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Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Non-hunters should claim rights to wildlife. We pay for them.

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“Ninety-four percent of total funding for wildlife conservation and management comes from the non-hunting public.” ~ Wildlife Conservation and Management in the U.S., October 2014.

Seven months of trapping is under way. Packs of dogs are running down wolves, coyotes and other woodland creatures. Thrill killing and animal cruelty are promoted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The myth sold to the majority, the non-hunting public, is that hunters pay for “conservation” and therefore they have a right to the only say in divvying up wildlife for their take.

It is not true.

Who really pays for wildlife and land conservation? A new study, issued by Nevadans for Responsible Wildlife Management, did a thorough review of taxes levied by the Pittman-Robertson and the Dingell-Johnson acts on sales of sporting equipment, and the budgets of various conservation, wildlife advocacy and nonprofit groups. The study concludes, “Approximately 95 percent of federal, 88 percent of nonprofit, and 94 percent of total funding for wildlife conservation and management come from the non-hunting public.” When the value of federal land programs are put into the mix of wildlife conservation today, hunters’ contributions diminish to 6 percent of funding nationwide.

Our taxpayer money goes through eight large federally funded wildlife programs, contributing $18.7 billion annually to wildlife, land management and related programs. Those agencies include the U.S. Forest Service at $9.7 billion, the National Park Service at $3.6 billion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at $2.8 billion and the BLM at $1.2 billion.

The study concluded that only 5 percent of those agencies’ operating budgets and land acquisition costs are funded by hunters or related activities, according to a Nov. 18 article about the study, “Non-hunters contribute most to wildlife, by Angus M. Thuermer Jr. in WyoFile. A similar ratio occurs in the private sector among conservation nonprofits.

“The basis (the North American Model) of public debate is a myth,” Thuermer reports the study as concluding.

“The issue of wildlife — who pays for that (and) whether the non-consumptive user should have a say — this is a body of concern that’s really relatively new … in the last 10 years,” Donald Molde, co-author of the study and former board member of Defenders of Wildlife, told Thuermer.

Professor Thomas Serfass, Frostburg State University, Maryland, chairman of their department of natural resources and biology, told Thuermer: “I would describe the North American Model as incomplete.”

Hunter control depends on it being incomplete. One of the huge elements missing is contributions of federal land management agencies. “Setting land aside in the public domain in perpetuity is probably the most substantive thing we do for wildlife conservation,” says the professor.

Thuermer quotes study co-author Molde as saying, “What about this public lands argument. Holy Toledo, that’s a huge subsidy to hunters.”

We, the 94 percent non-hunter public, pay for the lands and services, but are told that hunters have all the rights to destroy our wildlife. We pay — they have the only say. Seems fair to them.

The study’s authors begin: “With increased awareness and interest of the general (non-consumptive) public in controversial wildlife management issues such as fur trapping, predator control, trophy hunting, coyote killing contests and wolf reintroduction, a debate is before us as to whether the general public is or should be afforded a proper voice in wildlife management decisions.

“Sportsmen favor the current system, which places a heavy emphasis on their interests through favorable composition of wildlife commissions and a continued emphasis on ungulate management. Non-human predators (wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, ravens and others) are disfavored by wildlife managers at all levels as competition for sportsmen and are treated as second-class citizens of the animal kingdom. Sportsmen suggest this bias is justified because ‘sportsmen pay for wildlife,’ a refrain heard repeatedly when these matters are discussed. Agency personnel and policy foster this belief as well.”

It is a lie. The result of this lie is a world violently robbed of natural life-giving balance. We can no longer afford to subsidize this suffering and killing.

Analyzing nonprofit conservation organizations and their contribution of $2.5 billion annually, “12.3 percent comes from hunters and 87.7 percent from the non-hunting public. … The Nature Conservancy tops the list at $859 million annually, followed by land trusts, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund and Ducks Unlimited, the latter at $147 million. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was last of the top 10 at $54 million,” Thuermer reports in his article about the study.

State game agencies exist simply to provide for hunter opportunity, Molde told Theurmer.

What would happen if the DNR went broke and could no longer self-fund its killing business?

Wildlife would thrive. Balance would be restored. A million song-birds annually would not die of lead shot left by hunters. Beavers would restore habitat for half the rare and endangered species. Wolves would strengthen the deer herds, curtailing CWD. Coyotes, foxes and bobcats would buffer the explosion of field mice that make Wisconsin a hotbed of lyme disease. Humane wildlife watchers would be engaged in getting acquainted with wildlife, no longer afraid of white male domination and violence. That is just for starters.

We the disenfranchised can claim our rights to help our wildlife. We pay for them.

Seems fair to me.

You can sign the petition: Tell Wisconsin that hunting wolves with dogs is a form of dog fighting. Dogs are not weapons.

And help other animals here.

Please contact your senators about this packet of bills that passed the House and is headed to the Senate, to allow more hunter/trapper access, more motorized vehicles, and more cattle grazing to our public lands.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Deer hunting is cruelty in the name of sport

Apologies for the delay in getting this column posted.

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“How about if wildlife managers had not created artificial unnatural populations for hunters? …What should be culled are wildlife mis-managers.” ~ Marion Ambler

 Deer deserve us to be better than this.

The annual “traditional” nine-day deer kill Nov. 22-30 is a gruesome celebration of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s killing business. Children and women killing our wildlife are prominently featured on the website. New in the past few years: the rise of the crossbow and the addition of the Sept. 13 – Jan. 4 period to the kill. An upbeat “enjoy the bloodlust” message from Scott Walker and his cheerleader appointee Secretary Cathy Stepp adds to the macabre “tradition.”

Wisconsin’s deer strategy is similar to New York’s, which is explained by New York big game state wildlife biologist Jeremy Hurst. “When we want to manipulate the population, we increase or decrease the number of antlerless permits available.” Trophy-killing bucks not only pleases the recreational hunters, but leaves plenty of does to produce the next crop of fawns that hunters can then mow down in the future.

Deer deserve better. We deserve better.

The March 5, 2014, National Geographic article “Killing Wildlife: The Pros and Cons of Culling Animals” was followed by a number of wildlife-friendly, educated comments. David Karopkin contributed, “The overwhelming majority of ‘culls’ are done to protect the interests of ranchers, sport hunters, the aviation industry, and property owners — not to protect an ecosystem or biodiversity. Tax dollars are used to execute these wild creatures, but the public is largely excluded from the decision-making process.”

On the same thread, John Eberhart added that natural predators cull out the sick and elderly animals but “hunters do the opposite. They pick out and subtract the best, most robust animals, the genes of whom their populations need most for survival and success. Hunting is unnecessary. Recreational hunts are held, not for wildlife population control, but to dish up furred and feathered targets to hunters.”

He explains, “Game managers of the federal U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and at the state game departments are in the business of growing target animals like deer and ducks (“game”) for shooting by the greatest number of hunters that they are able to license. An antiquated federal law mandates that paychecks in state wildlife agencies come from license sales. These agencies are effectively salesmen on commission, selling out the lives of America’s wild animals. … He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

Science and wildlife management agencies have parted paths. State agencies are now just bargain-basement sales departments hawking death to our wildlife. Notice in the Walker/Stepp video/ad referenced above: “New hunters — $5 licenses.” Hundreds of thousands of mangled beavers and foxes and bobcats, muskrats, and fur “bearers” — 19 cents each, based on trapper reporting of over 500,000 animals killed in traps, divided the $98,000 paid that year by trappers in fees to the DNR.

But for you, if a wildlife lover — no purchase whatsoever.

Nov. 18 of this year was the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Hunting Act in the United Kingdom. That legislation “prohibits chasing wild mammals with dogs for sport.” The practice was banned in Scotland in 2002, ending the “traditional” fox hunt as cruelty to animals. This video is graphic but if you turn away, you cannot fully realize what our wildlife is suffering. Although this is filmed in England, the use of dogs in Wisconsin on bears, bobcats, coyotes and wolves (and any wildlife along the way) is the same crime against wildlife and nature.

Public support for the prohibition of hunting is high in the United Kingdom. The latest 2013 poll:

• 80 percent of people think fox hunting should remain illegal.

• 85 percent think deer hunting should remain illegal.

• 87 percent think hare hunting and coursing should remain illegal.

Wisconsin has regressed to vastly increased blatant animal cruelty on public lands. John Muir’s words in defense of wildlife urged change even a hundred years ago: “Now, it never seems to occur to these far-seeing teachers that Nature’s object in making animals and plants might possibly be first of all the happiness of each one of them, not the creation of all for the happiness of one. Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation? And what creature of all that the Lord has taken the pains to make is not essential to the completeness of that unit — the cosmos?”

Muir believed that all creatures are brothers and man’s domination a tragedy and loss not only for the animals and nature, but also for man.

We are allowing the riches of relationship and animal teachings to go untapped and squandered in a short-sighted, endless killing spree. Every street should be graced by neighborhood deer, our woods with bears raising their young, beavers building water-keeper dams, foxes playing with their kits, and the beautiful birds flying safe and free.

Why are men so determined to cause suffering with packs of dogs and traps? Why so determined to kill? Why aren’t you, the majority, determined to save our wildlife? It would be easy if you cared enough to help them.

Please contact your representatives to vote NO on 2 bills that would paralyze the Environmental Protection Agency.

And here is a list of action alerts for caring citizens from the Center for Biological Diversity.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

REBLOG: Wisconsin DNR Hints that Statewide Kill Quota Will Be Ignored and Season Will Not Close

Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife

Killing is not Conservation

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Posted on November 29, 2014

Courtesy: Joseph Ogrodnik

As we pointed out earlier this week something very fishy is going on with the Wisconsin DNR and our wolf population. The silence of the DNR told us that as usual something nefarious was going on behind the scenes and that indeed appears to be the case. When the Wisconsin DNR and their anti-wolf group stacked sham “Wolf Advisor Committee” met earlier this year a statewide kill quota of 150 wolves was agreed upon by a majority of the group. Suspiciously as of today the DNR report 146 wolves “legally” killed. This number does not include the vast number of wolves killed illegally. Now there comes word that the Wisconsin DNR and their real estate developer turned political appointee secretary, Cathy Stepp, may ignore the 150 kill quota and allow the kill season to continue far beyond that number.

The situation has created a quandary for Cathy Stepp, the DNR secretary, and her crew. On the one hand, the DNR could close the season after eight more (now four) wolves are killed, regardless of whether they come from Zone 3 or Zone 6. This would leave a harvest shortfall in one or both of those zones. On the other hand, the DNR could let the wolf harvest continue to the established quota in both Zone 3 and Zone 6, meaning the state harvest could exceed the 150 quota by as many as 13 wolves.

According to Dave MacFarland, the DNR’s large canine biologist, the DNR is aware of the possible overage.

“The season is not necessarily closed when it gets to 150 wolves,” MacFarland said. “We are watching the season closely and taking everything into consideration, but the final word comes from the secretary’s (Stepp’s) office.”

Unbelievable. The DNR is now essentially saying that established statewide quotas mean nothing and it is up to a political appointee that has shown ZERO regard for our wolf population to stop the killing. It’s bad enough that Wisconsin begins allowing dogs to be used against wolves starting Monday for kill purposes and not just the 24/7/365 “training,” but that it now appears the quota will be ignored. The DNR has already allowed mass overkill in two of their “zones” and now it appears that the overall state quota is going to be far exceeded, especially once dogs are introduced.

If wildlife advocates didn’t have enough concern before, the situation is now critical. The arrogance of Cathy Stepp and the Wisconsin DNR is staggering even for them. By allowing the wolf kill to exceed 150, which is a ridiculously high number as it is, the DNR is telling the citizens of this state and country that they have no intention of “managing” the wolf population responsibly. Its time to ramp up the pressure and DEMAND an end to this reckless slaughter NOW and not after the kill quota is again far exceeded. This is what happens when our federal government ignores their responsibility to make sure the wolf population is responsibly “managed” once they have been turned over to the states. This has been ignored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they continue to allow Wisconsin to attack our wolves 24/7/365 and put them on the path of a second eradication.

Here are the contacts for the Wisconsin DNR. Let them know exactly how you feel and how you will sit by idly while they ignore their own kill quota:

DNRWildlifeWebmail@Wisconsin.gov

Call Center Staff Available 7 Days a Week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.)
Call Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463)
Open a chat session available from 7 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

DNR Secretery Cathy Stepp:

DNRSecretary@Wisconsin.gov

(608) 266-2121

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Wolf biologists’ second letter urges emergency relisting of Wisconsin wolves

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 “(E)xisting regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to detect substantial change in the Wisconsin wolf population. Therefore we urge emergency relisting pending independent scientific review.” — Oct. 15, second letter sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by wolf biologists

Adrian Treves, director of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab for the UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute, joined other wolf biologists Oct. 15 in directing a second letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this time not just “recommending” but urging emergency re-listing of Wisconsin wolves.

In 2011, shortly after the delisting, Treves contributed to the article “Rescuing Wolves From Politics: Wildlife as a Public Trust Resource.” Politics are destroying our wolves and wildlife. It seems the courts are the only check and balance left.

Meanwhile the DNR’s botched and bungled cruelty to wolves played out in killing 98 wolves in the first eight days of this third wolf hunt. Renown naturalist John Muir would have rightly called it murder. Conveniently inept even in its own plan, the DNR allowed double the quota to be killed in zone 2 (15 quota, 29 killed) and 36 to be killed in zone 1, four over a 32 quota, before closure. Two-thirds of the 150 quota were killed in eight days.

The USFWS answer to the wolf biologists’ Aug. 15 recommendation to suspend the Wisconsin wolf hunt was similarly delayed almost two months to Oct. 7, a week before the Oct. 15 wolf kill began. C.M. Wooley, acting regional director for USFWS out of Minnesota, declined to act, saying, “the service no longer serves as a regulating entity to protect the wolf” nor has “a role in regulating gray wolves in any of the states of the Western Great Lakes.”

The second biologists’ letter, dated Oct. 15, takes issue with that disclaimer, reminding the director that the Endangered Species Act requires the USFWS to be actively involved for a minimum five-year monitoring period, working with the states to ensure “implementation of legal and/or management commitments that have been identified in reducing threats or maintaining threats at sufficiently low levels.”

In the first letter, covered in my column Oct. 5, explains how the USFWS was given inaccurate, incomplete and nonsequential data by the DNR, and could not possibly determine wolf populations in Wisconsin. The second letter raises more concerns and is signed by additional wolf biologists.

In addition to the use of dogs, a wolf-killing season, and unreported poaching mentioned in the August letter, the scientists express two additional concerns Oct. 15:

Data on successful reproduction of Wisconsin wolf packs have not been presented publicly or presented to the independent scientific community for review. These data were provided in the past, thus interannual comparisons require them. These data are essential to proper estimates of population status because substantial population declines can occur at moderate levels of mortality if reproduction is impaired

Wisconsin did not submit all wolf carcasses for necropsy as required. … Without these data we cannot assess if poaching has risen with initiation of harvest or deregulation of hound training in Wisconsin.

“In sum, mortality data are not reported using the best available science and these data remain unclear more than 60 days after our first letter of concern and over two years after delisting. … Therefore we urge emergency relisting pending independent scientific review.”

The letter emphasizes an idea foreign to the Wisconsin DNR: “The methods and the data should be subject to thorough review by scientists with demonstrated relevant expertise and without financial or political conflicts of interest.”

Michigan citizens have gathered enough signatures to vote against using wolves as game animals. A Michigan wolf biologist defends wolves in this video.

Secretary of the Wisconsin DNR, Cathy Stepp, stacked the Wisconsin Wolf Advisory Committee with wolf haters: Wisconsin bear hounders who drafted the wolf-kill legislation, Bow Hunters’ Association, Cattleman Association, Safari International Club, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, and only one mandated member who represents living wolves — the Indian tribes. As column-reader Alice Miller wrote me: “They want to make the wolf extinct — all are strong lobbyists to Governor Walker.”

Wolf and wildlife killers are destroying the wildlife we need in balanced ecosystems. These are the people influencing the DNR, destroying our commons and threatening those of us fighting for a living world. This is what “hunting” has become.

The root of this degradation is the 80 years of control of our public lands for the purpose of killing by funding the DNR with killing licenses. This has reached the apex of insanity: a state agency permitting the running packs of dogs and traps for sadistic pleasure at a time of mass extinctions and climate change.

We are in a planetary crisis of extinctions that threatens human survival. Help us educate legislators. Organize for DNR reform.

The DNR is making a 10-year action plan. It is vitally important they hear from many people that we do not want to kill every creature that moves and we want science-based care of our wildlife for functioning healthy ecosystems, while addressing climate change. Please take the DNR survey.

Should bear hunting be banned in the United States? Poll here.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Additional follow-up!

Blog Followers!

Please don’t forget to take the Wolf Survey toward the end of this week’s column. Also, please participate in the North American Wolves survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1puUqDagR6boaO_9TqHuAAemWYiesiC0ZZQQ6v-FX0vk/viewform regarding attitudes toward wolves. Please network the column and SURVEY to your social networking sites and email lists.

And watch the video how wolves made a stunning ecological improvement to Yellowstone and even improved the rivers.

Join us at www.wiwildlifeethic.org to fight for reform of the DNR being structured on killing licenses instead of general public funds. (Wildlife watchers already bring 3-4 times the $ of killing licenses and hunter taxes combined.) Please join us to fight for our wolves and other wildlife, tabling, flyering events, and speaking out at hearings and the Natural Resources hunter-stacked board meetings.

Now or never.

The wolf kill starts this Wednesday in Wisconsin, October 15. They have already killed more than half of the wolves it took 38 years to recover.

To Wisconsin Residents:

We are looking for two candidates to stand for election to represent all citizens in governing nature, wildlife, rivers, lakes, and decide about fracking and mining in Wisconsin.  Please let me know if you will stand up and find a running mate to stand with you in your county.  I can explain it, having done it.

Thanks

Patricia  Randolph

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Why is the DNR destroying our wolves?

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“My favorite recipe for wolf is to skin it, piss on it and let it rot for the maggots. Then cash in the hide and watch people like you squirt a tear over it.” — Dwayne Glosemeyer, Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Facebook page

Dwayne Glosemeyer’s in-your-face arrogance flinging torture and disrespect for wolves at wolf advocates mirrors the hatred of wolves promoted by the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR has a flagrant disregard for science, nature, and the majority of citizens in Wisconsin.

Paul Paquet is a world-renowned Canadian biologist who has been studying wolves for over four decades. He is on the advisory/science and recovery board of the Living with Wolves organization started by Jim and Jamie Dutcher after they lived with and filmed the Sawtooth Pack for six years. The organization’s goal is to stop the slaughter of wolves. Jane Goodall and Robert Redford are on the honorary board. I heard Paquet speak passionately against hunting wolves, as a moral issue, at the International Wolf Symposium last October in Duluth, Minn. He co-signed the letter sent by UW-Madison’s Adrian Treves recommending suspension of the 2014 Wisconsin wolf hunt.

Carter Niemeyer, former wolf biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, also had been converted to wolf advocacy by his experiences with wolves. Niemeyer testifies with stacks of hard evidence that wolf depredation figures are deliberately or sloppily skewed, with local trappers “investigating” their buddies’ claims of wolf predation and then adding in any missing livestock for full compensation. Niemeyer’s book “Wolfer,” released in 2010, documents case after case of false depredation claims and calls for reform of Wildlife Services.

The Living with Wolves website addresses why state agencies mismanage wolf populations against the science of their benefits to ecosystem recovery. In discussing state game agencies, the “Wolves at a Crossroads” report says the fact that they are often referred to as “game managers” is an indicator of their business model. Using Idaho as an example, the report points out that the only significant revenue stream the agency can control is the sale of hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses. The report makes such an eloquent call for reform that I quote it here:

“They do not receive funding from general taxpayer dollars, which if they did, would represent the diverse interests of all Americans. Instead the revenue stream they can influence comes directly from hunting and fishing advocates. So it is their publicly stated opinion (and perhaps rightfully so) that they work for the sportsmen who pay them. Their own reports clearly say so.

“However, they are responsible for managing all wildlife in their state, not just game animals. When you are in the business of selling big game, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have predators running around eating your unrealized profits. As a result, what they manage may more closely resemble a game farm than balanced nature. And is not a model for healthy ecosystem management.”

“Current estimates are that 6 percent of Americans hunt. And it is for that mere 6 percent, and for the powerful special-interest groups that represent them, that America’s wildlife is being managed.”

Looking at the money spent by hunters, studies show that an equal amount of money is spent on wildlife watching, photography, and hiking, biking and enjoying nature peacefully. Wildlife friendly money is not directed to state agency funding for any non-hunter power. So the structure of killing license funding is the underlying bias corrupting state agencies and killing our wolves.

Paquet and the other wolf biologists on the advisory board wrote the following of wolves:

“Time and time again, we saw the great affection and care they demonstrate for one another and concluded that they are capable of not only emotion but also real compassion. This is the view of the wolf that we want to share, a wolf that is neither demon, nor deity, nor biological robot. It is an intelligent and highly sensitive animal that can be at once both individualistic and social. It is an animal that cares for its sick, protects its family, and desperately needs to be part of something bigger than itself — the pack.”

And we humans desperately need to be caring members of the “pack” of life. We are not the center of the universe but dependent on the delicate balance and diversity we are destroying.

Learn how wolves change rivers and create life-giving balance in this video. Contribute your views by participating in the North American Wolves Survey.

As the killing of 4,700 black bears concluded Oct. 7, the wolf kill is slated to begin Oct. 15, despite scientists’ recommendation to follow Michigan’s lead and suspend the hunt.

Wolves need our protection. Legislators regularly hear from those who want to kill them. Contact your legislators or wolves have no voice.

Last October, people fighting Minnesota’s controversial wolf hunt appealed to fans of a different kind of wolf at a Timberwolves game. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/9472560-wolf-hunting-opposition-to-attend-t-wolves-game/

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/column/patricia-randolph-s-madravenspeak-why-is-the-dnr-destroying-our/article_f47037c0-845d-57e8-8a01-923ea29bad48.html#ixzz3G2Iz5Sq8

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Wolf biologists recommend suspension of Wisconsin wolf hunt

wolf pups 2

“The range of possible (wolf) mortality rates (may be) as high as 35–55 percent, or 7–27 percent higher than reported by the state.” — wolf biologists’ letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

When nature organized this country, 2 million wolves graced the United States. Now state agencies man-handle nature as a game preserve for the 6 percent who kill. Less than 5,000 (0.025 percent of 2 million) wolves survive, under assault, about half of them in Minnesota. Red wolves are near extinction.

Wolves were the first endangered key predator species to be delisted legislatively, for a political agenda, not for scientific recovery. It was a gross violation of the Endangered Species Act. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, a rancher, wanted wolves for his constituency to kill, and the Democrats wanted to keep his seat and the Senate — so the ESA was violated, as were the wolves and our heritage.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is mandated to report under the ESA for a five-year period, after delisting wolves, using the best available science.

Recently, Adrian Treves, Ph.D., director of the Nelson Institute’s Carnivore Coexistence Lab, and five other wolf scientists sent the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service a memo expressing concerns “that the best available science was not used in gray wolf, Canis lupus, managing and monitoring in the Western Great Lakes Region … during the period 28 Jan. 2012–31 Dec. 2013. … We found significant omissions of information, unorthodox methods, and statements that could potentially be misleading in the state report to the USFWS. … We recommend the secretary of the Interior consider the option of emergency relisting, as provided in Section 4(b)(7) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended, because completion of the independent review using the best available science will require time but the Wisconsin wolf harvest is set to resume 15 Oct. 2014.”

Citing the scientifically flawed DNR report, the memo recommends “suspension of the wolf harvest until the scientific public record is clear that the wolf population will stay above the state’s threatened level (250) with a 99 percent probability.”

The memo references two new threats to wolves not acknowledged by the DNR: hunting with hounds, and the unregulated training of free-running dogs on wolves, night and day, year-round, with no rules or safeguards for law enforcement to implement. The effects of constant assaults have never been studied.

To further muddle the situation, the DNR changed monitoring methods in 2013-14, thereby “making inter-annual comparisons impossible.”

“The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission was refused access to the meeting where data aggregation and interpretation occurred” in the spring of 2014, notes the memo. This did away with one independent assessment.

The DNR acknowledged that since delisting, reporting on natural mortalities had declined but omitted acknowledging any poaching mortalities. The memo states that the DNR knew of the Swedish study findings that “poaching was systematically and substantially under-estimated because poachers destroyed evidence. … Those authors found 67 percent of poaching events, 51 percent of all wolf mortality, were concealed and no carcass recovered.”

The memo notes: “According to WDNR’s public record … historic mortality levels were 32-48 percent without harvest. Add that to the 2012 harvest of 15 percent (117 of 774 ) = 47-63 percent after harvest. Then they tell us in the state report that there was a 0.74 percent population decline by April 2013.”

With a higher wolf quota the next year, “the 2013 harvest represented a 35 percent mortality rate (275 out of a population estimated at 779 off-reservation). We added the above-mentioned historic mortality rate range to the harvest mortality rate for an expected, total mortality rate of 67-83 percent.”

The DNR somehow came out with a median 12.7 percent annual decline in the wolf population. The DNR simply omitted major mortality factors known to exist beyond the hunts.

Of the seven DNR assumptions, Treves and his team assessed five as risky and zero as cautious, leading to underestimation of wolf mortality since delisting. Wolf killing quotas are determined using this hunter-serving math.

The Wolf Advisory Committee was appointed by DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp to represent hunting groups, except for one mandated tribal representative. The minutes of their Sept.10 meeting admit, “The DNR has current ongoing research to develop population estimation methods; the data does not exist right now.” Why has it taken three years to develop these methods? Why continue a hunt with no existing data?

The scientists’ memo works with the suspect DNR estimate of wolves surviving. Treves emailed, “Remember we just used their own numbers to challenge their own estimates; that does not mean we accept their numbers.”

Why not strike a more urgent tone, or take legal action?

Joel Trick, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Green Bay, told me pre-wolf hunt that a “very conservative estimate of wolf poaching was 100 wolves annually killed.” Now that the DNR and Legislature have fueled hatred for wolves as “vermin,” hounding 24/7 year-round on wolves and all wildlife encourages exponentially more opportunities for wolf haters to “shoot, shovel and shut up.”

Considering a corrupt delisting, poaching documented as 51 percent of all wolf mortality unreported by the DNR, natural mortalities inadequately reported, inevitable killing in hounding “training” year-round, and the hunt itself, it seems the DNR is manipulating mortality statistics to serve wolf-hater magical thinking.

The flawed DNR model was neither published nor independently peer-reviewed. The scientists request “an independent, scientific, peer-review panel be convened to advise the USFWS on a course of immediate action.” There has been no reply.

The morally bankrupt and inept DNR is not up to the task of managing wolves and wildlife in this state. It is too compromised by hunter/trapper/hounder power, money, greed, and ignorance.

This requires action to suspend the Oct. 15 wolf kill. Contact your legislators.

Next week, “Why state agencies manage wolves with disregard for science.”

Learn more about wolves in the YouTube documentary: “Living with Wolves.”

Please sign and network a petition to strengthen animal cruelty laws in Wisconsin.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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