Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: The death rattle of DNR hunting and trapping seasons

Love shown

“It turns out that in the US’s counterintuitive conservation funding system, hunters have to kill animals to fund the programs and agencies that work to save them.” ~J P Sottile, Truthout

“This (photo above) is Angel with one of her 3 cubs just a couple of weeks after leaving their den. This image shows the love between the mother and her cub she was guarding at the base of this safety tree. Her two other cubs (both males) spent the night high in the tree but this cub (female) had fallen from a tree the night before and her injuries prevented her from climbing ever again during her short life on earth. There are many ways cubs lose their lives during their first year and I am sure tumbling from 100’+ feet up a tree is a common occurrence unfortunately.”~ Chris Norcott, photographer.

Angel, the mother bear, and the story of her cubs are well-described by Chris Norcott on his Facebook page, with many charming pictures of the cubs being taught to climb, being encouraged to leave their comfy den, and being mothered. It takes so much attention and work to raise cubs in the wild, especially when just curiosity about humans can cause a “bear complaint” by people who fear bears out of ignorance.

The bear kill started Wednesday, Sept. 5, and lasts five weeks, through Oct. 9. Just when bears naturally would be feeding daily to survive an uncertain winter of hibernation, they are run, separated from cubs, and shot after being trapped in trees. Mother bears will tree their cubs and run until exhausted, when they will climb 70-100 feet up. Like this little cub pictured above, who died because she could not climb after injuries from falling from a tree, bears will be further injured by falls and dogs.

Bear hunting shames Wisconsin, appealing to the worst in man and dogs.

After my Aug. 26 Madravenspeak column was published, I received the following email from a Wisconsin man: “Thank you for your article. I will call my representatives, but I know it won’t do any good. We are a barbaric people. I worked in a factory with some bear hunters and they bragged about their kills. Honestly, things like this make me feel helpless and hopeless. I can’t say I want to live in this evil world anymore.”

In an Aug. 26, 2018, Truthout article, “Funding Conservation by Killing Animals: An Ironic Partnership,” J P Sottile references “a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 found that only 5 percent of Americans, or about 11.5 million adults, still hunt. That’s down by half in just 50 years.”

The waning number of hunters has put state agencies in hyper-drive, offering longer killing seasons, $5 licenses, and, in Wisconsin, dropping the age to hunt to 0. Waning numbers of hunters means waning revenue, since the archaic system is based on selling licenses to kill to fund these agencies.

Sottile writes, “The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources recently got a much-needed PR boost from the privately funded Aldo Leopold Foundation (based in Baraboo, WI). It came in the form of a “get out the hunt” campaign promoting the upside of grabbing a .30-06, heading out to the great outdoors and communing with nature by killing animals with poisonous lead bullets.”

The key words used by pro-hunting “conservation” organizations (League of Conservation Voters, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Aldo Leopold Foundation), whose dues-paying members include hunters, are “habitat, habitat, habitat.” There appears to be is no concern for the dwindling wild animals living in collapsing ecosystems.

Most of the public lands where hunting and trapping get priority are purchased by the public, the majority of whom are nonhunters. The money that comes in to state agencies from Pittman-Robertson gun and ammunition taxes ($34 million this year) goes in part to recruitment, retention and reactivation of more people to kill more wildlife, in part to gain more access to land for killing wildlife, and, in the guise of benefits to wildlife, is focused on providing more wildlife as fodder for trapping and hunting.

Self-glorification by trophy killers, big-game hunting, rugged individualism, and the Marlboro man were  phenomenon of the early 20th century.

Sottile points out: “But that was then and this is now, when Americans’ views are evolving along with science as it builds the case for widespread sentience among the animals who populate the Earth’s threatened ecosystems.

Most of the public lands where hunting and trapping get priority are purchased by the public, the majority of whom are nonhunters. The money that comes in to state agencies from Pittman-Robertson gun and ammunition taxes ($34 million this year) goes in part to recruitment, retention and reactivation of more people to kill more wildlife, in part to gain more access to land for killing wildlife, and, in the guise of benefits to wildlife, is focused on providing more wildlife as fodder for trapping and hunting.

Self-glorification by trophy killers, big-game hunting, rugged individualism, and the Marlboro man were  phenomenon of the early 20th century.

Sottile points out: “But that was then and this is now, when Americans’ views are evolving along with science as it builds the case for widespread sentience among the animals who populate the Earth’s threatened ecosystems.

“Americans are also far less tolerant of animal abuse and, as we’ve seen, they’re far less fond of hunting … particularly of “charismatic” apex species. This socio-cultural shift is exposing a paradoxical system of pre-World War II funding laws that links ‘conservation’ with an archaic ‘thrill-killing’ culture that remains firmly rooted in the late 19th century.”

Sottile’s assessment: “Frankly, with American birdwatchers outnumbering bird hunters 46 to 1, and with organizations like the Aldo Leopold Foundation scrambling to convince,mericans to get out and hunt, the hoary call to ‘protect the harvest’ sounds more like a death rattle than pealing bell.”

The many killing seasons promoted by the DNR can be found here.

During this five-week bear kill of 4,550 bears over dogs and bait, please contact your legislators and protest the kill. You can find your own legislators here.

The Sporting Heritage Committee Senate members can be found here

The Assembly comparable committee members can be found here

Feel free to copy and paste any of my bear articles to them.

Please consider a generous donation to building a bear sanctuary/education center  40 miles north of Madison.

This column was orinally publshed in the Madison CapTimes on September 9, 2018.


Posted by on October 13, 2018 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Which is the evolved species – peaceful bears or the cowards who kill them

“(T)he United States is a country that is fundamentally built on lies about itself.”~ Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, on Democracy NOW! Aug. 21, 2018 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s mission statement starts off: “To protect and enhance our natural resources: our air, land and water; our wildlife, fish and forests and the ecosystems that sustain all life.”

Sounds pretty. Sounds worthy. It is fundamentally a lie.

DNR policy is exactly the opposite of its mission statement.

Chris Norcott, the photographer who framed the above photo, has spent a lot of time with black bears. He commented on how tender bear mothers are with their cubs, and said, “Black bear cubs are said to have a 50 percent chance of survival during their first year so their mother has a challenge ahead of her to keep her cubs alive in the wild.” (Norcott later reports that the mother in the photo lost one of her cubs.)

He continued: “I will not compare bears to humans when it comes to child rearing. I’ve never witnessed (after spending 1000s of hours with them) a bear being cruel to their offspring. Humans have been cruel and violent towards their children as we all know by reading/watching the daily news. Sometimes while I spend time with bears and other wildlife I wonder which is the evolved species.”

Year after year, this column has alerted Wisconsin citizens to the massive suffering of our wildlife in planned killing sprees that definitely do not protect or enhance, but destroy hundreds of thousands of our fellow wild brothers and sisters — wantonly, randomly, for the minority of people who enjoy killing.

According to the Wolf Patrol, the DNR estimates that 4 million gallons of sugary donuts and breads are dumped in Wisconsin’s woods each year from April through the killing season of Sept. 5 to Oct. 9. Twelve states allow bear baiting. The average length of time baits can be used is 23 days. Wisconsin allows baiting for six months. Unlike neighboring Minnesota and Michigan, the DNR does not limit the number of bait piles or require bear killers to register the sites. An estimated 15,000 dogs chase bears and other wildlife through the woods starting July 1 through the kill. In this YouTube video, a drone is used to harass a treed bear.

I emailed the DNR media spokesman James Dick to ask if dogs could be run on bears or other wildlife day and night, no time restriction or license required. He replied, “Correct. There is no hour restriction during the bear dog training season and no license is required for training from July 1 through August 31.” He continued, ”Semi-automatic firearms can be used for hunting all species of wildlife. Fully automatic firearms are prohibited. Bump stocks are not prohibited in Wisconsin and therefore may be used for hunting purposes. (Bump stocks convert a semi-automatic into a fully automatic gun.) Expanding bullets are required for deer and bear hunting.”

The DNR does not keep record of how many dogs and men are in the woods chasing and tormenting our wildlife or for how long, day or night. When dogs tire, new dogs can be put on the trail to exhaust the bears. Black bears have no sweat glands. They cannot pant out the heat from being run for miles, so they die from heat stroke. Bear cubs, born this spring, cannot outrun the dogs. A former bear hounder told me that cubs are caught and killed by packs of dogs to teach them bloodlust.

A sample of bear hounding can be seen in this video. Five minutes of a Wisconsin bear hunt can be seen here

The bears learn during the July/August “training” that if they climb a tree they are safe. Then the killing starts Sept. 5.

The DNR has sold 12,970 licenses, allowing the killing of 4,550 bears. That is the highest number of licenses ever sold in Wisconsin, going up steadily the past 10 years, from 4,660 licenses sold in 2008 — three times more killing pressure on our bears. Over 124,000 people pay $4.50/year for a chance to kill our bears. That is $558,000 that empowers the killing business.

Every bear in the woods is traumatized by having a cub or mother or sibling killed. Orphan bears need their mother to den the first year. Forty-eight percent of the bears killed are female, many of them mothers.

This DNR cannot be reformed — it needs to be abolished and replaced with an agency that stewards our wildlife with respect and care. We need an agency that represents all of us.

The photographer Norcott voiced his opinion of similar atrocities: “They were baiting bears for weeks prior to the start of the hunt and charging hunters a fee to use their property for an easy kill the day the hunt started. I don’t know about you but I feel it’s unethical to fool a bear into believing he or she is safe and has an easy meal for several weeks only to be gunned down by those they grew to trust. Our bears deserve more respect and value. I’ll never forget one hunter bragging on Facebook about killing a mother with 3 cubs and having to pull the crying cubs off her body so he could skin her for a rug. These are not real hunters but cowards.”

Action Alert:

Bear hunters are liberal with their comments and money-lobbying of the Legislature. But nonhunters are the majority. We can flood our legislators with outrage against the treatment of our bears and other wildlife. We have a chance in the mid-term elections to choose our most humane candidates. Find your legislators here. Please call both senator and representative and tell them you stand against this bear kill, hounding, and baiting.

Send email comments against these atrocities in our national forest to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials at:

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on August 26, 2018.

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Posted by on October 10, 2018 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: The miracle of mother bear and cubs, defiled by wildlife agencies


In Grand Teton National Park, wildlife watching is an economic engine worth more than $728 million. — National Park Service

Ending human-caused suffering of fellow beings, ending monetizing animals for their death rather than valuing them for their lives — that is the transformation that can turn the world right-side up and save life on earth.

It is the “great turning,” and it is long overdue in this crisis of mass extinction.

Bear is the superb perfection of evolution, able to quasi-hibernate for six months or more without eating or elimination while birthing and nurturing cubs in a den. Bears are a miracle of conserving energy, restraint of physical power, tenderness and fierceness, and motherly devotion to young.

Mother bears carry the miracle of all mothers — the ability to create another living being — conjuring up the gift of life, teaching and protecting their young. Their bodies are sacred safe space. Madonna and child. Mother bear and cub.

As John Livingston writes in his provocative book “Rogue Primate,” “Wildness receives a great deal of pejorative treatment in our society…. To be wild is to be ungovernable, which means unci
And that, man has determined, must be managed. And managed with persistent and high-tech violence. In this topsy-turvy world, killing is spun as conservation. Hunters proclaim themselves the top of their self-serving hierarchy, a status substantiated by dead bodies displayed over plastic foam, heads on walls, and arrays of weaponry. Men and women take selfies, triumphantly standing over the dead bodies of other animals.

All of it signifies how lost we are.

We, the majority, are complicit in continuing to let this tragedy intensify. Good men doing nothing.

The wild is conquered. The need to control these “lesser” beings at our mercy. Play a numbers killing game with killers at the helm. The weaponry cannot be countered by hoof and claw. The dogs, the bait, the semi-automatics, rifles and crossbows, primitive steel jaw traps, excruciating body-gripping traps, snares, expanding bullets and broad heads legally 7/8 inches wide or more to do maximum vascular damage. The plasticizing, consumptive, climate-changing utility of mass murder — all a wrecking ball of the sacred, the natural balance, the fragility of life.

The typical domination is male power — in politics, representation, extraction, wrangling cattle to slaughter, Wall Street, Washington and the halls of governance. The beings who are absent — the vulnerable, voiceless, powerless, subjugated, herded, tortured and murdered. The thousands of miles of wild fires burning and no mention of millions of wildlife burned alive — just of structures, just of humans. We are gobbling up the world, dissecting it, deforesting, destroying prairie and wetlands, oceans, wildlife, climate, and ultimately ourselves.

It is not enough, this illusion of power and mastery. Overkill of wildlife on the remnants of remaining wild land is not enough. Children are taught it is adult-approved and admirable to kill the innocent.

We are ghosts wandering listlessly, or frantically, through a glut of consumption, technology and self-imposed suffering.

Who stops this juggernaut? Not you?

Jane Goodall has joined forces with concerned citizens to buy up licenses to kill grizzly bears for the first time after 42 years of protection. The “Shoot ’em With a Camera, Not a Gun” movement started in Wyoming when Wyoming’s wildlife commission voted 7-0 for a trophy hunt on Yellowstone grizzlies as soon as they were delisted from federal protection and handed to the state. State agencies, funded primarily with fees and licenses for killing wildlife, have a warped priority of, well, killing as much variety and number of wildlife as possible.

Judy Hofflund, one of the organizers of the lottery protest against killing up to 22 bears, said in an article in The Guardian: “The bears are still so vulnerable. It’s crazy that seven people get to decide that these bears get to be hunted so soon. That feels pretty nutty to me.”

Similarly, seven Wisconsin Natural Resources Board people have designated 4,500 black bears to be killed next month. A record 12,950 licenses have been sold to run down and kill our bears with packs of dogs, using bait. That is 205 times as many bears to be killed in Wisconsin as in Wyoming, more than anywhere else in the world. It’s a shameful smear on Wisconsin’s legacy.

The Center for Biological Diversity, in a message after one signs their petition, states: “It’s tragic that the Trump is sacrificing these magnificent animals to appease a tiny group of trophy hunters who want to stick bear heads on their walls. This irresponsible decision ignores both science and the majority of Americans who want our wild animals protected.

Grizzly 399 and her three cubs are the subject of the new book “Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek.” She has been pictured with three cubs. Last year her lone cub was killed by a car. This year the 21-year-old bear has been seen with two new cubs.

Hofflund said that of her 10 to 12 grizzly sightings, she has seen 399 three times — including once when she saw a man in a crowd of people burst into tears because he was so happy to see 399 alive.

Grizzly 399, an experienced mother, beloved by so many people, is a target. Like Cecil the lion. Like the unknown black bears that will die in Wisconsin, their stories never told.


Petition to stop the grizzly trophy kill.

The Center for Biological Diversity petition and action page is here.

Help start a bear sanctuary/education center in Wisconsin.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on August 12, 2018.

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Posted by on October 9, 2018 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Trump and Republicans work to gut the Endangered Species Act

This picture of a Sierra Nevada red fox was the first confirmed detection in Yosemite in nearly a century


“(T)hese bills go right at the key decision junctures in the act that protect species.” ~ Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity

The Trump administration, of course, values money and political power above the intrinsic value of the dwindling natural world. This is not a new concept, but this regime is the most extreme ever. Since inception, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state agencies that manage our public lands, waters, and wildlife have been funded primarily on fees collected for killing wildlife and weapon and ammunition taxes.

Now the Trump administration has ordered our federal agencies to consider economic concerns over protecting endangered species.

Republican legislator Don Young and the Congressional Western Caucus (representing hunter, trapper and rancher abuse of public land and wildlife) have proposed a nine-bill package to “modernize” the ESA. Read that for what it is: to weaken and eliminate its power to protect vulnerable species. Young claims: “The Endangered Species Act has been weaponized and misused by environmental groups for too long.” (Men seem to think of saving as “weaponized” and killing as “conservation.”

Two-thirds of Earth’s wildlife has been destroyed, across species, in just 50 years. Extinction is accelerating with climate change. The Endangered Species Act needs to be strengthened, not eviscerated.

Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in an interview on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” July 25: “(T)he Trump administration’s proposal to gut the Endangered Species Act is the most comprehensive, devastating attempt to destroy this law we’ve seen in this entire time. And this is after Reagan and after the Bushes.”

In Wisconsin, Sen. Tom Tiffany, chair of the senate Natural Resources Committee, is a bear-hunting wolf hater. The chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is similarly disposed, as Suckling points out: “Meanwhile, in the Senate, Wyoming Republican John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, also introduced a draft bill to amend the act.” This is Barrasso speaking at a hearing last week.

Over 60 Republican bills have been launched in the past two years to weaken or demolish the Endangered Species Act. The Committee for Biological Diversity has sued the Trump administration 81 times and won most. So Republicans are stacking the Supreme Court and courts across the country with right-wing judges to serve their agenda of disdain for government agencies, regulations, and protections. An independent judiciary has been our only safeguard, and it is being destroyed.

If Republican plans go into effect, according to Suckling they will:

• Destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with drilling.

• Strip protections entirely from about 60 percent of the threatened species now almost as protected as endangered species. “Under the Trump proposal, they would get no protection at all. You could continue to kill them, you could continue to destroy their habitat, as if they were simply not protected.

• “The Trump administration now wants to say, when deciding whether a species is endangered — a scientific question — you’re going to have to take into account economic impacts. Well, economic activity — mining, logging, grazing — is the cause of endangerment. And this is the Endangered Species Act, not the Endangered Mining Industry Act. So it really turns the priority of this very successful law entirely upside down.”

• Barrasso wants to delegate endangered species decisions to the states and proposes “voluntary” programs replace mandatory protection of habitat and endangered species. That assumes that states have the money and the desire to protect wildlife.

• Right-wing groups, particularly from the Western states (where much logging, mining, grazing, oil drilling, and coal mining occurs on public lands) are co-conspirators with Trump, the real estate developer, to exploit what is left.

Suckling explained that the Endangered Species Act has improved the conditions and survival of 85 percent of the 1,600 species on the domestic list. He mentions how the bald eagle recovered from a few hundred to 8,000, then was delisted; the grizzly bear, wolverine, green sea turtles, Atlantic sturgeon, Florida manatees have been helped somewhat. It is FEDERAL protection that has helped.

Suckling said the barrage of bills to gut the Endangered Species Act is devastating and targeted. “And they know what they’re doing.” They seek to:

• Make it harder to put an endangered species on the list at all.

• Allow habitat set up to protect species to be destroyed.

• “They want to change the people who create recovery plans for the species, the blueprint of what actions are needed, so that the states and industry groups dominate those plans.

• Eliminate recognition that global warming and greenhouse gases are factors driving species to extinction.

• Create loopholes for grazing “rights,” and for oil, mining, and logging companies to implement destructive plans that are driving species to extinction.

This calls for a citizen outpouring of support for the ESA, directed to federal legislators.

Urgent Actions:

Find your senators and representatives here. Call and email them to vote against Barrasso’s nine bills to gut the Endangered Species Act and vote against all 60 pending bills to weaken or “modernize” it. Strengthen it at this critical time of climate change.

This is the Center for Biological Diversity Action page of links. Click on wildlife. Please bookmark it and help stand up for our voiceless wildlife. I know they would do it for you.


This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on July 29, 2018.

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Posted by on September 5, 2018 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: The Republican plan to doom wild red wolves, possibly forever

“Their only native home is the United States. FWS is passing a death sentence on an animal as American as the bald eagle.” ~ Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona, ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, in The Washington Post.

One of the rarest mammals on earth, the red wolf, is likely headed for extinction in the wild.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a rule that would dramatically curtail the 30-year-old program to reintroduce the critically endangered red wolf in North Carolina by allowing the wolves to be killed if they wander off federal property.

North Carolina officials and many landowners in the area have vehemently opposed the wolf’s reintroduction there. They won’t be kind to wandering wolves.

In a June 27 Washington Post article, reporter Darryl Fears wrote: “U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials who presented the proposal in a news conference said the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, which supports about a dozen of the 35 red wolves that roam a five-county area in eastern North Carolina, would be the only place where they would be safe.”

“Like all wolves, red wolves are predators of mostly small game, and they naturally stray from boundaries drawn by humans,” the article states.

Hunter claims of deer losses to red wolves proved bogus and a new study shows, according to Ron Sutherland, a conservation scientist for the Wildlands Network quoted in the Post story: “Ironically, despite all of the hatred spewed at the wolves, [Fish and Wildlife] indicates that only seven confirmed cases of livestock depredation, all small animals like chickens and goats, have occurred since 1987.”

The U.S. wildlife agency says it intends to manage a small pool of 10 to 15 wolves at the refuge to maintain their gene pool while they search for a safer place on our millions of acres of published land for them to survive. However, most of our public land is hunted, trapped and defiled with lead shot.

This dramatic failure of the Endangered Species Act is only one of 90 Republican attacks on the Endangered Species Act.

Ramona Magee is a staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center who successfully filed for an injunction to stop issuing licenses to landowners to kill red wolves two years ago.

“We’re very disappointed in this plan,” McGee is quoted as saying in the Washington Post. “It’s a plan that effectively dooms the red wolf in the wild. It’s not enough to sustain a population, and if they wander off that [refuge] they can be shot and killed the moment they cross that boundary.”

“We’re very frustrated that the agency has continued to ignore the will of the American people on the red wolf issue. In 2016 conservation groups worked together to deliver a petition with half a million names calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do more to save the red wolf,” Sutherland told the Post.

“The decision to maintain such a small population of wild red wolves means that the vast majority of the 200 captive wolves held in zoos across the nation will never live outside a cage,” the Post story says. Sutherland is quoted as saying, “‘This is heartbreaking for us.’”

Wolves have been shot, run over, trapped and removed by federal officials for behaving like wolves and roaming to find new territory. They have mated with coyotes to try to survive.

On June 27, Perrin de Jong, staff attorney for Center for Biological Diversity wrote: “The red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered species and can now only be found in the wild in North Carolina.…The (U.S. Fish and Wildlife) Service already turned its back on wild red wolf recovery when it stopped supporting introductions of captive-bred wolves to the wild. Now the agency wants to drive the last nail into the coffin for these magnificent animals.”

He added that it is a political maneuver because coyote hunters find the wolf inconvenient to their other killing. Red wolf kills would not even have to be reported unless they are wearing a radio collar (which can easily be buried).

The center reports that the wolves have strong support in some quarters: “More than 98 percent of comments submitted by North Carolinians and 68.4 percent of comments from residents in the current five-county recovery area supported robust protection and recovery of red wolves in the wild.”

Katmai National Park in Alaska has a website about the wolf wars: “The wolf’s greatest downfall has been the fact that it relies on the same food sources as modern humans,” it reads. “North America was once home to as many as 57 million hoofed animals — bison, antelope, deer, elk, and bighorn sheep — today less than 8% of that number exist, mostly composed of deer. As European settlers moved through the continent, the American grasslands were extirpated of big game and replaced by sprawling farmlands.” And livestock.

Given the extreme loss of their natural prey, in an attempt to survive wolves that encounter livestock kill surprisingly few. Of course wolves do not know livestock is “owned” by humans only for their consumption. Farmers dominate the livestock landscape and hunters take wolves’ natural prey. Are humans the only species allowed to eat on this planet?

The Wolf Wars website continues: “Like the wolf, the coyote is being killed in masse because of a misapplication of ethics upon wild animals.”

Humans created the imbalances that are devastating our wild creatures.

“The widespread view of the wolf as an evil, revolting creature has resulted in the destruction of thousands of wolves and often brutal torture of the animal. The luckier recipients of man’s wrath were poisoned or shot. Others were burned alive or scalped; some had their mouths wired shut or their eyes scorched by branding irons, then were released back into the woods to slowly starve to death,” the Katmia National Park website reads. 

“The Fish and Wildlife Service isn’t just neglecting its duties, it’s actively undermining its own role as the protector of our nation’s endangered species,” Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, told the Washington Post reporter, in reference to the red wolf proposal.


URGENT action is required.

1. Red wolves: Go to this website. Put into the search box “North Carolina red wolves” and Endangered and Threatened Species: Nonessential Experimental Population of Red Wolves in Northeastern North Carolina should top the list. You will see a lot of deceptive blather and the green Comment Now tab in the top right hand corner. Comment period ends July 30.

2. Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves: Alaska, proposed rule, which would eliminate these current prohibitions: “Taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites; harvesting brown bears over bait; taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season (between May 1 and August 9); taking swimming caribou; taking caribou from motorboats under power; taking black bears over bait; and using dogs to hunt black bears” Go to this website. It should take you directly to the Comment Now tab. Comment period ends July 23.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on July 15, 2018.

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Posted by on August 4, 2018 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Federal judge slams USDA’s wildlife-killing agency


Center for Biological Diversity


Beef, it’s what’s for dinner. With a large side of wildlife slaughter.” ~ Madravenspeak column, “Federal Wildlife Services Program Serves Up Poison”

“Jane Goodall gave the documentary about (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s) Wildlife Services, “EXPOSED,” rave reviews and wants millions to see it,” according to the website Predator Defense. “(W)histle-blowers go on the record showing Wildlife Services for what it really is — an unaccountable, out-of-control, wildlife killing machine that acts at the bidding of corporate agriculture and the hunting lobby, all with taxpayer dollars.” It’s on YouTube here.

“The U.S. government is using your tax money to wage a war against wild animals so that ranchers raising livestock for meat can keep getting richer,” according to Sarah Schweig, writing on the website The Dodo.

In 1895, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services was initiated to promote beef production and control natural predators and rodents. It responds to requests from individual ranchers, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and state agencies governing wildlife management. It has since expanded its agenda to serve hunters and trappers.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, this secretive agency killed over 32 million of our native wildlife since 1996, and “it often doesn’t even attempt to use nonlethal methods before shooting coyotes and wolves from airplanes, or laying out traps and exploding poison caps indiscriminately — including in public areas — without any rules. Stories about Wildlife Services consistently emerge describing an agency that commits extreme cruelty against animals, leaving them to die in traps from exposure or starvation, attacking trapped coyotes, and brutalizing domestic dogs.”

On June 22, a federal judge found the Wildlife Service had acted capriciously. The Center Biological Diversity’s June 25 press release says: “In a powerful rebuke, a federal judge has ruled that a U.S. agency that kills thousands of animals a year in Idaho failed to adequately analyze the environmental risks of shooting, trapping and poisoning native wildlife like mountain lions, coyotes and foxes.”

The court found that Wildlife Services “acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner deciding not to prepare an EIS (environmental impact study).”

Wildlife Services killed over 3,860 coyotes in Idaho in 2016.

While Wildlife Services is hired to kill natural predators and ravens to “save” sage grouse in Idaho, Idaho hunters are still killing sage grouse.

An account by Sarah Schweig for The Dodo in 2017, documented that: “despite persistent outrage from the public, the U.S. government (Wildlife Services) killed 2.7 million wild animals in 2016, 3.2 million wild animals in 2015 and 2.7 million wild animals in 2014.”

According to the Wildlife Services has long been secretive for a reason: Its actions are incredibly, unacceptably and illegally brutal and inhumane to animals, from familiar wildlife to endangered species — and even people’s pets.

This agency has been killing as many as 3 million native animals every year — including coyotes, bears, beavers, wolves, otters, foxes, prairie dogs, mountain lions, birds and other animals — without any oversight, accountability or requirements to disclose its activities to the public. The agency contributed to the decline of gray wolves, Mexican Gray wolves, black-footed ferrets, black-tailed prairie dogs, and other imperiled species during the first half of the 1900s, and continues to impede their recovery today.”

In Wisconsin in 2017, Wildlife Services reported killing 28,710 wildlife, including unintentional killing in foothold traps, river/ otters, muskrats, great blue herons, turtles, geese, ducks, white-tailed deer. Intentionally, the agency killed red-winged blackbirds, woodchucks, 1,811 beavers in body-gripping traps, 27 beavers in neck snares, 5 black bears, 7 coyotes in neck snares, intentionally shot 29 mute swans, 4 striped skunks, 105 rock pigeons, 38 killdeers, 1 great blue heron, 426 ring-billed gulls, 142 herring gulls, 26 mallards, 35 wild white-tailed deer, 10 sandhill cranes, 346 double-crested cormorants (they eat some fish), 3 Harrier hawks, and 6 red-tailed hawks. They intentionally killed a snowy owl!

“The irony is state governments and the federal government are spending millions of dollars to preserve species and then (you have) Wildlife Services out here killing the same animals,” said Michael Mares, president of the American Society of Mammalogists in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. “It boggles the mind.”

One of the most complete investigations into Wildlife Services and its killing of rare and endangered beloved animals like Golden Eagles and super rare wolverines was done by Tom Knudsen of the Sacramento Bee in 2012. His reporting included the information that Wildlife Services killed over 1,100 dogs between 2000 and 2012. On average, eight dogs a month have been killed by mistake by Wildlife Services since 2000. The trappers are taught to bury endangered species and dogs and discard collars without reporting. Knudsen’s work is worth reading. Then contact your federal legislators to end this outdated, cruel, and destructive killing agency.

This is wanton killing that ignores a mass extinction that threatens all of us. Speak up.


See the trailer here for Project Coyote’s award-winning documentary, “Killing Games.”

The best thing citizens can do is call and email your federal legislators to end Wildlife Services funding once and for all. Find your legislators here.

Petitions you can sign to end Wildlife Services, assault weapons killing 10 wolves in Denali at once, trapping and livestock grazing on public lands, and against the Sportsmen’s Act which will gut the Wilderness Act of 1964:

End trapping in Wilderness and other Public Lands

End livestock Grazing in Wilderness

Sportman’s Act would Gut the Wilderness Act

Stop Cruel “Hunting” Practices on Natural Preserves in Alaska


This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on July 1, 2018.

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Posted by on July 28, 2018 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Tribes fight trophy hunters to protect sacred grizzlies

Those that massacred our people … they wiped out the buffalo, the grizzlies and the wolves — and today that mindset is still there, that ‘disease of the mind’” ~ Chief Arvol Looking Horse, GOAL Tribal Coalition to Protect the Grizzly

The delisting of the grizzly bears around Yellowstone National Park plays out a tragedy that the Indian tribes know well. David E. Stannard argues in his new book, “American Holocaust,” that the European and white American destruction of the native peoples of the Americas was the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world.

Today we have the ongoing massacre of animals in slaughterhouses and the hunting and trapping of the last of Earth’s wildlife.

The agencies charged with protecting our so-called commons, like those supposedly protecting water, air, land and democracy, have long been turned upside down to do the opposite. It is all about money and entrenched power and take.

Citizens have never been able to trust state and federal wildlife management agencies, which are funded largely by licenses and fees related to killing wildlife. Citizen activists for wildlife have been pushing against the existing killing businesses for decades, but now the crisis is mass extinction. The 4 percent of mammals left on Earth that are wild need our protection.

The Grizzly Times, in its “The Government Art of Spin” section, reports: “The public has been swamped with misinformation about the growth of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population during the last decade… Bottom line: The population has not increased since around 2002 and has probably declined since 2007, which benchmarks the end of the interval during which we lost most of the cone-producing white-bark pine trees in the Yellowstone ecosystem…. grizzly bear conflicts with hunters and livestock producers over meat have surged dramatically since loss of white-bark pine, which is consistent with a turn by many bears to eating more meat in compensation for loss of pine seeds…and cutthroat trout.”

The Times charts a dramatic increase of hunter-caused mortality (poaching): “Note that the increase in hunter-caused mortalities has occurred despite substantial declines in numbers of hunters afield. This belies claims by agency spokespeople that hunters are ‘behaving better’ than in the past.”

According to a National Parks Conservation Association press release fighting to protect the bears, “Visitors to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks — many of whom travel to the national parks to see wildlife including grizzly bears — generated more than $1 billion ($1,089,000,000) in economic spending in 2017 and supported 16,040 jobs, based on a new economic reporter released this week by the Department of Interior.”

In 2016, Oglala Sioux Tribe Vice President Tom Poor called for a congressional investigation into the conduct of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in its effort to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from  Endangered Species protection. It was revealed that USFWS contracted with a former Halliburton executive heading a multinational oil and gas services group for peer review of its delisting rule. Also, the article in Native News Online reports: “Central to Poor Bear’s original complaint are ties between a USFWS grizzly delisting official and trophy hunting juggernaut, Safari Club International.

Native Americans care about the great bear. In 2016, they issued a document of intertribal solidarity, only the third of its kind in 150 years. The Grizzly Treaty has been signed by more than 270 tribes, as well as numerous traditional societies and leaders (representing over 700 tribal nations).

The tribes asked for:

• Consultation with all impacted tribes: A conclusion supported by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

• Science: “We have serious concerns about the science being presented, and worry that ultimately this process will result in ostensibly zoo populations in two national parks, Yellowstone and Glacier.’”

• Moratorium on killing grizzly bears just delisted.

• Reintroduction, not trophy killing. “There are Tribal Nations with biologically suitable habitat in the grizzly’s historic range who propose having this sacred being reintroduced to their sovereign lands. Instead of trophy hunting them, transplant the hunting quota from Greater Yellowstone and from the Crown of the Continent, to these tribal lands. This reintroduction can provide for economic and vocational opportunity where it is most desperately needed — on our reservations — where unemployment can run from 70 to 90%.”

This includes ecotourism benefits to the tribes and all citizens of this country.

“We now face unprecedented times, the likes of which we have not encountered in our lifetimes, but that our ancestors confronted and left us with the examples to follow. This treaty between our nations is not just about the preservation of this sacred being, the grizzly bear, or the protection of one river, this is a struggle for the very spirit of the land — a struggle for the soul of all we have ever been — or will ever become. Within this struggle to protect the grizzly, and thus the land the grizzly, in turn, protects with the water, we find many of our struggles…” ~ Chief Stanley Grier, Chief of the Piikani, Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy



Montana decided in February against opening a trophy hunt, and Idaho, home to the smallest number of grizzlies, this month approved a fall hunt of a single male bear. A Wyoming wildlife commission voted unanimously May 30 to approve the state’s first grizzly bear hunt in more than 40 years, to kill as many as 22 bears just one year after Yellowstone-area grizzlies were removed from the Endangered Species List.

Call the president. Comments: 202-456-1111; Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Petitions to sign and network:

You Tube Videos (click here)

Links to share

National Parks Association Save the Yellowstone Grizzy Campaign, click here

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on June 17, 2018.


Posted by on July 19, 2018 in Uncategorized