Big Ag = Big Pollution = Big Problems

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CAFO Dairy cows. Photo via USDA.

Great Lakes Wolf Appeal

Last week the the D.C. Court of Appeals upheld the December 2014 ruling by federal Judge Beryl Howell affirming that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service illegally and improperly designated the Great Lakes gray wolf population as a “distinct population segment” in order to push through a delisting. The appeals court in a unanimous decision ruled that the creation of the distinct population segment strictly for the purpose of delisting violated the Endangered Species Act and the proper scientific process of taking into account the former range of a species when making this decision. As expected the extremist usual anti-wolf zealots once again screamed about wolves “ravaging” livestock, pets, and grandchildren at bus stops or on their way to grandma’s house. What the zealots like state senator Toxic Taconite Tom Tiffany refuse to acknowledge is that despite the “record” wolf population in the state the “depredations” of livestock and hounds are down significantly from this point last year. At this point last year there were 54 “depredations” and this year that number has dropped to 32 despite the so-called “record” population being hyped by the media and anti-wolf zealots. If you listen to these people and their special interest masters, the gray wolf is responsible for all of the problems in northern Wisconsin and they must be “managed” to “control” their population. Through all of the fear mongering and hyperbole there is never one mention of the number of hounds and livestock that are killed by disease, poor husbandry, and in the case of hounders, thorough the legal animal fighting against bear and other wildlife that occurs in our woods daily. That number far far far exceeds 32 yet there is total silence on that. What I am seeing here is that the wolf is being used as a scapegoat by the anti-environmental politicians, their special interest masters, and the media to distract from the real environmental threats facing the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Dairy Industry: The Rules Don’t Apply to Us

Yesterday, it was reported by the Wisconsin State Journal that one of Wisconsin’s largest big agriculture lobbying groups, the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, filed a lawsuit last week to demand that they not be subject to pollution regulations until the pollution has already occurred. From the article:

A dairy industry group is suing to end Wisconsin’s requirement that large animal feedlots producing hundreds of millions of gallons of manure undergo state scrutiny before they begin operating.

If the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association prevails, the operations would no longer need state approval for their methods of storing and disposing of the manure unless it was demonstrated they had polluted lakes, streams or drinking water wells.

While the special interest puppets in the state legislature and anti-wildlife/environment lobbying groups try to convince you through the media that the gray wolf is “ravaging” the state, big ag is working behind the scenes to make sure that they can poison you and your family with waste from their ever growing factory farms in Wisconsin and not be subject to the already weak laws governing them. This is in addition to the recently signed law that allows produce growers to tap an unlimited amount of water from our depleting aquifers regardless of the impact on nearby streams, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.

Do you still think that the gray wolf is the biggest “threat” facing Wisconsin citizens? While the anti-wildlife zealots in the state legislature, the media, and big money special interest groups scream about the gray wolf and the 32 “depredations” this year, the legislature and big ag groups are working behind the scenes to poison and pillage the water that is supposedly part of the “public trust.” That means that the water is “owned” by each and every citizen in the state of Wisconsin. This is even enshrined in the state constitution. You know that same document that has the “right to hunt” provision that the great white “hunters” of Wisconsin love to throw in our faces when we challenged the disgusting practices of hounding, baiting, and trapping? In fact all “resources,” including wildlife, are supposed to be part of that “public trust.”

Recent events show that it is not just the wolf and other wildlife under threat from big money special interests and the politicians under their sway. Those of us in the wildlife advocacy/protectionist movement would be wise to realize this and not focus so exclusively on one issue. Our entire environment and frankly the existence of all life on this planet are under threat from a minority of very wealthy and very powerful people who want to extract all that they can without regard for their neighbors or even the future of this planet. People like myself spend a significant amount of time talking about the attacks on the gray wolf and other imperiled species while often pushing aside that every species, including humans, are under threat from these selfish special interests and those under their sway. All of us need water, air, and a productive landscape to survive and each of those precious elements are under threat and being sold off for often what amounts to a small campaign donation. The attacks on the gray wolf are just one small skirmish in the overall war against our entire environment at the behest of a wealthy few and it’s not just far right Republicans that are doing the bidding of these destructive interests.

While the appeals court wolf decision was a welcome but likely short-lived victory it showed that when used properly, our courts are the last line of defense against the extremist ideologies that seek to pillage and destroy on both sides of the political spectrum. Many so-called “Democrats,” like Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, are fully onboard with selling out the gray wolf, the Endangered Species Act, and a myriad of other bedrock environmental protections. The courts are our last line of defense and even those are under assault from the likes of Baldwin and other “Democrats.”

When will these attacks against our wildlife, land, air, and water stop? When the last wolf is killed? When the last drop of water is sucked from under the ground? When the last mineral is taken from planet? We are already losing what is left of our fragile democracy and health of our planet based on the whims of greedy special interests that seek to poison you and your family so that their profit margins can increase or their power be consolidated. When will it end? I’m afraid it will end when our planet is a lifeless sphere orbiting the sun and I am afraid that day is coming much sooner than most of us think.

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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………

 

Wildlife on the Brink, Where Do We Go From Here?

 

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This is what Wisconsin considers “managment” of wildlife. Legal dog fighitng is not only condoned but encouraged by the State of Wisconsin. Upon delisitng this form of legal dog fighting will be allowed against wolves….if it isn’t occurring already. Photo used under Fair Use for Educational Purposes. 

Once again it seems that the gray wolf population in Great Lakes will handed over to states full of individuals and groups wishing to see them wiped off the face of the earth. Hostile state agencies, along with their contracted federal goon squads known as “Wildlife Services” are primed and ready to immediately begin the killing once federal “protections” are removed. As most wildlife advocates know those “protections” were in name only as poaching and 24/7/365 harassment by Wisconsin hounders have kept the wolf population under constant threat. With a looming delisting this harassment is only going to get worse and be more in the open.

Currently Wisconsin is the ONLY state in the country that allows packs of bloodthirsty hounds and their equally bloodthirsty handlers to be used against wolves. Wisconsin is also the ONLY state in the country that pays hounders $2500 for each hound killed by wolves when they are “training” or “hunting” against species other than wolves (yeah right). It should also be noted that at the present time Wisconsin has ZERO “regulations” in place for the “training” of hounds against wolves. That means that hounders can run dogs against wolves 24/7/365 with no permit requirement or restrictions. Any wonder why wildlife advocates are so concerned about what Wisconsin considers “management” of this species? Our concerns also go far deeper than that.

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How can we ever forget this? This is from the DNR’s wolf kill tally in 2014. Notice that three of the six killing zones went over quota and one, Zone 2, was allowed to go DOUBLE over. 

During the last “legal” wolf killing season in 2014, the Wisconsin DNR allowed the wolf kill quota in their “Zone 2” to be one shy of DOUBLING the allowed number. Two other “zones” also exceeded their quotas. The DNR response to that was basically it was only the “antis” complaining so who cares? Those were not the exact words but that was the gist of it. Also of major concern was how the kill numbers exceeded the total established quotas in each of the three kill season held from 2012-2014. This is responsible “management?” The kill season of 2013 was especially concerning due to the introduction of hounds into the mix. In fact it was reported by wildlife advocates at the Wisconsin DNR’s “Wolf Advisory Committee” meetings that specific wolf packs were target and completely wiped out by hounders who coordinated with each other. This is responsible “management?”

Once delisting occurs Wisconsin will return to their outdated “management plan” and resume their reckless and openly hostile killing seasons with the intent of pushing the species to the brink if not outright eradication. The DNR will never openly admits this but their actions and open coordination with anti-wolf zealots and groups speak far louder than words.

The hounders and their mouthpieces have also been on a tear lately to push the DNR to put a “cap” on the wolf population of “350 or less.” The DNR’s own 2014 attitude survey showed that a majority of Wisconsin citizens support the wolf population being allowed maintained at the population level of that year. This included a majority of respondents living in areas wolves inhabit. The anti-wolf zealots, led by the Queen Zealot Laurie Groskopf of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, and the propaganda filled anti-wolf page “Wisconsin Wolf Facts,” is leading a charge to cast doubt on the DNR survey and make the assumption that because she despises wolves that everyone else must as well. This was prominently featured in the two hate, propaganda, and fear mongering filled anti-wolf “summits” sponsored by far right anti-wildlife politicians and anti-wildlife “hunting” and big ag lobbying groups.

So where do wildlife advocates go from here? We are up against well-funded anti-wildlife lobbying groups and government entities that wish to see the gray wolf and other less “favored” species pushed once again to the brink if not outright eradicated. I am not going to mince words here. Wolves are going to be killed in massive numbers by the most brutal and sadistic ways possible. Hounds will be drawn into bloody confrontations with wolves in Wisconsin’s form of legal dog fighting. Trapper sadists will trap, torture, torment, mock, and take sneering photographs with their catches while alive, and then bludgeon, shoot, or crush the animal to death in the trap. The hate pages devoted to wolf torture and eradication will make sure to post each and every gut shot, trapped, and killed wolf to harass and attempt to intimidate wildlife advocates. This is nothing new and is how sadistic bullies operate. This time though we will be sure to make sure everyone sees their sick photos, their faces, and their Facebook pages. While they will pat themselves on the back among each other for their sadistic acts millions of people on the internet will not be so welcoming of their taunts and actions. Eventually the pendulum will swing back when people see that modern “wildlife management,” especially for predators like wolves, is not “conservation” and is frankly little more than a sadistic death cult for violent and disgusting people who are failures at everything else in life.

“NO ONE is talking about eradication” 

The latest talking point among anti-wolf zealots and politicians is that “no one” is talking about eradicating wolves. One of the biggest anti-wolf zealots in the state legislature, Adam Jarchow (R-WBHA/Frac Sand) is even claiming that “no one” is talking about eradication. Funny how just a couple of comments before his there are plenty of “no ones” talking about eradication.

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Sure Jarchow, “no one” is talking about eradicating wolves. As for “all stakeholder groups?” Just because hunting and big ag groups want them killed off they are not the only “stakeholder groups” in this state. Wildlife does not belong soley to YOU or those “stakeholder groups.” Wildlife “belongs” to everyone. Maybe we will have go to a court to remind you of that wildlife is part of the PUBLIC TRUST and not just for your killing or big ag groups. What you see above is just a sample of the endless “SSS” and “kill em all” garbage being spread on these hate sites. I could post screenshots of this kind of garbage all day but it is pretty clear by now that there sure are a lot of “no ones” calling for wolves to be eradicated. Nice try Jarchow.

Let’s not forget what Wisconsin’s idea of “state management” looks like. This is coming once again. Be prepared. Wisconsin we DO NOT trust you.

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Wisconsin trapper posing with a trapped wolf that he killed and a live one being tormented in the background in 2014. Photo shared under Fair Use for Educational Purposes.

Will the Snowflake Become an Avalanche?

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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.