In the 1980s and 1990s  the state of Montana conducted its elk reduction near Gardiner, Montana

The number of wapiti on Yellowstone’s northern range today is closer to 6,000 which move seamless in and out of the park, and there are actually far fewer wolves in the park now than a decade ago. a Decade ago Ranchers were complaining there were too many Elk so Montana Slaughtered them All not Wolves.
In the coming months, Yellowstone National Park, as part of the Interagency Bison Management Plan adopted with the state of Montana in 2000, intends to reduce the current size of the park’s bison herd from around 4,800 to between 3,900 and 4,200.
Last winter 1,200 bison were removed—the largest reduction in a decade—with more than half sent to slaughter and nearly 500 killed by hunters. Nine of every ten Yellowstone bison that died were killed beyond the park’s northern border in the Upper Yellowstone River Valley. The goal, park officials say, is to eventually reduce the number of bison to between 3,000 and 3,500.
Since the mid 1980s, more than 10,400 of the Yellowstone icons have been killed for wandering into Montana based on the now-debunked premise that they represent imminent threats of passing the disease brucellosis to domestic cattle. Critics say the “hunting” of park bison is anything but a sporting proposition; most animals are accustomed to people and do not flee.
The question is not only why more bison continue to be slaughtered or placed in quarantine, but also what are the consequences of removing animals that are merely acting upon ancient biological instincts to escape deep snow at higher elevations and move to lower-lying grasslands outside the park?
° ° °

 

To be clear, the following parallel drawn between bison and elk is not intended to be a blanket anti-hunting statement. However, it has been asserted by government wildlife officials I’ve spoken with that when hunters opened fire on elk migrating out of Yellowstone across its northern border into Montana this fall, and for those who formed a firing line shooting at elk sprinting for their lives across Grand Teton National Park, there was no sophisticated selection or discrimination going on related to which animals were being felled.

 

Quite the opposite.

 

During those years in the late 1980s and 1990s when the state of Montana conducted its elk reduction near Gardiner, Montana to dramatically reduce the number of wapiti on Yellowstone’s northern range, late season elk hunts were held in which pregnant cow elk were killed. Thousands of elk were eliminated and veteran sportsmen I knew called the scene the antithesis of ethical hunting.

 

People forget—especially those who hate wolves—that before wolves were restored in the mid 1990s, many of those same individuals lobbed a fusillade of criticisms at Yellowstone, claiming the park was mismanaged and the northern range grossly overgrazed by 19,000 elk.

 

Moreover, they either forget or deny that wolves, in reducing elk numbers, have produced a number of ecological dividends. Though there is widespread dispute over whether there has been a full-blown “trophic cascade effect”, having fewer elk has dramatically changed the way the landscape is being used.
The number of wapiti on Yellowstone’s northern range today is closer to 6,000 which move seamless in and out of the park, and there are actually far fewer wolves in the park now than a decade ago. In recent years, bison have become more numerous. Some now claim, including Yellowstone, that the park’s northern rangelands hold too many bison.

 

While wolves have received much of the blame for fewer elk, no intense analysis has ever been done on the ripple effects caused by humans, poised along the park border in Montana, killing so many female elk of prime reproductive age; no analysis has been done on what the removal of big elk bulls has meant to the gene pool or even what effect those factors had on leaving elk in a better position—or worse—in being able to fend off predation by wolves.
Bison herd with calves in Lamar Valley; NPS / Neal Herbert
Bison herd with calves in Lamar Valley; NPS / Neal Herbert

 

Similarly, it’s reasonable to ask, what effect has the indiscriminate, non-selective slaughter of more than 10,000 Yellowstone bison wandering into Montana, killed under the dubious premise that they represent an ominous risk of brucellosis transmission to private cattle herds, had on the health of the park’s bison herd? As many wonder aloud, how have the killing fields in Montana, along both the park’s northern and western boundaries, affected the social dynamics of Yellowstone’s bison?

 

Bison moving out of the park carry with them an age-old, deeply-engrained instinct—to migrate. What does it mean to continuously remove those animals which are only following their evolutionary drive to leave higher elevation areas inundated by heavy snows in winter, seeking instead better places to feed on grass at lower elevations? How has snuffing out this instinct, by slaughtering bison in mass, contributed to the current problem of so many bison now congregated on Yellowstone’s northern range and causing some perceived overgrazing problems?

 

° ° °

 

Yellowstone today finds itself boxed-in by the state of Montana. Yellowstone officials have said that in order to preserve the ecological and genetic integrity of park bison a minimum of between 3,000 and 3,500 needs to be maintained across decades. Yellowstone and its mountain setting, however, is actually not a place where bison would naturally choose of their own accord to congregate.
Many of Yellowstone’s bison are descended from just 26 wild survivors that found refuge in the park during the late 19th century when a species that once numbered between 30 million and 60 million was reduced to mere hundreds. Yellowstone became a safe harbor because of its geographic remoteness. Survivors of near extinction—the equivalent of a biological holocaust perpetuated on them—conservationists and indigenous people argue that Yellowstone’s bison herds deserve to therefore be treated with special, almost sacred, status.

