in the coffin of wolf recovery by pandering to special interests that want a trophy hunt on wolves, thus killing them all over again?

 Beth Phillips

West Allis, WI


About Beth Phillips:

I am a lifelong resident of the Milwaukee, WI area. I enjoy backpacking, visiting the remaining wild places in the US, and traveling to Yellowstone to watch wolves in the wild. I am alarmed at the relentless assault on our public lands and wildlife, and feel compelled to be a voice in preserving them.

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

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.


Patricia Lowry



Featured image by John E Marriott