Archive for the ‘wolves’ Tag
January 10, 2017
A gray wolf moves through forested country in winter. Credit: MacNeil Lyons, National Park Service
The new Congress wasted little time in efforts to once again remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list.
A bill introduced Tuesday by U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota; Sean Duffy, R-Wisconsin; and Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, would overrule a federal court action and remove federal protections from wolves in the Great Lakes and mountain west.
That already happened once, but a judge’s decision in late 2014 restored federal protections after wolves spent about three years under state control.
The members of Congress, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, say wolves have recovered enough in those areas to remove protections. But wolf supporters say the wolf hasn’t recovered over enough of its original range to remove protections in the few states where it is thriving, like Minnesota and Wisconsin. Wolf supporters say state hunting and trapping allowed before the 2014 court order threatened to put the animals back on the brink of extinction.
Similar bills have passed the House in recent years but failed to clear the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House. With Republicans in control of the House, Senate and soon the White House, the bill’s chances are considered much better.
“In Wisconsin, we cherish our wildlife and work diligently to conserve our natural resources, but the Endangered Species Act has allowed courts to misuse judicial oversight to stop science-based wildlife management from moving forward to delist the gray wolf,” Duffy said in a statement. “Wisconsin farmers deserve to be able to protect their livestock from gray wolves, and we will protect Wisconsin farmers from activist judges.”
December 20, 2016
Environmental groups hailed Tuesday’s decision. Photo: Andy Astbury/Iris
Norway’s climate and environment minister, Vidar Helgesen, on Tuesday announced that the government has drastically reduced the hunting quota for wolves, following accusations of sanctioning a “mass slaughter” of the predators.
Helgesen said that the Justice Ministry concluded that “there is no legal basis” for allowing hunters to target four wolf packs in Hedmark.
The ministry has therefore cut the hunting quota from 47 to 15 wolves.
The government had announced in September that the 47 wolves could be hunted in a move that was hailed by farmers but decried by environmental groups
outraged that such a large proportion of the 65-68 registered wolves in Norway would be fair game for hunters.
“This is pure mass slaughter,” Nina Jensen, the head of the Norwegian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), said at the time. “We haven’t seen anything like this in almost 100 years, when the policy at the time was to exterminate all the big predators.”
On Tuesday, Jensen took to Twitter to personally thank Helgesen for “standing up for nature”.
The course reversal came just days before the hunting season was scheduled to begin on January 2nd. Nearly 300 hunters had planned hunts for the four wolf packs that have now been spared.
Of the 15 wolves hunters are still allowed to take, six have already been shot.
The Norwegian wolf population currently has seven packs with one reproductive couple, which is “above the national population target” since each pack can be expected to deliver a new litter every year, the Norwegian environmental agency said.
Wolves are listed as “critically endangered” on the 2015 Norwegian list of endangered animals.
LANSING — Michigan’s 2014 wolf hunt law is unconstitutional, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in an opinion released Wednesday.
In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the court said the law providing for a Michigan wolf hunt violates the “title-object clause” of Michigan’s constitution, which says “no law shall embrace more than one object,” and that object “shall be expressed in its title.”
The court said a provision of the law allowing for free hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses for qualified members of the military is unconnected to the law’s object of providing for scientific management of game, fish and wildlife habitat. The entire law must be struck down, because it isn’t clear the law would have been approved if that provision had not been included, the court said.
The ruling in favor of the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected overturns an earlier ruling by the Michigan Court of Claims.
In 2011, the federal government removed the gray wolf from its endangered species list in Michigan, but the group that challenged the law says there are fewer than 650 gray wolves left in Michigan and they should not be hunted.
After earlier failed efforts to add wolves to the definition of “game” in Michigan, the Michigan Legislature in 2014 adopted a voter initiative backed by Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, which gave the Michigan Natural Resources Commission joint responsibility, with the Legislature, to name new game animals. The law, which took effect in March 2015, included a $1 million appropriation, making it immune from being challenged through another referendum.
White wolf by Jim Cunning
Two wolf hunt laws that were on the ballot in 2014 were rejected by voters.
Keeping Michigan Wolves Protected challenged the law, alleging misrepresentations were made by petition circulators and violations of the state constitution. But the Michigan Court of Claims rejected those arguments.
In the new Michigan Court of Appeals ruling, the panel says that Keeping Michigan Wolves Protected essentially viewed the law as “a Trojan Horse, within which the ability to hunt wolves was cleverly hidden.”
The court said that “however accurate the plaintiff may be in its assessment of why (the law) came into being, our analysis is not about policy,” but “based on an analysis of the dictates of Michigan’s constitution.”
Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, said the law “was a blatant power grab by politicians to take away voting rights from Michigan citizens,” and “we are delighted the court has rejected the Legislature’s outrageous attempt to subvert the will of the people.”
She said the ruling “restores the people’s decision, in two statewide votes, overwhelmingly rejecting the trophy hunting and commercial trapping of the state’s small population of wolves.”
A spokesperson for the group that pushed for the law, Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The court’s panel consisted of Judges Donald Owens, Joel Hoekstra and Jane Beckering.
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.
Featured image by John E Marriott
October 28, 2013 by JAMES WILLIAM GIBSON
Graphic Photo: Vigilantes in Wyoming Enact “Justice” Against Wolves
“Fed Up in Wyoming” reads the caption under this stunning photograph posted on a hunter’s Facebook page (reproduced here under Fair Use). The photo is yet more evidence that, two years after political reactionaries led a successful campaign in the House of Representatives and then the Senate to remove the North Rocky Mountain gray wolf from the endangered species list, the slaughter of wolves continues to escalate as wolf hunters fall deeper in their paranoid fantasy that the wolf represents a liberal conspiracy against rural communities.
The Facebook page that originally posted the image belongs to two Wyoming hunting outfitters, Colby and Codi Gines. The Gines run CG Wilderness Adventures, headquartered in a highly remote part of Wyoming’s Bridger Teton National Forest, bordering on the southeast section of Yellowstone National Park. “Wyoming is God’s country, and we invite you to come see it for yourself,” says the Gines’ website.
Their invitation evidently does not extend to wolves. Driven extinct in most of the continental US in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the wolf returned to the American landscape in 1995, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 66 wolves captured in the Canadian Rockies to Central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Conservationists saw as the return of the wolf as a crowning accomplishment to renew the wilderness, and millions of Americans came to celebrate the wolf’s comeback. But by 2009 a virulent opposition movement opposed to the wolf had formed. Made up of hunters and outfitters, ranchers, and far-right groups, these forces coalesced around a cultural mythology in which wolves became demons — disease ridden, dangerous foreign invaders — who served as icons of the hated federal government. (Read Cry Wolf, our in-depth report on this issue.)
With the Klan-like hoods and the ostentatious display of the American flag, the photo is a glimpse into the mentality of those behind the anti-wolf campaign. There is, apparently, a cohort of people who view the destruction of wild nature as something to be celebrated, something quintessentially America. They are play acting at both patriotism and rebellion. And, in their play-acting, they reveal a great deal about the paranoid fantasies that have gripped some people in the age of Obama.
The Facebook comments following the photo are especially revealing. Among those who LIKE this page is Sportsmen Against Wolves, a group whose “About” statement is, “Sportsmen against illegally introduced Canadian Gray Wolves.” Here’s one wolf-killing friend, J. Weeks, commenting on the photo: “Kill all federally funded terrorists. ” To some, the reintroduction of wolves represents Washington’s treason against civilization itself: “Yet another brilliant bleeding heart program…reestablish the bloodthirsty critter that every civilization from the dawn of time has tried to eliminate,” says Johnny W. To Sarah H., the wolf killing is just self-defense: “I imagine they don’t want any wolfies to come after them or their families!” Then Haines complained that only one had been killed — there “should be a pile of them tho!”
The white hoods, with their echoes of Jim Crow-era terrorism, were actually celebrated by some commenters. “Redneck KKK” wrote Austin T. One fan, Julia G., argued that the wolf hunters should be more brazen, posting, “Next time they go full REGALIA.”
For their part, the Gines prefer to call the hoods the sign of “Vigilantes,” a way of “Trying to make a statement!…Frontier Justice! Wyoming hunters are fed up!” John P. concurred, “Yeehaw…looks like modern day Wyoming rangers taking care of business!!!!!”
Some commenters suggested that the wolf hunters wore hoods to protect themselves from government persecution. One supporter of masked men posted, “I fully understand the masks…Keep on killing guys.”
It would seem that wolf hunting is the wildlife version of George Zimmerman’s vigilantism – self appointed keepers of order waging a battle against an imaginary enemy.
Or maybe it’s worse, and the wolf hunters with their KKK masks are more like shades of Timothy McVeigh. The cammo gear, the rifles – it’s as if the wolf hunters were fighting a guerrilla war against Washington. As if they were worried that at any moment a US Fish and Wildlife Service black helicopter would swoop down and a SWAT team emerge, assault rifles blazing.
But it’s a phony rebellion against a phantom menace. The wolves aren’t actually any danger to people or much of a threat to ranchers’ livestock. And the US government permits them to be killed. There’s no real transgression here requiring a mask. It’s all theater meant to self-impress.
In April, 2011, the House and Senate sponsored a “rider” on a federal budget bill that removed gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Here’s the very long story in short: Democratic Senator Jon Tester faced a rough challenge in the 2012 Montana election, and sacrificing wolves as expendable was deemed politically expedient to win the race. Wolf hunts renewed in Idaho and Montana that fall. Legal challenges by environmental groups against the delisting failed.
Wyoming took until 2012 to win full federal approval for a plan to declare the lands near Yellowstone a “trophy zone” with wolf quotas. In most of the state, wolves can be killed year round without limits. The Gines’ hunting operation is in “Wolf Hunt Area 3.” In late October they reported killing two wolves, filling its quota of three wolves (one had been hunted earlier). Whether the wolf in this photo is one of the three legally killed is not known.
The Northern Rockies have become an unsupervised playpen for reactionaries to act out warrior fantasies against demonic wolves, coastal elites, and idiotic environmentalists — the members of these latter two categories being “two-legged” wolves. The sheer extremity of the hatred shown to wolves, and the bizarre juxtaposition of the KKK-like hoods and American flag, plainly expose this movement for what it is: A scapegoating of the wolves by men and women who have succumbed to their own rage against imagined enemies. And while the failure of federal, state and local political leaders to denounce the anti-wolf movement illuminates their moral failure, history offers encouraging instances of public indignation creating change from below.
Take, as just one example, the eventual take-down of Senator Joe McCarthy. After years of cynical Red-baiting, including accusing high ranking military and intelligence officials of treason, McCarthy was eventually brought to a kind of justice. McCarthy accused the US Army of harboring Communists and, in June 1954, in the course of a televised Senate investigation of the Army-McCarthy conflict, McCarthy accused a young lawyer working for Army counsel Joseph Welch of being affiliated with communism. After McCarthy repeatedly pressed his accusations, Welch savaged McCarthy: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Welch’s indignation broke the spell McCarthy had cast upon the nation and ended his political career.
Perhaps this latest wolf snuff photo will bring a similar kind of justice and force the public to declare, in no uncertain terms, that wolf killing is un-American. Maybe it will force people to ask: When will this indecent killing come to an end?
P.S. This is what it would look like if wolf management was left to stateside hunter’s association groups and not in federal care! I’m in no way claiming that USFWS have no faults but I’m quite sure that the U.S. would have even more trouble with poaching, trapping etc, than they do today. This is my personal opinion. Colbby and Codi Gines Facebook page does not exist anymore, although their website does: http://www.cgwildernessadventures.com/index.php?page=home
I took it upon myself to write a shocontact infort e-mail to them in which I conveyed my own point of view to them and how utterly disgusting I think their line of business is. If there is anyone else out there who feel like doing the same you will find their contact info on the last page.
It makes me sick to see such a majestic animal murdered in cold blood!
October 29, 2010 by Australian reporter Kirsty Bennett
VIDEOLINK – FOUND ON ORIGINAL ARTICLE http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3045575.htm# (not able to embed video)
From feature films to fairy tales wolves haven’t got the best reputation.
And they’re not too popular with farmers in some parts of the US either.
For years the wolves were hunted and killed but now they’re protected.
Kirsty checked out why that’s got some farmers pretty angry.
KIRSTY BENNETT, REPORTER: Wolves get a pretty bad rap. They’re either a scary superhero like Wolverine or appear as an evil werewolf character in the movies. In Australia, this is the closest we get to seeing wolves. But over in the US and Canada, these animals have roamed in the wild for a long time.
This is one place wolves can call home. It’s the Wild West in America – a state called Idaho. Thousands of Gray Wolves used to hang around here but by the 1930s most of them were killed by hunters. Almost 70 years later, packs of wolves from Canada were brought back to the area to rebuild the population. Now, around sixteen hundred wolves live here and in two of the neighbouring states. They can’t be hunted either because they’re a protected species. And that doesn’t please some of the locals, who don’t think they belong.
Ron’s family has lived on this range for more than a hundred years. His feeling towards wolves is pretty obvious, he doesn’t like them.
RON GILLETTE: What are these wolves going to eat? We’re in a wildlife disaster right now they’re killing near everything. What are they going to do eat our livestock and then start eating humans?
KIRSTY: Ron would normally be out hunting wolves by now. But the US Federal Court has put the animals back on the protected list, so they can’t be touched for the time being. It’s a frustrating situation for farmers like Luke too. He’s had to lock up his dogs and cattle behind huge fences to protect them.
LUKE MORGAN, RANCHER: Now we spend a lot of nights and days worrying about how many livestock is actually getting killed by them. It’ll put a lot of ranchers out of business, which is hard on the whole economic deal.
KIRSTY: So for some, wolves are public enemy number one. But for others, they’re great mates!
NANCY TAYLOR, “WOLF PEOPLE”: Give mummy a kiss. Give mummy kisses. Good boy!
KIRSTY: Nancy has been breeding wolves in captivity for about seventeen years. And she reckons their bad reputation is unfair.
NANCY TAYLOR: They make him out to be a monster, a snarling evil creature which he isn’t.
KIRSTY: Here, wolves look pretty similar to your pet dog. And they’re not really much different. Many scientists reckon that domestic dogs evolved from wolves. Over tens of thousands of years people have used selective breeding to get dogs for their own use.
So if that’s the case, all dogs, including this little fur-ball are pretty close relatives! Hundreds of years ago, before white people moved in, Idaho was also home to the Nez Perce Indians who feel a strong connection to the wolf. Tribal leaders are joining the battle to protect the animal.
This bloke reckons you can’t sacrifice a species just because it’s convenient. For the time being it sounds like the wolves are a bit safer than they have been in any fairytale.
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SIX EM RODICK :
24 Nov 2010 5:46:49pm
24 Nov 2010 10:01:38am
17 Nov 2010 1:28:50pm
I like wolves and I think they should continue to be protected.
11 Nov 2010 10:56:50am
TOP RIDER :
11 Nov 2010 10:54:57am
11 Nov 2010 10:54:41am
11 Nov 2010 10:53:38am
MR PUFFY :
11 Nov 2010 10:44:28am
11 Nov 2010 10:43:00am
CALLUM AND DANIEL :
11 Nov 2010 10:38:30am
THE FANTASTIC CABBAGE :
11 Nov 2010 10:36:26am
09 Nov 2010 10:50:19am
09 Nov 2010 10:50:03am
PETER GRIFFEN :
09 Nov 2010 10:48:03am
09 Nov 2010 10:45:54am
08 Nov 2010 4:49:31pm
JESSIE MACNEY :
02 Nov 2010 6:39:03pm
I LOVE ANIMALS :
02 Nov 2010 5:57:53pm
THE GREAT CABBAGE :
02 Nov 2010 5:19:47pm
02 Nov 2010 4:16:34pm
THE GREAT CABBAGE :
02 Nov 2010 3:55:22pm
01 Nov 2010 11:51:53pm
MEG ,12 :
01 Nov 2010 9:37:43pm
P.S. Wolverine was named after the animal wolverine not the wolf
01 Nov 2010 7:29:29pm
LUV 4 WOLVES :
01 Nov 2010 7:06:15pm
*This comment was from a 10-20 yr old girl who has a great heart for wolves*
01 Nov 2010 6:56:21pm
01 Nov 2010 6:55:19pm
05 Nov 2010 8:55:14pm
2-3B AND 2K :
01 Nov 2010 10:34:01am
THE GREAT CABBAGE :
02 Nov 2010 5:23:59pm
31 Oct 2010 8:41:17pm
28 Oct 2010 8:00:06pm
28 Oct 2010 6:38:37pm
PHILLIP AND MR. CHICKEN :
28 Oct 2010 3:09:36pm
28 Oct 2010 3:08:46pm
27 Oct 2010 5:59:19pm
01 Nov 2010 8:49:41pm
27 Oct 2010 5:57:55pm
27 Oct 2010 4:44:18pm
27 Oct 2010 4:37:55pm
CHARLIE HIGHGATE :
27 Oct 2010 4:22:37pm
27 Oct 2010 1:06:41pm
27 Oct 2010 10:38:59am
26 Oct 2010 9:09:50pm
05 Nov 2010 8:59:56pm
BRIDGET W.P.S. :
26 Oct 2010 6:28:20pm
28 Oct 2010 8:35:56pm
26 Oct 2010 6:27:47pm
MIKE P :
26 Oct 2010 6:08:15pm
LOOPY LU :
26 Oct 2010 5:25:58pm
26 Oct 2010 4:19:06pm
26 Oct 2010 10:57:22am
WOLVES 88 :
26 Oct 2010 4:08:12pm
27 Oct 2010 8:23:57pm
I happened to come across this old Australian article regarding wolves and I found it quite interesting! Especially the comments. To think this was written only 6 years ago! Times have changed, reached rock bottom only to start climbing slowly again. What pleases me most regarding this article and it’s comments is that the majority is pro-wolf! I’d appreciate my reader’s input through comments.
Thanks in advance!
October 21, 2016
A gray wolf rests in the snow. National Park Service photo
A former state wildlife biologist contends Wisconsin’s high wolf numbers may not be the driving factor behind a record 40 hunting dogs killed by wolves during the bear season that ended Oct. 11.
Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator Adrian Wydeven, a former wildlife biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the state saw fewer dogs killed by wolves the last time Wisconsin’s wolf population was this high.
“The previous high count of 815 (wolves) in 2012 had only seven dogs killed that year, and that was the lowest wolf depredation on dogs in about 10 years,” Wydeven said.
The number of wolves in Wisconsin grew about 16 percent this year with a minimum estimate of 867. Dave MacFarland, the state’s large carnivore specialist, said a number of things could have played a role in the number of dogs killed this bear-hunting season.
“Wolf population levels are one of them, but we don’t have hard information that we can point to and don’t want to speculate on what may have caused this change,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see if this repeats itself.”
Wydeven said a possible increase in hunting activities due to permitting changes last year may also be driving a rise in conflicts. Last year, lawmakers eliminated Class B bear licenses for those who wanted to assist hunters with setting baits or training.
“If we’re allowing much more open policy, allowing a lot more people to participate in that activity, that could account for the increases of hound depredations in Wisconsin,” Wydeven said.
But MacFarland said it’s not known what impact the permitting change may have had on hunter activity this year.
Wildlife officials have said wolves may also be more protective of their pups during bear season and the training of hunting dogs beforehand. Research also suggests the length of Wisconsin’s bear baiting season may play a role in higher numbers of attacks on hunting dogs than neighboring states. Bear hunters can set baits as early as mid-April in Wisconsin, whereas states such as Michigan don’t allow baiting until two weeks before the beginning of the season.
Wydeven said the longer baits are used, the more likely they’ll attract wolves.
“When hunters release their dogs at the bear baits to go chase bears, there’s a chance if wolves have recently visited the site, they could be sending their dogs after wolves,” Wydeven said.
Joseph Bump, an associate professor with Michigan Technological University, was lead author of a 2013 study that found hunting dogs were up to seven times more likely to be killed by wolves in Wisconsin than in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
“If stakeholders are sincerely interested in decreasing wolves killing hunting dogs, then there’s good wildlife science to suggest that both the timing and length of the bear baiting season is a factor that should be on the table for discussion and potential adjustment,” Bump said.
Bump is continuing research in Michigan on how frequently species other than bears visit bait sites. He expects those findings will become available next year.
Bear hunters in Minnesota are not allowed to use dogs while hunting.
Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard in the Twin Ports at 91.3 FM or online at wpr.org/news.