Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Black bear diaries: The pending murder of my mother, my brother, my sister, my cubs


“The fear of bears comes out of the hunting culture. To feel good about killing these animals, we have to make them out to be ferocious. … They are misrepresented.” — Charlie Russell, bear man of Kamchatka

Wednesday, Sept. 9, the bear kill started, continuing for 35 days of what can only be called genocide (Webster’s: “the systematic extermination of a cultural group”). A record number of kill licenses, 10,690, have been sold with the goal of killing 4,750 bears, a 19 percent kill rate by Department of Natural Resources estimate. To put that in proportion to the Wisconsin human population, that will impact bears like killing more than 1 million humans in Wisconsin would impact us. It is horrifying carnage of a peaceful indigenous population, much like that inflicted on the American Indians.

In 2014, 70.7 percent of the male bears killed were less than 2 years old, as were 49 percent of the females killed. Of 4,526 bears killed, half were male, half female. Bears do not breed until they are 3 or 4 years old, yet the DNR continues to estimate higher bear populations.

Oddly enough, on a DNR survey polling only bear hunters, 69.9 percent agree or strongly agree that “bears are special animals that deserve our admiration” while only 8.7 percent disagree. Answering the question of concern about personal safety outdoors with bears (while killing them), only 17.5 percent agree while 60.8 percent disagree or strongly disagree that there is risk of personal danger. Evidently hunting culture has indoctrinated these people to think killing is a way to express admiration. Could they be enlightened to become bear champions since scientists are warning that we must cut trophy killing by 80-90 percent?

Three stories about bears can give a perspective on the character of men and of bears:

A children’s book, “The Bear Who Heard Crying,” was written by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, a descendant of the family whose story she tells. It is the true story of 3-year-old Sarah Whitcher, living in New Hampshire in 1783. Sarah’s parents leave their woodland cabin for the day, with Sarah in the care of her siblings and large black family dog. Sarah wanders off and is not missed until they return. The community rallies and for three days they search for her. On the third evening, the family and friends find the child’s footprints — and with them the footprints of a bear. They plan to come back the next day to find her body, but in the morning they find Sarah. She tells them she cried and cried and that a large black dog slept with her every night protecting her and keeping her warm. The tracks tell that a mother bear had protected her as a crying cub.

Charlie Russell and his wife raised a couple of orphan grizzly cubs in Kamchatka, Russia. He has enjoys companionable relationships with black bears. I treasure a picture of a large black bear walking beside him. The bear’s paw is resting on Charlie’s back as they seem to be in deep conversation. This short video of him talking about the character of bears reveals all that is lost by human misunderstanding and cruelty. He says that bears have so many negative experiences with humans, “eventually they do not like us very much, which is what can make them dangerous.” Russell says that bears want to get along with us: “We can do so much better than tolerating them. We can have compassion for these beautiful animals.”

We need to understand them just as we would listen to people from a different country and open ourselves to communicating in new ways, enriching all of our lives.

In early 2000, when bear hounding was being reviewed by the Wisconsin Legislature, over 2,500 letters and emails against continuing it came into the Legislature, dwarfing the few hundred lobbying to continue. Rep. DuWayne Johnsrud, a hunter with a large bear hide over his office couch (and the man who hosted a mourning dove roast in his office), was chair of the Natural Resources Committee. He was under enough pressure against killing bears that he told me that he thought that shortly hunters would be allowed only to shoot bears with paint balls to identify their “trophy,” leaving them alive. (This is a very good idea.) Reading through the 400 hand-written letters, I found one letter particularly touching.

The letter was written by a retired homicide detective who had followed a truck carrying a dead bear into the registration station. He wrote that the bear was so small that he was sure it was not legally killed. (It is legal to kill any bear 42 inches from rump to nose, which is any spring cub.) While the men went in to register the bear, he examined the body. He found 11 holes in the bear from arrows and he could tell that the bear had not died a humane death. The bear weighed less than 90 pounds. When the men came back to the truck, he asked them about the killing. They said that they had let dogs loose on the bear. They shot it a few times with arrows, and it climbed a tree, but fell back to the ground. They “let the dogs have some fun with it” and then finished it off with more arrows. He asked them what they would do with the bear. They said, “It is too small — we are throwing it in the trash.”

Another wrote, “If you have ever heard a bear crying in the woods all night, you know this should be ended.”

Citizens can sign and network a new Wildlife Ethic petition against trophy killing Wisconsin bears.

Please contact your federal representatives and ask them to oppose the bills attacking the Endangered Species Act, compiled by the Center for Biological Diversity.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Emergency Stop to Killing 4,750 Black Bears Mostly Cubs over Dogs in WI Sept.9 – Oct. 13

URGENT: Please sign and enroll at least 10 friends in signing Wildlife Ethic’s petition against slaughtering 4,750 Wisconsin bears, mostly cubs, NEXT WEEK:


In one week, Sept. 9 – October 13, will start the slaughter of 4,750 black bears, mostly cubs less than 2 years old, over unlimited packs of dogs and bait. These bears will be run to exhaustion in this late summer heat, as they have been all summer ( for the entertainment of “families”) and when they climb the trees they love thinking themselves safe, they will be shot with multiple arrows or gunshots and fall 60-70 foot to the dogs below. Then the “hunters” who have followed the radio-collared dogs in their trucks, will “let the dogs have some fun” with the dying or wounded bear, attacking the bear, and then take home a baby bear rug for their man cave to their “glory”.

Children 10-11 years old are in this “game” and pay $7 to kill a bear. $49 for grown men and women to enjoy this killing. More bears are killed in Wisconsin every year than anywhere in the country. And the state killing agency is proud of it. 26,500 black bears, peaceful, frightened families of bears, have been killed in the past 6 years – leaving cubs who need their mothers to den the first year, to wander until they starve or freeze.

Scientists came out August 20 with results of a wide survey of natural large mammals being trophy killed in the world, and have urged us to end trophy killing or cut it by 80-90% if we are to sustain cougars, wolves, bears and African wildlife on this planet. 109,000 people pay to be in the lottery to kill our bears and 10,600 will be out killing over the next five weeks. Please help us network this and get a million signatures against the crime against nature and decency now.

Please not only sign and comment, but find 10 friends who commit to signing and networking it on to 10 of their friends. We need to at least match the efforts of 109,000 men and women who pay $4.50 and are willing to take their time and money to KILL our bears – with just signatures as our weapons. PLEASE HELP OUR BEARS.

Please join our membership at to help us table at event, print flyers to hand out at events, and stand up for our wildlife who have no way to voice their suffering or protect themselves.

Read more at:

Thank you.

Patricia Randolph

State Journalist

Madravenspeak living wildlife column

Capital Times newspaper and


1 Comment

Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Jane Goodall condemns trophy hunting as sadistic


Indeed, Palmer is not the only hunter deserving of our contempt and anger. Far from it.” ~ Jane Goodall

Trophy hunting should be stopped in Wisconsin today, with an emergency stop to the September bear slaughter. This You Tube video shows a Wisconsin bow hunter, safely hidden, killing one of our bears over bait. His sadistic thrill, glorying in the blood trail, is followed by the usual triumphant trophy pictures.

Jane Goodall posted a strong condemnation of trophy hunting Aug. 20 after learning that Cecil the lion’s brother, Jericho, had abandoned Cecil’s cubs and one had already been killed by a rival male. “Almost certainly the other cubs will be killed as well,” she lamented.

She expresses the grief and outrage being felt worldwide as men and women serially kill our world’s wildlife: “And the question we should ask ourselves is this: Just because he was named, and loved and part of a scientific study, does that make him any different, in the world of the lion, than the other lions killed by ‘sport’ hunters? All those splendid individuals whose decapitated heads disfigure the walls of countless wealthy homes?”

Goodall cites another trophy hunter, Sabrina Corgatelli, who “began boastfully posting pictures of herself grinning gleefully as she poses with the various animals she has been killing (including a large giraffe).”

In the face of the public sorrow over the killing of Cecil and his cubs dying, Corgatelli was gloating over her kill. “’Such an amazing animal!! I couldn’t be any happier!! My emotion after getting him was a feeling I will never forget!!!’” As the anger poured in, she, the entitled one, promised many more trophy kill pictures for her “haters.”

Many hunters seem to enjoy the suffering of people who care about animals as much as they thrill at their killing. They know they have the “right” to kill. Why doesn’t the majority who doesn’t kill have an equal right to protect?

A recent article by Kerry Sheridan, Agence France-Presse, describing a study in the journal Science, says: “Humans are super-predators that upset the natural balance on Earth by killing far too many adult animals and fish, scientists said Thursday (Aug. 20), urging a focus on catching fewer and smaller creatures. … And humans slaughter large land carnivores such as bears and lions at nine times the rate of predatory animals in the wild.”

Rather than nine times the rate, it must be hundreds of times, if not thousands, in Wisconsin, where the DNR brags of killing more bears than anywhere in the country.

“The ways humans hunt and fish ‘change the rules of the game’ of evolution from survival of the fittest to survival of the smallest,” the co-author of the study, Chris Darimont, a Canadian professor, is reported as saying. “Our impacts are as extreme as our behavior and the planet bears the burden of our predatory dominance.”

Sheridan writes: “He (Darimont) said the recent outrage over the killing of Cecil the Lion may be an indicator that societies are ready to at least cut back, if not stop all together trophy hunting of large beasts.”

“Based on a survey of 2,125 predators around the world on both land and in the water, scientists found that people cause ‘extreme outcomes that non-human predators seldom impose,'” Sheridan writes. These include extinctions. “If humans want to continue to see large beasts like rhinos, elephants and lions (and bears and wolves) in the wild, as well as ensure the health of ocean life, scientists said big changes are needed.”

“This might include increasing revenues to local communities derived not from hunting, but from non-consumptive uses such as eco-tourism, shooting carnivores with cameras, not guns,” Darimont told reporters.

“If you use natural predator-prey quotas as some type of sustainable guide, we would be talking perhaps close to an 80 or 90 percent reduction in our global take,” study co-author Tom Reimchen said, according to Sheridan.

Conservation expert Stuart Pimm of Duke University, who wasn’t part of the study, praised it, according to an Associated Press story. “We ought to be harvesting animals that are about to die from other causes,” Pimm said. (That is what bears do in salmon predation, after the spawning, as salmon are dying anyway.)

Goodall mirrors the outrage Cecil’s killing unleashed: “For years I have puzzled about the psyche of the ‘sports’ and trophy hunters. How can Sabrina feel ‘happy’ as she contemplates with pride the severed heads of her innocent victims, the trophies she will take back to her home?”

“But I simply cannot put myself into the mind of a person who pays thousands of dollars to go and kill beautiful animals simply to boast, to show off their skill or their courage. Especially as it often involves no skill or courage whatsoever, when the prey is shot with a high-powered rifle from a safe distance,” Goodall wrote.

“How can anyone with an ounce of compassion be proud of killing these magnificent creatures? Lions, leopards, sable antelopes, giraffes and all the other sport or trophy animals are beautiful — but only in life. In death they represent the sad victims of a sadistic desire to attract praise from their friends at the expense of innocent creatures. And when they claim they respect their victims and experience emotions of happiness at the time of the killing, then surely this must be the joy of a diseased mind?”

From South Africa to Algeria, from Europe and Canada, Brazil and Ecuador, from all over the world, people are protesting this upcoming Wisconsin bear slaughter in a petition to the state DNR to end this cruelty.

But what of the majority who enable this ecocide with their silence? 4,750 black bears will be killed starting in two weeks, and not a show of local outrage. Caring folks, church-going folk, environmentalists — silent. If we cannot even be bothered to save our bears, can we expect, ultimately, to save ourselves?


Wisconsin citizens can remedy this injustice by acting to democratize the funding structure of the DNR. Call your state legislators. Contact DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp at or 608-266-2121. Contact information for the DNR regional director for your county here. Contact Sen. Tom Tiffany, and 608-266-2509, chair of the Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry Committee. Assembly Sporting Heritage Committee members can be contacted here. Direct contacts are the most powerful thing you can do.


Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. or

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: 4,750 Wisconsin bears to be killed by trophy hunters next month


“Bears are really 200-pound ground squirrels.” ~ Jeff Traska, Wisconsin Black Bear Education Center

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! What lovely species they were — if only we had known them.

Here is the story and video of two little black bear orphan cubs rescued along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina this spring.

Jeff Traska of the Wisconsin Black Bear Education Center created the first open-top enclosure for captive rescued black bears in Wisconsin. By his own description, he is a “reformed sport hunter” — a reformed bear hunter. He says, “I was curious about bears and found I did not learn anything when they were dead in the back of my truck.” He now takes care of four rescued bears on seven wooded acres with a pond. His website says, “He soon learned that bears are not the highly dangerous animals portrayed in so many sensational news stories, but instead are intelligent, gentle animals who play a critical role in the functioning ecosystems they inhabit.” One of the stated goals of the center is “Dispelling the myths and misconceptions that have led to the widespread, unnecessary persecution of bears.”

Like Cecil, the lion killed for his trophy head, our bears, deer and wolves are too often valued mainly as decapitation prospects for sociopathic “glory.” Though fast-moving mass extinction threatens animal and ultimately human life, we are still allowing the cruel few to kill our wild brethren for heads on walls. To modify Elizabeth Warren’s outrage over GOP proposals to defund Planned Parenthood: “Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1850s?” It is 2015. We are in a crisis of wildlife extinction. We are regressing rapidly.

The general public could stop this trauma to fragile ecosystems and natural, innocent beings.

The bear hounders have lobbied successfully for statewide year-round running dogs on coyotes, so they are terrorizing all the wildlife on 7 million acres of our public lands.

Bear hounding officially started July 1 in the heat of summer, after baiting the bears since they emerged from hibernation. Bears do not have sweat glands. Their dark fur holds heat. When they are run for miles by dogs that are traded out when they tire, the bears have seizures and die when they stop running.

A friend experienced this. She ran her sheepdog on a half-mile bike ride in 90-degree heat in New Orleans. When she returned, the dog — a young dog — crawled under the house and died. The heat build-up of running cannot be dispelled fast enough to survive.

I have written about Rick Hanestad, a former coyote trapper who was enlightened by adopting a coyote pup. Rick was raised in a trapping/hounding environment. He told me that in the spring the trappers catch as many raccoon babies as they can, and the hounders loose them in farmers’ fields with no trees and let the dogs “train” to bloodlust by killing them.

When I tell people that 4,750 bears are the killing goal the Department of Natural Resources set for this fall, the usual response is: “In the entire country?” Over 26,500 bears have been killed the past six years in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin DNR website states, “The state remains a leader with more bears harvested each year than any other state in the country.”

A leader in destruction of bears — a degrading distinction attracting worldwide condemnation.

10,690 hunters are licensed to kill bears this year and run dogs on them all but the last week of the 35-day “hunt,” Sept. 9 through Oct. 13. The license to kill a bear costs $49, but a child 10-11 years old only pays $7 for the fun. Most of the bears killed are less than 2 years old.

Children killing cubs — the DNR’s “connect with nature” program.

New this year, limitless bear hounders can, at no charge, run packs of dogs on bears, while the 10,690 are killing them using dogs and bait. Hounders do not have to wear back-tags. Since the dogs run miles ahead with radio collars, trespass is common. If private landowners do not want to confront packs of dogs or armed men and women, they have no recourse for the identification of trespassers.

Only 1 percent of New Jersey citizens are hunters. David Stewart of their strong bear protection group wrote an opinion piece about the proposed New Jersey bear hunt, forwarded to the Madravenspeak mailbox, titled “Injustice”:

“With 10,142 residents responding to the required 60-day comment period regarding the proposed amendments of the state game code by the Fish and Game Council, 94% were opposed to the (bear kill) proposals in their entirety. As officially recorded, 390 were in support while 6,635 were opposed. Of those responding 87% opposed extending the hunt and/or adding an additional hunt, and 79% were in opposition to permitting archery weaponry.”

He continues:

“As was entirely anticipated, at its August 11th meeting, the 8 member hunter-dominated council unanimously approved its proposals and amendments to the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy. … Why have a public comment period? … The Public Trust Document clearly states, a state’s wildlife has no ownership, we are all stakeholders, yet we, the public, have no voice in wildlife management policies. When a council, aligned to the hunting community, can usurp public opinion and implement its own policies and having full control, does that not imply ownership?

“It’s time the state’s constitution be amended to address this injustice and composition of this highly biased council.”

The same hunter corruption and tyranny dominates Wisconsin. Save our bears!


Wisconsin citizens can remedy this injustice by acting to democratize the funding structure of the DNR. Call your state legislators. Contact DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp at or 608-266-2121. Contact information for the DNR regional director for your county here.

Citizens can sign and network the Wildlife Ethic petition to stop killing our bears.

Sign against promotion of bear-killing equipment on facebook here.

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. or

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Read more:


Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


FYI: Watch ” Cecil’s Story ” ABC News 20/20 Friday 8/14/2015 10 PM eastern DST / 9 PM Central time

It gets worse – Palmer used an elephant carcass as bait. They dragged the carcass from the sanctuary out of the park and waited. Jericho, Cecil’s brother showed up first – but Palmer wanted the dark-maned larger lion Cecil. So they killed an elephant too.

Watch the story on ABC 20/20 Friday night at 9 pm central/ 10 pm eastern:

“What we know [is that] there was an elephant carcass as bait,” Stapelkamp, 37, said. “The hunters dragged the carcass behind their jeep, leaving a trailing scent, and allegedly attempted to lure a lion off the reserve and onto private land.”


1 Comment

Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Killing Cecil the lion: A tipping point in exposing hunting’s rape of wildlife



“The revulsion about the lion Cecil’s death is an indication of changing times.” — Thom Hartmann

Walter Palmer, Minneapolis area dentist, paid some guides to tie a carcass to their vehicle to bait a protected lion, a beloved mascot for Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. He shined a spotlight on Cecil to shoot him at night, bow-hunting. What is not widely known by non-hunters is that bow-hunting, like trapping and hounding, causes an extremely cruel and torturous death. Palmer and his guides wounded the lion, but he was left to die slowly, killed 40 hours later by rifle. It is common once an animal has been wounded with an arrow to allow him or her to bleed out slowly, to weaken that animal for an easy kill a day or more later. Baiting, killing using lights, killing a father with a pride — this is extremely sick behavior. The Wisconsin DNR avidly promotes much of this in hunting, adding in packs of dogs, traps, and snares. Shining is not promoted, but there is little oversight.

Bow-hunting has not always been considered an ethical way to kill large animals. But now bow-hunting seasons are the longest in any hunting category. Deer season in Wisconsin was extended from nine days to four and a half months for bow-hunters.

“The 13-year-old big cat was known to the park’s visitors and seemingly enjoyed human contact, according to reports.” He brought in millions of wildlife watcher dollars annually.

Trophy hunters, as all hunters, kill under the guise of “conservation.” Rare and endangered species are highly prized. Hunters’ claims that “killing is for conservation” is like BP claiming that they devastate landscapes for oil to promote renewable energy. BP oil money goes into making more oil profits. Hunting money goes into providing more hunting targets, recruiting more hunters and trappers to keep their power base, and creating more hunting opportunities. The Pope and Young Club touts: “Components of the Club’s Conservation Program include wildlife research, education, pro-bow-hunting activities, partnerships, wildlife conservation projects and kids programs.” They are not conserving wildlife. They are conserving their killing access.

Jimmy Kimmel quipped that Palmer “has killed half of the animals that were on Noah’s Ark.” Learning to kill wildlife at age 5, he has killed all but one of the 34 species indigenous to North America measured by Pope and Young trophy killing standards. Palmer had a conviction for killing a black bear illegally in Wisconsin in 2008. The penalty was a paltry $3,000 and one-year probation. Head hunters like Palmer also travel to kill exotic species in other countries — even endangered species like the leopard and rhino he killed.

Ironically the skull-measuring and antler-points mentality is framed on the Pope and Young site as “a poignant opportunity to honor each individual outstanding big game animal, for posterity and throughout all of time.” Poignant: “keenly distressing to the feelings.” Poignant for whom? Certainly not the dead animal. Certainly not the braggart killer.

Johnny Rodrigues, head of Zimbabwe’s Conservation Task Force, said it is likely that Cecil’s 12 lion cubs have been killed by rival lions since Palmer killed Cecil on July 1: “When two males fight over a pride, the winner kills all the cubs and introduces his own bloodline.” Lack of funding and sanctuary for the cubs inhibit any action to save them.

The arrests of the local poachers hired by Palmer is unusual and due to negative publicity. Rodrigues said that 24 radio-collared lions have been lured from the park to be killed, adding, “Most of the hunters are unethical.”

Rodrigues says that a moratorium on all lion hunting is the only way to protect lions from extinction within a few decades, if not sooner. Fifteen lion breeders now breed lions for canned hunts in fenced enclosures.

The Born Free organization estimates that lion populations have declined from 80,000 in 1980 to 25,000 today. Killing this lion is proportionate to killing 400,000 humans out of a population of nearly 8 billion. The 12 cubs killed because of Cecil’s death compares to killing 5 million people and their potential offspring.

The goal to keep lions from extinction depends on putting high value on the remaining lions. With cheap poisons being used to protect cattle from lions, their lives depend on money getting to these farmers. Although hunters proclaim that trophy killing brings a high price, a 2013 analysis by Economists At Large exposes that only 3 percent of that money reaches communities adjacent to hunting grounds. Most of it goes to government agencies and elites in positions of power.

We are allowing the few to terrorize and kill dwindling wildlife on dwindling habitat. Ultimately it must be stopped by changing the funding of wildlife agencies to give a value to life, not death. Jeff Flocken from the International Fund for Animal Welfare is calling for protection of world wildlife, with even highly endangered species “being killed in mass numbers we have not seen in half a century.” He says that many buy package deals that are perfectly legal.

Brent Stapelkamp, researcher with the Oxford University lion project, working from his office in Hwange National Park, realized that Cecil’s radio collar had stopped transmitting data on July 3. The next day his team found Cecil’s carcass, stripped of his skin and beheaded.

He said that the one positive thing about Cecil’s death is that it will raise questions about conservation and hunting. “People have got away with so much nonsense, going on for years,” said Stapelkamp. “I have no faith in hunting and it needs to be cleaned up.”

“I was trained and taught that hunting was good for conservation.”

“But it is no longer the case.”


Sign the petition to help protect lions by putting them on the U.S. endangered species list.

Ban trophy lion body imports into the USA:

Please network the column to network the petitions and raise awareness of the suffering caused by the massive expansion of killing, bow-hunting and trapping.


Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. or or

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Read more:


Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: ‘Game farming must go,’ wolf and wildlife conference told


“Put a price on death — that’s what you’ll get.” — keynote speaker Darrel Rowledge, Canadian hunter, director of the Alberta Wilderness Association

The huge challenges we face in getting the nonhunting majority to get involved in caring for our wildlife and public lands were the focus last week of the Wolf and Wildlife Conservation and Coexistence Initiative. The theme throughout the two-day conference was how to replace powerful special-interest groups’ influence over legislators, the Natural Resources Board, and the Department of Natural Resources with an all-inclusive democracy and science.

The most cruel and unethical sports killers (bear, wolf and coyote hounders and trappers) have drafted rules and legislation that co-opt our public agencies and legislators. They bypass the public will.

The conference was held at the Ho-Chunk Conference Center in Baraboo and co-sponsored by the Ho-Chunk Nation and Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf, supported by other tribes, wolf groups, and others. The event began with drums and a Ho-Chunk blessing, followed by a touching welcome by the Ho-Chunk Nation president. He reminded us that First Nations had lived in harmony with the earth and her creatures until they were invaded and treated as savages. He said, “Now the animals do not have freedom either. … Maybe it is too late, but we appreciate these efforts.”

Darrel Rowledge, keynote speaker, warned that chronic wasting disease is the conservation “fight of our lives.” His premise is that agricultural practices used on wildlife in game farms are a recipe for disaster and possible pandemic. As the No Accident website notes: “’Nightmare scenarios’ of CWD emerging as contagious in people as in deer are all but unthinkable. Top scientists are holding their breath, but not their concern. They are ‘worried,’ and point out that ‘the threat is far from negligible.’” Rowledge says, “Game farming must go.”

Wisconsin has game farms, fur farms, canned hunts, and fenced hounding enclosures all over the state. These cruel enclosures stress animal immune systems and promote injury, animal fighting, and disease. They are a health hazard and the DNR is not monitoring them. The hounding enclosures are supposed to make quarterly and annual reports of animals killed and animals purchased or taken from our woods, but they are not submitting them. I found altogether 10 reports from a couple of the 23 hounding facilities.

Scott Loomans, DNR wildlife rules coordinator, told me I was probably the first person to look at them.

Peter David is the wildlife biologist for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. He was the one pro-wolf biologist DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp allowed on the state wolf advisory committee only because participation is a sovereign right of the 11 Ojibwe nations he represents. He said, “It is arrogant that we rule since we are dependent.” He decried wolf management. “One doesn’t manage — this should be about wolf stewardship, protection, coexistence.” He described the wolf as brother and educator of the people. “They keep the deer healthy, and teach stamina, work cooperation, family and community support.” He said, “Finally a wolf and wildlife conference not dominated by white middle-aged males,” remarking that women, like natives, are usually excluded from the narrative.

Throughout the conference the 1999 wolf “target” of 350 for minimum survival of the wolf was dismissed as “pulled out of the air.” David said, “Don’t pretend this numbers game works. Three hundred and fifty is not about the health of wolves. They are not recovered until they reach natural populations.”

That is indeed the science documented by Michael Soule’s work for the Rewilding Institute and “the three C’s of conservation” — cores, corridors and carnivores — known since the 1990s. As Dave Foreman writes in “Rewilding North America”: “First, the structure, resilience, and diversity of ecosystems is often maintained by ‘top-down’ ecological (trophic) interactions that are initiated by top predators. … In turn, the large predators require extensive space and connectivity.” Large, strictly protected core areas are essential. Corridors must connect these core areas for migration and genetic integrity. The focus is on self-regulating wildlife communities, not management for killing as the main interest.

Jeannine McManus, a scientist from South Africa, emphasized that we can no longer just think of singular species protection but must prioritize holistic ecosystem preservation. She described research on the efficacy and economy of nonlethal methods used to deter natural predation on farm animals versus the counterproductive lethal methods that increased depredation and costs.

Her studies show that South African national forests bring in much more revenue from wildlife watching than hunting. A discussion ensued that Wisconsin national forests should be set aside as wolf sanctuary treasures and protected from hunting for future generations. Wildlife watching and ecotourism replace violence, allowing our state’s life support systems to recover, balance, and flourish.

Demographics have shifted away from killing for fun and recreation. The abusive cruelties supported by the Legislature, DNR and Natural Resources Board are a violation of the public trust. Their desperate measures of $5 recruitment licenses, indoctrinating children into killing, and exponentially increasing hounding and trapping do not represent our public interest or public health.

A paragraph from the Rewilding Institute sums it up well: “Without the goal of rewilding for large areas with large carnivores, we are closing our eyes to what conservation really means — and demands. Disney cinematographer Lois Crisler, after years of filming wolves in the Arctic, wrote, ‘Wilderness without animals is dead — dead scenery. Animals without wilderness are a closed book.”

The conference was filmed and will be put on YouTube.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan emailed into the conference that the House bill H.R. 2822 is full of riders that gut the Clean Air Act, foil efforts to address climate change, and remove protections permanently from Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves. The bill has dozens of riders, all bad, that deregulate environmental and wildlife protections. Please call your representatives and ask to remove these riders from this bill.

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. or

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Uncategorized


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers