$400,000 in Idaho State Funding to Kill Wolves Approved by Lawmakers 

BOISE, ID – An Idaho board responsible for the killing of wolves that attack livestock and other wildlife is a step closer to getting an additional $400,000 in state funding.

The funds were approved in a 26-4 Senate vote on Wednesday. The funding now only needs the approval of Governor Brad Little.

The Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board is funded by a mix of contributions from livestock producers, Idaho Department of Fish and Game fees and the state’s general fund.

Earlier this week, the Department of Fish and Game reported the conclusion of wolf control actions done during February that removed 17 wolves in the Lolo elk zone north of Highway 12.

Source: $400,000 in Idaho State Funding to Kill Wolves Approved by Lawmakers | Idaho | bigcountrynewsconnection.com https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/1.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL #WolvesInIdaho

USDA Wildlife Services agrees to temporarily halt lethal wolf control, ‘cyanide bomb’ use

Protect The Wolves™ Certainly Hopes that the $154,000 settlement terms for this Lawsuit are payed where it Belongs!!! With Canyon Mansfields Family!!

USDA Wildlife Services has reached a settlement with five conservation organizations agreeing to temporarily stop using lethal methods to target gray wolves on certain public lands and to suspend its use of M-44s, also known as “cyanide bombs.”

The new restrictions will remain in place until the federal agency completes an environmental review of the impacts of killing wolves.

The settlement between Wildlife Services and Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians and Predator Defense was filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

In June 2016, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit alleging the agency and its Idaho director, Todd Grimm, violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to complete an environmental impact statement for its gray wolf control activities in the state. The case was dismissed in District Court in January 2018, on the basis that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to file it.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held in April of 2019 that the plaintiffs did have standing and remanded the case back to District Court.

Under terms of the settlement, the agency will pay $154,000 in attorney fees to the plaintiffs.

Wildlife Services will temporarily halt lethal control methods of gray wolves within federally designated wilderness areas, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and specified areas of Sawtooth Valley and Wood River Valley.

The agency will be restricted from using surveillance technology to target gray wolves in Idaho wilderness areas, and it will not be allowed to use lethal methods to target wolves on private land unless it’s in response to a documented livestock depredation or attack by a gray wolf. The agency will provide plaintiffs with depredation investigation reports from the prior ear by July 31, as well as copies of other reports prepared for the Wolf Depredation Control Board.

“Wildlife Services won’t be able to keep ignoring the science that shows that killing predators does not reduce livestock losses,” Talasi Brooks, a staff attorney with Western Watersheds Project, said in a press release.

In addition to avoiding M-44 cyanide bombs, Wildlife Services will not kill Idaho wolves for ungulate protection and will not use snares to target gray wolves on Idaho public lands.

Canyon Mansfield of Pocatello was 14 when he was harmed and his dog was killed by a cyanide bomb about three years ago. The device was set illegally and without proper signage on public land near his home.

“This news is very uplifting because it shows progress in our fight for justice for (my deceased dog) Kasey and everyone else who has suffered from these cyanide bombs,” Canyon Mansfield said in a press release. “I believe this shows that we are fighting a battle with a victory in sight.”

Laurie Rule, an attorney for Advocates for the West, said the forthcoming analysis will be detailed and will look at the science surrounding the agency’s lethal controls of predators to inform its new program.

“We’ll be watching carefully to make sure the analysis complies with all laws and fully examines the impacts and effectiveness of predator damage management in Idaho,” Rule said in the press release.

Source: USDA Wildlife Services agrees to temporarily halt lethal wolf control, ‘cyanide bomb’ use | Local | idahostatejournal.com https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/canyoncasey1-563×750-563×750-1-225×300-225×300-1.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Larkspur poison concerns continue for cattle producers/ far worse than Predators 

larkspur cattle loss

Cattle Loss to Larkspur makes losses to wolves or other predators seem like a drop in the bucket. Cattle Ranchers truly need to wake up and worry about the real problems that cause loss, rather than focusing on an animal that was here long before these self proclaimed 4th and 5th Generation Ranchers.

Losses can be potentially  5-15 percent (According to a former USDA Employee) of the cattle grazing on range with larkspur depending on growth stage, climate conditions, and time of grazing

By Sarah M. Smith, Extension Regional Specialist

Last spring, cattle producers in Washington’s northern Columbia Basin experienced serious problems with larkspur poisoning. Following recent discussions with a producer who saw significant losses in 2015, it seems that larkspur may be as bad in 2016.

With the increased soil moisture and larkspur levels in 2015, cattle producers could see significant larkspur blooms as weather warms this spring.

Larkspur is one of the deadliest, most commonly encountered poisonous plants for cattle on Western U.S. rangelands, usually occurring on foothill ranges in the spring, and in the mountains during summer.

Low larkspur has a spurred blue flower that grows on the top third of a single and unbranched stem. It is found on grassy hillsides and in sagebrush areas, where it may reach a height of two feet. Leaves alternate and are divided into deep, narrow lobes, and the stem is hollow.

Low larkspur tends to grow at lower elevations—unlike tall larkspur, which grows in high elevations—where it matures and becomes dormant before soil moisture is depleted. Low larkspur begins growing in early spring, often before other forages begin growth.

Larkspur can cause heavy cattle losses in infested grazing areas when it is highly palatable to cattle, especially during the flower stage. Larkspur toxicity is highest at the vegetative/bud stage and decreases as it matures. However, the palatability of larkspur for cattle increases as the plant flowers and matures into pods. The toxic window for most cattle death is when the plant flowers and matures into pods, and palatability of the plant is increasing.

Adverse weather conditions, like the cold nights, can also greatly increase consumptions of larkspur. There is a great paragraph on page 5 of Grazing Tall Larkspur Ranges: A Livestock Producer’s Decision Making Handbook, that shows the toxic window and risk of toxicity relative to palatability and toxicity levels.

The lethal dose for cattle for cattle is about 0.5 percent of body weight, requiring only about 5.5 to 7.5 pounds of larkspur to kill a 1100-1500 pound cow. However sheep can tolerate larkspur at high levels, not experiencing lethal does until about 2.0 percent of body weight or about 3.5 pounds for a 180-pound ewe.

The toxic substances are a mixture of several alkaloids. These alkaloids and their relative toxicity and concentrations vary between individual plants, at different locations and between larkspur species. The method of toxicity has been identified as neuromuscular paralysis, leading to respiratory failure, bloat and often death. Signs of poisoning include nervousness, weakness, staggering gait, repeated falling, rapid irregular pulse, straddled stance, mild tremors, salivation, diarrhea, bloat, vomiting, convulsions, and coma. Working cattle suspected of larkspur should be limited, because excitement and physical exercise intensifies all signs of poisoning. Death will usually occur within three to four hours of eating lethal amounts.

There is no proven treatment of larkspur poisoning. Conservative therapy, such as placing an affected animal on its brisket or chest with its head uphill to reduce bloating, is recommended. The most important thing is to avoid unduly exciting an affect animal until it can eliminate the toxins, because larkspur toxins cause paralysis of the neuromuscular system and limit an animal’s ability to breathe.

If a larkspur range is treated with herbicide, do not graze it until until fall. The most common herbicide treatments increase palatability and do not decrease toxicity, even though the treatment will kill the plant. Contact your local chemical company for recommendations on herbicide options.

For more information on larkspur poisoning, view the handbook listed above, or visit the USDA Poisonous Plant Research web site.

• Sarah M. Smith is a Regional Extension Specialist in Animal Sciences, based at Grant-Adams County Extension.

 

Source: Larkspur poison concerns continue for cattle producers | College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences | Washington State University https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Tall-Larkspur-for-OSG-208×300-208×300-1.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInTheNews

Colorado Parks and Wildlife: First pack of wolves reported in Colorado

 

Just watch, now the livestock Industry will most likely file lawsuits to prevent reintroduction says Protect The Wolves™

One day after a measure to reintroduce wolves was placed on this year’s ballot, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says a likely wolf pack was confirmed in the state.

CPW said an eyewitness reported six large canids — a term that can describe wolves, jackals, foxes, coyote and domestic dogs — traveling together. Plus, a scavenged elk a few miles from the sighting in northwest Colorado ”strongly suggests a pack of gray wolves may now be residing in Colorado.”

“The sighting marks the first time in recent history CPW has received a report of multiple wolves traveling together,” CPW Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke said in a Wednesday release.

Romatzke said in the days prior to the late October sighting in Moffat County, the eyewitness reported hearing “distinct howls coming from different animals. In my opinion, this is a very credible report.”

The eyewitness said his hunting party observed the wolves near the state’s Wyoming and Utah borders. One of the party caught two of the six animals on video.

Previous coverage: Wolf reintroduction group submits 200,000 signatures in support of adding issue to ballot

November election: Initiative to introduce gray wolves makes Colorado ballot

After learning of the scavenged elk carcass, CPW initiated an investigation. At the kill site, officers observed several large canid tracks from multiple animals that are consistent with those made by wolves. The condition of the elk carcass was consistent with known wolf predation, according to CPW.

Romatzke said the most recent sighting of what appears to be wolves traveling together is what can be best described as a pack and adds “to other credible reports of wolf activity in Colorado over the past several years.”

The Craig Daily Press filed an inquiry with CPW in early January, citing a report from hunters in Irish Canyon who said they found a bull elk carcass “ripped to pieces.”According to that report, filed in late December, the hunting party found large, dog-type tracks around the carcass, leading the hunters to believe it was from wolves.

Previous reports of wolves in Colorado include tracks, howls, photos and videos. DNA testing confirmed the presence of one wolf a few years ago, and “in a recent case, we have photos and continue to track a wolf with a collar from Wyoming’s Snake River pack,” Romatzke said.

A person captured photos of that radio-collared wolf north of Walden in July, which was the first credible wolf sighting in the state in four years, according to CPW.

“It is inevitable, based on known wolf behavior, that they would travel here from states where their populations are well-established,” Romatzke said. “We have no doubt that they are here, and the most recent sighting of what appears to be wolves traveling together in what can be best described as a pack is further evidence of the presence of wolves in Colorado.”

This week’s news about a wolf pack comes as Colorado voters get ready to decide whether to direct the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to devise a plan to introduce wolves on public land west of the Continental Divide before 2024.

The ballot measure, championed by the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund, will appear on the November ballot. Advocates have said they would like to eventually see 250 wolves in Colorado. Details of the reintroduction are left to be ironed out by the state.

“Wolves are in grave danger, looking at social media comments (regarding the recent announcement), and why it is even more urgent to pass initiative 107,” said Rob Edward, president of the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund board. “The bottom line is this shows a connectivity to the Northern Rockies and why reintroduction is the right thing to do. We need a planning process to get on with recovering wolves.”

Colorado ranchers and some sportsmen organizations oppose the initiative to reintroduce wolves into Colorado. One rancher previously told the Coloradoan he doesn’t oppose a natural return of wolves to the state.

Wolf reintroduction proponents “have falsely claimed that there are no wolves present in Colorado. … The news from CPW today implodes their propaganda,” said Denny Behrens, co-chairman of the Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition.

“The forced introduction of non-native gray wolves will be like throwing gas on a campfire,” Behrens said.

In regard to the wolf pack, Romatzke said CPW will continue to operate under the agency’s current management direction, which is to not take direct action.

“We want to remind the public that wolves are federally endangered species and fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” he said. “As wolves move into the state on their own, we will work with our federal partners to manage the species.”

Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife: First pack of wolves reported in Colorado http://img.youtube.com/vi/4xUVIs0ENXI/0.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInTheNews

 91  Groups Demand Pendley’s Resignation – Protect The Wolves™

Conservationists call for temporary BLM lead William Perry Pendley to step down

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 91 conservation, sportsmen, and faith-based groups concerned with public lands management, representing more than 3.9 million Americans, submitted a letter to Interior Secretary Bernhardt calling for William Perry Pendley to resign or be removed from office. Pendley lacks Senate approval to lead the agency. The letter cites Pendley’s direction to implement the agenda of public lands extremist groups, his conflicts of interest relating to his former law firm’s continued representation of opponents of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalate National Monuments designations, the movement of BLM headquarters personnel from Washington to western offices without congressional authorization, and his skewed leadership towards extractive industry.

