Senator Tammy Baldwin: Anti-Wolf and Pro-Lead Poisoning Bill Supporter

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Anti-wolf Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. Photo via Wikipedia.

I am sure that I am not the only person who has been feeling a foreboding sense of doom and despair for what the future holds for wildlife in Wisconsin and beyond. The mere existence of wildlife today is almost exclusively for the killing opportunities that they provide with little to no credence given to the entire ecosystem. State like Wisconsin only view wildlife as a “resource” to be “harvested” for “hunter opportunity.” Those of us who desire for wildlife to have safe havens and unmolested existence from human interference have no say at any level of government in Wisconsin and beyond. State and federal “fish and wildlife” agencies have decided that wildlife is only allowed to exist as a “resource” to appease the bloodthirsty killing cartels and their existence is often only allowed based on what kind of “trophy” they can provide recreational killers. Now we can once again add congressional “Democrats” to the list of those seeking to wage war against our wildlife.

There was a time when those of us in the wildlife advocacy and environmental movements thought that we had allies in the Democratic Party. Oh how those times have changed. Starting with the infamous 2011 “budget rider” supported by President Obama and a significant number of congressional Democrats that forced a delisting of the gray wolf in the wildlife hostile northern Rockies states, the Democratic Party showed that bedrock environmental laws and imperiled species were no longer off limits for “political gain.” Taking this one step farther so-called “Democrats” like Tammy Baldwin, Ron Kind, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Cardin and the DINO (Democrat in Name Only) of all DINO’s, Colin Peterson of MN, have been waging an all out legislative war on wolves, the Endangered Species Act, and a myriad of other laws designed to protect wildlife and wild habitat. Their latest assault on wolves and wildlife comes in the form of a deceptively named bill called The Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation (HELP) for Wildlife Act. By “hunting heritage” they mean further weakening the Wilderness Act by opening more areas to recreational killing and to make recreational killing a priority on federal land. That also means allowing for easier “hunter access” which will inevitably lead to building roads and other destructive practices on sensitive wild lands all so the Elmer Fudd’s of the nation don’t actually have to walk to kill their “trophy.” While that is disturbing enough what the bill contains regarding wildlife is frankly horrifying and shows what the modern Democratic Party has become. The bill, of course, forces a congressional delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes and blocks American citizens from exercising our right to challenge our government in court. If that isn’t enough the bill next blocks any and all federal regulation of lead fishing equipment despite the countless number of wildlife that are poisoned by these implements each and every day, week, and year. Nice to see that Democrats are now pro-lead poisoning. I wonder how the people of Flint Michigan will feel about that? Next the bill gives cover to bird poaching farmers that illegally place bait to kill said birds. Yes you read that right. The bill then requires shooting ranges to be built or expanded on the taxpayer dime on public land. In other words this bill is anti-wolf, anti-Endangered Species Act, pro-poaching, pro-lead poisoning, and anti-Wilderness Act. How very “progressive” of “Democrats” to support a bill so vile.

Where exactly does this bill “HELP” wildlife? By gutting the ESA? No. By keeping toxic lead from birds, fish, and other wildlife? No. By weakening the Wilderness Act? No. By protecting big ag poachers? No. So where exactly is wildlife going to be “helped?” The answer is nowhere at all. The bill “reauthorizes” a couple of symbolic “acts” without appropriating any money for their funding. What this bill is in reality is just another in the long line of attacks on the Endangered Species Act and our other bedrock environmental laws in the hopes that the anti-wolf and far right rural voters of states like Wisconsin will vote for the senators, like Baldwin, who are supporting it. Quite telling is how there is ZERO mention of this bill on Baldwin’s Facebook page and the release on her website, while bragging about forcing a delisting of wolves and blocking judicial review, does not mention one word about the pro-lead poisoning elements of this sick bill. She sure seems proud of helping Wisconsin to once again eradicate wolves and block the rights of citizens to challenge this in court.

Senator Baldwin should be ashamed of herself to support such an attack on endangered species and our environment. It apparently makes zero difference to her that this bill allows hostile states like Wisconsin to practice legal dog fighting against wolves 24/7/365 and allows the state to kill off the population to a token number or potentially eradication at the behest of the politically powerful anti-wolf groups like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association. It also apparently makes little difference to her that more wildlife will suffer excruciating deaths from lead poisoning because for some inexplicable reason modern fishermen are too lazy or arrogant to stop using lead when other alternatives exist. How “progressive” of her. Baldwin’s support of this bill should infuriate anyone that supports wildlife, wild lands, and protecting species from toxic substances.

Frankly I am utterly disgusted at Baldwin and this only reaffirms my decision not to vote for her in 2018. While I won’t vote for a GOPer I will also not vote for Baldwin. She has made it quite clear that she would rather sell out individual species and environmental protections to pander to the anti-wolf, anti-environmental, big ag, and killing cartel crowds. This is NOT someone that deserves my vote or the vote of any wildlife advocate. But that is your decision. Baldwin may gain the vote of an anti-wolf farmer or two but she has lost mine and that of several other wildlife advocates. I wonder if it will be worth the trade off? Remember this the next time that someone tries to call Senator Baldwin a “progressive.” How is allowing states to wipe out a species again and promoting lead poisoning “progressive” in any way, shape, or form? Sounds rather regressive to me and like something that would come from the current party in power not from what used to be the Democratic Party.

Please contact Senator Baldwin’s office to let her know how you feel regarding her support for this vile anti-wildlife bill.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
709 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5653

MADISON
30 West Mifflin Street, Suite 700
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 264-5338

Constituents can also email her here:

https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/feedback

The NRA Wants “War” Against Animal Advocates….Bring it On

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Image from rationalwiki.org.

When not shilling for money on the backs of ruthlessly murdered grade school children or giving dystopian filled fear mongering speeches about the dangers of the “left wing” to “real” Americans, the gun industry/far right front group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has decided to “declare war” against animal advocates.

From the article:

The gun group is rolling out a new ad campaign geared toward hunters, a segment of firearm owners whose concerns have been eclipsed as the NRA transformed into a political powerhouse and threw its weight behind fights over self-defense and access to weapons. To sway its audience, the NRA is deploying its favorite tactic. It is trying to scare them.

“To save hunting, you must understand the terms of the battle,” a landing page for the campaign reads. “Because the animal rights extremists fighting to destroy hunting have an even more destructive goal: the systematic diminishment of humanity itself.”

The ad campaign consists of 10 videos paired with essays, featuring appearances and bylines by notable hunters and outdoorsmen like David Draper, a well-known writer for Field & Stream magazine. Put together, the package paints a picture of a world where hunting is under threat by animal rights activists.

I find it quite amazing how one minute killing cartels like the NRA and their members label animal advocates as “bunny huggers” or “snowflakes” while in the next breath compare us to terrorists like Al Qaeda.

From the article:

The NRA handed off Weaver’s hunting outreach duties to Josh Powell, now the national spokesman for NRA Hunting, who is not shy about being political.

“We are in the middle of a war,” he says in one of the campaign’s videos, before comparing tangling with organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society to “dealing with Al Qaeda.”

I can’t name any wildlife advocates that affiliate with PETA and even fewer that agree with their belief system. Actually it seems to me that the NRA and the famous chickenhawks that lead them or sit on their board are once again using fear and division to raise money. This kind of inflammatory rhetoric and calls for “war” against animal advocates may very well raise a lot of money but not in the way that they think. Calling millions of people “terrorists” and comparing them to international terror outfits hasn’t worked to well for other far right zealots, has it? In fact, as a veteran, I have a real problem with an organization with cowardly draft dodgers at the helm calling myself and others in the animal advocacy movement “terrorists.”

We are not the ones using FEAR to raise money. We are not the ones using FEAR to pass anti-free speech laws at the behest of “affiliate groups.” We are not the ones using FEAR to push for the eradication of imperiled predator species like wolves and grizzlies in Congress and through the courts. We aren’t the ones using FEAR to make every rube believe that over the last eight years the “scary black man” in the White House was going to knock on your door and take your precious guns. Instilling FEAR is a component of TERROR thus leading to terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic most often used to achieve political gain. Remind me again who look like the REAL “terrorists” here? It sure isn’t the millions of animal advocates. Could it instead be the behemoth gun industry/far right front group that uses FEAR to rake in the dollars?

