Turning up the Heat Against Idaho’s Predator Derby: Last week we shared with you that we’re taking BLM to task for its approval of a wolf killing contest now slated to occur in January on wide expanses of public lands outside of Salmon, Idaho. Even after Defenders members submitted over 100,000 comments in opposition to the proposal, BLM approved the derby, failing to address the many potential adverse impacts from such an event, including impacts on local and regional wolf populations. If there’s any silver lining here, it is that this BLM’s approval is already getting significant news coverage. Having this news in the national spotlight will hopefully put more pressure on Department of the Interior to stop this before it occurs. And, you can be sure that we won’t stop working to put an end to this killing contest – in the courts, in the media, and on the ground with our members. Stay tuned!
Secretary Jewell has the power to reverse the BLM’s decision. Tell her to use it!
Red Wolf Recovery Program Reviewed: This week, the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI), an independent nonprofit conservation organization, provided an evaluation of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s recovery program for red wolves. At Defenders, we feel the review signals that a more robust and throughout evaluation is needed. In response to the plan, Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark said: “This Wildlife Management Institute report shows that red wolves still have a long road ahead of them, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hasn’t finished the job. The report makes several points that echo Defenders of Wildlife’s stance on what red wolves needs to recover, including more room, better public support and an improved recovery plan based in sound science.”
Wolf Champion in Congress Takes On New Leadership Role: This week, Congressman Grijalva from Arizona was elected as Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with preserving America’s public lands, nation’s parks, fisheries, wildlife, as well as oversight over Native American affairs and mineral land laws. Rep. Grijalva continues to be a champion for wolves and we’re thrilled to see him move into this important position in Congress. Earlier this year, Grijalva co-authored a letter — signed by 85 other bi-partisan Representatives — in which he urged Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to maintain Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for gray wolves in the US. Our congratulations go out to Rep. Grijalva for this well-deserved honor!
The post Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up appeared first on Defenders of Wildlife Blog.
Update: November 21, 2014
Putting this all together, adding the current 2014 wolf mortality numbers of 443, plus the 1827 wolves killed during 2013/early 2014, minus the 11 wolves who died of natural causes, adds up to2256 wolves killed between January 2013 and November 21, 2014. They were wiped out by hunters, poachers, Wildlife Service control actions, ranchers and accidents. I believe the numbers are much higher than this. Many more wolves have been killed illegally and will never be counted, so we can only speculate on those numbers but I’m sure they’re not insignificant.
In less than 23 months over 2200 wolves have been killed! This is an absolute outrage. Wolves cannot sustain these high mortality rates. Something must be done to stop the carnage.
In the coming days I’ll be exploring a way in which wolf advocates may be able to challenge this slaughter. It’s been written about and discussed but hasn’t been tested.
November 20, 2014
My previous post dealt with the ongoing number of wolves killed in 2014. This post deals with total 2013/early 2014 wolf mortality in the Northern Rockies/Great Lakes. It’s a huge number! A slaughter! What’s behind this madness? It’s certainly not because wolves are harming humans or are a threat to the livestock industry.
From Wildearth Guardians:
Myth: Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, and others kill lots of cattle.
Truth: Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agriculture report.
The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife – it’s illness and weather. Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native carnivores.
The livestock predation myth is a big lie imposed on the American public. While lethal predator control does little to help the fat cats of agribusiness, it ensures that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business. While the feds assault millions of our native wolves, bears, cougars, and coyotes, the true cattle killers are illness and weather. The Wildlife Services’ lethal predator control program must end, and the taxpayers, wildlife, and wildlands will reap the benefits.
Read the full report here
Wolves are being wiped out in record numbers, driven by a hate filled anti-wolf movement . Their numbers are small but unfortunately for wolves, the haters dominate policy in wolf states. They also have powerful allies, like The Safari Club, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, Cattlemen’s Association, etc. The profit motive is also driving the killing machine. State fish and game agencies win in two ways, a top predator is killed off to inflate ungulate numbers for their customers, the hunters and the state makes money off the sale of wolf hunt tags. Wolves are also the target of ranchers, Wildlife Services and poachers. Anywhere wolves turn, they’re in danger. Even Yellowstone National Park wolves aren’t safe. Many collared park wolves have been shot by hunters when they step one toe outside the park. The most famous wolf in the world, the Lamar Canyon alpha female, better known as O6 (her birth year), was killed by a hunter’s bullet.
No wolf is safe in America.
Northern Rockies: 2013 Wolf mortality
Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery
Program 2013 Interagency Annual Report
Northern Rockies or NRM -2013 Wolf Mortality
In 2013, 922 wolves were killed in the Northern Rockies. This USFWS chart, shows the breakdown of wolves mortality in each state. Hunting (Harvest), Control, Human (Poaching/Accidents), Natural Causes, Unknown.
Idaho – 335 wolves
Montana – 473 wolves
Wyoming – 109 wolves
Oregon – 3 wolves
Washington – 2 wolves
Total 2013 Northern Rockies: 922dead wolves
Great Lakes -2013/early 2014 Wolf Mortality
Unlike the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes states combine 2013/2014 wolf mortality numbers. In my previous post I did not include the 2013/2014 wolf hunt mortality numbers in that total.
2013/2014 Hunt 238 wolves (previous hunt in 2012 killed 413wolves)
2013/2014 Control Actions 127 wolves killed (previous control actions in 2012 killed 295 wolves)
*No numbers for poaching, accidents or natural mortality
Total wolf mortality Minnesota 2013/2014: 365 wolves
Wolf hunt 2013/2014: 334 wolves
Control actions 2013/2014: 65 wolves
Total wolf mortality Wisconsin 2013/2014: 429 wolves
Wolf hunt 2013 : 23 wolves
Control actions: Since there’s no breakdown on the number of wolves killed in control actions between 2012-2013 I’m going to half the 73 control action numbers to 36 for 2013. *No numbers for accidents, poaching or natural mortality.
Total wolf mortality Michigan 2013: 109 wolves
Great Lakes/Total Wolf Mortality 2013/early 2014 – 903 wolves
March 2013, 1 radio collared female wolf, from Wisconsin, found dead
1 year old male wolf killed by a deer hunter -2013
Total wolf mortality Northern Rockies/Great Lakes - 2013/early 2014 - 1827 dead wolves!
Top photo: USFWS - Bottom Photo: Idaho Wild Wolf Images Copyright 2011 - Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars, Animal cruelty.
443 wolves killed 2014 - 426 wolves have been wiped out since the beginning of 2014. Pups, alphas, whole packs, gone. The majority have been slaughtered in the ongoing Idaho, Montana, Minnesota and Wisconsin wolf hunts. 17 wolves were killed in Wyoming’s “predator zone” before a federal judge recently relisted them. 3 wolves were killed in Washington state, even though they’re “protected” there. The Huckleberry Pack alpha female was shot by a WDFW sharpshooter from the air, the alpha female of the Teanaway Pack and a female wolf from the Smackout Pack, were both poached. And I’m not even counting wolves killed by Wildlife Services this year or wolves killed in the 2014 part of the 2013/2014 hunts. That would push the total much higher.
The saddest part of all this are the hunts are far from over. Wildlife Services killings are not over.
This has to stop, we are traveling down that long, dark road of wolf eradication.
Please don’t give up on wolves, be their voice! Speak out for them, they’re suffering, in the cold, in traps, shot, snared, torn from their families! We must work to end this nightmare! We are their only voice!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just approved a commercial wolf and predator-killing derby in Idaho. What’s worse, the agency has authorized the event to take place once every year for the next five years!
Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, has the power to reverse this decision. She needs to use it.
Tell Secretary Jewell that killing wolves and other predators for commercial gain on publicly owned land is just plain wrong.
Introduced by a “hunters’ rights organization,” this kill-fest will make a competitive, commercialized sport of killing wolves and other predators. And, it will take place on federal public land – that’s land that belongs to you and me!
Contests like these have no place in the 21st Century. They are a throwback to times past, when wolves and other predators were seen as vermin. The federal government shouldn’t be encouraging and endorsing this outdated thinking, and it certainly shouldn’t be hosting thrill kill competitions.
Please take action TODAY, and help us stop this atrocious event!
Killing Contests Don’t Belong on America’s Public Lands
WildEarth Guardians - A group of anti-carnivore zealots want to slaughter wolves and coyotes for sport and the Bureau of Land Management just gave them the green light to do so on your public lands in Idaho. Even worse the approval is for five years!
We’ve gone to court to stop the madness and now we want your help to tell Secretaries Jewell and Vilsak to stop this killing contest.
We are outraged and disgusted that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service are allowing a vocal minority of wolf-haters to hold body-count killing contests on our public lands. Tell Secretaries Jewell and Vilsack that killing contests are unacceptable.
The event’s sponsor claims their shameful and mindless persecution of animals is a “family event” intended to get kids outdoors. Interior Secretary Jewell has said she wants to use her power as Interior Secretary to get more kids outside—we certainly hope this isn’t what she meant. Let Secretary Jewell know Americans think massacring animals and calling it “family fun” is offensive and reprehensible.
Killing contests ignore science and perpetuate false stereotypes about important species like wolves and coyotes that play essential roles in healthy, vibrant ecosystems.
Though the BLM and Forest Service are responsible for protecting the health and integrity of our public lands, those agencies are aiding and abetting the bloodshed.
Tell them to stop bowing to anti-wildlife extremists and instead to protect our native carnivores.
Emergency Suit to Stop Wolf-killing Derby in Idaho
Center for Biological Diversity - Bad news: The Bureau of Land Management just approved the Idaho “Predator Derby” on public land. In January 500 hunters will descend on Salmon, Idaho for two days of “family friendly” wolf slaughter for fun and prizes. Even worse, this approval would apply to the next five years as well. We’re filing an emergency suit to stop it, and we need your help.
To fund this suit, a dedicated wildlife champion has stepped forward with a challenge: She’ll give $2 for every $1 you give, tripling your gift to the Predator Defense Fund in the next few weeks.
The Center for Biological Diversity is going to court to ask for an emergency order to shut down the derby before it starts. We’ll take on Idaho’s powerful wolf-hating politicians — men like Gov. Butch Otter and Congressman Raul Labrador — and do everything we can to pull the brakes on this sick, publicly subsidized kill-fest.
The Center is saving wolves across the country. We helped stop the Wyoming wolf hunt, got a hired government killer out of Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness, and just filed suit to force the government to adopt a proper wolf recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves. We know how to win for wolves and we’ll win in Idaho.
Help us stop this grotesque killing competition. Make a gift to the Predator Defense Fund today and your gift will be tripled with a generous 2-to-1 match.
Wolves shouldn’t be slaughtered for fun and prizes on public lands. The war to save wolves is fought one battle at a time, and this one is crucial. We’re ready to go. Join us.
‘Predator Hunt Derby’ in Idaho Has Environmentalists Screaming
BOISE, Idaho (CN) – An “Idaho Predator Hunt Derby” targeting gray wolves, coyotes and even starlings is unprecedented and illegal, environmentalists claim in two federal lawsuits.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved the “Idaho Predator Hunt Derby,” which gives special permit holders the right to kill gray wolves and coyotes on three million acres of federal and private land in eastern and Central Idaho.
Up to 500 entrants can register annually for the five-year, three-day competition, which begins Jan. 1, 2015.
Targets of the derby, which is open to youth hunters, include skunks, weasels, jackrabbits, raccoons and European starlings. Hunters will be awarded cash and prizes for the most, and biggest kills.
BLM approval of the derby has thrown advocacy groups into a frenzy.
Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and Project Coyote sued the BLM and its District Manager Joseph Kraayenbrink on Nov. 13, saying the derby goes against everything they, and the federal government, has strived for.
“Gray wolves were protected under the ESA [Endangered Species Act] for more than 30 years in the Northern Rockies due to human persecution … and the federal government invested heavily in winning the social acceptance of wolves through the wolf reintroduction program,” the environmentalists say in the 33-page lawsuit.
On the same day, WildEarth Guardians, Cascadia Wildlands and Boulder-White Clouds Council filed a nearly identical lawsuit against the same defendants, describing the derby as a “killing contest.”
Both lawsuits claim the killing contests violate the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.
The derby was conceived by the group Idaho for Wildlife, a Salmon, Idaho-based group that is dedicated to “protect[ing] Idaho’s hunting and fishing heritage,” according to its website.
The derby comes as no surprise to environmentalists who have chimed in on almost two decades of controversy brought about by the wolf’s reintroduction to the wilds.
Three dozen gray wolves, then a protected species under the Endangered Species Act, were brought in from Canada under the federal government’s reintroduction program in 1995.
The wolf has been a contentious issue in Idaho ever since, creating an ideological chasm between hunters and ranchers, who say the wolves have decimated elk and other herds, and environmentalists who say they are part of the natural ecosystem.
The animal was delisted in 2009 based on significantly rebounded numbers. Consequently, wolf hunting seasons were established.
Today some 650 wolves roam the forests of Idaho, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. There were once more than 350,000 in the Western U.S. before hunting and trapping devastated the population.
The BLM has authority under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to regulate permits, including special use permits, for the use of public lands (for nonprofit uses), according to both complaints.
Under the FLPMA, however, the BLM is obligated to “proactively” protect “sensitive species,” including the gray wolf.
The plaintiffs say the BLM violated NEPA by not preparing a full Environmental Impact Statement on the effects the derby will have on animals and the environment.
Competitive hunting for wolves on public lands in Idaho has never before been authorized, according to the plaintiffs, who say the derby is “incompatible with modern-day wildlife management principles and ethical hunting practices. Indeed, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has a policy to ‘not support any contests or similar activities involving the taking of predators, which may portray hunting in an unethical fashion, devalue the predator, and which may be offensive to the general public.’”
The BLM has received more than 100,000 comments from people in Idaho and around the world, including Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, scientists and other organizations who oppose the Idaho Predator Hunt Derby, according to the Defenders complaint.
The WildEarth complaint added another aspect of the derby they say is cause for concern – public safety.
“The contest occurs in the middle of the holidays on the weekend following New Years Day,” the complaint states. “During this time, many families have time off work, can recreate on public lands and head out to test out new skis, snowshoes, sleds, snowsuits and snowmobiles. The derby concentrates shooters on public lands.”
The BLM approved the hunt based on only a “cursory Environmental Assessment, Finding No Significant Impact and Decision of Record, which are riddled with factual and scientific misstatements, omissions and legal errors; and which fail to address the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts associated with BLM’s approval of the proposed derby,” the WildEarth plaintiffs claim.
In addition, “the BLM Manual states that any action to control predators should be undertaken in certain limited circumstance – e.g. to prevent disease transmission, to protect livestock … or to enhance recovery of endangered or threatened species – none of which are present here,” the Defenders’ complaint states.
The groups want the approval set aside and enjoined as arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and illegal under the FLPMA, NEPA and APA.
The Defender’s are represented by Laurence “Laird” Lucas, with advocates for the West, of Boise, and Amy Atwood, with the Center for Biological Diversity, in Portland, Ore.
The WildEarth plaintiffs’ lead counsel is Celeste Miller, with McDevitt & Miller, of Boise, Idaho.
For the first time in more than 40 years, nearly every gray wolf in the Lower 48 could be stripped of protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could announce its final decision to delist wolves any day now.
If they do move forward with delisting, it will mean they’ve ignored the recommendations of their own scientific peer review panel – and leave wolves at the mercy of extreme anti-wolf state politicians, putting the recovery of wolves everywhere at grave risk.
We can’t let that happen.
With your help, we’re launching an Emergency Protection Fund for Wolves. Will you be among the first supporters?
To get the fund off to the strongest possible start, generous donors have agreed to match your gift, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $150,000.
Your support will help give us the extra resources we need to protect wolves where and when they need it most.
- Our legal team is already gearing up for a monumental legal battle to uphold the law and restore federal ESA protection to wolves;
- We’re stepping up our presence in battleground states like Idaho, where extreme anti-wolf politicians have caused the deaths of more than 1,400 wolves since 2009 and made a mockery of wolf conservation;
- We’re going to states like California and Oregon, where there’s plenty of suitable wolf habitat, and where pro-wolf voices ring loud and clear;
- And we are tirelessly organizing – in neighborhoods, online, and through the media – to make it clear to our elected officials that most Americans want wolves in their world.
Please be among the first to donate generously to our Emergency Protection Fund for Wolves. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $150,000 until 11:59pm EST on November 21st.
I want to be clear on one thing: Whatever happens in the coming days, this fight is far from over.
Thanks to you, in 1967, Defenders of Wildlife was the first organization to propose reintroducing wolves. In 1995, we were there when a new generation of wolves first set foot in Yellowstone National Park and the central Idaho wilderness. Every day since, we have fought in court, in Congress, and in statehouses across the country to make sure wolves get a fighting chance to survive.
With people like you at my side, I remain steadfastly optimistic.
© Who Is She Music, Inc. (BMI)
there is the tower
like a solitary flower
standing in the snow
as the wolves all wait below
and you’re walking on the ledge
throwing bread crusts off the edge
as you sing in voice so clear
and my name I think I hear
concealed within the theme
then it disappears as steam
and I’m standing far below
watching wolves you seem to know
as your voice still carries on
in your never-ending song
and my blood begins to boil
and my bones melt into oil
hissing liquid in the snow
as my body sinks below
and a ripple sends a beam
of sunlight dancing through the steam
my now unfettered soul
has direction I control
to your tower I draw near
but do I see a trace of fear?
the approaching sound of hooves
now scatters all the wolves
you briefly watch the horseman ride
then you quickly run inside
the rider’s weapons gleam
while the horse’s nostrils steam
there’s no time to reflect, who
is this man? I must protect you
in the rider’s hand I see
he holds your prison’s only key
he glances up and glares
and then he starts to climb the stairs
I can tell you’re terrified
so I quickly go inside
but then I hear a fateful scream
and your soul joins mine as steam
we escaped the dreadful night
and as lovers soared in flight
blissful weeks turned into seasons
but one day without a reason
or goodbye you flew below
back to the animals you know
now you forever sing your song
with the wolves where you belong
now quite alone I often dream
I hear you singing through the steam