“William Pendley is implementing his goal to eliminate federal public lands by directing his department to hand over control to local government entities, including those that seek to crush environmental protections and throw the door wide open to commercial exploitation,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. “Pendley’s direction to defer  BLM’s law enforcement to local officials explicitly implements the policy agenda of the Constitutional Sheriffs, an organization affiliated with the Bundy movement that seeks to supplant federal laws and regulations on our western public lands.”

Pendley authored an op-ed in November directing federal laws enforcement to allow local law enforcement to take the primary role in enforcing federal laws on federal public lands, in a major derogation of BLM law enforcement’s authority and a page out of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association playbook. He has also directed a mandatory relocation of senior BLM career employees from the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“Pendley has pushed hard to move scores of HQ staff to Grand Junction in the heart of natural gas production in Western Colorado,” said Peter Jenkins of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “With no direct flights to DC it makes no sense – except to strengthen BLM’s ties to oil and gas production, harm oversight by Congress, and weaken the influence of the agency. Even worse, he is scattering other professional support staff all over the West.”

In October of 2019, Pendley issued a controversial statement that wild horses were the primary issue facing the BLM, angering conservationists who pointed to real crises facing the agency, including sage grouse declines, livestock overgrazing, cheatgrass spread, climate change, and many other problems.

“Putting Pendley in charge of the BLM is like the fox guarding the henhouse,” said Judi Brawer, Wild Places Program Director with WildEarth Guardians. “He will destroy the agency and the irreplaceable public lands in his charge.”

Pendley’s former law form, Mountain States Legal Foundation, continues to represent local governments fighting to defend the gutting of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by the Trump Administration, and Pendley himself had been an attorney representing these groups prior to being appointed to lead the BLM. Pendley’s BLM has continued to pursue Monument management plans advancing the interests of his former clients.

“William Perry Pendley has essentially infiltrated the Bureau of Land Management to serve the corporations who want to dig, drill, and destroy our public lands for profit. He should have immediately removed himself from any decisions relating to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monuments decisions, but instead shielded his former clients and big polluters from environmental protections.” said Blaine Miller-McFeeley, Senior Legislative Representative for policy and legislation at Earthjustice. “Congress should remove Pendley from office as soon as possible if he won’t leave on his own.”

Pendley’s current appointment as Deputy Director by Secretary Bernhardt expires on January 3rd. The BLM Director, who would have full authority to exercise the responsibilities of that position once confirmed by the Senate, has not yet been nominated by the Trump Administration.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Pendley-resignation-letter-final-2.pdf” title=”Pendley resignation-letter-final-2″]

 

 

Source: NEWS: 91 Green Groups Demand Pendley’s Resignation – Western Watersheds Project https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Valley-of-the-Gods-Bears-Ears-NM-1024×683.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #ProtectTheWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL #WolvesInTheNews

Stallion Ran Wild For 26 Years. Then Died 5 Months Into Captivity.

This Story was from 2015, but still shows the uncaring of the BLM. This sort of Mentality needs to be stopped! Most likely died from his gelding procedure.

Source: Stallion Ran Wild For 26 Years. And Died 5 Months Into Captivity. – The Dodo https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/tmg-article_tall.jpg #BanAnimalTrapping #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #ProtectTheWolves

Was This 18,000-Year-Old Siberian Puppy a Dog or a Wolf? 

Was This 18,000-Year-Old Siberian Puppy a Dog or a Wolf?

The animal was buried in a lump of frozen mud in Russia, its fur, whiskers and body fully intact. Scientists are studying its DNA to understand whether it is a dog or a wolf.

An 18,000-year-old puppy buried for centuries in a lump of frozen mud was unveiled on Monday by scientists who hope it can help bridge the connection between dogs and wolves.

The puppy, which was male, was discovered 18 months ago, preserved in a layer of permafrost in Siberia’s Far Eastern reaches, according to Dave Stanton, a research fellow at the Center for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm and one of the scientists who examined its DNA.

The fur, skeleton, teeth, head, lashes and whiskers of the pup, named Dogor, are still intact, he said. But scientists don’t know whether it is a dog or wolf. Dr. Stanton said more DNA research would be conducted in the coming months.

Source: Was This 18,000-Year-Old Siberian Puppy a Dog or a Wolf? – The New York Times https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/02xp-frozenpuppy2-facebookJumbo.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #GrayWolves #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL

Montezuma County opposes plan to bring wolves to Colorado

Typical Old West Mentality exhibited here in Montezuma County.

The Montezuma County Board of County Commissioners has passed a resolution opposing any plan to reintroduce wolves into Colorado.

The resolution claims wolves would threaten livestock, big game hunting and household pets. It points out that efforts to reintroduce the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains have met recovery goals, and federal recovery efforts to do not include Colorado.

The county’s statement is in response to proposed ballot Initiative 107, which would ask Colorado voters in the 2020 election to allow wolf reintroduction on the Western Slope.

The Restoration of Gray Wolves Initiative requires 124,632 signatures by Dec. 13 to make the ballot. The Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund, a primary backer, has reported it has enough signatures, according to statements made to the Montrose Daily Press.

An established population of wolves has not roamed Colorado since the 1940s. The gray wolf is a protected species under the federal Endangered Species Act in most areas of the nation, including Colorado.

Several lone wolves are thought to have wandered into Colorado in the past two decades from established packs in Wyoming. In July, Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed a wolf sighting in Jackson County, on the Wyoming border.

If approved by voters, Initiative 107 would require the CPW Commission to develop a plan to restore and manage gray wolves in Colorado. In doing so, the commission must hold statewide hearings to gather information for the plan and begin reintroduction by Dec. 31, 2023, on designated lands west of the Continental Divide.

CPW also is required to assist landowners in preventing and resolving conflicts between gray wolves and livestock and to compensate livestock owners for any loss of livestock caused by gray wolves.