Pot meet kettle NRA. It’s actually quite pathetic that these big tough, rugged, and “patriotic” Americans are so scared of the little snowflake bunny huggers like myself and the millions of other animal advocates. I guess they better just go buy more guns………

 

Will the Snowflake Become an Avalanche?

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avalanche

This post isn’t specifically about wildlife yet it is. So many of us struggle to put into words what we are feeling today. This is my attempt. This is one “snowflake” expressing how they feel about what is happening in our country. Do you feel the same?

Will the snowflake become the avalanche?

What the hell has happened to our country? Each and every day another scandal, another pay to play scheme, and another outrage. The kicker? Nothing is ever done about it. Collusion with a hostile foreign government to interfere with our already fragile election process? Perfectly fine. A grifter con man as president using the office to build the wealth of himself and his family? Perfectly fine. Our already fragile environment and wildlife having the already weak protections gutted each day for extraction industries and spite? Perfectly fine and “Democrats” are joining in to help speed the destruction. The desire to wall off our country like some Chinese warlord centuries ago despite the monetary and eco cost? Perfectly fine. Do we even have an opposition party in this country anymore? The so-called opposition party seems to be tripping all over themselves to pander to those that wouldn’t vote for them ever while demonizing progressives and those tired of the Dem’s corporatist ways. We can have all the marches in the world but nothing seems to change. I have come to the realization that our system is completely broken and we may be seeing the end of the United States as a functional democracy if it hasn’t ended already.

The question is where do we go from here? There is no real political opposition other than those espousing “angry” sound bites and then going right along with the agendas of the corrupt status quo through their votes and acceptance of dark money from the same sources as always.

I don’t have the answer but if this is what is now America then we are indeed screwed unless the people truly wake up. I’m not holding my breath. My words may mean little but every forest fire begins with a spark and every avalanche begins with a solitary snowflake. Angry Facebook posts, blogs like this, and comedic memes are not going to solve this problem.

Is the avalanche coming? It’s up to us to decide.

Photos via Wikimedia Commons and are Public Domain

Wildlife Advocates Must Brace Themselves for the Inevitable Wolf Delisting But We Must NEVER Stop Fighting

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Photo via WikiMedia Commons.

**UPDATE 12/16/2015** I have NEVER been happier to say that I was wrong. Much to my shock and the shock of wildlife advocates everywhere the desliting rider was not included in the spending bill. The threats remain but for now we can breathe a sigh of relief. 

As Congress is about to sell out our small population of gray wolves for some type of “political gain” on a spending bill I am left to ponder if it was even a good idea to bring a species back only to persecute, torment, and push them back to the brink again out of sheer hatred and revenge? Should Congress follow through with the very real and likely possibility of attaching a delisting “rider” to the current spending bill we are poised to return to the nightmare that we saw in 2012, 2013, and 2014 with reckless kill quotas that ALWAYS go over, the coordinated eradication of entire packs, unregulated 24/7/365 hound “training” against wolves, and the use of hounds to kill wolves in what can be described as no less than legalized dog fighting. States like Wisconsin will preach that they are “responsibly managing” the species while making sure to kill as many as possible with any and all methods throughout the year all the while presenting inflated population numbers and pretending that the species is “thriving.” It’s history repeating itself all over again.

Just as when on the very day that wolves were officially delisted in the Great Lakes in 2012 when anti-wolf Wisconsin legislators introduced the reckless and deplorable bill that led to the three years of hounds, traps, and overkill the same forces will conspire to kill as many as possible as soon as possible when they are delisted again. How this species has been able to hang on in the small numbers that they have in this state despite 24/7/365 harassment by hounds, killings by state hired USDA “Wildlife Services” goons, huge yearly kill quotas, rampant poaching, and all around government endorsed hostility toward the species is astounding. A hostile state like Wisconsin, as they have abundantly shown, is not capable of responsibly and ethically “managing” a polarizing species such as the wolf yet they keep getting the opportunity. No one seems to care that the federal judge relisted wolves because of the reckless, unethical, and frankly sadistic manner in which states like Wisconsin “managed” wolves. No one seems to care that with the 2012 Wisconsin wolf kill bill, Act 169, Wisconsin wrote legalized dog fighting into law by allowing hounds to be used against wolves. No one seems to care that there are ZERO regulations for the “training” of those very same hounds that can be used against wolves 24/7/365. What does that say about our state, society, government, and humanity in general?

All of this hatred over a wild dog? A wild dog that has no super powers. A wild dog that tries to survive like the rest of us. A wild dog that is not hiding in the shadows waiting to eat your grandchildren. A wild dog that is NOT eating all “your” deer. A wild dog that will always be a better hunter and predator than any human or so-called “sportsman” could ever be. Maybe that is the root of the issue. The wolf is a superior predator and hunter despite all of humanities technologically advanced killing implements and maybe some just cannot accept that and must kill them to feel superior. What else can explain the endless lies, myths, propaganda, and beating of the drum to destroy this species? Is it jealousy? Is it revenge? What is it that causes so many grown adults to harbor such hatred for a wild dog?

That being said no matter what happens in big ag/NRA bought and paid for halls of Congress, the killing cartel owned Wisconsin DNR, or in the hound infested killing grounds of northern Wisconsin one thing is very clear: myself and other grassroots wildlife advocates will NEVER stop fighting for OUR WILDLIFE and we will never stop exposing the brutal practices and corrupt “management” of that same wildlife. If the likely imminent Congressional selling out/delisting of wolves teaches us anything it is that we cannot trust our government to do the right thing when it comes to wolves, wildlife, and the environment in general. It is up to US to be vigilant and work to protect imperiled and vilified species from the apathetic government agencies and bloodthirsty killing cartels that seek their destruction.

In the coming days Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife will be expanding our online presence with a Facebook page to keep you better informed about the daily war on our wildlife in Wisconsin, the nation, and the world. Despite the inevitable setbacks we have to keep fighting while we still have something left to fight for.

Shame on all of the FAKE “Democrats” that allowed this. Shame on President Obama for DESTROYING the Endangered Species Act. Finally, shame on the states that will ultimately push this species back to the brink or to a second eradication to appease extremist killing cartels and the never satisfied big ag interests.

We will keep you posted.

 

President Obama’s Legacy: The End of the Endangered Species Act?

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“Wolf by Brooks Falls” by BlackburnPhoto from Overland Park, KS, USA – Wolf by Brooks Falls.

There is no other way to put this so I will be blunt. For all of our hand wringing about Congress likely stripping protections from gray wolves and actively working to undermine the Endangered Species Act itself one thing has been made abundantly clear: the Obama Administration has already destroyed the Act right under our noses and it apparently took seven years for anyone to notice. The Guardian Newspaper, out of the United Kingdom, reported yesterday some sobering and frankly horrifying information about the gross failure of the USFWS to uphold the tenants of the ESA and to protect imperiled species as is their responsibility. Instead the USFWS under current Director Dan Ashe, current Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and former DOI Secretary “Cowboy” Ken Salazar, has actively pursued policies that favor ranchers, hunting groups, developers, and big energy interests to the detriment of each and every species allegedly under ESA protections.

From the Guardian article:

The US government has not halted a single project out of the 88,000 actions and developments considered potentially harmful to the nation’s endangered species over the past seven years, a new study has found.

An analysis of assessments made by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the agency very rarely used its powers to intervene in projects that could imperil any of the US’s endangered plants and animals, which currently number almost 1,600.

Of 88,000 actions assessed by the FWS between January 2008 and April 2015, just two triggered significant further action. A 2007 plan to drop fire retardant in California was deemed by the FWS to be prohibitively harmful to forest-dwelling endangered species, although this was challenged in court. The FWS also stepped in over a plan to divert water from the San Francisco Bay Delta due to concerns over the impact to threatened fish.

88,000 projects that threatened species under ESA protection and only TWO were stopped? At those two were stopped under the Bush Administration which was certainly no friend to wildlife. Red flags were apparent both before and after President Obama was elected. At no time during his campaign or after did any element of the environment come into play except for the political buzzwords of the climate change movement. Obama appeared completely apathetic toward wildlife and their very survival. This was further confirmed with his selection of rancher and former Senator “Cowboy” Ken Salazar from Colorado. Salazar immediately continued Bush administration plans to delist wolves in the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes, and Wyoming despite strong scientific evidence advising against a delsiting for all of these areas. When a federal court stepped in and relisted wolves in the Rockies the Obama Administration allowed a “rider” to be attached to a must pass budget bill in 2011 that stripped ESA protections from the gray wolf, blocked any court challenge, and led to all out eradication policies from the states of Montana and especially Idaho. The only safeguards remaining for wolves in this region is a provision that if they drop BELOW 150 in the entire region they “may” be relisted.

Then Salazar, and newly appointed Director of the USFWS, Dan Ashe, set their sites on delisting wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming. Wyoming was not included in the 2011 Congressional “rider” delisting because their “management” plan was too toxic for even the anti-wolf congress members and Bush Administration. The Wyoming plan allowed wolves to be killed by any means, at any time, and over the vast majority of the state except for a small area near Yellowstone which would have “regulated” killing under the guise of “hunting seasons.” This plan apparently wasn’t a problem for Obama, Salazar, and Ashe because after a sit down backdoor meeting with Wyoming officials the plan was given the green light and the mass slaughter started almost immediately and lasted until last fall when a federal judge ruled that the Wyoming plan was fatally flawed and resisted wolves under ESA protections in that state.

The same thing played out in Wisconsin in late 2011 and early 2012 when Salazar, Ashe, and the USFWS removed wolves in the Great Lakes from ESA protections and opened the door to over three years of killing season in Wisconsin and Minnesota and one on Michigan. The Wisconsin “management” of the species entailed the 24/7/365 use of hounds against wolves under the guise of “training,” trapping, baiting, electronic calls, and the use of hounds to aid in the killing of wolves during the “hunting seasons.” Once again a federal judge stepped in and relisted the species based on the severely flawed “management plans” of Wisconsin and Minnesota in particular. Like Wyoming, Minnesota allowed for wolves that ventured out of their habitat in the northern part of the state to be killed at will and essentially cut off potential migration routes or any chance that the species could colonize other areas to the south.

Maybe most disturbing of all of the proposals introduced by the USFWS, apparently with the support of President Obama, is to strip ALL ESA protections from gray wolves in the entire United States with the exception of a tiny population of Mexican Gray Wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. Couple this with the refusal of the USFWS to provide ESA protections to wolverines despite only a tiny number living in the United States, and the recent decision to allow hostile states to determine the fate of the imperiled greater sage grouse rather than providing ESA protections. The USFWS also seeks to delist grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone region and once again turn management of an imperiled species to hostile states hellbent on killing them.

This is what the legacy of the Obama Administration will be when it comes to wildlife and the environment. Despite all of the meaningless lip service that the president pays to climate change and “agreements” allegedly to fight it, he has shown that wildlife has ZERO place in the world that he envisions and apparently is only a hindrance to the real agenda of his administration. If NOT ONE of 88,000 events that impact endangered species were stopped by the USFWS over SEVEN YEARS what does this tell us about the value Obama and his administration place on endangered species and upholding the Endangered Species Act?

Under President Obama the Endangered Species Act has been reduced to a paper tiger that allows wildlife hostile states to run roughshod over endangered species, threatened lands, and anything that gets in the way of “development,” agriculture, recreational killing, or just happens to “upset” anti-wildlife governors. Nothing illustrates this mindset better than this quote from Obama’s USFWS Director Dan Ashe who in 2014 made a comment at a Montana meeting stating that environmentalists:

“must accept a world with fewer wolves, salmon, and spotted owls.”

Yes, he really said this and nothing better illustrates the complete and utter contempt that the Obama Administration and his Department of Interior has for environmentalists and wildlife advocates. Time and time again his administration has sided with ranchers, hunting groups, developers, and big energy interests while spitting in the faces of wildlife advocates and environmentalists. I regret voting for this man and I am under the impression that most wildlife advocates share this opinion.

While we have been scrambling trying to stop the disgusting wolf delisting “rider” now pending in Congress, it is apparent that the damage has already been done and the Endangered Species Act has been all but destroyed by an apathetic, arrogant, and pandering Administration more concerned with getting insignificant short term political “victories” than preserving imperiled wildlife. I hope that I am wrong and that Congress and the Obama Administration proves me wrong and stands up for wildlife. I am not holding my breath. This administration is poised to go down as the most anti-wildlife one since the introduction of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, signed by of all people, Republican Richard Nixon. What a shame. Those of us in the wildlife advocacy movement had such high hopes for President Obama after what we thought at the time was the disastrous wildlife record of George W. Bush. We could not have been more wrong and felt duped into supporting this president that is on the verge of destroying not only the gray wolf population in the United States but also the bedrock law of species protection, the Endangered Species Act, and for what? A short term budget deal? A few meaningless concessions from the right wing in Congress?

I do not say this lightly when I say that President Obama has failed our wildlife and the Endangered Species Act. I can show you two wolf riders and 88,000 other reasons proving this to be the case.

 

 

Anti-Wolf Zealots and Fake “Democrats” in Congress Planning to Sell Out Wolves and the Endangered Species Act This Week

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Here we go a again. Where have we seen this before? The courts rightfully step in and restore protections for the gray wolf and the NRA/big ag zealots in Congress step in and remove those protections and take away your recourse to challenge it in court. Just like the infamous 2011 anti-wolf “budget rider” that was tacked onto a must pass spending to declare war on wolves in Idaho and Montana, the anti-wolf zealots in Congress are planning to do the same for wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming this week.

As I wrote about earlier in the year, there is a group of right wing politicians and a collection of fake “Democrats” like the “Democrat in Name Only (DINO)” Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and the anti-wolf “Democrat” Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin that will stop at nothing to resume the 24/7/365 persecution and hounding of wolves in Wisconsin and elsewhere. This week they along with Tea Party extremist Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin are trying to slip a wolf delisting “rider” into another “must pass” spending bill. This bill will delist wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming while blocking YOUR right to challenge YOUR government in the courts.

Not only will this bill destroy what is left of the Endangered Species Act and open the door to anti-wolf states once again pushing the species back to the brink through the use of hounds, traps, guns, arrows, and everything short of artillery, but it will open the door for each and every species currently under ESA protection to be delisted by Congress for some alleged short term “political gain.” This is a disaster waiting to happen and I am not so sure that Congress or the President care one way or another.

Does President Obama want his legacy to be that of the president that presided over the second eradication of wolves and the destruction of the Endangered Species Act? If he and Congress allow this “rider” to be slipped into the spending bill, passed, and signed then that is exactly what will happen. First it was the wolves of the Northern Rockies he sold out in 2011, then the failure to protect the greater sage grouse, and now wolves once again are in the sights of this administration. But make no mistake wolves are not and will not be the final nail in the coffin of the ESA. Next we will see the delisting of the grizzly bear in the west  likely leading to an all out war against that species by the same factions hellbent on destroying the wolf. When does it stop? When, if ever, will President Obama say ENOUGH and uphold his responsibilities to protect our dwindling wildlife and wild lands?

It is crunch time folks. The time is NOW to contact your congressional representatives, senators, and the White House to demand a stop to the assault on the Endangered Species Act and imperiled species like the gray wolf. If this passes and is signed we will be right back to the endless months of reckless killing of wolves and 24/7/365 hounding to placate the violent and extreme minority seeking to destroy this species one way or another.

Short of the disastrous Iraq war and those responsible I can’t say that I have ever been so disgusted in OUR government. I am sick and tired of our dwindling wildlife being sold out year in and year out as a political giveaway to extremists. Will they be satisfied when the last wolf is trapped or shredded by a pack of dogs? When the last sage grouse is gone? When the last grizzly is a rug or stuffed trophy for a great white hunter to brag about? ENOUGH.

Find and call your representatives and senators here:

https://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

Call the White House here.

Call the President
PHONE NUMBERS
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Here is a script to use if you wish:

As a constituent of yours I ask that you strongly consider voting against (VETO for the President) any and all bills and or “riders” to spending bills that seek to remove wolves from Endangered Species Act protections. Despite the hyperbole and propaganda from hunting groups and agricultural interests, the gray wolf is still imperiled by centuries old hatred and reckless state “management” plans that allow for only a token number on the landscape and in isolated pockets only. It also must be noted that supporting any effort to delist wolves in Wisconsin will be viewed as a tacit approval for what is essentially the legalized DOG FIGHTING that the state allows by law. Wisconsin is the ONLY state in the country that allows packs of hounds to be pitted against wolves with ZERO oversight and the allowance of 24/7/365 “training” against wolves also with no oversight. I implore you not to support any law that furthers the persecution against this species and that seeks to weaken the already imperiled Endangered Species Act. Any legislation delisting a species from the protections allowed by the Endangered Species Act will be the death knell for not only the gray wolf but for the Act itself. Your actions on these issues will be closely watched and strongly considered in future elections.

Death by a Thousand Hounds (And Traps): The Endangered Species List is Not a “Farm Team” for Hostile States

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This is what “state management” of wolves looks like. Photo used via Fair Use for Educational and News Reporting Purposes.

It’s been almost one year since the end of Wisconsin’s last “legal” wolf slaughter and the subsequent federal court ruling that placed the species back on the Endangered Species Act protected list. During that last year the states, anti-wolf politicians, the killing cartels, certain media outlets, big ag lobbies, and even misguided wolf “experts” have been pushing to forcefully remove the species from ESA protections and resume the yearly killing sprees under the guise of “state management.”

Summary of what the Endangered Species Act exists for:

The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the NOAA Fisheries Service, to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. The law also prohibits any action that causes a “taking” of any listed species of endangered fish or wildlife. Likewise, import, export, interstate, and foreign commerce of listed species are all generally prohibited.

Federal Judge Beryl Howell made it very clear in her ruling last December that the states “management” of gray wolves was severely flawed and and failed miserably at providing the protections and species growth that is a key element of the Endangered Species Act. While not explicitly spelled out, the state “management” of Wisconsin very likely played a key role in the decision the judge made to order the relisting of the species in the Great Lakes region. Wisconsin’s clear and open policy of pushing the species numbers down to a token number and allowing for 24/7/365 harassment by hounds very likely also played a role in her decision.

There are times, she said, a court “must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough. This is one of those times.”

She singled out Minnesota’s plan, which she said permitted the unlimited killing of wolves in some areas. The plan calls for a minimum population of 1,600 animals in the state.

But it allows “a virtual carte blanche” for eradication of wolves in the southern two-thirds of the state by allowing land owners and managers the right to kill them any time to protect their livestock and pets, even in the absence of attacks.

What was clearly spelled out in the Judge’s decision was the inadequacy of Minnesota’s plan that forcefully kept wolves in a small pocket in the state and much like the disgusting Wyoming plan, essentially allowed for open eradication through the rest. Minnesota also made it clear that their killing season was strictly for recreation and played no real role in the adequate “management” of the species other than to provide “hunter opportunity.”

“The intent of the wolf season was to allow sustainable hunting and trapping,” said Dan Stark, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wolf specialist. “We weren’t trying to have an impact on the [wolf] population or [livestock] depredations.”

In the past year the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota have done nothing to change their plans or how they want to “manage” wolves. Instead the state “wildlife” agencies, killing cartels, big ag lobbies, and anti-wolf state politicians ran to anti-wolf representatives and senators in Congress to force a legislative delisting to continue on their “death by a thousand hounds (and traps)” management plans. Instead of making a good faith effort to change the elements of their “management” that led to the court relisting and the furor of millions of wildlife advocates the states did NOTHING except to reinforce that they are hellbent at regaining control over the species and resume their reckless killing seasons and in the case of Wisconsin, the unlimited 24/7/365 harassment by hounds.

This entire issue illustrates the failure of the true intentions of the Endangered Species Act and allowing hostile states to “manage” wildlife. The purpose of the ESA was to throw a lifeline to imperiled wildlife and protect them from the often depraved and hostile eradication methods that originally pushed them to the brink and making sure that never happens again. Instead the ESA, particularly for species like the gray wolf and grizzly, has become a “farm team” for states to provide “hunter opportunity” for mass killing immediately following delisting. That was NOT the intention of the ESA but that is what our government has allowed to happen. This happened immediately following the Obama Administration’s misguided and ESA weakening 2011 “rider” that delisted  wolves in Montana and Idaho where both states immediately instituted eradication plans. It also happened immediately following the delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes in 2012. In fact the very day, and almost to the hour that wolves were delisted here, anti-wolf legislators, led by the disgraced former Rep. Scott Suder, introduced the bill that would lead to Wisconsin declaring war on wolves and becoming the ONLY state in the country to allow dogs to be used again them, including the 24/7/365 “training” of hounds against wolves. Minnesota soon followed suit with their own “recreational” hunting and trapping season. This was in addition to their secret hiring of USDA Wildlife Services goons to kill hundreds each year even while under ESA protections.

Today, instead of changing how they want to “manage” wolves the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming are counting on Congress and the most anti-wildlife president in modern history to forcibly delist wolves once again to destroy the ESA and return to their near-eradication “management” of the species on the behest of big ag and the killing cartels. If the congressional delisting fails then they hope a federal appeals court overturns Judge Howell’s ruling. If either were to occur the ESA will become a paper tiger that becomes open for attack at the behest of any political “deal” and it will make wildlife hostile states even more aggressive and brazen with their “management” of species they already despise like wolves and soon the grizzly bear.

Wildlife advocates such as myself are often asked WHY we fight so hard to keep wolves and other vilified and imperiled species under federal ESA protections? One only needs to look at the picture above, visit the hate filled anti-wolf/wildlife social media sites, and listen to the fear mongering and misinformation presented by hostile states and politicians to have the answer. For these people “management” of the gray wolf and other “less desirable” species is an all or nothing proposition as their own actions demonstrate. Many wildlife advocates, such as myself, wouldn’t necessarily be against a delisting for the wolf if state “management” didn’t consist of what amounts to a declaration of war against the species and pushing it back to the brink AGAIN.

As I stated above species removed from the ESA should NOT be used as a “farm team” for hostile states and to provide “hunter opportunity.” This WAS NOT and IS NOT the purpose of the law. When anti-wildlife politicians talk about “reforming” the Endangered Species Act the mean that they want to further weaken it and for some outright destroy it. For wildlife advocates reforming the act means allowing it to function as it was intended to. This means the act should be in place to prevent wildlife hostile states like Wisconsin from regaining “management” of any listed species while the reckless policies that led to the initial listing are still in place. The act should also demand these states not be allowed to immediately institute mass killings of a delisted species and require that the states update their “management plans” to reflect the changing populations and changes of the reality on the ground. When a state like Wisconsin allows their entire “management” of a species to be determined by extremist “hunting” groups, like the openly anti-wolf Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, they are proving that they are not up to the task of responsibly managing a species fresh off the ESA list. Add on the disgusting and irresponsible allowance of dogs to be used against the species 24/7/365 and how can ANYONE with a straight face say that a state like Wisconsin can responsibly “manage” this species? You can’t and this is exactly why Judge Howell ruled as she did last December.

Wolves must remain under ESA protections until hostile states like Wisconsin make an effort to ethically “manage” this species. If you are a Wisconsin resident DEMAND that our state put aside the reckless and revenge minded policies that eliminated this species the first time and work WITH wildlife advocates instead of against us. By allowing the use of dogs against a species like the wolf the state of Wisconsin is showing to the world that they cannot “manage” this species in a responsible and ethical manner.

Find your Wisconsin legislators here and make it clear that they have failed miserably when it comes to “managing” the wolf population and regardless of a potential Congressional or court ordered delisting wildlife advocates will not back off nor will we accept any form of “management” that continues the use of dogs and reckless mass killing. The political pendulum always swings back hard and when it does the massive overreach Wisconsin has endorsed when it comes to “managing” this species will come back to bite the anti-wolf factions and their tactics very hard. The anti-wolf factions should be very careful about what they wish for and the ramifications of that overreach. Delsiting or not WE are not going anywhere and WE will continue to expose the reckless and barbaric attacks on wolves and other vulnerable species.

Please also contact your federal legislators and DEMAND that they not support any effort to weaken ESA protections for wolves or any other species until the states show that they will be responsible stewards for these species and not continue with their revenge/persecution policies.