 

Yellowstone northern range has been compared to a mini-American Serengeti for the diversity of large wild mammals that move across it. One partial antidote, a way to address to some of those bison grazing concerns instead of keeping the animals bottled up in the park, would be opening up more space outside Yellowstone. But the state of Montana has historically refused and only recently, owed to growing public pressure, has it been willing to consider offering bison greater flexibility to be bison.

 

Expecting any wild animal to remain contained behind an invisible human line drawn on a map that does not conform to the biological need of the species defies not only logic but the laws of nature. It may be what ranchers do with non-native livestock, by stringing barbed wire and pasturing animals bred to be docile, but wildlife biologists say it has no grounding in sound 21st-century ecology, ethical treatment or respect for a beloved national symbol that is on the seal of the U.S. Interior Department.

 

Notably, bison are the only species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that are not allowed to naturally migrate or roam. Elk and mule deer can, so too pronghorn and moose, trumpeter swans and fish. Montana’s intolerance of bison cannot, with any semblance of truth, be based upon the threat of brucellosis so what is the real reason?.

 

Brucellosis is a serious, highly-contagious zoonotic disease and in bovine animals involves a bacteria Brucella abortus. In the past, it was considered more a health threat to humans who drank unpasteurized milk. In wildlife and livestock, B. abortus does not cause animals to die nor is it population limiting. It is more of a trade issue with barriers put up against states that have brucellosis in their livestock herds. In female animals, be they bison, elk or cattle, it causes pregnant mothers to abort their first calves but generally does not affect reproduction afterwards. For 40 years, it was thought that bison represented the greatest threat of transmission.

 

“During my time in Yellowstone, I have watched with great interest — and some amazement — that bison are vilified as the primary threat or vector for brucellosis transition in the ecosystem,” Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk wrote in the peer-reviewed book Yellowstone Bison: Conserving an American Icon in Modern Society. “There is an illusory belief that if brucellosis were eliminated in bison it would be eliminated from the ecosystem. The authors [in this book] clearly state that this scenario is unlikely and that bison make up a small portion of the overall risk for brucellosis transmission to cattle.”

Source: The Killing Fields Await Yellowstone Bison Once Again http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ic_1513332776_780x_false.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #StopTheWolfCull #WolvesInYellowstone

Western Montana hunters enjoy good elk, whitetail season contrary to their fairytales

It gets old listening to hunters cry that there are no Elk or deer left because of Wolves. They are as bad as ranchers.

Wake Up  Government, it is the Hunters that are decimating the Wildlife not our Native Predators!

Despite uncooperative weather in the final days, the 2017 big game season closed with the highest tallies in four years in Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2.

Despite uncooperative weather in the final days, the 2017 big game season closed with the highest tallies in four years in Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2.

Montana’s five-week big game hunting season ended Sunday with unseasonably warm winds and patchy snow for tracking. Nevertheless, those who went out in west-central Montana did better than average.

Most of the elk came through the Darby station, where 159 elk amounted to a 14 percent increase over last year. The Bonner station recorded its best success since 2011 with 95 elk. That was also 64 percent better than the 2016 season. Anaconda hunters brought in 46 elk, 59 percent more than last year.

Rebecca Mowry, an FWP wildlife biologist in the Bitterroot Valley, said the numbers here were “pretty average.”

“We had such a strong opening weekend, and then it kind of backed off,” Mowry said. “We need a lot of snow and cold weather to keep the elk moving around, and that didn’t happen.”

Hunters told her they saw elk they couldn’t shoot on private property; a lot of people drove around but didn’t get out of their vehicles; and other hunters reported they shot and missed.

“But there are people who brought out elk they took on public lands,” Mowry said. “For the most part, the harder you hunt the more success you’ll have.”

Deer hunters brought 607 whitetails through check stations at Bonner, Darby and Anaconda. That was 3 percent higher than last year and the highest whitetail count since 2008, according to FWP spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser. All but 100 of those came through the Bonner station.

“We’ve seen a steady climb in whitetail harvest since 2014, which correlates with our sense of a growing population,” said Mike Thompson, FWP Region 2 wildlife manager. “This information is a good check on our thoughts of restoring some antlerless harvest opportunities for the 2018 hunting season.”

Mowry said new regulations in the Bitteroot that only allowed youth hunters to take whitetail does  probably led to fewer successes coming through the game check station in Darby. Only 68 were checked, a steady decrease from 110 taken in 2014.

Mule deer harvest in Region 2 came in 35 percent below last year, with just 77 muleys through all three stations. That’s also the lowest recorded in the past four years. FWP imposed special permit requirements in order to boost mule deer numbers throughout the region.

Overall hunter numbers were down about 8 percent compared to last year. Nevertheless, the 11,115 hunters interviewed during the five weekends of check-station operation tagged 999 animals, which was up 6 percent in 2017 and the best Region 2 success rate in the past four years. FWP game wardens also recorded nine black bears, one moose, three bighorn sheep and two wolves through the Region 2 stations.

None of the wolves passed through the Darby station.

Across the Rocky Mountains, FWP Region 4’s solo check station at Augusta saw normal elk numbers and variable deer success.

“The total elk harvest was 5 percent below the 10-year average,” said Brent Lonner, FWP wildlife biologist. “Similar to other years, the elk harvest this year peaked during the second and third week of the season when snow and cold arrived.”

But mule deer numbers were about 15 percent below the 10-year average. Whitetails were 14 percent above average. All told, the Augusta station recorded 315 elk, 253 mule deer and 341 whitetails.

In northwest Montana’s FWP Region 1, hunter success overall was up to 8.6 percent for 2017, compared to 10.1 percent last year. The six game check stations in the region logged 16,269 hunters.

“The percentage of hunters with white-tailed deer varied greatly depending on where you were hunting,” said Neil Anderson, FWP Region 1 Wildlife Manager. “Overall, hunters seemed to be enjoying themselves despite some challenging conditions. Most of the hunters I spoke to, including those who did not harvest an animal, stated they were having a good and enjoyable season.”

Overall, Region 1 hunters took 1,275 whitetails, 78 elk and 51 mule deer.

 That’s the lowest number of mule deer since records were first kept in 1985, Anderson said.

“We don’t know why the numbers were so low,” Anderson said. “Fortunately, we are initiating a mule deer study in the Fisher River and Whitefish Range in Region 1 this winter. We hope to get valuable information on habitat use, nutrition, and some data on mortality rates.”

Source: Western Montana hunters enjoy good elk, whitetail season | Local News | ravallirepublic.com http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Yellowstone_Wolves-750×509-750×509-1.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL #WolvesInTheNews #WolvesInYellowstone

Coexisting with coyotes (and wolves and bears and …) in Illinois 

sacred resource protection zone, protect the wolves, protect wyoming wolves, protect yellowstone wolves

Humans, have taken for granted their right to exterminate any creatures that pose a danger, It is now more imperative than ever that we come together to establish a “Sacred Resource Protection Zone” Surrounding our National Parks. Our Sacred Yellowstone and Teton Wolves are being ruthlessly slaughtered in Wyoming, which is only the first species. If We allow the greedy Politicians to have their way, Our Sacred Grizzly Brother will be next

Fine, and we accept Anchor’s point that there’s never been a documented case of a coyote biting a person in Cook County. But how should we humans react to increasingly frequent encounters with wildlife in this sprawling metropolis?

In Grayslake, police Chief Phil Perlini was confronted with two separate attacks on small dogs by coyotes near the village. This fall, he posted on Facebook that he was in the market for trappers “to control and/or curb the coyote population.”

But like these animals, people are adaptable. “When I posted that very first Facebook post, I didn’t know anything about coyotes,” he told the Daily Herald. “The thought of humanely trapping the coyotes and humanely relocating them was a possibility in my head.”

Give the chief credit for trying to address the problem without bloodshed. But he learned from wildlife experts that catching and moving the critters wouldn’t solve anything. Remove one coyote from a livable area, and another one will jump at the vacancy.

Those relocated stand a good chance of being killed by other coyotes guarding their territory. Some will be hit by cars trying to get back to where they were caught. Killing campaigns don’t work, either, because the surviving coyotes adapt: They tend to breed at younger ages and bear larger litters in response.

“There is no eliminating this problem,” Perlini concluded. “There’s only coexisting.”

There is a lot more coexisting than there used to be. Coyotes have greatly expanded their range and numbers in recent years, making them a frequent sight in many suburbs and also in Chicago, which is believed to have an established population of at least 2,000. They’ve found that residential areas offer plenty of food and sufficient cover to avoid detection.

Living in such places does present them the risk of unwanted encounters, most often involving dogs or cats, though actual attacks by coyotes are rare. Trying to protect pets by getting rid of coyotes, though, is a futile endeavor. It’s much more feasible to take simple precautions — such as not leaving pets outside unattended, not walking dogs without a leash, and not leaving pet food or garbage in places where it might attract coyotes. There are even ways to “coyote-proof” fences.

As wildlife goes, this type is not exceptionally frightening. People in the Southwest have to contend with rattlesnakes, whose bites can be fatal. People in Montana and Wyoming know the deadly capacity of grizzly bears. In Maine, hundreds of cars collide each year with moose, sometimes killing motorists. In recent years, northern Illinois has had occasional visits from mountain lions, wolves and black bears — animals whose ancestors freely roamed these lands.

Humans, who once took for granted their right to exterminate any creatures that pose a danger, increasingly accept their presence as a sensible accommodation with nature. Anyone leery of coyotes might consider that if these small-brained creatures can learn to coexist, we should be able to do the same.

Source: Coexisting with coyotes (and wolves and bears and …) in Illinois – Chicago Tribune http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/dieforgreed-750×521.png #EndangeredSpeciesList #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #WolvesInYellowstone

 Are Washington State’s wolves  on the move?

protect the wolves

NATIVE TO THE Olympic Mountain range — how else would there be a Grey Wolf River or the Sequim Wolves sports teams — wolves are showing an ability to range further than many previously thought.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has produced new maps that show the state’s grey wolf population has moved further west than officials previously thought — although it appears no wolves have reached the I-5 corridor or made any other moves in the direction of the North Olympic Peninsula.

Data is taken from GPS collars Fish and Wildlife has strapped to various breeding males and females and other pack members around the state since 2008.

More wolves haven’t been collared than have, so it wouldn’t be correct to completely rule out the possibility of wolves venturing deeper into Western Washington.

The maps represent “the most complete dataset currently available of wolf telemetry in Washington State,” according to Fish and Wildlife, although GPS data is unavailable for the Colville and Spokane Indian reservations in the heart of wolf territory in Northeast Washington.

Donny Martorello, Fish and Wildlife’s wolf policy adviser, presented the new information at a meeting of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission earlier this month and that presentation can be accessed at tinyurl.com/PDN-WolfInfo.

They show Loup Loup pack wolves, named for the Eastern Washington mountain pass on state Highway 20, moving further north through state and federal land to the Okanogan and Chewuch valleys.

The map also shows the Marblemount wolf, a wolf captured and collared in Western Washington last spring near North Cascades National Park, seemingly enjoys the scenery and hasn’t made much, if any, of a journey since.

One animal really made a trek, leaving Washington north of Spokane, following I-90 as it moves east into western Montana, then heading southwest over Lolo Pass to the Clearwater River. The wolf continued its travels into southern Idaho, making its way near Boise, before crossing all the way to Yellowstone National Park and heading to the middle of Wyoming.

I hope the animal found whatever it was looking for.

Citizen sightings

Citizen-submitted wolf sightings, some with commentary on just what was seen, are available at tinyurl.com/PDN-WolfSightings.

North Olympic Peninsula sightings are few and far between — but there have been some.

In October, a report was made of a wolf on the Shi-Shi Beach Trail.

“One lone adolescent grey wolf observed directly on the Shi Shi Beach Trail from approximately 5 to 10 yards. Gray with white outer fur layer. It spooked into the brush, but remained clearly visible up close for several minutes.”

Many of these “sightings” are large paw prints found in sand on area beaches, like one in 2016 at Adelma Beach near Port Townsend, and another series of prints along the Dungeness River near the Olympic Game Farm.

The only area with multiple sightings, two in total, comes along state Highway 104 between Hood Canal Bridge and the Center Road exit. One of the reports in 2012 was based off of a paw print. Another from last August, describes a witnessed animal as “Large. Dark brown-black. White markings.”

Off the Peninsula, many sightings come from the Seattle-Everett-Tacoma metroplex, some found walking through parking lots at apartment complexes, one in the brush behind the Lake Stevens Target store and one that was “cornered in my driveway on my way to work this morning.”

I tend to think these are all signs of coyotes or cougars but after seeing the winding path that lone wolf took through Washington, Idaho, Montana and back through Idaho to Wyoming, I can’t be sure.

Be careful out there, the wolves may be closing in.

 

Source: OUTDOORS: State’s wolves are on the move | Peninsula Daily News http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/blueswolf-750×420.jpg #EndangeredSpeciesList #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #WolvesInTheNews #WolvesInWashington

43 Possible YELLOWSTONE Park Wolves Needlessly SLAUGHTERED, 73 total

protect yellowstones wolves, sacred resource protection zone

 

43 Possible Yellowstone Park Wolves Slaughtered in Wyoming 73 Wolves total for the offending state

Together we can establish a Sacred Resource Protection Zone around all National Parks while at the same time putting the Indian and Public Trusts to work protecting your wildlife.

Time is of the essence, every day more park wolves are at risk of losing their life to hunters.

As of December 22nd, 73 wolves altogether 43 from the Trophy Zones around Yellowstone and Teton National Parks 3 of which are already over quota.

We at Protect The Wolves are striving to become THE VOICE that our Wolves, Bison, Grizzlies so desperately need to help insure their safety and continuance of life freely.

With the research that we are doing. We have discovered the necessary tools available to us through the “Indian Trust”. . Tools that no other large NPO has available. With your support, we can stop these crooked politicians and their kill all mentality.

Wolves cannot go to the Capitol to speak for themselves. So with your donation, we can put our lawyers to work by using the Indian Trust and the Public Trust to finally be able to protect our wolves!

We will be able to file our cases in as well as against States and elected federal officials regarding their mandates to operate under DUE PROCESS.

Which will be the beginning of being able to put an end to the slaughter of all things held Sacred.

Please help Protect The Wolves today with your gift.
All donations are appreciated, large or small.
The love behind your donation speaks volumes for the wolves.

Take Back the Power that You as the public hold!

Help us to put The Indian and Public Trusts to work today, before they wipe out the rest of our wolves, grizzlies, wild horses. https://continuetogive.com/protectthewolves   http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/12222017slaughter-750×698.png #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInYellowstone

PEER respectfully submits this complaint about USDAS Data Quality

protect the wolves, sacred resource protection zone

It is past Time that We begin to hold  USDA Accountable and rein in their squandering of Taxpayer Funds!

December 20, 2017
VIA EMAIL AND U.S. MAIL

Connie Williams, Chief, Program Evaluation and Decision Support
Quality of Information Officer
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
4700 River Road, Unit 120
Riverdale, MD 20737
[email protected]
(301) 851-3087

RE: COMPLAINT ABOUT INFORMATION QUALITY

Dear Ms. Williams,

PEER respectfully submits this complaint about Data Quality.
Pursuant to Section (b)(2)(B) of the Data Quality Act of 2000 (“DQA”), Section 515 of
Public Law 106-554, and the Correction of Information mechanism of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture Information Quality Guidelines, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
(“PEER”) hereby challenges data manipulation and conclusions drawn therefrom by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (“USDA”), as detailed infra. PEER is especially concerned about the government’s
dissemination of faulty research that has been erroneously used to justify harmful, commonplace,
and excessive coyote control and extermination policies throughout federal lands despite more
recent, thorough, and peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrating the importance of large
mammalian carnivores contributing to ecological health and stability. Specifically,
PEER challenges the government’s continued reliance upon the USDA-funded study Connolly, G.E., and
W.M. Longhurst, 1975, The effects of control on coyote populations: A simulation model, University
of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences Bulletin, Volume 1872, 37 pp. (hereinafter
“Connolly and Longhurst study”).

The USDA has consistently used this study for over 40 years, despite its established
flaws and disputed findings, to justify large-scale coyote extermination efforts – even though the
study’s own findings stated that eradication efforts were not an effective means of preventing
depredation. In addition to being used to justify large-scale coyote control (i.e., killing
2
programs), this obscure (i.e., a small agricultural bulletin) and non-peer reviewed study has been
cited and utilized in a variety of USDA documents over the years to justify a variety of agency
actions related to coyote management. See, e.g., Paul L. Hegdal et al., Hazards to Wildlife
Associated with 1080 Baiting for California Ground Squirrels, USDA National Wildlife
Research Center – Staff Publications (1979); Guy E. Connolly, The Effects of Control on Coyote
Populations: Another Look, Symposium Proceedings—Coyotes in the Southwest: A Compendium of Our
Knowledge 23 (1995); Kathleen A. Fagerstone and Gail Keirn, Wildlife Services—A Leader in
Developing Tools and Techniques for Managing Carnivores, USDA National Wildlife Research Center –
Staff Publications (2012); Eric Gese, Demographic and Spatial Responses of Coyotes to Changes in
Food and Exploitation, Wildlife Damage Management Conferences—Proceedings 131 (2005); John L.
Gittleman et al., “References” for Carnivore Conservation, USDA National Wildlife Research Center –
Staff Publications (2001); Gary Lee Nunley, Present and Historical Bobcat Population Trends in New
Mexico and the
West, Proceedings of the 8th Vertebrate Pest Conference 177, 180 (1978); Stewart W. Breck et al.,
Evaluating Lethal and Non-Lethal Management Options for Urban Coyotes (2016); William C. Pitt et
al., An Individual-Based Model of Canid Populations: Modelling Territoriality and Social Structure
(2003); USDA, 5 Year Environmental Monitoring Review for Predator Damage Management in Montana: FY
2002 through FY 2006 (2007).

Furthermore, USDA has relied upon this study for justification of coyote eradication efforts or
large scale control (i.e., killing) programs in numerous Environmental Assessments
and Findings of No Significant Impact under the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §
4321, et seq (“NEPA”). This includes, but is not by any means limited to, Final EA: Predator Damage
and Conflict Management in Idaho (2016); Final EA: Reducing Coyote Damage to Livestock and Other
Resources in Louisiana (2016); EA: Mammal Damage Management in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
(2015); EA: Reducing Mammal Damage in the State of North Carolina (2015); EA: Mammal Damage
Management in the State of Rhode Island (2014); EA: Mammal Damage Management in Arkansas (2013);
Decision and Finding of No Significant Impact: Reducing Mammal Damage through an Integrated
Wildlife Damage Management Program in the State of New Jersey (2004); Decision and Finding of No
Significant Impact for Management of Coyote, Dog, and Red Fox on Livestock in the Commonwealth of
Virginia (2002); Environmental Assessment and Decision/Finding of No Significant Impact for
Predator Damage Management in the College Station Animal Damage Control District Texas (1997).
While USDA guidelines limit challenge of material used in NEPA documents to the public comment
period for each NEPA document, it is evident from the recent and continued use of this study in
justifying coyote eradication and control efforts that the study is being disseminated by the USDA
and is clearly influential in both state and federal wildlife agency decision and policy-
making, despite its faulty nature.

 

[gview file=”http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/12_20_17_PEER_DQA_Complaint.pdf”]

  http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/electedofficials-750×498-750×498-750×498.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #RestoreWolvesToESL #WolvesInTheNews #WolvesInWashington

Governments in CO/UT/NM/AZ Deliberately Derailed Mexican Wolf Recovery, Documents Reveal (Investigative Report) 

Our Attorneys are waiting for Us to Raise Funds to get them in Court for Phoenix the Mexican Gray Female that USFWS should have relocated to a breeding program instead of Killing. Especially after the News led people to believe The Tribe requested it, when in fact we found out that they did not!

 

(EnviroNews Colorado) — After decades of deliberation the final revision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan (the Plan) was released at the end of November, but former USFWS officials tell EnviroNews it strays far from scientists’ minimum recommendations for recovery of the gray wolf subspecies.

Meanwhile, a series of documents reveal lawmakers and agencies in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona — the four states central to recovery efforts — have been deliberately hamstringing wolf revival efforts for years.

David Parsons, former Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the USFWS from 1990 to 1999, told EnviroNews Colorado that instead of working to expand and stabilize wolf populations, the agency watered down the Plan and “essentially turned its mission over to the states” of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona — states that have repeatedly opposed many aspects of wolf recovery.

The Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), a.k.a. “el lobo,” was hunted to near-extinction during the late 1800’s and 1900’s. In 1976, it gained protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and by 1982 the USFWS launched the original Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan to keep the keystone predator from being wiped off the face of the earth.

The agency’s captive breeding program released three lineages of Mexican wolves into the wild in the U.S. starting in 1998, with Mexico releasing wolves in 2011. Today, 113 of these creatures inhabit central and southern Arizona and New Mexico while 31 wolves live in the northern Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua and Sonora in Mexico.

Despite this modest rebound in numbers, poor genetic variability and limited high-quality habitat free from human encroachment means the future of the Mexican wolf remains bleak.

In 2014, Parsons joined a coalition of conservation groups in a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona against the USFWS for delaying completion of the Plan. In 2016, a court settlement required the agency to finish the plan by November 2017.

To achieve full recovery, the final Plan recommends the release of more captive-bred specimens in an effort to establish two “genetically diverse Mexican wolf populations distributed across ecologically and geographically diverse areas in the subspecies’ range in the United States and Mexico.” The estimated $178 million cost of recovery is to be borne by federal and state governments and NGOs.

The Plan’s ultimate goal is to increase Mexican wolf populations in the U.S. to 320 wolves and 200 in Mexico over the next 25 to 35 years, at which point the USFWS would remove the subspecies from the Endangered Species List.

In late 2011, the USFWS convened the Science and Planning Subgroup of the Recovery Team (the Subgroup) — staffed with independent scientists — which recommended a minimum of 750 wolves in the U.S. and 100 in Mexico, with three separate populations of 200 to 300 wolves, before delisting.

Parsons said that faced with these numbers, ranchers “just went ballistic.” Though stakeholders were sworn to secrecy, the Subgroup’s internal working draft was leaked and pro-ranching and hunting voices, including U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), pushed back hard against the Plan.

“They just blew the thing up in the media,” said Parsons. “Fish and Wildlife Service, true to fashion reacted by just quitting — they canceled the next meeting of [the Subgroup]… and never held another one.”

In November 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region’s Biological Report for the Mexican Wolf determined that wolf numbers wouldn’t be based on science alone, but also what is “socially acceptable in light of the expected ongoing issues around livestock depredation and other forms of wolf-human conflict.”

“They essentially asked the states how many wolves they could tolerate,” Parsons said. “They called it a social tolerance limit based on their perception of social tolerance and not backed by any science whatsoever.”

Parsons also pointed out that, aside from the special interests associated with ranching and hunting, polls have shown the vast majority of the public in ArizonaNew MexicoUtah, and Colorado are in support of Mexican wolf reintroduction and recovery.

Another bone of contention within the Plan is the way it limits the Mexican wolf’s range to south of Interstate 40, which runs east to west across northern New Mexico and Arizona.

The Science and Planning Subgroup recommended including sections of eastern Arizona and New Mexico, the Grand Canyon region of northern Arizona and southern Utah, and the Southern Rockies area of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado as “three major core areas of suitable habitat… capable of supporting Mexican wolf populations of sufficient size to contribute to recovery.”

A 2015 study published in Biological Conservation concluded that “most of the [Mexican wolf’s] historic range in Mexico is currently unsuitable due to human activity” with a high probability of wolves in those regions being killed by people.

However, due to “geopolitical reasons,” the USFWS chose to leave out the Grand Canyon and Southern Rockies regions in the Plan, according to notes from an April 2016 Mexican Wolf Recovery Planning Workshop in Mexico City, Mexico.

Source: Governments in CO/UT/NM/AZ Deliberately Derailed Mexican Wolf Recovery, Documents Reveal (Investigative Report) – EnviroNews | The Environmental News Specialists http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Mexican-wolf-Held-Captive-at-Minnesota-Zoo-for-Captive-Breeding-Photo-Wikimedia-Commons-1024×681.jpg #CutOffUSDAWildlifeServicesFunding #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Thank You Capital Press for pointing out the Cost of Welfare Ranchers

oppose welfare ranching, protect the wolves

Thank You Capital Press for pointing out the

Cost of Welfare Ranchers

It is beyond time that we wean Welfare Ranchers from the teet, and keep them out of our National Forests.

In 2014, $143.6 million was directly appropriated to the grazing program (an amount that’s been consistent over the last 10 years). Some quick math reveals that, on average, public lands ranchers paid just $376 for what cost taxpayers $6,838 last year.

Please Consider Joining Protect The Wolves™ Movement to end Welfare Ranchers receiving Taxpayer subsidies.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spent $15,097 to kill a wolf last summer in the Sherman pack, about one-tenth the amount that was invested in keeping the pack from attacking livestock, according to a department report released Dec. 15.

WDFW paid $134,170 for range-riders and other preventive measures in the pack’s territory in northeast Washington. Conservation Northwest, an environmental group, contributed another $12,880 for range-riders.

The report does not tally costs or losses incurred by ranchers, but some of the state’s spending was dependent on producers employing additional safeguards.

WDFW might have spent more on deterrence, but it ran out to money to enter into cost-sharing agreements with ranchers, according to the report.

WDFW wolf policy coordinator Donny Martorello said Monday that there is no way to know whether more spending could have prevented the pack from killing calves.

“Certainly, we’d like to be able to help as many individuals with the uptake of those non-lethal tools,” Martorello said. “The demand is starting to exceed the resources.”

Washington has a growing wolf population, particularly in northeast Washington. The report details efforts to safeguard up to 1,300 cow-calf pairs on 10 grazing allotments that overlapped the Sherman pack’s territory in Ferry County. Chronic depredations led the WDFW to shoot one of two wolves in the pack Sept. 1.

The pack formed in 2016 when a female left the Profanity Peak pack and paired with a male wolf. The female was hit and killed by a vehicle March 20, 2017. By the time the grazing season neared, the surviving male, who was wearing a radio collar, was traveling with another wolf.

The two wolves moved into territory occupied the summer before by the Profanity Peak pack, which was linked to 15 depredations in 2016. The department responded by shooting seven of the pack’s wolves. The lone surviving adult left the territory last spring, according to WDFW.

Before the grazing season began, five range-riders hired by WDFW began patrolling the grazing allotments to look for wolves. Patrols increased after WDFW determined June 12 that the Sherman pack had attacked a calf.

The pack attacked three more calves between July 12 and Aug. 23.

WDFW Director Jim Unsworth authorized killing one wolf Aug. 25. Initially, the department hoped to trap and euthanize a wolf. But the pack attacked a fifth calf Aug. 28 several miles from where WDFW was trapping.

WDFW shot the male wolf from a helicopter Sept. 1. The helicopter cost $9,868. WDFW staff time and travel made up the rest of the operation’s cost.

Martorello said the department believes wolves are still overlapping the grazing allotments.

“We have had reports of wolves in the area. I would fully expect there to be wolf activity,” he said.

In addition to hiring range-riders, WDFW spent $35,000 to help four producers pay for preventive measures. At least four other producers were interested in the cost-sharing agreements, but the department had exhausted the funds, according to the report.

WDFW also killed two wolves last summer in the Smackout pack in Stevens County. WDFW policy allows for possibly culling a pack after three depredations within 30 days or four depredations within 10 months.

Source: Washington spent $15,000 to shoot wolf, much more to avoid it – Washington – Capital Press http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/howlingpup-1-1.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInTheNews

MN Farmers believe wolves are attacking their cattle but is it Rustlers?

Calves disappear Ranchers immediately blame wolves without any proof/ Perhaps they be better on track if they blamed the 2 legged Predator!! It is poor Ranchers like this one that give good Ranchers, those that have proven they can live with Predators a Bad name!

KITTSON COUNTY, Minn. (Valley News Live) Wolves are hunting down cattle in northern Minnesota and it’s costing small communities hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some environmentalists say it’s not a problem at all. It’s a rebounding wolf population.

Others say the problem is due to big government regulations in Washington D.C. and Minnesota farmers, are saying something’s got to change.

Joe Wilebski has been farming on land in northern Minnesota his entire life. But The last few years, his cattle have struggled.

“It’s so disheartening. They don’t care about us.” Said Wilebski.

Farmers in Kittson County feel the federal government has left them behind.

Wolves in Minnesota were once on the endangered species list, but protective laws helped them rebound. So much so there was even a hunting season on wolves, but in 2014 a federal judge ended that. Farmers can’t even legally shoot wolves, unless they themselves feel threatened. As a result their bottom line is feeling threatened.

Kittson County Sheriff Steve Porter says, “It’s basically a thief stealing from them, stealing right out of their pocket.”

Source: MN Farmers believe wolves are attacking their cattle http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GrayWolf-MGN.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves

Tongass in Transition: Wolves and logging both cut into Prince of Wales deer

 

We have to question With only 89 wolves living in the unit — less than half of what was there 20 years before, would seem impossible to a prudent Individual to blame Wolves for the depletion of Deer! Hunters are the cause of the depletion. When will people wake up to the truth?

This deer season has been the worst in recent memory for a lot of hunters on Prince of Wales Island. In the past, large-scale industrial logging damaged important winter habitat, and some locals believe there’s another reason there’s so few deer on the island: too many wolves.

Go anywhere in Craig and you’re likely to overhear bits of conversation about the deer season.

That includes the local diner, the kind of place that displays its homemade pies behind glass. Mike Douville has just returned from a long day of hunting.

Over sips of coffee, he explains how he bagged one deer today. But it’s taken him longer to fill his freezer this year. He remembers more plentiful seasons, and that’s not the only change he’s seen on the island during his lifetime.

Douville says nearly all the big trees were standing when he was young. The first logging camps were just getting started.

“The island was pristine. There was no clear cuts on it,” he says. “So I’ve watched it turn from what it is today.”

Large swaths of trees have been logged here since the 1960s. It’s left poor habitat for deer and the other wildlife. Without a canopy of old growth, snow can easily fall to the ground — obscuring important feeding spots.

Douville serves on the regional advisory council that makes recommendations to the federal subsistence board and the state.

He says finding fewer deer on the island is affecting people’s livelihood.

“This is rural Alaska. It’s bush Alaska,” Douville says. “We don’t like to buy meat. It’s eight or nine bucks a pound.”

Still, he says logging is just one factor. The other is a rapidly growing wolf population. The wolves are devouring the deer.

A wolf on Prince of Wales Island, as captured by a trail camera. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game)

“If you’re going to harvest deer, you have to harvest wolves,” Douville says.

But not everyone agrees killing wolves is a good idea.

In 2011, conservation groups petitioned the feds to protect the Alexander Archipelago wolf under the Endangered Species Act. Around that time, it was estimated there were about 89 wolves living in the unit — less than half of what was there 20 years before. But the wolves didn’t wind up receiving additional federal protections.

Instead, there have been joint-efforts with the state to stabilize the population, and the numbers of wolves has been increasing. Estimates from 2016 suggest there are 231 wolves in the unit.

Still, it’s not easy getting a handle on how many wolves there are.

Mike Kampnich is driving his pickup truck to the top of a snowy ridge. He makes this rough ride regularly to collect hair samples from the Alexander Archipelago wolf.

Kampnich used to be a logger when he arrived on the island more than 30 years ago. But now, he works for the The Nature Conservancy.

“You know, some of the guys I worked for in the past. They’re like, you work for who?” he says with a chuckle.

We stop at one of the hair board sights. Essentially, a piece of plywood nailed to the ground and rigged with barbed wire. A stinky goo is placed on top. The wolves like to rub up against it, so it’s the perfect comb for capturing their fur.

Kampnich is careful to cover his tracks as we walk over to it.

He puts on his glasses to get a better look. But there are no strands tangled in the barbwire. This is just one of 21 locations he’ll check on the island over the course of two days. When he does hit the jackpot, the hair is sent off to a lab to be analyzed by the state.

Mike Kampnich from the Nature Conservancy setting up wolf lures to get population estimates. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/Alaska's Energy Desk

Mike Kampnich from the Nature Conservancy says he likes working at the local-level to bring people together. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game uses the individual animal’s DNA to calculate the wolf population, and a percentage of that becomes the wolf quota — the number of wolves that can be trapped or hunted each year.

Kampnich says it can be a touchy subject, locally. On a couple of occasions, he’s seen hair boards vandalized and trail cams disappear.

“It’s really frustrating,” Kampnich says. “But you know, some people will mess with your stuff.”

He doesn’t think it’s all related to tensions over the wolf population. Sometimes it looks like petty crime.

“It’s probably a little of both,” he says.

But Kampnich says wolf hunters have helped him, too. They’ve shown him good spots to place the hairboards.

“I’ve helped him quite a bit because I’ve lived here. I’ve trapped wolves,” Mike Douville says.

Douville wants there to be accurate wolf population estimates. And although he’s helped Kampnich in the past, he thinks using just the hairboards misses the mark.

The wolf population, he says, is bigger than the science alone suggests. So the wolf quota should reflect that.

Douville thinks anything above 175 wolves should be a harvestable surplus. Below that, hunters should be able to take up to 20 percent of the population.

“I don’t think anybody here is interested in wiping them out,” Douville says. “We’ve always got one or two that might think that way. But for the most part, they’re OK with wolves. Just not so many.”

Douville would like to see more traditional knowledge factored in to how the state gauges the number of wolves. But he says getting the wolf population figured out isn’t the only step to securing a future for the island’s deer.

He thinks big timber sales on Prince of Wales should become a thing of the past — even if that means the last remaining sawmill dries up.

“I’m not willing to sacrifice this island to keep it running,” Douville says. “I think there’s a limit on how much you donate to the cause and I think that we’re there.”

Douville says he wants to live on the island from his childhood. It includes a healthy forest for humans, deer and wolves.

Tongass in Transition is a series about trees told through the stories of people. Reporting for this was made possible by an award from the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources.

Logging from the Big Thorne Timber Sale. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkin/Alaska's Energy Desk) 12/18/17

Logging from the Big Thorne timber sale. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Source: Tongass in Transition: Wolves and logging both cut into Prince of Wales deer http://protectthewolves.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MFDC1014-830×467.jpg #OpposeWelfareRanchingNotWolves #ProtectTheWolves #WolvesInTheNews