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

Wolf_by_Brooks_Falls

“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.

 

 

Do Modern “Democrats” Support Legal Dog Fighting and Limiting Your Free Speech Rights? Actions Speak Louder than Words 

La_chasse_au_loup

This is what Senator Tammy Baldwin and other anti-wolf politicians support if they support Wisconsin’s “management” of wolves.

As a wildlife advocate nothing is more infuriating and revolting than people who speak out of both sides of their mouths. Nowhere is this more prevalent than with the modern “Democratic Party” and their spineless manner when dealing with wildlife issues and legislation. They are so afraid of upsetting the NRA/big ag lobby that they vote for anti-wildlife and even anti-free speech laws despite knowing they are deplorable. Because of this I have distanced myself from the Democratic Party and vowed not to ever vote again for any politician that supports anti-wildlife legislation and causes.

There are two very recent examples of Wisconsin based “Democrats” turning their backs on wildlife in favor of anti-wildlife and anti-free speech proposals at the state and national level.

Over the years I have voted for Senator Tammy Baldwin several times dating back to her days as a Representative in the House and for her current position as a senator. Only after her election to the senate did I learn of her anti-wolf positions and how she panders to the big ag interests that want to see wolves eradicated from Wisconsin and elsewhere. It was only after her 2012 election to the senate did I find this webpage where she takes credit for having the wolf delisted and Wisconsin allowing a slaughter season immediately following.

2011: Tammy Worked Across Party Lines and Worked to Remove the Wisconsin Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species List
Tammy supported the commonsense approach of removing the Wisconsin Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species List after population numbers exceeded both the Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Plan and the federal recovery goal. This action opens the door to a new wolf hunt.

Baldwin likes to pretend that she is a “progressive” and people believe her due to her sexual orientation and how she rightfully stands up for equal protection. The problem is that she panders to big ag and the killing cartels seeking to eradicate Wisconsin’s tiny wolf population and pretending that they no longer need protection. What does she gain from it? Do those “common sense approaches” include dog fighting? Apparently, yes they do.

A couple of weeks ago a letter imploring President Obama to reject any and all “riders” weakening the Endangered Species Act was signed by 25 Democratic Senators. As expected the usual fake “Democrats” from ND, IN, WV, MN, and a few others didn’t sign it likely due to being owned by the same big ag/NRA/SCI/Koch groups that also control the GOP. Also noticeably absent were signatures from the two anti-wolf and big ag owned “Democrat” senators from Minnesota and, of course, Tammy Baldwin. As evidenced by the canned letters I receive from Baldwin’s office, she buys hook, line, and sinker the propaganda from the Wisconsin DNR and anti-wolf groups that wolves are being properly “managed” by the DNR and that they are just “decimating” livestock, deer, and grandchildren all over the state. Upon learning her stance against wolves, and apparently being perfectly fine with the legalized dog fighting that Wisconsin allows, I decided that she will never get my vote again for the Senate or any other position. I have made this very clear in letters to her office. Of course the opinions of one Wisconsin citizen like myself apparently does not matter because each response that I receive from Baldwin’s office is the same canned response regurgitating the Wiscosnin DNR propaganda even if it’s not related to the purpose of my letter. It used to to be that we could depend on the Democratic Party to stand up for wildlife and the Endangered Species Act. This is no longer the case as ones like Baldwin and the two phony senators from MN are openly anti-wolf/wildlife and owned by big ag as much as the GOPers are. This is also why Baldwin has been known as “Shammy” Baldwin among wildlife advocates for some time. But she apparently doesn’t care as long as those campaign contributions and “awards” from big ag groups keep rolling in.

For Baldwin and the other anti-wolf/wildlife “Democrats” let one thing be clear. If you support any legislation that returns “management” of the gray wolf to states like Wisconsin, you support legalized DOG FIGHTING. There is no other way around it. Because Wisconsin allows 24/7/365 hound “training” against wolves and allows dogs to be used against wolves during the killing season any Dem that supports giving Wisconsin back “management”  also supports DOG FIGHTING. There is no other way to put it. I expect this from the anti-everything GOPers but for Dems to be on board is shameful and frankly horrifying for the prospects for the survival of not only wolves but all imperiled species. Please call Senator Baldwin and your other Senators and Representatives and ask them this:

Dear Senator/Rep……

As a constituent of yours I ask that you strongly consider voting against 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. Your actions on these issues will be closely watched and strongly considered in future elections. 

Thank you, 

Find Your Senators and Representatives

In Wisconsin, at the state level, we also have a collection of “Democrats” that always seem to pander to the kill everything crowd and now apparently are also for attacking YOUR free speech rights and navigation of YOUR public lands. Yesterday, by a vote of 14-1, the rubber stamp for the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the deceptively named anti-wildlife, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Assembly Natural Resources Committee, approved moving forward with the anti-free speech bill disguised as a “hunter harassment” bill. Only one Democrat had the conviction to vote against the bill:

The Assembly’s natural resources committee passed the Republican-authored bill on a 14-1 vote. The committee’s minority Democrats questioned whether the bill might violate nature lovers’ free speech rights but only one of them, Rep. Diane Hesselbein of Middleton, ultimately voted against the proposal.

Just like the 2012 wolf kill bill the so-called “Democrats” questioned the bill yet still voted for it regardless of the consequences. Why? All that this bill does is legitimize the disgusting acts of hounding and baiting and makes those that participate in them a protected class. This despite no permitting requirement for either activity. Under this bill if you happen to take a picture or even be “in the line of sight” of a hunter, baiter, trapper, or hounder, you are potential criminal if you hold any anti-hunting beliefs. This is apparently okay with our so-called “Democrats?”

The bill would add scouting, dog training, baiting and feeding to the list of protected hunting activities. It also would expand the definition of interference to include remaining in a hunter’s sight, photographing a hunter, using a drone to photograph a hunter and confronting a hunter more than twice with the intention of interfering with or impeding their activity. First-time violators would face a $500 fine. Subsequent offenses would carry steeper fines as well as jail time.

That’s right. If a hounder or baiter gets upset because you are near them, you are a criminal. If you take a picture of a hunter, baiter, hounder, or trapper and happen to hold a different belief or political affiliation than the law enforcement officer and county District Attorney, you are a potential criminal. How can any sane person, let alone an alleged “Democrat” support this bill that criminalizes free speech, free navigation, and penalizes people based on their political ideology or views on “hunting” practices?

Then we have this:

Republicans on the committee joined with Democrats Tuesday and adopted an amendment from Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, which clarifies that someone would have to intentionally interfere with a hunting activity to be convicted. But Rep. Katrina Shankland, a Stevens Point Democrat who voted in favor of the bill, still pressed the committee’s attorney, Larry Konapacki, for his opinion on whether the bill would withstand a constitutional challenge.

“That is a really difficult question,” Konopacki replied. “This is something that might be tested at some point.”

Spreitzer said he was satisfied that it would take an intentional act to land someone in trouble. Shankland pressed on, seeking more reassurance from Konopacki. He told her no one could be convicted unless a prosecutor could prove they intended to engage in harassing conduct.

That seemed to satisfy the Democrats, except Hesselbein. She said she still had questions about the bill. She didn’t ask any, though.

Shankland STILL voted for this sick bill despite acknowledging that it may violate the constitutional rights of a segment of citizens with a different value system while protecting unethical “hunting” practices? This plays right into the revenge politics of the Walker administration and GOP dominated legislature since 2011 and they STILL went along with it?Absolutely shameful but not all together surprising considering that many of the same people voting for this bill also voted for the wolf kill bill in 2012 making Wisconsin the ONLY state in the country that allows packs of dogs to be pitted against wolves. But it’s all about “heritage” and “tradition” to protect the most sadistic and vile among us I guess. These are the “Democrat” committee members that voted for this disgusting assault on free speech and bear hounder/baiter public land takeover:

Representative Milroy

Representative Danou

Representative Shankland

Representative Spreitzer

Please contact them and ask why they support a bill that limits free speech and free navigation of our public lands while making those that practice most sadistic and unethical “hunting” methods a protected class. Also ask them why people, such as hounder and baiters, are now a protected class even though no permit is required for their disgusting activities? Shame on them.

Milroy also had a hand in the recent and astonishingly sexist bill that allowed “blaze pink” clothing for hunting to “attract women” to the “sport.” Danou is the same guy that claims to have “questioned” the wolf kill bill, yet still voted for it in 2012 and bragged to the committee in 2012 that he hoped to get a wolf tag, and then invited other people on the committee to come to his place and “shoot some ducks.” He was also part of Baldwin’s 2012 killing brag fest campaign when she was running for Senator. With “friends” like these……….

So what is the takeaway from the actions of Baldwin and the anti-wildlife/free speech “Democrats” that voted for the bill yesterday? The takeaway is that wildlife and wildlife advocates are now also an imperiled species that have very few friends in the halls of state and federal government. I think that for wildlife advocates we need to realize that the modern Democratic Party is not aligned with our interests and seems to side with the anti-wildlife factions more than not in recent years. It’s time to call them out on it and stop pretending that they are the party of the environment when in reality half are nothing more than GOP-Lite that will pander to the anti-environment factions more often than not while spitting in the faces of their supposed “base.” We will remember their stances when it comes time to vote. If they even care…..

Kline Bill Seeks to Open the Door for States to Completely Eradicate Wolves in the Great Lakes

"US Capitol Building at night Jan 2006" by Diliff - Self-published work by Diliff. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -

“US Capitol Building at night Jan 2006” by Diliff – Self-published work by Diliff. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –

We make no illusions to the fact that the gray wolf is under a never ending attack from anti-wolf lobbying groups and members of Congress that are “owned” by these groups. A bill introduced last week by Tea Party extremists and anti-wolf fake “Democrats” seeks to completely remove all Endangered Species Act protections from Great Lakes wolves AND prevent them from EVER having any ESA protections in the future. While the (G)Reed Ribble bill is getting all of the attention, the other anti-wolf bill written by Tea Party extremist John Kline (R- MN Big Ag), H.R. 843, seeks to not only strip ESA protections from gray wolves in the Great Lakes it also would prevent ANY listing or protections for wolves in these states EVER under the ESA. Not only will this reopen the mass slaughter seasons in each state NOTHING would prevent these states from completely ERADICATING their wolf populations under this law. Here are the extremists “sponsoring” this bill followed by the full text:

Rep. Benishek, Dan [R-MI-1]

Rep. Huizenga, Bill [R-MI-2]

Rep. Moolenaar, John R. [R-MI-4]

Rep. Pearce, Stevan [R-NM-2]

Rep. Grothman, Glenn [R-WI-6]

Rep. Peterson, Collin C. [D-MN-7]

Rep. Duffy, Sean P. [R-WI-7]

Rep. Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [R-WI-5]

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 843 Introduced in House (IH)]

114th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 843

   To prohibit treatment of gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and 
        Michigan as endangered species, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 10, 2015

  Mr. Kline (for himself, Mr. Benishek, Mr. Huizenga of Michigan, Mr. 
   Moolenaar, Mr. Pearce, Mr. Grothman, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Duffy) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To prohibit treatment of gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and 
        Michigan as endangered species, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Western Great Lakes Wolf Management 
Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the States of 
        Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
            (2) Wolf.--The term ``wolf'' means any species, subspecies, 
        or population segment of Canis lupus.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON TREATMENT OF WOLVES IN MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN, AND 
              MICHIGAN UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT OF 1973.

    Any wolf in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan shall not be treated 
under any status of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.), including as an endangered species, a threatened species, an 
essential experimental population, or a nonessential experimental 
population.

SEC. 4. STATE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY.

    (a) State Management Authority.--Each State shall have exclusive 
jurisdiction over the management of wolves within the borders of that 
State.
    (b) Protection by States.--Nothing in this Act shall preclude any 
State from providing protections to wolves equivalent to those 
protections provided by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.).
    (c) Reimbursement by States.--Nothing in this Act shall preclude 
any State from reimbursing the owner of livestock for any loss of 
livestock that results from depredation by wolves, or that derives from 
wolves, that were introduced into the wild.
                                 <all>

This bill along with the (G)Reed Ribble bill will reopen the door to continue mass slaughter of wolves for revenge and political purposes and possibly lead to these states allowing for the total eradication of wolves with no recourse for federal protections. Wisconsin already allows for 24/7/365 hounding against wolves, but the Kline bill would allow for unlimited killing under the guise of “exclusive state management.” This is a VERY dangerous course of action that Congress is embarking on. We expect this from the extremist Tea Party factions but the eagerness of certain “Democrats” to jump on board is extremely alarming. This revolting behavior by anti-wolf extremists on both sides of the aisle in Congress prompted 50 world renowned biologists to pen a letter to Congress expressing extreme concern with the direction that this is going and to call for continued ESA protections for gray wolves.

February 18, 2015
An Open Letter to Members of Congress
from Scientists on Federal Wolf Delisting

We, the undersigned scientists, are writing to express opposition to the prospect that Congress might
act to delist gray wolves (Canis lupus) from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The best available science indicates that the gray wolf occupies a mere fraction of its historic range and therefore has not yet recovered from centuries of systematic persecution.

For this reason, and in recognition of the ecological benefits wolves bring,
millions of tourism dollars to local economies, and abundant knowledge from scientific study, we ask Congress to act to conserve the species for future
generations.

The ESA requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to base all listing decisions “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available” and that a species must be considered endangered if it is “at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” (Sections 3 and 4 of the ESA). A species is recovered when it no longer fits that definition and is unlikely to fit that definition in the foreseeable future. The best available science clearly indicates that wolves do not meet that standard – they occupy only a small portion of their former range—and that the species could occupy much more of its former range if the threats (primarily, human-caused mortality and inadequate regulatory mechanisms) were properly mitigated.

Despite this fact, the FWS has repeatedly removed federal ESA protections from wolves. It did so by distorting the plain meaning of the phrase, “significant portion of its range,” an important component of the ESA. Those distorted interpretations of the ESA are antithetical to what Congress intended when it enacted the ESA. Those distorted interpretations were also rejected by numerous federal courts that have ordered the FWS to restore federal protections to wolves, including two rulings in 2014 alone.

Currently, wolves are absent from most of the United States, with potentially secure populations in only a handful of states (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan). Yet, in those same states, the loss of federal protections resulted in state-sanctioned seasons on wolves at levels designed to reduce their populations to arbitrary goals, which were based on politics but not the best available science. For instance, since delisting, in Minnesota, the population has been reduced by 20 percent,
and in Wisconsin, by at least 15 percent, but likely by more.vii Before a federal court intervened, the Wyoming Legislature ordered that 80 percent of the state be open to unlimited wolf killing. Killing of wolves in Montana and Wyoming has even included wolves that should enjoy protections in Yellowstone and Teton national parks—the place where thousands of tourists go annually just to see wolves and support rural economies.

In rare circumstances, individual livestock owners suffer from wolves killing their livestock.
Assisting those livestock owners is both appropriate and readily accomplished through implementing non-lethal methods.

Added to this, livestock growers benefit by managing wolves as “threatened” under the ESA, which permits lethal management under a Section 4(d) rule, allowing agencies to use lethal control of wolves to resolve wolf-livestock conflicts.

Some have expressed their concern for human safety, but such fears should not be an obstacle to recovery. While there has never been a record of a healthy wild wolf attacking a human in the lower 48 states, the ESA listing still allows lethal removal of wolves for human safety reasons.

For all of these reasons, we urge Congress to oppose any legislation to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from protections under the ESA. Wolves are an enormous asset to the biological diversity of our country and are well tolerated by the American public. After decades of making excellent progress toward recovery, it would be a shame to stop before the final goal is accomplished.

Signed:

David M. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado

Bradley Bergstrom, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biology
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, Georgia

Jim Berkelman, Ph.D.
Faculty Associate
Forest and Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Robert L. Beschta, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Forest Ecosystems and Society
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon

Goran E. D. Bloomberg, Ph.D.
Wildlife Ecologist, retired
Lansing, Michigan

Eugenia Bragina, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Forest and Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Barbara Brower, Ph.D.
Professor
Geography Department
Portland State University
Portland, Oregon

Jeremy Bruskotter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Environment and Natural Resources
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Joseph K. Bump, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Forest Resources and Environmental
Science
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, Michigan

Carlos Carroll, Ph.D.
Director
Klamath Center for Conservation Research
Orleans, California

Amanda Cheeseman, Ph.D.
Graduate Research Assistant
Environmental Science and Forestry
State University of New York
Syracuse, New York

Robert Evans, M.S.
Wildlife Biologist
US Forest Service, retired
Iron River, Michigan

Tracy S. Feldman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Department of Natural and Life Sciences
St. Andrews University
Laurinburg, North Carolina

Richard Fredrickson, Ph.D.
Missoula, Montana

Bob Gillespie, Ph.D.
Coordinator
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Wenatchee Valley College
Wenatchee, Washington

Anthony J. Giordano, Ph.D.
Executive Director
S.P.E.C.I.E.S.
Ventura, California

Jacob R. Goheen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology &
Physiology
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming

Craig K. Harris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan

Philip Hedrick, Ph.D.
Ullman Professor of Conservation Biology
School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

Gretchen Kaufman, DVM
Assistant Director for Global Health Education
and Training
Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington

Ken Keefover-Ring, Ph.D.
Assistant Scientist
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Leah R. Knapp, D.V.M.
Professor of Biology
Biology Program Director
Department of Natural and Physical Sciences
Olivet College
Olivet, Michigan

Theresa L. Kong, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Biology Department
William Rainey Harper College
Palatine, Illinois

Ralph Lampman, M.S.
Research Biologist
Department of Natural Resources
Yakama Nation, Prosser, Washington

James M. Le Moine, M.S.
Research Laboratory Specialist
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Jennifer Leonard, Ph.D.
Tenured Researcher
Department of Integrative Ecology
Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC
Seville, Spain

Richard L. Lindroth, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean for Research
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Yan Linhart Ph.D.
Professor of Biology, Emeritus
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Colorado
El Cerrito, California (currently)

Malcolm R. MacPherson, Ph.D.
Scientist
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Stephen Malcolm, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Jason P. Martina, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Department of Mathematics and Sciences
Our Lady of the Lake University
San Antonio, Texas

Lisa Naughton, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Michael Paul Nelson, Ph.D.
Ruth H. Spaniol Chair of Renewable Resources
and
Professor of Environmental Philosophy and
Ethics
Lead-PI, HJ Andrews LTER Program
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon

David Parsons, M.S.
Carnivore Conservation Biologist
The Rewilding Institute
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Paul C. Paquet, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Departments of Geography & Biology
University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Kathleen Perillo, M.S.
Professor
Biology and Environmental Science
Clark College
Vancouver, Washington

Rolf Peterson, Ph.D.
Robbins Professor of Sustainable Management
of the Environment
School of Forest Resources and Environmental
Science
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, Michigan

Stuart Pimm, Ph.D.
Doris Duke Professor of Conservation
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

Mike Phillips, M.S.
Montana State Senator, and
Executive Director
Turner Endangered Species Fund
Bozeman, Montana

Rich Reading, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor
University of Denver
Denver, Colorado

William J. Ripple, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Ecology
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon

Daniel D. Roby, Ph.D
Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon

Steve Sheffield, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
College of Natural Resources and Environment
Virginia Tech
Falls Church, Virginia, and
Associate Professor
Department of Natural Sciences
Bowie State University, Maryland

Jeffrey W. Snyder, Ph.D
Department of Biology
Western Oregon University
Monmouth, Oregon

John M. Stewart, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Psychobiology
Northland College
Washburn, Wisconsin

Heather Stricker, M.S.
Certified Wildlife Biologist, retired
Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Michael Soule, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Environmental Studies
UC Santa Cruz; and
Founder and First President of
Society for Conservation Biology
Paonia, Colorado

Adrian Treves, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Environmental Studies
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Bridgett vonHoldt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

John Vucetich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Forest Resources and Environmental
Science
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, Michigan

Jonathan Way, Ph.D.
Founder, Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research
Research Scientist, Marsh Institute, Clark
University
Osterville, Massachusetts

Full text of February 18, 2015 Letter to Congress

As you can see these biologists are well known and respected voices within the fields of carnivore studies, wildlife biology, environmental studies, etc. It was no small matter to get so many of these voices together to speak out against the reckless and ESA destroying plans now before Congress. This is as serious as it gets folks. Congress is opening the door for a second eradication of wolves in the Great Lakes and eventually nationwide. I personally do not trust any of the three states involved to property “manage” the wolves residing in their territory, especially Wisconsin. If Congress removes protections or even the threat of federal protections I am afraid that these states will not hesitate to eradicate the wolves remaining there or only allow a token population at most. Congress better think long and hard about what doors they will be opening with these bills, especially the Kline eradication bill. Please write Congress and the White House below and let them know you support the biologists and what they express in their letter rather than the endless fear mongering of big ag, killing cartels, and bought and paid for politicians.

Find Your Senators and Representatives

Contact the White House 

Please visit the Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf page and watch their film “Political Predator” about how Wisconsin threw science out the window to allow for the mass slaughter of wolves and legalized dog fighting.

Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf

Blatant Lies About Wolves Written Into Proposed Federal Legislation By The Usual Suspects and a Fake “Democrat”

"Chaperon Rouge" by Château de Breteuil - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Chaperon Rouge” by Château de Breteuil – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

In all my years as a wildlife advocate and politics watcher it has been obvious that lying and politics go hand in hand. Some lies are minor and are easily forgotten and some led us into bankrupting wars that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. This week one political lie was not only total BS but it was downright offensive to anyone that supports wildlife and American democracy in general. Tea Party extremist Representative John Kline (R-Tea Party) introduced a bill into the House to strip Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming that were recently relisted following federal court ruling that rightly pointed out flaws in the USFWS delisting order and the destructive state “management” plans that still imperil the species. Following this ruling the usual suspects came out of the woodwork and claimed that wolves were responsible for everything from killing all livestock, deer, and snatching pets right from the foot of your bed. In fact there were even rumors of an imminent indictment of the wolf that savagely ate Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother and the wolf responsible for huffing and puffing and blowing down the abode of the Three Little Pigs. The 2008 economic crash has also been determined to have been caused by the uncontrolled spread of wolves huffing and puffing and blowing down houses all over the country thus leading to the housing market collapse. Okay that may be a slight exaggeration but what follows is not.

Almost immediately following the court ordered relisting of gray wolves in the Great Lakes region big ag groups began the fear mongering and dubious propaganda. They apparently wanted to make people believe that wolves somehow “knew” that they suddenly had federal protections again and went on a killing rampage to spite these poor poor ranchers. Here is an example of the propaganda and an incident that very likely never occurred:

“The stories we’ve been hearing over and over from our farmers and ranchers are tragic,” said Amber Hanson, associate director of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. A member this week reported a fatal attack on a calf two hours after it was born, Hanson said, adding, “When your only option is to scream at a wolf, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good.”

I would sure love to see official corroboration of this story but I have a feeling that like Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs this is just another fear mongering fairy tale used to further an agenda with the ultimate goal culminating in a second eradication of gray wolf populations in the lower 48. Think that is bad? These are actual the words of an elected congressman and are written into introduced legislation in our Congress.

A summary of Kline’s bill says that “the overpopulation of gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region contributes to the decline of livestock, pets and other animals in the wild.”

“Wolf attacks are a concern for farmers and livestock producers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where the overpopulation of gray wolves is directly linked to the decline of livestock and other animals,’’ Kline said in a statement Thursday. “This bipartisan legislation will remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list and return management to the states, providing greater flexibility and giving states exclusive jurisdiction over the wolves within their own borders.”

Overpopulation? “Decline” of livestock and PETS? Directly linked? Where are ANY of these things documented anywhere other than in the anti-wolf world of the internet? They are not. Wolves kill a a tiny number of livestock each year along with a number of HUNTING DOGS that are left to rampage through wolf territory. Are these the “pets” that this guy is referring to? Where is this “decline” in pets? Millions of pets are killed needlessly in animal shelters each year. Where is Kline’s outrage in that? Dogs owned by hounders are weapons and that is it to those people. Those people care nothing about their “shiteaters” and “culls” and only hope to get those nice fat $2500 checks from the Wisconsin DNR when a wolf allegedly kills one of their “family members.” Kline’s idea of “exclusive jurisdiction” means nothing less than eradication and we all know it.

Yes this guy really wrote the above propaganda and lies into proposed federal law. Outraged yet? These are the Teahadists and fake Democrats that have signed on to this bill thus far. The usual suspects appear here along with people that should be banished from the Democratic Party for eternity.

Rep. Benishek, Dan [R-MI-1]

Rep. Huizenga, Bill [R-MI-2]

Rep. Moolenaar, John R. [R-MI-4]

Rep. Pearce, Stevan [R-NM-2]

Rep. Grothman, Glenn [R-WI-6]

Rep. Peterson, Collin C. [D-MN-7]

Rep. Duffy, Sean P. [R-WI-7]

Rep. Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [R-WI-5]

Then we have the slightly less odorous bill from fellow Teahadist (G)Reed Ribble of Wisconsin that also seeks to delist wolves from ESA protections and allow states to continue with their reckless slaughter, and in the case of Wisconsin, continue their legalized 24/7/365 dog fighting. These bills also forbid Americans from exercising their right to challenge the delistings in court. An anti-democracy move if I have ever seen one. Every American should be horrified at this prospect but they are not. If it were a talentless attention whore rapper crashing an award show stage or deflated footballs some may actually care, but unfortunately it is not. It is only our entire democracy and future of endangered species at risk. No big deal. The Dems have proven to be pandering cowards that usually just go along with the GOPer anti-wildlife provisions while our supposedly “progressive” president signs right on because he is apparently too busy making stupid social media videos. His administration toots the horn of climate change and the environment while pandering and selling out wildlife at every turn. I don’t think there has ever been a more tone deaf president in our country’s history. He spits in the face of his supposed “base” since day one yet so-called progressives keep defending him at all turns. It’s time to tell our president that if he is truly a progressive then he needs to veto each and every anti-wildlife measure that ends up on his desk or he and his party will lose the environmentalists if he hasn’t already with his reckless actions.

Then we have fake “Democrats” like this Colin Peterson of Minnesota that “co-sponsored” both anti-wolf bills in the house and even supports weakening protections for elephants in Africa so that big money trophy killers can import the spoils of their bloodlust and greed. This guy is a perfect example of how corrupted and infiltrated the Democratic Party has become with right wing zealots that work to undermine environmental protections, wildlife protections, a woman’s right to choose, and healthcare access for all Americans. One look at the bills this guy introduced or sponsored shows what his true agenda is and that he damn sure isn’t a “Democrat.” Along with the wolf eradication bill he is also cosponsoring a bill that is a giveaway to trophy killers that want to kill African elephants and import the ivory from those kills into the United States. This bill was written along with notorious anti-wildlife Congressman Don Young of Alaska one of the most onerous and coldhearted people in that body. The ONLY other “sponsor?” The so-called “Democrat” Peterson.

The Future and Thinking Outside of the Box 

This is going to be a long fight and right now we are losing. The people in charge do not care what we think even though survey after survey and the ballot box shows that the majority of this country overwhelmingly support protections for wolves. Those in charge only care what the big money trophy killers, rural fear mongers, and their big ag puppet masters want or “believe.” We expect politicians to lie and manipulate things to suit their agenda. Both sides do it. But for a sitting United States Congressman and his “cosponsors” from both parties to sign on to a bill that is full of blatant lies and misinformation shows the true agenda of these people. It is not about “protecting” livestock, grandchildren, or any of the other nonsense they claim. It is about poking a finger into the eyes of the “liberals” and those of us that don’t buy into the big business of “killing is conservation” nonsense that they killing cartels and big ag have been shoveling down our throats for over a century.

We probably will not win his battle with the anti-wildlife factions in Congress and the White House, but all hope is not lost. It is up to us to start protecting what wolves we can on our own. Tribes in Minnesota recently made clear that wolves have sanctuary on their lands and trophy killer will not be allowed to partake in their bloodlust on these lands. We as wildlife advocates must also stop depending on state and federal government agencies to do the right thing. They won’t and only see $$$$$$. We need to think outside the box. We start that by beginning privately funded programs to buy wild lands and open spaces in wolf country and turn them into sanctuaries for all wildlife including wolves. This is thinking big but it may be the only hope our wolves have to avert eradication.

We need big ideas and this is just one of them. The government will not help or protect wildlife for anything other than for providing “hunter opportunity.” We need to get past the hopes of expecting them to actually help wildlife in any way. It is up to us to eventually provide these safe areas if it is not too late.

Outside of the box thinkers we need you to share your ideas with us. We need to put our money where our mouths are and provide our own safe areas for wildlife as our government will not. This is a big dream but it is a reachable dream if all wildlife advocates stop expecting the government and large groups to protect what we hold sacred. WE have to do this. WE have power in numbers and WE need to make these protected landscapes a reality.

Please share your ideas here in the comments section. In the meantime keep up the pressure on Congress and the White House to maintain ESA protections for our wolves and to oppose H.R. 843 and H.R. 884.

Find Your Senators and Representatives

Contact the White House 

Anti-Wolf Factions Using the Media to Fear Monger and Spread Misinformation…..What Else is New?

Photo by Cindi Micheau

Photo by Cindi Micheau

In the two weeks since a federal court ruling returned the Great Lakes gray wolf to their rightful place on the federal Endangered Species List there has been an organized effort among anti-wolf groups, bought and paid for politicians, and their newspaper “editorial board” allies to paint the judge’s ruling as “out of line” and not “science.” The editorial boards from various right leaning newspapers pretend that the reckless “management” plans of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan are what is needed to “manage” wolves and that with this ruling endless numbers of farm animals, pets, and grandchildren will be devoured by the big bad wolf.

The hysteria started last week with a press release from the Wisconsin State Senator, mining company shill, and anti-environment Tom Tiffany. Tiffany (R-GTAC) is long known for being bought and paid for by the mining interests that hope to rape and pillage the Penokee Hills in Northern Wisconsin and for pandering to anti-wolf/wildlife interests in Northern Wisconsin. Now Tiffany (R-GTAC) has put out a “press release” that along with quoting himself seeks to spread more misinformation along with the usual fear mongering he and his ilk are famous for.

“It should be disturbing to our federal representatives that a D.C. judge with little wildlife experience is overriding bipartisan agreement and the Great Lakes states’ ability to manage their individual wolf programs. Wisconsin has been using sound science in its management, and this judge’s decision was clearly not based in sound science,” added Tiffany.

“I also would call on incoming members of Congress to review the Endangered Species Act,” stated Tiffany. The decision will greatly impact our state’s whitetail deer population, agricultural community and our northern economy.”

Tiffany neglects to mention that the DNR itself has shown that wolves have minimal if any impact on the deer population in Wisconsin. He also fails to mention that those “pets” that wolves are killing a dogs trained to attack bears, coyotes, bobcats, and now wolves themselves. But when have industry shill politicians ever allowed facts to get in the way of some good fear mongering?

What should really be “disturbing” to federal representatives is that the term “science” has been whored out in typical right wing fashion to justify the mass slaughter of a just “recovered” species through the legalization of dog fighting and through reckless kill quotas. Then Tiffany jumps into the usual right wing “states rights” talking points:

Republican Tom Tiffany from Hazelhurst says U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell’s decision calling the state’s program “arbitrary and capricious” is out of line. “We have built a wolf program here in Wisconsin that works for Wisconsin. Wolf numbers are at all-time highs, yet she’s saying now that the Great Lakes states, the wolf should be put back on the endangered species list, and there’s no justification for that.”

All time highs? Really? The wolf population plummeted by 19 percent last winter and following this years “legal” and illegal slaughter those numbers are expected to plummet even more. Apparently it’s those pesky facts getting in the way of another misleading talking point again.

Tiffany, like many landowners and lawmakers, believes the federal government is infringing on states rights under pressure from environmentalists. “I think it’s just a very important issue because it really is the federal government intervening to prevent states from being able to manage wildlife populations, and doing it in an inappropriate manner. It’s the extreme environmentalists who always run to the federal courts when they can’t get their way in a state Legislature.”

Funny how people like Tiffany (R-GTAC) seem to have no problem when federal courts intervene and shoot down laws that they disagree with (Obamacare, Hobby Lobby, etc.) but they have a major problem with it when the courts rule against their interests. This seems to be the overriding mindset among the modern right wing and especially in the one party ruled Wisconsin. The concept of “Separation of Powers” is an affront to bought and paid for politicians like Tiffany (R-GTAC). Tiffany (R-GTAC) also seems to have a major problem with control at any level of government unless it is from him. This is what you voted for Wisconsin so now this is what you are going to get.

In addition to the anti-wolf fear mongering from Tiffany (R-GTAC), newspaper “editorial boards” are now jumping to the defense of Wisconsin’s reckless wolf slaughter and pretending that “science” plays a role in how wolves are “managed” in this state. As usual the anti-wolf Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are masters at rehashing DNR talking points and rewriting history:

Since the gray wolf in Wisconsin was taken off the endangered species list, the state Department of Natural Resources generally has done a good job of responsibly managing the population and conducting three wolf hunt seasons. Now a federal district judge has ruled that the delisting was “arbitrary and capricious” and has restored all federal protections for the wolves.

Good job? Mass overkill in specific zones? Legalized 24/7/365 hounding? Exceeding the kill quota each of the three years? Stacking the “Wolf Advisory Committee with anti-wolf groups? Good job? Are you kidding me? Yeah they are doing a “good job” alright. A good job ushering in the second eradication of this species from the state. Even more disturbing is how these “editorial boards” seem to think poaching is something that “comes with the territory.”

That’s not good news for some farmers and landowners in wolf territory and it may not be such great news for the wolf. The ruling could result in further livestock and other losses due to a growing wolf population and more illegal killings of wolves by angry landowners. Landowners need to keep their tempers in check and authorities need to enforce the protections, but the ruling by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., needs to be revisited.

Later in the propaganda “editorial” the Journal Sentinel pretends that the wolf isn’t under threat but maybe there should be some changes to state law, like removing that little thing about legalized dog fighting. But overall they think that the bear hounder dominated DNR is doing a “good job” with gradually eradicating the wolf population for a second time under the guise of “management.”

The parameters set by the Legislature in establishing wolf hunts weren’t perfect; in particular in allowing the use of dogs. Some changes in the law are warranted.

But the gray wolf population is an endangered species success story. It has rebounded from just about zero to at least 660 wolves in late winter 2013-’14, down from an estimated high of 834 in 2012, according to the DNR. The return of the wolf is a wonderful thing for the state and its natural habitat; it shows we can restore some of the natural treasures that have been lost.

But it also comes with a price. Wolves have been responsible for some attacks on livestock and pets, and more of that is possible as the population grows. It seems to me that a state-managed hunt with quotas is a reasonable check on that growth, albeit with some changes in the state law. Refusing to allow the state any role in managing the population would be a mistake.

No. Allowing a state like Wisconsin to have ANY role in “managing” this species is the mistake. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel propaganda is nothing compared to a recent “editorial” that begs for some of that “big government” intervention to overturn the federal judge’s ruling and eliminate all ESA protections for wolves nationwide.

This time, the alarmists are not crying “Wolf.” They’re crying “Too few wolves.”

But the effect will be the same: a cynical public not only ignoring the calls, but also resenting the groups that keep raising false alarms.

Expect a backlash, in the form of Congress taking control of wolf populations out of the hands of activists and judges and giving it back to wildlife biologists, where it belongs.

It has happened before. It should happen again. And if it does, it’ll be well deserved.

Cynical public? The same cynical public that voted in Michigan to overwhelmingly support continued protections for wolves and the Wisconsin DNR survey showing widespread support here as well? That cynical public? Or like Tom Tiffany (R-GTAC) and the Wisconsin DNR is the only “public” that matters to this writer the extreme anti-wolf right wing? The author of this “editorial,” Tom Dennis, writes for the Grand Forks Herald out of North Dakota. North Dakota is known as an anti-wildlife state that has very few if any wolves. Should the opinion of this guy mean any more or less than that of the citizens that overwhelmingly support wolf protections in the Great Lakes? It shouldn’t but unfortunately it seems to be part of a concentrated effort by anti-wolf factions to put out tired and disproven talking points to undermine the decision by Judge Howell. This “editorial” along with several others seems to be taking the word of trapper and wolf biologist turned pro-wolf killing shill, L. David Mech as the only “authority” on this. Mech turned his back on wolves a long time ago and has since become one of the biggest voices that the anti-wolf factions like to quote to support their eradication and persecution agenda. Dennis then writes what may be the most insulting and inflammatory “opinions” I have yet seen in mainstream media on this topic:

Congress has intervened in this issue before. In 2011, lawmakers forced the delisting of gray wolves in Montana and Idaho in accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Service’s wishes, but over the court’s objections.

Today, lawmakers should offer up the same remedy, letting federal and state wildlife managers do the job for which they were trained: manage wildlife. When an animal no longer is either threatened or endangered, it simply doesn’t belong on the threatened or endangered species list, regardless of whether the animal’s numbers are back to where they were in 1492. Biological success trumps only-on-paper endangerment every time.

Nice that the word “biology” has been whored out to the anti-wolf factions as well according to this “editorial.” Like Tom Tiffany (R-GTAC) the anti-wolf factions in the media have their taking points and marching orders down to a “science.” This includes the “outdoors writers” like the kill everything, Patrick Durkin. Durkin is no stranger to insulting wolf and wildlife advocates with his inflammatory justifications for killing animals in every conceivable way but now he crosses into the domain of the rabid anti-wolf factions by calling advocates “wolf worshippers.”

We see examples of the wolf’s fabled influence in reactions to Howell’s ruling. Without bothering to read the ruling, some wolf worshipers declared that outdoors-folks “brought this on themselves” by hunting and trapping wolves, and pursuing them with hounds.

No “outdoor folks” didn’t bring this on themselves. Rabid hate filled anti-wolf sadists brought this on themselves. If Durkin would take the time to read the ruling himself it faults the entire process by which the USFWS issued the delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes and hidden between the lines are faults in how the states chose to “manage” the gray wolf. People like Durkin like to pretend that there are not entire websites devoted to the eradication of this animal. They like to pretend that poaching isn’t ignored by the very same state agencies that they carry water for. Finally people like Durkin like to pretend that agencies like the Wisconsin DNR will always do the “right” thing when it comes to “managing” a species. They do none of these things and Durkin damn well knows that. But again we can’t let facts get in the way of talking points. Durkin also makes sure to quote Mech, bring up the poaching angle, and also expects Congress to step in. Even more laughable is the same tired talking point that killing seasons on wolves breed “tolerance” for the species. Yeah we sure saw that “tolerance” grow with the past three years of slaughter, didn’t we?

Unfortunately, Howell’s ruling could have unintended consequences, such as turning wolves into symbols of outside interference and overreaching government. Poaching could increase if locals think the federal government favors wolf interests over theirs. In contrast, new research by Erik Olson at UW-Madison found that illegal behavior could be moderated with “responsible and effective wildlife management programs,” which includes regulated hunting and trapping.

It seems that the above “wink and nod” threat of poaching if the wolf haters don’t get their way isn’t just reserved for the likes of Durkin. Even more brazen are the words of Wolf Advisory Committee member and big ag shill, Eric Koens.

Eric Koens owns a cattle ranch in Rusk County and represents the livestock industry on a state wolf advisory committee. Koens said many landowners don’t think non-lethal ways of controlling wolves work very well, and are debating what to do now.

“Well, I guess everybody is going to have to do what they feel is best for their operation,” said Koens. “I certainly believe that we as livestock producers have a right to protect our interests on our property … That’s our business. We pay taxes on our farm to raise livestock.”

Am I reading this wrong or did this guy just advocate for the poaching of a species that is currently protected under federal law? Remember this is who Cathy Stepp and the Wisconsin DNR allow to control wolf policy in this state. Not content having committee members that allegedly bragged about “gut shooting” wolves, now we have this guy essentially saying that wolves can be illegally killed if that is what is “best for their operation.” And wolves don’t need federal protection? If the anti-wolf factions keep pumping out quotes like this then they are doing our job for us. Isn’t it obvious by now that the anti-wolf politicians, “outdoors” writers, and “editorial” shills don’t wish to see the gray wolf “managed” responsibly? They want to see the gray wolf brought down to the lowest possible numbers if not completely eradicated. They are laying out their entire game plan for all of us to see and we need to be ready for it.

All of these anti-wolf elements are parroting the same talking points and are pretending that the mass slaughter of the past three years was “responsible,” “scientific,” and uses sound “biology.” They neglect to mention that hate filled websites exist advocating for the poisoning, torture, poaching, and eradication of this species in between the racism and hate of all things “liberal.” They neglect to mention that the legislative measures used to authorize the state slaughters were done with political motives in mind rather than with the “scientific” ones as they claim. The very states that authorized mass killing over established quotas, state sanctioned dog fighting, and the exclusion of wildlife advocates from any decision making about this species now want to pretend that they are the “victims” and were wronged by this judge’s ruling? Really? Now they expect the hated “big gubmint” to come in and “save” the day by further weakening the Endangered Species Act? We cannot let them do this. No other species has such hate and vitriol directed their way. People like Durkin bemoan the emotions that “wolf worshippers” have toward this species while neglecting to point out that hate is also a strong emotion that is abundantly on display by the very anti-wolf factions that he seems to be sympathetic toward. Funny how caring and empathy toward another species is viewed as a “bad” and “unscientific” emotion yet hate and foaming at the mouth vitriol is apparently “scientific” and has a basis in “biology.”

The writing is on the wall that Congress and the Obama Administration will do everything that they can to undermine the protections for the gray wolf and further weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) along with it. It’s time for for the so-called Democrats in the Senate with any backbone to do what the anti-environment factions have been doing to them for the past few years. They need to stand up and block any and every “rider,” or legislation that seeks to remove federal protections for gray wolves or further weakens the ESA. The rabid right wing in this country likes to pretend that President Obama is this raging “liberal” when he is the farthest thing from it. The wolf haters should be huge fans of Obama because he apparently despises wolves and the environment as much as they do. We cannot trust him or his allies in Congress. We must be vigilant and stay ahead of the curve. It is clear that the anti-wolf factions intend to have a legislative “fix” to continue on the path toward eradication for the gray wolf nationwide. We cannot let that happen.

Contact your Representatives and Senators below and tell them that if they want support from their supposed “constituents” that the wolves, the ESA, and the environment should NEVER be used as bargaining chips to appease destructive special interests. In the meantime please remain vigilant and do not hesitate to call out the fear mongering and misinformation being spread in the media. I will do my part but I need to your help as well.

Find Your Senators and Representatives