Because the wolf is designated as endangered, reintroduction of wolves would require approval from the federal government.

However, in March 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed rule to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife. The agency must reach a determination on the proposed rule within a year of its submission.

According to the Colorado Legislative Council, if Colorado approves Initiative 107 and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife removes the gray wolf’s threatened or endangered status, reintroduction could occur in Colorado without federal approval.

Phyllis Snyder, of the Colorado Farm Bureau, who told Montezuma County commissioners about farmers’ and ranchers’ concerns, urged documentation of wolves already here as an argument against reintroduction.

“If we can prove and document wolves are already here, then there would be no need to bring wolves in,” she said.

Mesa, Garfield and Moffat counties also have passed nonbinding resolutions stating their opposition to the reintroduction of wolves.

If the measure were passed, Montezuma County commissioners’ resolution urges “wolf education programs include comprehensive and balanced discussions about the impact of wolves on local economies, and include the perspective of livestock producers, hunters and public health officials.”

CPW policy recognizes the wolf as a federally protected species and allows them to migrate into Colorado where they find habitat.

However, in a 2016 resolution, the CPW Wildlife Commission opposed intentional reintroduction of wolves based on recommendations of a 2005 Wolf Working Group. The resolution said wolf reintroduction was a potential conflict with the state livestock industry and current big game management efforts.

Advocates say wolves are necessary to restore the predator-prey balance in Colorado. They also say wolves have a historical presence in Colorado and would contribute aesthetically to Colorado wildlands.

Public polling of likely voters since the 1990s shows broad-based support for wolf restoration in Colorado, Erika Brown of San Juan Citizen’s Alliance said in a report. A 1994 survey showed 60% support; a 2001 survey, 66%; and a 2019 survey, 67%. Majority support crossed gender, geographic and party lines.

“The results of the surveys indicate that the proposed ballot initiative would be supported by strong majorities on both the east and west slope,” Brown said.

The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf has been reintroduced in the Gila National Forest area along the New Mexico-Arizona border.

Source: Montezuma County opposes plan to bring wolves to Colorado https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/denaliwolfeye-2-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-2-300×200-2-300×200-1-300×200-1-300×200-300×200.jpg #BanAnimalTrapping #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Michigan DNR now-discredited justification for killing the Ontonagon wolves in 2016

ONTONAGON — Bouncing along a sodden farm pasture, Brad Johnson stopped his state vehicle when he came upon the newborn calf, or what remained of it.

The veteran wildlife handler had been to this patch of farmland in the western Upper Peninsula several times the previous fall, when a dozen calves from the Dykstra beef ranch were reported missing.

Gray wolves were suspected in those disappearances. But Johnson had little reason to fear for his own safety on this wet spring day; the local wolf pack was not considered a threat to people.

Which is what made what happened next startling: A single wolf burst into view and Johnson could only watch, frozen, as another calf was attacked, shredded before his eyes.

The brazen strike in the spring of 2016 ‒- which led to three wolves being hunted down and shot ‒- was not the first uncomfortable encounter between people and wolves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Get Bridge in your inbox

Instead of using Google to find nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan news, sign up for our newsletter to read us each morning.

Enter your email here…

SUBSCRIBE

We do not sell or share your information with anyone.

More than 600 gray wolves are estimated to populate Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a resurgence that pleases conservation groups but can create tensions with ranchers and some lawmakers who worry about the danger to livestock. (Photo courtesy Nancy Warren)

A few years earlier and 60 miles away in Ironwood, wolves were spotted outside a home, forcing residents to pound on a sliding-glass door to chase them away. More ominously, gray wolves were seen circling the perimeter of a children’s day care during recess. Those wolves, too, had to be shot dead.

Taken together, the incidents were powerful evidence that a resurgent wolf population in the U.P. had become habituated and aggressive toward humans, strengthening calls among farmers, hunters and some lawmakers to drop gray wolves from the list of endangered animals protected by federal law.

There was just one problem: None of these harrowing accounts turned out to be true.

Related: The debate is on: Will wolves move to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula?
Related: Wolves face genetic challenge in Michigan’s Isle Royale, study says

No wolf sped past Brad Johnson to attack a calf on the Dykstra farm. No wolves were seen prowling near preschoolers at recess in Ironwood. And no pack congregated on the back deck of a local home.

Officials at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and some lawmakers opposed to wolf protection policies were found to have embroidered, misstated or outright fictionalized the threat that gray wolves posed to humans.

Don Lonsway, the federal wildlife agent who shot three wolves at the Dykstra farm, is shown here examining a wolf taken in 2012 during a period when bans against wolf hunting were briefly lifted. (Photo courtesy John Koski)

But getting to the truth took years.

As a former MLive investigations editor and now freelance reporter, I’ve followed the controversy over the wolf kills for years and broke stories raising questions about DNR’s public statements about the shootings.

Now, internal emails I obtained for Bridge Magazine show that top DNR leaders had blocked the release of documents that contradicted their now-discredited justification for killing the Ontonagon wolves in 2016. These documents indicate that, rather than posing a peril to humans, the wolves were shot because they were decimating herds of high-priced beef cattle at the Dykstra farm, costing the state tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursements.

The distinction is critical. The U.S. Endangered Species Act allows the killing of federally protected animals if they pose a danger to people. But it forbids their killing for attacking livestock. Violators can face up to a year in jail.

The obfuscation comes at a critical time: The Trump administration wants to remove wolves from the list of protected animals under the Endangered Species Act in the Lower 48 states, which could impede their recovery of animals once on the verge of extinction.

The records obtained by Bridge raise questions about the credibility of state wildlife leaders as honest brokers in the debate over whether to delist gray wolves from federal protection.

They also highlight fresh concerns about the rigor of Michigan’s public records law, which allows state or local governments to routinely delay or stonewall public requests for documents for months or even years, often with little consequence.

“How can we trust the DNR will manage wolves based on the best-available science with their history of misleading the public, reporters and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?” asked Nancy Warren, executive director of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition, a volunteer organization that has been critical of the state’s transparency on wolf encounters.

The DNR has since acknowledged inaccuracies in its petition to the U.S. government to shoot the wolves. But a department spokesman blames the discrepancies on a “miscommunication” among staffers and denies the agency purposely sought to mislead the public or the federal government.

‘Shoot, shovel and shut up!’

The Dykstra farm has become a symbol of wolf depredation in Michigan.

The 700-head operation, on 2,000 acres near Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, has more cattle than the nearby town of Greenland has people.

Dykstra trademarks its herd as “Michigan Craft Beef,” raised without antibiotics, hormones or genetically modified feed. Its Black Angus are pampered right up to the moment they are slaughtered ‒ grazing on grass and alfalfa, with tart-cherry syrup, apples and wet beer barley added to give their meat a distinctive taste.

DNR wildlife technician Brad Johnson -‒ shown here releasing a GPS-collared elk -‒ scared a wolf from a field at Dykstra Beef Farm on April 29, 2016. His just-the-facts report on the incident was transformed into a far more dramatic encounter between man and wolf by higher-ups at DNR.  (Photo by DNR)

Ontonagon is geographically closer to Fargo, North Dakota, than to Detroit, making this big snow country, averaging about 200 inches a winter. Snowmobiling is popular here. Wolves are not.

Shoot, shovel and shut up” is a common phrase among the locals, reflecting ranchers’ long-standing frustration with federal wildlife protection policy. It’s a policy, they say, that seems more focused on protecting predators than shielding farmers from economic ruin.

One popular bumper sticker has mock bullet holes and the message: “Michigan Wolves: Smoke a Pack a Day.”

The pack that ravaged Dykstra’s calves follows the Flintsteel River, which runs past the company’s large cattle operation. At the time, the Ontonagon Pack included six adult gray wolves -‒ two males and four females.

There is little question that the wolves struck the Dykstra cattle hard in 2016.

Records show 35 cattle were killed or reported missing that year, a blow even for one of the largest cattle operations in the Upper Peninsula. Spring was particularly difficult. In April and May alone, the farm lost 16 calves. Workers took pains to protect the animals -‒ installing flashing lights around the pasture, moving the herd closer to the farm, performing head counts twice a day -‒ and still the wolves feasted.

But even as the farm was victimized by wolves, it benefited from government help. Not from the federal government, but from Michigan taxpayers and a prominent Upper Peninsula lawmaker.

To date, the ranch has received roughly $50,000 from state taxpayers under an agriculture program meant to keep the peace with farmers. The fund reimburses farmers at “fair market value” for livestock killed or missing because of wolves, coyotes and, if ever necessary, cougars.

That $50,000 is more than any farm has received since the state program began in 2012, according to a Bridge analysis of more than 400 payments totaling a quarter-million dollars.

Farm owner Tom Dykstra documented the killings of calves through the first half of 2016, which allowed him to obtain state reimbursement for their deaths. Despite flashing lights and other measures intended to deter the local pack, the wolves kept coming. (Photo courtesy Tom Dykstra)

Most payments were for Dyktra’s losses in 2016 — $28,915 for 20 cattle killed and 15 missing (and presumed killed), more than all other Michigan farms combined that year.

Tom Dykstra, of Moraine Park Farms near Zeeland, which owns the Ontonagon farm, declined to comment for this article. In previous interviews, Dykstra, 40, has said he does not oppose federal efforts to protect wolves — when they are on public land. But ranchers also need protection, he argued, and he has not hesitated to press for state compensation when predators strike.

Indeed, in early 2016 Dykstra was able to persuade the state to triple the value of his herd based on its craft-level quality, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) records show.

Seven weeks after agreeing to raise compensation for Dykstra’s cattle, the state secured federal permission to kill the wolves, citing the now discredited incident involving a wolf attacking near Brad Johnson.

State DNR and agriculture officials say the high price of reimbursing Dykstra for lost cattle played no role in the state’s efforts to have the Ontonagon wolves killed.

But an internal DNR email obtained by Bridge shows Dykstra was haggling with the state agency over reimbursement money around that time.

The email, written May 19, 2016, indicates Tom Dykstra was angry MDARD was pressing him to waive a $5,000 penalty the state owed him for slow reimbursement.

“(T)he MDARD employee pushed Dykstra into not making an issue of the ($5,000) because the employee would get into trouble,” U.P. wildlife supervisor Terry Minzey wrote to his boss, Wildlife Chief Russ Mason.

“It sounds like the conversation went downhill from there,” Minzey concluded.

The state sought ‒ and received ‒ federal approval the next day to have the Ontonagon wolves killed.

Shootings and talking points

DNR supervisors and wildlife managers would not publicly acknowledge the killing of the three wolves for two years, as detailed in nearly 500 pages of emails Bridge received this year through the state Freedom of Information Act. Even when the agency finally confirmed the killings last November, it stuck by the argument that the wolves posed a danger to humans.

The agency’s internal records tell another story.

In the months before the May 2016 wolf shootings, DNR records show that the agency had repeatedly described the wolves of the Ontonagon pack as posing no threat to humans.

Russ Mason was DNR wildlife chief for more than a decade, and defended the agency’s position that the Ontonagon wolves posed a threat to people. (Photo by DNR)

Brad Johnson, the field technician, had investigated missing cattle at the Dykstra farm three times the previous fall, filling out checklists on wolf activity reports after every visit. In each report, he noted the wolves did not show “fearless behavior” and were not “perceived to be a threat to personal or family safety,” or even to family pets.

More critically, Johnson’s notes say nothing about a wolf racing past him to attack another calf on April 29, 2016, the narrative pushed by the DNR to help justify killing the Ontonagon pack.

Instead, the records show Johnson was in fact on the Dykstra farm earlier that day to check on a dead calf. Hours later, on a return visit, a motorist told him that cows were being chased on another part of the ranch. Johnson had to drive three-quarters of a mile before he spotted a wolf. His report said he blew his horn and fired a warning shot from 60 to 80 yards away to “chase a wolf away.”

Several weeks later, when DNR petitioned the federal government to approve the wolf killings, an agency memo reimagined the circumstances of Johnson’s April encounter with the wolf, making it sound like the wolf was comfortable enough to attack the calf while Johnson was in the field.

“These wolves continued to attack livestock, even in the presence of humans, including a DNR technician,” said a one-page DNR document, dated May 23, 2016.

The document, labeled “Wolf Talking Points,” was not publicly released. In fact, the DNR announced nothing about the calf attacks or wolf shootings at the time.

Wolves terrorizing Ironwood

The Ontonagon encounter was not the only alarming wolf tale to eventually unravel in the U.P. Tales of gray wolves menacing preschoolers and residents in Ironwood ‒ accounts amplified by state DNR officials and lawmakers ‒ would also fall apart under scrutiny.

The daycare story first gained prominence in 2011 when state House and Senate members who favored the legalization of wolf hunts cited the incident in urging Congress to delist gray wolves from federal protection.

In resolutions passed a month apart, the lawmakers wrote:

“Wolves appeared multiple times in the backyard of a day care center shortly after the children were allowed outside to play. Federal agents disposed of three wolves in that backyard because of the potential danger to the children.”

That account was inaccurate, as I first reported for Mlive.com in 2013. Lori Holm of Ironwood told me she was home with children who were inside the house when she spotted a wolf on her lawn near her dog, a white Sheltie. She went outside and screamed at the wolf, which turned away, ending the drama.

There were no children in the backyard that day. It was only one wolf, not three. And the wolves eventually shot in Ironwood were killed, not in the woman’s yard, but seven months later on property nearly a mile from Holms’ land.

The daycare story originated with Anders Tingstad, a pro-hunt Ontonagon County Circuit Court judge who helped write the resolution state lawmakers directed to Congress. An investigation found Tingstad had misconstrued an incident that he had heard about secondhand.

The Senate resolution was sponsored by Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba. He would later apologize on the Capitol floor for the misleading account.

“I was mistaken, I am accountable, and I am sorry,” Casperson told colleagues in 2013. “Words matter. Accuracy matters. Especially here, with a topic that is so emotional and is so important to so many, especially those whose way of life is being changed in my district.”

Casperson was not the only state official who had pressed the narrative of prowling wolves in Ironwood.

State Sen. Tom Casperson, who was the powerful chairman of the Natural Resources Committee until this year, was eager to help Tom Dykstra rid his farm of predatory wolves. “Within about a two-week span, he had lost like 14 calves,” Casperson told Bridge. “You can’t wipe out a guy’s herd.”

It was a DNR employee, furbearer specialist Adam Bump, who told Michigan Radio in May 2013 of wolf packs terrorizing Ironwood residents.

“So you have wolves showing up in backyards, wolves showing up on porches, wolves staring at people through their sliding-glass doors when they’re pounding on it, exhibiting no fear,” he said during the interview.

Never happened.

At least not in Michigan, as Bump would later acknowledge in recanting the story on air. He said he had mistakenly recounted an incident from a book he had read about human encounters with mountain lions in Colorado.

Inquiries evaded for years

Warren, of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition, said she first heard “casual talk” of wolf attacks at the Dykstra farm in May 2016 as she listened to a country music station at her home in nearby Ewen.

Inquiries to the DNR’s Marquette office that May 26 were met with a string of evasive responses, her correspondence shows. Warren persisted.

She filed a formal request for cattle-attack reports the next morning, Friday, May 27, 2016.

Warren didn’t know it then, but the first of the three killings of the Ontonagon wolves had already taken place.

Under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, government agencies are required to respond to public records requests within 5 business days, though a provision allows them a 10-day extension, which they routinely take.

At the end of that period, the agency’s only obligation is to give a response, such as by sending a letter saying the records will (or will not) be provided.

Agencies are not required to actually provide the records within that time. In fact, one significant loophole in state law is that it provides no clear guidelines for when the records themselves must be turned over, which means that people seeking records often have to rely on the goodwill of the government worker in that office.

DNR charged Warren $87.50 for the records.

Nine weeks later, the agency turned over 35 pages on cattle attacks to Warren.

But when she looked at the papers sent by Chief Mason’s office, the names, addresses and contact information were blacked out, making it impossible to determine which farmers lost cattle to wolves. DNR also excluded geographic coordinates ‒ township, range and section numbers ‒ for farms that suffered livestock attacks.

It’s not unusual for government offices to redact parts of a document. Generally, they’re allowed to block information if they can show it falls under one of several exemptions to public records, usually to protect someone’s privacy. The home address of a judge or police officer, for example, or the Social Security number of a party in a lawsuit are the kinds of information shielded from public release.

DNR sought to extend this same exemption to farms. Victoria Lischalk, Chief Mason’s executive assistant, wrote Warren that the location of livestock attacks was considered “information of a personal nature (and) would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy” if released.

Warren found that argument preposterous. As a longtime wolf advocate who had helped the state develop its wolf management plan in 2008, she said there were plenty of times when she’d received similar information within days.

So in November 2016 Warren hired an attorney to sue DNR, arguing that the location of reported wolf attacks were germane to the public’s understanding of how the DNR handled wolf encounters, and outweighed any privacy concerns of farmers.

DNR’s stonewalling, she argued, was an effort to retaliate against her for her outspoken opposition to wolf hunting.

“In short, it appears that higher-level DNR officials have ended the friendly and informal relationship [Warren] had previously enjoyed,” the suit said, “and have instituted a policy of tight lips.”

Lawsuits take time. It was not until May 2018, two years after Warren first sought the records, that Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens ruled in Warren’s favor and ordered the public records released.

“General geographic information describing where a wolf encountered livestock does not fit the definition of ‘personal,’” Stephens wrote. “Even assuming the information were personal, the balancing test would favor disclosure because the information reveals information about [DNR’s] wolf-management policies.”

The judge ordered DNR to pay $11,000 in fees and costs to Warren’s lawyer, Rebecca Millican of Traverse City, to reimburse Warren for the cost of litigating the case.

A powerful friend in Lansing

The DNR documents released to Bridge add to evidence uncovered in earlier reporting I performed for The Detroit News that suggested DNR had bent to pressure from Casperson ‒ the pro-business, anti-wolf senator from Escanaba ‒- to have the Ontonagon wolf pack killed.

As cattle losses mounted on the Dykstra farm in the spring of 2016, it was Casperson, the influential chairman of the Senate’s Natural Resources Committee, who intervened at the request of owner Tom Dykstra.

The senator’s 38th District covered the western U.P., including Ontonagon County and the Dykstra operation. Casperson ‒ who once wore a wolf-skin cap to celebrate a wolf-hunt victory ‒ was a strong proponent of reshaping the state’s conservation laws to make them more friendly to business, hunting and property interests.

Until term limits forced him from office last December, Casperson led the charge to allow the hunting of gray wolves in Michigan should they ever lose federal protection. When I interviewed him last fall, Casperson acknowledged he had called Terry Minzey, DNR’s U.P. wildlife supervisor, after getting an earful from Tom Dykstra.

The rancher was angry that state and federal wildlife managers had captured and caged two of the wolves the day before, only to release them. The wildlife managers had hoped that harassing the wolves by caging them would scare them off.

Dykstra “had lost like 14 calves and was sending regular pictures and it was just unacceptable,” Casperson said of his decision to call DNR. “You can’t wipe out a guy’s herd.”

Reimbursing Dykstra’s farm for livestock losses was adding up, Casperson said, even as he acknowledged the wolves had no history of being aggressive around people.

“The question became,” Casperson said, “who is going to go first? Who wants to take the first shot, so to speak? I think he (Minzey) understood someone had to go first.”

Three days later, Minzey put his name to the memo describing the phantom wolf attack in front of Johnson.

Dykstra farm manager Duane Kolpack confirmed Casperson’s assessment.

The decision to kill the wolves “was kind of thrown together quick because the [animal] activists kind of frown on killing wolves when they are federally protected,” Kolpack told me last year.

It was only after Casperson and Kolpack separately disclosed the wolf shootings that DNR acknowledged the killings, 2 ½ years after they happened. Even then, the state still insists the pack’s aggressiveness in the presence of humans (and not their killing of livestock) prompted the decision.

Federal wildlife law permits the killing of protected gray wolves in defense of human life, or if wolves pose a “demonstrable but non-immediate threat to human safety.”

In seeking federal permission to shoot the wolves, DNR highlighted Johnson’s purported encounter with the aggressive wolf at the Dykstra farm.

“In one case, the wolf was sufficiently bold as to enter the pasture and kill a calf at the very moment one of our wildlife technicians was in the same field investigating a previous kill,” Minzey, the wildlife supervisor, wrote to the federal government ‒ bolding and underlining the passage.

Curiously, in the version of this letter the department provided to me in 2018, DNR removed the bold and underlined emphasis used by Minzey in petitioning the feds.

Likewise, the department also withheld a portion of the U.S. response which indicated just how influential Minzey’s account was in the federal government’s approval of the wolf kills. That excised paragraph said:

“It is clear that the wolves are acting aggressively including in the presence of humans as documented by the attack on livestock while the MDNR technician was in the same field, ” wrote Scott Hicks, regional U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supervisor, in approving lethal action.

The emails released to Bridge show DNR pressed the same, discredited account involving Johnson to its own employees. On May 23, 2016, Mason told DNR staff:

“This past week, for the first time ever, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the lethal removal of three wolves that showed persistently, brazen behavior by killing livestock in the presence of the operator and our staff.” 

Johnson declined comment for this article. Minzey, the supervisor who wrote the inaccurate report, did not return multiple emails and phone messages and DNR would not make him available for an interview. He remains with the department.

DNR spokesman Ed Golder describes Minzey’s account as a “communication breakdown.” In an email earlier this year, Golder said Minzey had “no clear recollection” how he got the facts wrong about the 2016 wolf encounter.

But Golder also insists the decision to kill the Ontonagon wolves was not solely based on the Brad Johnson incident.

“That single incident was one factor among others involved in drawing the conclusion that the wolves posed a non-immediate threat to human safety,” Golder wrote Bridge.

He also noted that non-lethal measures had failed to keep the wolf pack from Dykstra’s cattle pastures.

Golder declined to elaborate, writing in March: “We don’t have anything to add to that account.”

But Russ Mason did.

Sticking to its defense

Mason was DNR wildlife chief for over a decade and was well known to hunters, with his sprawling command ranging from furry and feathered game to neurological illnesses like chronic wasting disease in “zombie” whitetails.

Last Nov. 30, Mason told me the Ontonagon wolf shootings were necessary to protect people.

The DNR, Mason said, is “just as transparent as we can be with the number of wolves that have been [killed].” He released a three-page “timeline” purporting to set the record straight.

But Golder, the agency spokesman, acknowledged in an email a few months later that Mason knew the Brad Johnson wolf attack story was false “prior to the time of your interview.” Brian Roell, a DNR wildlife specialist, had told top officials what really happened two days before the interview. This was apparently the second time Roell had raised questions internally about the agency’s description of the incident, email records obtained by Bridge show.

DNR depredation specialist Brian Roell twice raised questions about the agency’s characterization of a wolf incident on the Dykstra farm. Still, the DNR pushed the false narrative of a brazen wolf attacking a calf in the presence of a DNR worker. (Photo by DNR)

Nonetheless, DNR Director Keith Creagh insisted in an interview last year that he was also “familiar with there being menacing behavior” by wolves at the Dykstra farm leading to shootings, adding: “I would be surprised that a DNR employee would fabricate an incident.”

This September, DNR announced Mason was leaving his post as wildlife division chief to become the agency’s first executive in residence at Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Creagh was replaced by Dan Eichinger after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer won office last year.

Outcry from conservation groups

The agency’s shifting accounts have drawn scorn from conservation groups, which say they’re worried the Trump administration will soon remove federal protection for gray wolves.

“Federal (wolf) delisting cannot legally proceed without an adequate and reliable state regulator to take over – and the DNR has once again shown it is not up to the task,” Molly Tamulevich, Michigan director of the Humane Society of the United States, told Bridge.

Collette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which advocates for endangered species, calls DNR’s account of the Dykstra farm incident “nonsensical” and “inexcusable,” adding that “leadership at the Michigan DNR needs to fire any employee who lied about the behavior of wolves on that farm.”

“Decisions about the fate of endangered wildlife need to be based on science, not fabricated stories aimed at appeasing politicians,” she said.

The Arizona-based center is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over plans it announced in March to delist wolves in the mainland U.S. states. The proposal closed for public comment on July 15. It remains unclear when a final decision will be made.

Scott Hicks, the regional Fish and Wildlife supervisor who approved the shooting of the Ontonagon wolves, said he still believes the shootings were appropriate, even though the described attack near Brad Johnson turned out to be false.

“It sounds like you are talking with people who perhaps have a different opinion, but, here is the bottom line: I am satisfied with the information the Michigan DNR provided me about this issue and I am confident the decision to take the wolves was fully in accordance with the ESA,” Hicks wrote in May, referencing the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

“If you continue to have questions about what the DNR did or said, I suggest you contact them.”

The future of Michigan wolves

Removing gray wolves from federal protections would mostly impact Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. More wolves roam the western Great Lakes, about 4,200, than in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies combined.

Deciding how to manage this vestige of wild America is especially relevant as wolf populations level between 600 and 700 in Michigan.

The future of Michigan’s gray wolf population is uncertain, with the Trump administration weighing whether to delist the animals from its current protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. (Photo courtesy Nancy Warren)

Researchers say the Upper Peninsula is near capacity, with indications some wolves crossed the Straits of Mackinac in the frozen winter months to northern lower Michigan. (Genetic testing verified one wolf near Cross Village in 2014, but no mating pairs have been identified.)

It’s an unlikely resurgence after wolves receded from the Great Lakes like the glaciers that carved their range. A wolf bounty was the ninth law passed after Michigan achieved statehood in 1837, a death sentence that was not repealed until 1960, when the state’s wolf population had nearly vanished.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is credited with the return of Canis lupus’ from Canada to levels not seen in generations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

This year marks the 30th anniversary since a single breeding pair was discovered in the mid-Upper Peninsula. Today, wolves can be found in heavily forested lands in every U.P. county.

“A wolf attack on a human has never been documented in Michigan,” according to the Michigan Wolf Management Plan. “However, wolves have attacked people in other areas of North America … and concerns for public safety are warranted in some situations.”

Aside from livestock, hunting dogs and occasionally pets are also killed, anywhere from a few per year to as many as 17 in 2014. Michigan taxpayers do not reimburse owners for those losses.

The state says 25 wolves have been killed since 2004 as a “non-immediate” threat to human safety. Those cases largely involved nuisance complaints of wolves wandering near residents ‒ not livestock farms. For example, eight wolves from two packs were taken in winter 2012 after following deer to residential bird feeders near Ironwood.

It’s not entirely clear how many wolves remain in the Ontonagon pack today.

The last of the three 2016 shootings, on June 11, involved a female wearing a radio-collar that had traveled 55 miles north from Golden Lake. That left three remaining wolves. But not for long.

A fourth wolf was killed by a vehicle shortly afterward, state records show, a fate experts said is not uncommon among packs that have been disrupted. That left two female survivors. No pups were seen, though a lactating female was spotted by a government sharpshooter around the time of the killings, a DNR spokesperson told Bridge.

That female’s partner was likely among the two males shot, as alphas generally mate for life.

A quieter farm

There have been few verified livestock attacks at the Dykstra ranch since 2016, state records show. In the last DNR survey of wolf populations, conducted last year, three adult wolves were seen in the Ontonagon Pack.

That number likely went back down again this year. DNR arrested a Greenland man in January for allegedly shooting a collared adult female.

A GPS-collared female gray wolf from the Ontonagon pack was illegally shot near Greenland in the Upper Peninsula this past January, not far from the Dykstra farm. (Photo by DNR)

I sent the DNR an email asking if Roell, the depredation specialist  -‒ a Great Lakes and national authority on wolves -‒ could tell me if the poached wolf in Greenland was from the Ontonagon Pack.

My email was forwarded by Golder to Roell, then to Mason, the wildlife chief, and Minzey, the author of the discredited 2016 report. The men engaged in an internal discussion about my inquiry, presumably unaware I had been left on the email string.

Golder: “Brian: Can you please help answer this factual question for this reporter ‒ whether or not the wolf taken near Greenland was part of the Ontonagon Pack?”

Roell: “Why are we helping John Barnes yet again?”

Golder: “Just answering a factual question in this instance. Thanks.”

Roell: “The answer is No! Really the answer to all of Barnes’s questions is no.”

(Roell eventually confirmed in the email exchange that the poached wolf was not from the Ontonagon pack.)

Golder: “Thanks, Brian. No, this wolf was not from the Ontonagon pack ‒ that is a sufficient answer for Mr. Barnes’ purposes.”

Source: Michigan DNR said it killed wolves to protect humans. Then we got its emails. | Bridge Magazine https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/wolfewen.jpg #BanAnimalTrapping #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL #WolvesInTheNews

Hold hunters liable for shooting bears Letters | missoulian.com

Letters to The Editor:

You The hunter. You bring your weapon into the back yard of the grizzly, seeking your own right to kill and harvest deer and elk meat. You do this because you don’t know better. You’ve been trained for it,(yeah right) and lack the consciousness to see it otherwise.

You are out in the grizzly’s back yard hunting deer and elk, and a grizzly greets you. You shoot him because of your fear — your lack of preparation — your lack of awareness. You lack the very skills you claim. Your bullet ends the life of someone you killed in his own back yard.

You feel justified — tough— skilled — when all you are is a colonialist with a gun. So you keep on taking the land from the Other. Eat his meat. Drink his dairy. Soil it with your male aggression because you could not possibly be wrong.

If you are in bear country you should be liable for the grizzly you murder because your father did not teach you well!

 

Source: Hold hunters liable for shooting bears | Letters | missoulian.com https://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/5aa6d04fbf78a.image_.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #EndangeredSpeciesList #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves