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Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Wisconsin drivers pay dearly for DNR’s deer policy

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WIKIMEDIA.ORG

White-tailed deer fawn

“Each and every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and me.” ~ Anthony Douglas Williams

I have lived in the country north of Portage, on 72 mostly wooded, posted acres, since 2003. This year was the first that a shy buck appeared regularly at dusk with two does. I rarely see bucks at all unless they are fawns. He was the most timid of the three.

My tenants had taken a canoe in late summer down Neenah Creek. They described how magical it was to see a large buck sleeping peacefully on my property beside the creek. They said he was resting in the midst of six deer stands located on my boundary or just across the creek. My neighbors on all sides are hunters.

Neighbors can kill the deer that live on my property by luring them to feedlots, but I have no equal right to tag my deer friends to allow them to live. This is obviously undemocratic and unfair. For every deer a citizen kills forever, other citizens should have the equal right to tag a deer to live forever.

During this nine-day deer kill, a hunter illegally killed a rare white buck in Sauk County. Bryan Walsh, who had watched the deer grow up, said, “When I heard about it was a sickening feeling like your horse died or a family pet. … You can go out and shoot this monarch and pay a $303 fine and it is over and done with, but a $303 fine doesn’t bring the enjoyment 100 people had from seeing that white deer all the time.”

I have not seen my resident buck since the four-month deer kill season began in September, although the does still show up. I grieve with them.

In blatant violation of their own mantra, “Leave the Wild, Wild,” the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources applies an agricultural model to deer: Kill the bucks for their trophy heads and leave the does to produce fawns for the next kill. Animals are “harvested” just like crops. The agricultural model does not tolerate wolves or natural predation. Neither the DNR nor hunters respect the natural world as a holistic system of vital, sensitive and necessary relationships.

We have turned the world into our militarized slaughterhouse.

A friend visiting from Minnesota commented, “The hunters want wolves killed because they think they kill ‘their deer.’ I bet more deer are killed by cars than by wolves.”

She is right.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, “In 1978 and 1979, deer crashes accounted for only 5.1% and 4.7% of all crashes, respectively.”

“Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation says the number of people injured or killed in crashes with deer has been rising since the late 1970s. The Badger State logged nearly 20,000 (reported) collisions with deer during 2015, accounting for more than 16% of all vehicle accidents,” Bankrate notes.

State Farm insurance reports that the national average cost per claim for 2015-2016 was $3,995.08.” State Farm insurance reports that the national average cost per claim for 2015-2016 was $3,995.08.

That is nearly $80 million that Wisconsin citizens pay in higher insurance rates to cover deer/car collisions. In 2015, the DNR collected nearly $30 million in deer kill license fees. The citizens of Wisconsin pay almost 2.7 times as much for destruction to their cars as the DNR takes in in revenue. Add in doctor, hospital and funeral costs.

A search for “How many deer do wolves kill annually?” produced a hunting website, with tips on tracking bucks and “shot placement.” This site states: “The data on the subject might be a bit disappointing to whitetail hunters looking to blame low deer population numbers on wolves.

“A few hunters continue to kill wolves, believing that such actions will help the deer herd. It is important to place in perspective the impact of wolves feeding on deer. Each wolf kills about 18 deer per year….This appears as a fairly low (number) when compared to over 40,000 deer hit by cars each year, and about 450,000 deer shot annually by hunters.

“So next time you are in your stand and see a wolf, try to enjoy the view and watch a predator at work.”

According to my research, after three years of hunts and the resulting uptick in poaching, Wisconsin has few wolves left. But if 500 wolves survive in Wisconsin, their annual deer predation is about 9,000 — less than half the number killed by cars.

Next time you hit a deer, if you survive, remember that deer probably would not be there if not for biased DNR policy, farming deer for hunters — and you are paying plenty for it.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (608-264-5338) has joined Sen. Ron Johnson (608-310-2270) in petitioning for wolves to be de-listed from the Endangered Species List. Our wolves are extremely endangered, especially when the supposedly progressive Baldwin joins the Republican majority’s chorus for destruction.

Help white deer on the protectthewhitedeer.com website.]

This column was originally puablished in the Madison CapTimes on December 4, 2016

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Fight back against the global carnage of Trump regime

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BING IMAGES

Donald Trump’s son big game hunting

“Everybody got this broken feeling. Like their father or their dog just died.” ~ Leonard Cohen (R.I.P.)

Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, was a guest on Steven Colbert’s election night coverage. As it became apparent that Trump would win the Electoral College, he said that this outcome is as devastating as World War I, World War II, and 9/11.

We are now at all-out war with a bigoted, patriarchal regime, fighting for survival of life on earth, including human life.

Climate activist Bill McKibben says we cannot afford to go backward for four years of a Trump presidency. We must pull life back from the brink of extinction now. People are asking what they can do. Here are some ideas.

Step out of your comfort zone. It no longer exists. Wake up and make radical changes.

Get involved. Build coalitions. Women, people of color, immigrants, the LGBT community, animal activists (people who love wolves or dogs, cats or bobcats), millennials fighting college debt must join together to stand for life. This is not a reality TV show. It is not a trial run.

Most importantly, prioritize what you can do as an individual. Move to a plant-based diet.

On behalf of WildAid, Arnold Schwarzenegger has paired with film-maker James Cameron to do a series of films aimed at the Chinese that advocate cutting meat and dairy consumption by more than half.

This is the most important immediate action we can take as individuals.

The WildAid website states, “With low levels of public awareness on the climate impact of diet, the PSAs aim to empower Chinese consumers to make everyday choices that can help curb climate change.”

“With climate deniers now running the show, it’s more important than ever for people of conscience to fight climate change by doing everything we can as individuals,” Cameron states on the website. “One of the most powerful things we can do is to stop eating meat, dairy and other animal foods. Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse warming than transportation — more than all cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined. We don’t have to bemoan the inaction of a denier government — we can solve this ourselves.

The website continues: “According to articles published by Chatham House and in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the current level of meat consumption is not sustainable and has a tremendous impact on societal health and the environment. By 2050, global consumption of meat and dairy products are expected to rise 76 percent and 65 percent respectively. Several studies confirm that current agricultural practices are a hugely inefficient use of land and water, driving deforestation, biodiversity loss and many other environmental crises.”

WildAid has created five short films entitled “The Future of Climate Is on Your Plate”:

• The Precipice

• Don’t Buy It

• Behind the Scenes

• Less Meat Less Heat

• Eating for Tomorrow

For information and inspiration, follow Thom Hartmann on television, radio, computer or smart phone. Hartmann has talk shows four hours daily on Free Speech TV (satellite, not cable) and is doing daily readings from his books. Lately he has been reading from “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” “The Crash of 2016,” and “The Last Hours of Humanity.” He is a progressive educator and historian.

Study the site Hartmann set up with Leonardo Di Caprio: Green World Rising. It has films and actions to take. You can sign up at the bottom of the page for updates.

Hartmann had Bernie Sanders on his show every Friday for 11 years in a “Brunch With Bernie” series. Now Hartmann is advocating a pathway to power for we the people to take back our country:

1. The progressive wing must take over the Democratic Party. To that end, he and Bernie Sanders are supporting Keith Ellison to become chair of the Democratic National Committee. You can sign a petition here.

2. Take a page from the successful Republican playbook and get involved locally. Specifically, go to Democratic Party meetings and tell them you want to be a precinct committee member. Precinct leaders decide who runs for office. They have tremendous power. We especially need young talent to fight for free college, universal health care, climate justice, appreciation of racial diversity, equality, and respect for all life.

3. Attend town hall meetings and volunteer or run for county boards. Participate in your city council meetings and run for office.

4. Stay in constant contact with your representatives at the state and federal levels. Educate them and stand up for wildlife and a progressive agenda. Letters are much more effective than emails, which are bundled and receive form letter responses. Calls are the most effective. The staff runs the ground game for Congress.

5. Hartmann and others are advocating another page from the Republican playbook: Filibuster everything that the Trump administration does, including any Supreme Court appointment that is toxic to this country.

Republicans met on the day that President Obama was inaugurated and pledged to block everything good he would try to do — even if they had proposed it prior to his election. We must fight fire with fire.

Trump and his trophy-hunting sons are a major threat to all of us and life on this planet at just the wrong time. His appointments and supporters are climate deniers, KKK white nationalists, NRA supporters, oil and coal barons, and nature and wildlife destroyers.

All is at risk.

“And everybody knows that it’s now or never… And everybody knows that the Plague is coming.

Everybody knows that it’s moving fast.” ~ Leonard Cohen

1. Tell President Obama to take Arctic and Atlantic drilling off Trump’s agenda for good.

2. Sign and network a petition to the Wisconsin legislature to end the use of dogs on our wildlife.

3. Stand in solidarity with water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on November 20, 2016.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Republicans for Extinction Inc.

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Stuart Carlson, September 2, 2016

Gocomics.com

“If the 99% vote, the 1% will not matter.” — bumper sticker

The Humane Society of the United States Legislative Fund (not associated with the independent Wisconsin Humane Society) is supporting Russ Feingold against Ron Johnson in the race for U.S. Senate. Watch the ad here. It is a smart endorsement citing both the wildlife and pets championed by Feingold.

True leadership in politics requires, well, leading. It requires a vision and understanding of the world in order to guide constituents to sane policy. Good policy is often not the prevailing law, as evidenced by life on earth being destroyed so rapidly. I am speaking of the unsustainable abuse of “the other” 99.9999 percent of planetary life by humans.

This state particularly needs legislators who understand the science of the extinction of biodiversity and climate change and who act swiftly with policy to adjust to the crisis. We need them in this election. They are not the Republicans. We have a chance of pushing Democrats to act with urgency. Vote for Democrats across the board so we can move somewhere instead of obstruction and stagnation. Citizenship requires self-education and then educating your representatives, and most importantly, holding them accountable or voting them out. It requires educated, persistent voting.

“Since 1970, there has already been a 58% overall decline in the numbers of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles worldwide,” CNN reported about the World Wildlife Fund’s latest Living Planet Report. The report predicts two-thirds of nonhuman life on earth likely will be destroyed by 2020. Extinction is accelerating as species cannot find what they need to survive and climate change advances too rapidly for species to adjust. Human overpopulation and increasing consumption per capita, animal agriculture, deforestation to feed slaughterhouse animals, and increased hunting, trapping and poaching are all driving forces. With 60 percent of large carnivores threatened with extinction by trophy hunters and being exterminated in service to animal agricultural ranching interests, the balance of life is now so degraded that we are warned that the human species may not survive this trajectory — and our extinction could happen soon.

And still the federal government spends $100 million a year to slaughter our wildlife (so-called “services”), a kill every 12 seconds. We need legislators to end this massive, indiscriminate killing.

Do you love birds? A recent article in the Canadian Press is titled “Silent Skies: North America Has Lost 1.5 Billion Birds Since 1970s.” It says: “The report says birds are crucial indicators of overall ecosystem health. Healthy forests and prairies need healthy bird populations…”

As a friend of mine responded, “This is a panic.”

So what universe do Republicans live in? Evidently it is a universe where their extremely important political platform is promoting the destruction of endangered species like wolves and denying human-accelerated climate change.

The Republican-held Legislature in Wisconsin has enabled the running of packs of dogs on all public lands, unlicensed (no clue how many dog packs are run), to kill coyotes, bears, bobcats and any unlucky animal. The animals are run to exhaustion for the “fun” of killing. Republicans have authorized compensating bear hounders from the Endangered Species Fund for risking their dogs in the recreational killing of 4,750 bears annually, at $2,500 per dog killed. It is a profitable side bonus to a head on wall. With 37 dogs killed in this year’s dog-fighting free for all, that is $92,500 paid out from taxpayer donations to the Endangered Species Fund.

Sen. Ron Johnson thinks his support for killing wolves is important and politically advantageous. Speaking in Rhinelander Oct. 28, Johnson boasted: “I’m the leader in terms in delist of the gray wolf so we can stop harassing dairy and cattle herds and the deer population…”

According to the Department of of Agriculture, wolves are 2/10ths of 1 percent the cause of death of cattle before slaughter. Humans are the primary predator on hundreds of thousands of deer, with herds kept artificially high for hunter satisfaction.

Facts should matter.

Johnson has authored legislation to de-list wolves and is even running a petition to rally the wolf haters to support his wolf-killing agenda. But a 2013 Mason-Dixon poll showed that eight out of nine Wisconsin citizens support protecting wolves.

Do Republicans pay any attention to the plebs in their districts?

With the United States waging war in the Middle East, immigration reform obstructed, the Supreme Court nomination obstructed by Republicans, obstruction of renewable energy that could help address climate change, obstruction of infrastructure repair to create new jobs, and a planet in mass extinction crisis, incumbent Sen. Johnson, state Sen. Tom Tiffany and state Rep. Adam Jarchow all act as though killing wolves is of prime importance.

I listened to Russ Feingold’s rousing speech at Fighting Bob Fest. When he spoke of the beauty and peace of the northern woods, I waited to hand him a flyer about the killing of 4,750 black bears over packs of dogs and bait, which was ongoing as he spoke. I said, “The north woods are not peaceful.” He shot back, “They should be,” and promised to read the flyer.

A report in Current Biology documenting “catastrophic declines in wilderness areas” concludes: “Our findings underscore an immediate need for international policies to recognize the vital values of wilderness and the unprecedented threats they face and to underscore urgent large-scale, multifaceted actions needed to maintain them.”

There is an immediate need for urgent, large-scale actions.

Vote as though our lives and so many non-human lives depend on it.

Please sign and network a petition to the next president to take comprehensive action on two-thirds of wildlife destroyed on earth and helping our life support system survive.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on November 6, 2016.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: 60% of large wild animal species threatened with extinction

 

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Wolf pup and mother

“Perhaps the biggest threat for many species is direct hunting driven by a demand for meat, pets, and body parts for traditional medicines and ornaments.” ~ Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, Wildlife Conservation Society’s vice president of species conservation

We need massive transformational change in human consciousness. We are out of balance. Like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, we have acted like abusive teenagers, grabbing what we want on an increasingly fragile planet. It is urgent that we get real and grow up.

Fast-accelerating extinctions are endangering our human species and we may not survive the mass extinction we are forcing. Our sense of entitlement reflects a psychopathic way of being in this world — psychopathy defined as lack of empathy and remorse.

A July 2016 report in Science Daily, authored by the Wildlife Conservation Society, is headlined: “60% of Large Wild Animal Species Threatened With Extinction.” It says:

“Approximately 59 percent of the world’s biggest mammalian carnivore species — including the tiger — and 60 percent of the largest herbivores are now listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species as threatened with extinction.

“‘Perhaps the biggest threat for many species is direct hunting driven by a demand for meat, pets, and body parts for traditional medicines and ornaments,’ said Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, WCS’s Vice President of Species Conservation and a co-author on the study. ‘Only a massive commitment from the international community will stop this rampant destruction of so many animal populations.’”

Hunting and trapping for the elite few can no longer be tolerated. Only we the majority can push legislators to act now.

All of these species work critical roles in their ecosystems. William Ripple, professor of ecology at Oregon State University and lead author of the study, warns us yet again in the report: “The more I look at the trends facing the world’s largest terrestrial mammals, the more concerned I am we could lose these animals just as science is discovering how important they are to ecosystems and to the services they provide for people.”

The punishment for little old short-sighted, self-centered us is built in. A glimpse of the cost can be seen on one extinction web site, where you can access the articles below, among hundreds of others:

MASS EXTINCTION CONFIRMED, WITH MANY SPECIES — INCLUDING HUMANS — LABELLED “THE WALKING DEAD” (U.K. Independent/American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015)

UN: ACCELERATING BIODIVERSITY LOSS A “FUNDAMENTAL THREAT” TO “SURVIVAL OF HUMANKIND” (U.N./IPBES, 2013)

HUMAN ACTIVITY HAS PUSHED EARTH BEYOND 4 OF 9 “PLANETARY BOUNDARIES” INCLUDING SPECIES EXTINCTION RATE (Washington Post, 2015)

EARTH HAS LOST 50% OF ITS WILDLIFE IN PAST 40 YEARS (WWF, 2014)

POPULATION OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS CRASHES 30% IN JUST SEVEN YEARS, 2007-2014 (Washington Post, 2016)

POPULATION OF EASTERN GORILLA HAS CRASHED 70% IN LAST 20 YEARS (U.K. Guardian, 2016)

WORLD’S SEABIRD POPULATIONS PLUMMET 70% IN 60 YEARS (U.K. Guardian, 2015)

SALT-WATER FISH EXTINCTION SEEN BY 2048 (Science Magazine. 2014) (DEAD OCEANS)

E.O. WILSON, HARVARD: CURRENT RATE OF HUMAN ACTIVITY WILL RESULT IN 50% OF ALL SPECIES EXTINCT BY 2100. “I DON’T THINK THE WORLD CAN SUSTAIN THIS. DON’T SAVE THE BIOSPHERE AND WE’RE DOOMING OURSELVES.” (U.K. Times, 2014),

UN: EARTH’S ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS PUSHED TO BIOPHYSICAL LIMITS — SUDDEN, IRREVERSIBLE, POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CHANGES LOOMING (CBS/United Nations, 2012)

SCIENTISTS WARN EARTH’S ENTIRE BIOSPHERE NEARING CATASTROPHIC “TIPPING POINT” (Nature, 2012)

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION AT HIGHEST LEVELS IN 300 MILLION YEARS — MASS EXTINCTION “MAY BE INEVITABLE” (U.K. Guardian, 2013)

ONE-FIFTH OF ALL INVERTEBRATE SPECIES FACING EXTINCTION: “EXTINCTION OF HUMANS COULD SOON FOLLOW” (IUCN/Zoological Society of London, 2012)

MORE THAN A THIRD OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRD SPECIES FACE EXTINCTION RISK (Washington Post, 2016)

ONE QUARTER OF WORLD’S MARINE SPECIES IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION (U.K. Independent, 2015)

HALF OF ALL TREE SPECIES IN AMAZON FACE EXTINCTION (BBC, 2015)

WORLD’S ECOSYSTEMS AT RISK OF COLLAPSE — TIPPING POINTS NEAR (United Nations, 2010)

IUCN RED LIST ANALYSIS: “LIFE ON EARTH IS UNDER SERIOUS THREAT” (IUCN, 2009)

The state of Wisconsin is accelerating has-been traditions of animal agriculture, dairy farming, hunting and trapping — all part of the wanton destruction threatening us all. We are being called to become compassionate and fair in our dealings with other beings.

Here is where the wisdom of the wolf can guide us.

Wolves are balancers.

We need more than a token wolf population on the land to balance the out-of-control number of “livestock” being fed with slashed rain forests, razed biodiversity and barren monocultures. Wolves need our support to mitigate humans ranching cattle on public lands, depleting ancient aquifers, farming for artificially high deer populations, and diverting rivers to irrigate crops to feed animals. Wolves even change rivers.

Humans “predate” on livestock. Farmers are compensated for lost profits if a wolf kills livestock, but wolves are killed for conducting real survival hunting with their ancient skills and instincts — providing for themselves and their families. It is cattle and “livestock,” hoarded and suffering, that are forced to be an unnatural major cause of climate change (52 percent of the cause, according to intensive studies by Worldwatch Institute.)

Increasingly militaristic, over-populated, competitive and domineering, human beings have overstepped the bounds of ecological sanity into a netherworld of wanting more and having less to take — and taking more anyway. Human biases, casually accepted massive cruelty, and ignorance are destroying our only home.

We who know the scope of this grieve the harm done.

The ground has shifted rapidly under our feet and we are slow to realize that we are not rulers, but subjects of the natural world we are rapidly destroying. It is we who depend upon the integrity of a world in balance. It means finally growing up to respect and care tenderly for all animal lives — their bodies, their cultures, their contributions and their way of life intact. Let them be. They weave the world together for us.

What a joy that world could be.

Let’s work to make our public lands trap free by signing these petitions:

Wild Earth Guardians

Animal Petitions

Anti-Fur Society International

The Wolf Army USA

Help us fight for your health and democratic rights.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on October 23, 2016

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: ‘Medicine of the Wolf’ Wisconsin premiere comes to Barrymore Theater Oct. 19, 2016

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PUBLICITY PHOTO

Julia Huffman, producer and director of the award-winning documentary film “Medicine of the Wolf”

“Filmmaker Julia Huffman travels to Minnesota wolf country to pursue the deep intrinsic value of perhaps the most unjustly maligned animal on the face of the planet.” ~ “Medicine of the Wolf” press release

In celebration of Wolf Awareness Week, the Humane Society of the United States and Wolves of Douglas County present the Wisconsin premiere of “Medicine of the Wolf” Wednesday evening, Oct. 19, at the Barrymore Theater in Madison.

Julia Huffman’s award-winning film features Minnesota native Jim Brandenburg, a nature photographer who has worked 30 years as a contract photographer for National Geographic and is author of “Brother Wolf: A Forgotten Promise.” Brandenburg’s book starts off with a heart-rending letter from one who evolved with us: the wolf.

The film, with testimonials by Jane Goodall and John Vucetich, a wolf biologist, is a weighty counterbalance to the anti-scientific political pandering at the Great Lakes Wolf Summit orchestrated by Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow last month in the northwestern Wisconsin community of Cumberland.

Bryan Van Stippen, a progressive Democrat, is contesting Tiffany in the 12th Senate District, which is gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. Tiffany voted to shield lead-paint producers from claims that children were harmed by lead poisoning.

“It’s no wonder why ‘Toxic Tom’ authored the bill repealing John Doe investigations of political crimes,” Van Stippen wrote in a news release. “Clearly Sen. Tiffany knew what he was doing was wrong and didn’t want voters to learn the truth. It’s a shame he continues to sell out people of the Northwoods to benefit the dark money special interest groups pouring millions into our state elections.”

As an American Indian, Van Stippen respects wolves and nature, and will work to protect his constituents. Van Stippen has been endorsed by Russ Feingold, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, numerous workers unions, the Sierra Club, and other politicians, environmental and social justice organizations.

When I recently wrote a column about the attempt to delist wolves from the federal Endangered Species List by attaching a rider to Senate Bill 2012, the Energy Modernization Act, I originally stated that passing the bill would mean a permanent delisting of the wolf. The office of Sen. Ron Johnson, an author of the rider, requested a correction, saying, “The legislation does not call for the permanent exclusion of gray wolves, nor was it designed to.”

It is true that under the bill, the wolf could be relisted on the Endangered Species List — not by action of a federal court as happened in December 2014, but only if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service redesignated it as endangered.

However, an Oct. 4 article in the Minocqua newspaper, The Lakeland Times, reveals that wolf haters want wolves to be forever off the Endangered Species List and under state management — and how wolf opponents want to be sure that happens.

“The crucial wording in any legislation intended to delist wolves once and for all?” the reporter writes.

He then quotes the Wolf Summit’s keynote speaker, former Texas state senator Ted Lyons: “‘Wolf delisting rules shall not be subject to judicial review,’” said Lyons. “’We will get this done, but it will take support from a broad spectrum of organizations and political leaders to get the wolf delisted for good.’”

The desired end result for wolf haters is indeed permanent exclusion from federal protection. And the rider in S.B. 2012 prohibits judicial review of delisting.

There is another factor that will likely ensure permanent delisting. Big Tobacco hired “science” that for decades challenged smoking as a cause of lung cancer. Big Oil is being sued for hiring “science” to debunk the reality of climate change caused by their business and its profits. The DNR has its own hired scientists and its own agenda.

It took 38 years of federal protection and millions of dollars to bring Wisconsin’s wolf population to a DNR-estimated 850 wolves. Over the three years of wolf hunts in Wisconsin, from 2012 through 2014, I documented the killing of 1,100 wolves, using figures of wolves killed in the three hunts, a conservative U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimate of illegal killing and agricultural tags, and USFWS wolf kill estimates.

If you believe the current estimate by the DNR that now wolf populations have “exploded” to 900 wolves, I have a dinosaur hunt to sell you.

I believe the DNR will manipulate the estimated numbers of wolves in the state so that it keeps permanent state control of wolves for ongoing annual trapping and hunting seasons.

An excerpt from the Madravenspeak column “Why is the DNR Destroying our Wolves?” bears repeating: The Living With Wolves website addressed “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 these agencies 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(d) 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.’”

Contact your senators now to demand that the SHARE act and rider delisting wolves be removed from S.B. 2012. You can support a petition to President Obama to veto S.B. 2012 if it passes with those riders.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on October 9, 2016.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves at risk of delisting from Endangered Species Act

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Wolf with pup

“This is not a biological issue. It is a political issue…we want wolves gone.” ~ Statements made at the Sen. Tom Tiffany/Rep. Adam Jarchow Sept. 15 Great Lakes Wolf Summit

The actions and legislation of this U.S. Congress make me realize that hunters think that wilderness is a federally financed shooting range with roads leading across it from all directions, dogs fighting bears and wolves, forests emptied using steel-jaw traps, and living animals lined up for target practice.

Until the 90 percent of us who do not kill wildlife realize that “hunting” has morphed from a way to gather food to a recreational slaughterhouse romp through various seasons and species, with heads on walls, dog-fighting and power games, we will continue to allow the very essence of wilderness and the life of this planet to be shredded.

Our resulting suffering will be great. The death of pollinators, ocean life, bird life, natural predators, and the wild animals that have quietly balanced the world for us is bringing forth illnesses like lyme disease, chronic wasting disease, white-nosed bat fungus, brain worms in moose, and even the plague.

The killers want it all for themselves. For 52 years, since 1964, the Wilderness Act has protected millions of acres of public lands untrammeled from man’s schemes. Hunters and trappers, through the SHARE Act, want to gut the Wilderness Act and open up millions of formerly pristine wilderness acres to trapping, hunting, lead shot, shooting ranges (no liability for hunters), and roads.

The SHARE Act, described in a Madravenspeak column in February 2016, is too toxic to have passed as a stand-alone bill. So it has been snuck in as a rider to the equally toxic Senate Bill 2012, the “energy modernization bill.” Also added to the giant bill is de-listing Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves from the Endangered Species Act.

SB 2012 has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

I called Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate who focuses on the protection and recovery of top predators at the Center for Biological Diversity. He said that Senate Bill 2012 has not passed the Senate with the amendment to de-list Great Lakes and Wyoming gray wolves and the SHARE Act.

Not yet. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s aide, who described this bill at the Sept. 15 Great Lakes Wolf Summit, urged hunters to contact senators and Russ Feingold and push them to pass it. The bill’s advocates think President Obama will sign this large bill, which also would exacerbate climate change.

If passed with the Energy Modernization Bill, the SHARE Act, according to the Animal Welfare Institute “will have substantial adverse impacts on wildlife, conservation efforts, and public health and safety.”

The institute describes just some of the provisions of the bill:

• “Remove federal protections from wolves in Wyoming and in the Great Lakes region, thereby subjecting these imperiled animals to hunting and trapping.

• Promote the controversial practice of hunting and chasing after deer with hounds (also known as “deer-dogging”) in certain national forests.

• Take the unprecedented step of defining trapping as a form of hunting. This would open up more federal lands to the setting of steel-jaw leg-hold traps and other body-gripping traps that pose grave risks to public safety, wildlife, and even companion animals.

• Compel the National Park Service to allow private hunters to shoot bison in Grand Canyon National Park as part of its management plan.

• Prevent the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture from regulating lead — a potent and dangerous neurotoxin — in fishing tackle and ammunition. An estimated 10-20 million animals die from lead poisoning each year in the United States after ingesting lead shot, bullet fragments, and sport fishing waste.

• Declare that millions of acres of public lands are automatically open to hunting and trapping without any scrutiny. Public land managers seeking to disallow these activities in order to protect wildlife, habitat and the public would face huge bureaucratic hurdles.

• Halt the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to protect elephants from poaching and to curb the demand for ivory.

• Weaken existing law to make it easier to shoot, over bait, otherwise protected migratory birds.

• Block the Department of Interior from implementing policies to protect predators in Alaska from rampant killing on national wildlife refuges and national parks.

• Allow the importation of polar bear carcasses. This provision rewards hunters who raced to kill polar bears for trophies before their listing under the Endangered Species Act. Granting waivers such as this sets a dangerous precedent and signals to trophy hunters that they can flout the law.”

The provision that would delist gray wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming would not allow the delisting to be subject to judicial review — meaning that the only way for wolves to be protected under the Endangered Species Act is if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service re-designates them as endangered. The judiciary is supposed to be a third branch of government, acting as a check and balance on the executive and legislative branches. It would be stunning if it can be legislated out of its constitutional role.

Bob Welch, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and the Bear Hunters of Wisconsin spoke at Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow’s Great Lakes Wolf Summit Sept. 15. Kurt Thiede, new deputy secretary of the DNR, also spoke, saying the DNR favors 350 wolves in Wisconsin, a number calculated in 1999: “a population to hunt and trap.” The DNR wants nature reduced to a token wolf population, but is fine with a 9,000 concentrated goat farm animal operation.

“There is just one hope of repulsing the tyrannical ambition of civilization to conquer every niche on the whole earth. That hope is the organization of spirited people who will fight for the freedom of the wilderness.” ~ Bob Marshall, forester and co-founder of The Wilderness Society.

Fight back for wolves now. Contact Ron Johnson 202-224-5323, who has sponsored this legislation, Russ Feingold (info@russfeingold.com), and Tammy Baldwin http://www.tammybaldwin.com/contact/ or 608-663-6300. Press them to remove the “SHARE Act” and the de-listing wolves from SB 2012 or to vote against the bill. Call President Obama and ask him to veto this bill if these riders are not removed: White House comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this column incorrectly stated that the legislation would permanently remove the wolves from the Endangered Species List. They could be returned to the list by designation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but not by a court decision.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on June 25, 2016.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Nearly 5,000 bears will be killed in annual Wisconsin bear murder Sept. 7-Oct. 11

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APPALACHIAN BEAR RESCUE VIA BING IMAGES
Bear cub

“We say these animals have an intrinsic right to exist, but they are also providing economic and ecological services that people value.” ~ William Ripple, Department of Forest Ecosystems, Oregon University

Bears and all beings have an intrinsic right to exist. Killing a bear is as close to killing a human as is possible when killing another species.

I watched an American Indian tribal gathering to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Dogs were unleashed on indigenous people standing peacefully to protect sacred land. The judge ruled that the destruction of sacred burial grounds can continue, while a suit on the continuation of the overall project is pending. Laws are often unjust, favoring outdated but entrenched power structures.

I see a lot of parallels in that situation to the constant assault on our peaceful wildlife for the recreation of the most cruel and exploitative humans. There should be outrage over unlimited, unlicensed use of hundreds of packs of dogs to hunt bears on our public lands. Most bears are killed when they are 8 months to a year-and-a-half old.

Rod Coronado of Wolf Patrol writes: “Welcome to Wisconsin… Where You Can Buy a Hound Hunt for Bear on Craigslist… Charging $2,000, this bear hunt guide runs 35-40 bear baits, monitored by trail cameras, with a success rate of nearly 100%.”

This not a hunt. This is a profitable slaughter at a bear donut restaurant. Come in with the semi-automatics and crossbows to the baited area — pick out your target on camera, shoot, and let the dogs have some fun in the killing.

Pick up a stray dog, throw her into wolf territory to be killed, and the DNR will compensate the hunter $2,500 from the Endangered Species Fund. Twenty-five dogs have been killed since bear hounding “training” started July 1.

Is this the state of John Muir and Gaylord Nelson? It is defiled — a state with no moral compass. It is set up to disenfranchise those of us fighting to dignify the sanctity of all life and protect the web of life that sustains us all.

In January 2014, Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed biologist William Ripple about the accelerating decline of the world’s large carnivores and its serious impact on ecosystems. “Nature is highly interconnected,” said Ripple. “The work at Yellowstone and other places shows how one species affects another and another through different pathways. It’s humbling as a scientist to see the interconnectedness of nature.”

Yet we abandon wildlife to paid shills who rationalize maximum killing.

In 1968, Robert Franklin Leslie wrote one of my favorite books, “The Bears and I,” which Disney made into a movie. In writing about adopting three orphan black bear cubs in British Columbia, Leslie said that the American Indians (then) did not kill bears because bears were too much like men. They are intelligent, playful, curious and need their mothers for at least two years. Bears mature faster than humans, and are almost always nonviolent. Therein manifests the moral superiority of bear over man. They are not addicted to violence and killing.

Mother bears will be killed in this month’s hunt, leaving spring cubs to starve. Here is a sweet video of baby bear meets fawn that shows two of the main species killed for recreation in Wisconsin.

And here is Pedals, a grown black bear in New Jersey, who walks upright like a human because she has an injured front paw. Her injury makes her more visible and vulnerable to being killed.

Wednesday, Sept. 7, began another tragic killing spree in Wisconsin, one of many orchestrated by the DNR killing business: the bear kill. According to the DNR website, “The 2016 permit level recommendation (11,520 licenses to kill bears) represents a record number of Class A licenses available to Wisconsin Bear hunters. The last 7 bear seasons represent the 7 highest bear harvests in Wisconsin history. Wisconsin continues to lead the nation with more bear harvested than in any other state. In developing these quotas department staff met with interest groups…”

According to the DNR communications director, the interest groups, largely hunting advocates, included: Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Hunters Rights Coalition, Safari Club International, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, USDA Wildlife Services, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and U.S. Forest Service. The reason given for excluding the Humane Society, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and local humane groups, according to the DNR, is that since it is legal to kill bears, only bear killers should be consulted on how many bears are killed, how they are killed, and when and where they are killed on our public lands.

By the same logic, the DNR excludes the 90 percent of citizens who do not kill wildlife from most decisions about our wildlife and use of our public lands, including state parks.

The hypocrisy of this argument is made clear when considering wolves. When the wolf hunt was legalized, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp purged the Conservation Congress’ Wolf Advistory Committee of its humane representatives, including the Humane Society. But now that the federal courts have ruled that killing wolves is illegal and they are protected once again by the Endangered Species Act, shouldn’t the same argument be made to purge the Wolf Committee of killing interests and call in only protective representation? It is not happening. Only killing interests are ever represented in the DNR that rules our so-called “commons.”

Biologist William Ripple and his colleagues are calling for an international initiative to conserve large predators in co-existence with people.

All our bears’ tomorrows depend on your action or continued inaction today. Call your representatives.

Sign and network petition to protect Yellowstone’s 700 grizzly bears from trophy hunting.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on September 11, 2016

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized