Many people in our society often wonder how colossal mistakes such as the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and other world changing blunders have been allowed to occur throughout history. Most Americans foolishly believe that politicians overall care about this country and look at all sides of an issue before taking action. The Iraq War disproved this to the max and now we are seeing the exact same thing when it comes to wolves and the reckless eradication bills currently before Congress.
As I have mentioned before there are currently two very dangerous and disingenuous bills that have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The first bill, H.R. 843, with the fluffy title, “Western Great Lakes Wolf Management Act of 2015,” seeks to permanently strip wolves in the Great Lakes of all Endangered Species Act protections and prevents them from ever being relisted in the future. A better name for this horrific bill would be the “Western Great Lakes Wolf Eradication Act of 2015.”
The other bill before Congress, H.R. 884, is an attempt to reinstate the severely flawed 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisting order that led to the mass slaughter of wolves and the legalized dog fighting that Wisconsin allows. This delisting order was struck down by a Federal judge in December 2014. This bill should be called the “Wolf Eradication, Legalized Dog Fighting,and to Hell With Your Rights Act of 2015.” This bill takes the disgusting approach of telling American citizens that we are not able to exercise our rights to challenge laws and agency rules in court. How “American” of them.
Both of these bills have support from anti-wolf Tea Party extremists and fake “Democrats” like the Teahadist in drag, Colin Peterson, of Minnesota. One of the overlapping supporters of both bills is far right Wisconsin Representative James Sensenbrenner. Yesterday a northern Wisconsin wildlife photographer and wildlife advocate posted an update regarding her contacts with Wisconsin federal representatives regarding the wolf bills and she reported this very disturbing contact with a staffer from Sensenbrenner’s office.
Saw a wolf this morning. A young one. Wondered if it will have a chance to grow up. How much time do the wolves really have? I’ve called Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ron Johnson, US Rep Sean Duffy and US Rep Jim Sensenbrenner. I have written Baldwin and Duffy numerous times. I am still waiting for their return phone calls…yeah, right. I noted several interesting facts while calling. Tammy Baldwin’s female assistant took some notes as to why I was calling but stated Tammy cannot call everyone back who calls. Ron Johnson’s female assistant was very interested in my call and took many notes. Sean Duffy’s male assistant was short off and uncaring as if public input was not wanted. Sensenbrenner’s male assistant argued with me stating there wasn’t a wolf hunt in 2014 because the Gray Wolf was an endangered species (OMG. Is this dude for real?). He also stated HE was handling the Wolf situation for Sensenbrenner (that IS scary!). He stated there were wolves in southern WI. REALLY! I lived in Southern Kettle Moraine for 30-yrs. Lots of coyotes, no wolf packs.
So according to the person “handling” the wolf issue for Sensenbrenner, there was no wolf hunt in 2014? This is the moron in charge of legislation that may very well lead to the eradication of a species? So did the 154 wolves slaughtered in Wisconsin and the 272 killed in Minnesota during the fall of 2014 just kill themselves? THIS is how lies and misinformation make it into law. This is how bankrupting wars that kill hundreds of thousands of people start and this is how imperiled and demonized species get laws that help to eradicate them passed. There are also no documented wolf packs in southern Wisconsin. An occasional disperser goes through the area but there are no known packs. Again another fabrication and misinformation from the person “handling” the wolf issue for a U.S. Representative. The post continues continues:
I wrote Dave MacFarland, WI DNR Carnivore Biologist to get a response. He stated, “Wolves are occasionally sighted in south east Wisconsin, but the furthest south that we have confirmed an established pack is in northern Columbia County”. This is Portage/Poynette area. I questioned Sensenbrenner’s assistant as to the primary reason for delisting. Their reason to delist the wolf is primarily due to livestock depredation by wolves in WI. I do not think he had any idea that in 2014: 2-sheep, 26-calves, 62-missing calves and 15-cattle were considered to be wolf depredation claims. These figures are directly from the DNR website. This is 00.1% total depredation? So, with this gigantic percentage humans should hunt/kill/slaughter/trap wolves? I questioned Dave MacFarland on evidence proving the livestock depredation was death by wolf. He stated: “We do not conduct genetic testing following livestock depredation events. We do require that all reported depredations be evaluated and confirmed by USDA Wildlife Services agents”. (I’d be interested in seeing a report by USDA). Dave said, “In order to be listed as a wolf related event there must be evidence that wolves were responsible (tracks, scat, bite wounds that match the dimensions of wolf teeth and jaws, etc.). You are correct that reported wolf conflicts are not always wolves, in fact approximately 50% of investigations do not show signs of wolves. That said, the numbers you report above are of confirmed wolf events”. How does one prove 62-missing calves were truly due to wolf mischief? I have added a link to a PDF page from the DNR that depicts damage payouts to farmers in WI. In 2014: $151,333.36 was issued due to losses. Are the new Bills sitting in Congress to delist the wolf an economic issue? If so, back to the fact that wolves were here first and we all make choices…farmers make choices to raise livestock knowing the risks just as farmers who grow crops know weather is a risk. Many farmers agree to this analogy and have dogs that patrol their livestock. There are solutions. How many are willing to accept them? After speaking with a county board official and several business owners in northern WI, it is clear the older generation who is uneducated believes wolves are getting in the way of their hunting opportunities; deer in WI, Elk in western states. DNR wants to introduce Elk in WI. Is that yet another reason for delisting the wolf? Wolf kills Elk, no Elk to hunt. This is not biodiversity or how one controls an ecosystem. Nature can be one tough mother. Leave her alone.
If there is an “established pack” in the Portage/Poynette area then why is this area still in the what is essentially the “free for all” “Zone 6?” Also this same USDA Wildlife Services is the exact agency under fire for their reckless and brutal slaughter of wildlife across the country that prompted a recent lawsuit calling out the agency’s secretive and reckless killing methods. Would you take the word of an agency like this? From Western Watersheds Project announcing their lawsuit regarding WS activity in Idaho:
The gruesome war on native wildlife is done primarily to benefit private livestock and agricultural interests and is just another public subsidy to support those industries.
Are we supposed to trust the word of this disgusting agency as to whether or not something was a “depredation” or nothing more than wolves scavenging a carcass that died by other means? Wisconsin has long used very dubious methods for paying out “depredation” claims for livestock, especially for “missing claves.” I dug into this deeper in a piece I wrote back in June of 2012 for my old blog.
When I looked into the numbers for 2012 I found something that caught my eye. In 2012 the DNR paid out a total of $214,794.16 for alleged wolf depredations. Of this number an astounding figure of $190,702 were paid out for 257 missing calves. Last year there were only 25 “missing calves.” So apparently in just one year wolves suddenly became responsible for 232 more “missing” calves. Remember these calves are “missing.” There was ZERO trace of them. But of course these were automatically blamed on wolves because all the rancher had to have is ONE confirmed wolf depredation during the grazing season and “evidence” of wolf activity near their operation. So by just seeing or hearing a wolf the rancher can have any “losses” blamed on wolves and be reimbursed by the state. I was astounded by this so I sought out official comment from the Wisconsin DNR about what their reimbursement policy is. What I found was even more astounding. Here is the official “missing” calf policy from the DNR:
There must be at least one calf verified as wolf kill during the grazing season by the department, and there must be evidence that wolves continued to be present on the property.
Reimbursement would be provided for calves that are lost above the normal loss rate for a beef cow-calf operation. The normal loss of 2.3% would be used, unless research in Wisconsin has determined that another figure is more reasonable for the specific operation. If all the conditions listed above are met, the department will reimburse for missing calves that exceed the normal 2.3% level.
You read that right. Any losses over the normal 2.3% will automatically be blamed on wolves if there was ONE confirmed calf killed by wolves and if there is “evidence” of wolves on the property. So conveniently 257 wolves end up “missing” and they all get blamed on wolves, with no remains, and ZERO evidence that wolves “took” them. We also were told by a retired DNR wolf biologist that over $90,000 of the $190,702 claimed for “missing” calves went to one operation. The DNR told us that they could not confirm this without checking with their lawyers because they didn’t know if it was “public record.” That’s right this is not public record. If you signed the Walker recall petition your name, address, and personal information is out there for ALL to see, but the records of those who received government money for “missing” calves is confidential. When questioned about why the “missing” calf numbers skyrocketed this year this is the response that we received from Davin Lopez of the DNR via e-mail:
“It is hard to say why missing calf claims jumped this last year…it may due to better reporting, increased number of “depredating packs” due to no lethal controls in those areas for several years, or something else.”
Something else? Perhaps fraud? So if a rancher just happens to “lose” or illegally sell these calves they can blame it on wolves and get a nice fat check from the DNR. Can you say gravy train?
If this “reimbursement” program is not the scam of the century, it is pretty close. All we heard from the proponents of the wolf kill bill was how the DNR were making record payments for wolf depredations and that was why we needed to have an “emergency” wolf hunting season. When you look at the numbers things aren’t quite so clear cut. Does anyone else find it a little convenient that the “missing” calf numbers go from 25 in 2011 to 257 in 2012 when the anti-wolf factions are pushing for a killing season? How can the DNR justify blaming ANY loss of livestock over 2.3% on wolves with no evidence? Basically their policy is that if livestock dies of ANY cause over 2.3% wolves get the blame for it if there was ONE confirmed wolf depredation. This is the perfect propaganda for anti-wolf groups, individuals, and legislatures to justify their upcoming mass slaughter. “See, wolves cost us $200,000 this year, so we have to kill them” I guess wolves are even more amazing than I thought. I didn’t know that they had the ability to make 257 calves just disappear without a trace.
I wrote the above back in 2012 and not a damn thing has changed. Check out how the same game is being played in Minnesota for propaganda effect:
Farmer Troy Salzer of Barnum lost five calves to wolves last fall, and with another calving season coming soon, he’s worried he could lose more.
More Big Ag fear mongering:
Mark Thell, who has 150 cattle and is president of the Carlton County chapter of the Minnesota Farmers Union, was one of about 50 farmers who gathered recently with state and federal officials to discuss the problem.
“We’re stuck in limbo,’’ Thell said. “You can’t even protect your own animals. It’s not a good situation.’’
Yeah you can protect your animals. There are these inventions called fences along with actually watching over your animals. But that would constitute work and not expecting the government killing every predator nearby wouldn’t it?
For Salzer, the Barnum farmer, the loss of five calves last year was a financial hit. He valued them at $1,500 each. “That’s significant,’’ he said.
He never found the carcasses, and there was no state compensation money available then anyway, so he didn’t file a claim with the state.
“I’m very lucky. There are people with much worse situations,’’ he said.
So wait. This guy claims to have “lost” five calves, there are no bodies to prove this, he never reported it for compensation, and makes the assumption it was wolves? Really? This is the kind of blatant crap fear mongering that the mainstream media is reporting? This is the kind of garbage that our bought and paid for politicians use as a basis for species eradication bills? Is there ANY other business that freeloads off of the taxpayer and refuses to accept any responsibility to protect their “product?” If these calves even existed and did die, who says wolves did it? What if it was disease? What if they were stillborn? What if packs of hunting dogs killed them? The possibilities are endless, but wolves and their federal protections make the perfect scapegoat.There are no bodies or anything else connecting wolves if this even did happen. Even more IF it happened why didn’t this rancher submit a claim? According to this page Minnesota does indeed “compensate” for livestock killed by wolves. If you or I start a business we need this little thing called insurance to cover damages or loss, if you are a farmer you get the government to subsidize your product and pay for any loss. Nice gig if you can get it. Then you get anti-wildlife politicians like the fake “Democrat” senators from Minnesota to buy into your fear mongering and push to kill off any “threats.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has filed notice that it will appeal Howell’s ruling, and bills have been introduced in the U.S. House to remove wolves from the endangered species list in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., introduced one of the bills, and others in the state’s delegation have indicated support.
“Senator Klobuchar has supported delisting the gray wolf, and believes the science and the facts support the delisting,’’ said spokeswoman Julia Krahe.
Said Sen. Al Franken: “Our farmers and ranchers are rightfully concerned about losing their livestock — their livelihood — to wolves.”
Can’t let a little thing like facts get in the way of a little fear mongering, can we senators? These two, like so many other so-called “Democrats,” are bought and paid for by the big ag and killing cartel interests that want to see wolves eradicated from our landscape. Shame on them and shame on the media for running with lies and dubious accounts like the ones reported above. Fear mongering and lies from the media and anti-wolf politicians illustrate exactly why wolves need continued federal protections.
Please contact Rep. Sensenbrenner’s office and set his staffer in charge of the anti-wolf legislation straight about the fact that there indeed was a wolf killing season in 2014 and that his information regarding pack location in the state is a flat out lie.
Also please keep up the pressure on Congress and the White House to make sure that they get the facts and not the lies and misinformation from misinformed staffers and fear mongering media.