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Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Climate and extinction crises call citizens to attend April 8 nature election

CCCE79A3-ADDC-4ADF-82AF-FA5AB526727D

NPS / Tim Rains

All of this comes at a huge cost and has implications for the systems that prop up life on this planet, throwing into doubt the ability of humans to survive.” ~ UN report on the rapid degradation of the natural world 

Much of the focus of this column is to empower people to take part in decisions about nature and wildlife. The people who have made those decisions, traditionally, have been hunters and trappers waging an escalating war on wildlife. Two-thirds of wildlife destroyed by human pressures in just 50 years, and climate change is compounding wildlife extinctions.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides the structure for ongoing ecocide. On the DNR website, the funding link states that “Hunters, anglers and trappers fund 90 percent of fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin through license fees and excise taxes.” It states that Wisconsin is No. 1 in trophy bucks, No. 1 in bear kill, No. 2 in total number of hunters, and No. 3 in number of trappers in the country. The  DNR runs a killing business for the 10 percent of citizens who run dogs on our wildlife, trap, maim and kill them. The 90 percent who do not kill, but who pay with their taxes for public lands, are an inconvenience who have been successfully excluded from the decision-making process.

Five-thousand hunters and trappers attend the annual Conservation Congress elections held annually in every county of the state — this year it’s April 8 — out of the millions of Wisconsinites who should know how important this election is and participate.

The April 8 evening election is a collaboration of the DNR and the elected Conservation Congress. Citizens can find their county’s location and the questionnaire citizens can answer.

The same DNR link, for the first time, allows online voting beginning at 7 p.of m. April 8 for three days. However, only citizens attending can run for election, elect representatives to the Conservation Congress, propose new policies or vote on new resolutions.

Citizens concerned about climate change, factory farms, sand fracking, mining, wolves and wildlife can attend to make policy proposals for change. Scrolling down the DNR link, one finds “How to write a resolution” (policy proposal) and a “Resolution template [Word].” For example, a proposal to ban predator-killing contests would be created in that format and two copies must be submitted to the board before the county elections begin. Retain one copy to read. Two resolutions are allowed per citizen. Registration is between 6 and 7 p.m. in every county’s meeting location on April 8. The election of two delegates of the five representing each county is the first order of business. Anyone 18 or older who resides in that county can nominate him or herself or be nominated by a friend.

Humane concerned citizens aware of mass extinction and climate threats are encouraged to run.

Last week I received an email from a woman interested in running, wondering if she had the science background and qualifications to speak out for wildlife. I told her that most of the delegates are hunters and trappers, not scientists, and run to support their hunting and trapping interests. Yet 90 percent of Wisconsin citizens kill no wildlife and want safe state parks, living wildlife and healthy intact ecosystems.

For the past 86 years, the Conservation Congress delegation has been dominated by consumptive users of our public lands. The Congress, which began as a hunting/trapping lobby in 1934, was established by the Legislature 1972 as the sole advisory body to state government on our publically purchased lands, waterways, and wildlife. The purpose was to provide Wisconsin citizens with a local avenue for input and exchange concerning conservation issues.

But not ALL Wisconsin citizens. Most do not understand how the Conservation Congress works.

The DNR never conducted a campaign to open this election and vote to the general nonhunting majority of Wisconsinites for input on our valuable and threatened natural world. This is a citizen right and responsibility that has been denied.

A March 16, 2019, Huffpost article by John Vidal, “The Rapid Decline of the Natural World Is a Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change,” is subtitled: “A three-year UN-backed study from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform On Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (that has) grim implications for the future of humanity.”

Five hundred scientists in 50 countries conducted an 8,000-page study to be published in May. Vidal’s article describes the reports conclusion as: “Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken.” It describes “how tens of thousands of species are at high risk of extinction, how countries are using nature at a rate that far exceeds its ability to renew itself”

The report emphasizes: “Industrial farming is to blame for much of the loss of nature.” Hunting, trapping, overfishing, plastics, pesticides, and human overpopulation add to the destruction.

“The question is, Are we going to be in time, and are we going to do enough? And the answer to both of those is no. David Attenborough, narrator of the PBS “Our Planet and Blue Planet 11” series. 

Be empowered. Do something. Attend your election. Stay the entire night. Contribute bold resolutions for a paradigm shift to caring for our wildlife and ourselves.

We are fighting for our lives.

Action Alerts:

Please contact me if you are interested in running for election in your county.

Please join us for a screening of “The Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs,” Friday, April 12, 7–9 p.m., Discovery Center, Orchard View Room, 330 N. Orchard Street, Madison. The film will be followed by a panel discussion including Project Coyote Science Advisory Board Member Adrian Treves, Bill Lynn, and Megan Nicholson.

Comments about delisting wolves from the Endangered Species List, opening them up to trophy kills in Wisconsin and the entire lower 48 states, will be taken by the USFWS until May 14.

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This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on April 8, 2019.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

April 9 DNR Nature Election and Vote in every community; poster templates to used (edited) for your community are attached. Please network, attend, run for election!

To access information regarding the Annual Wisconsin department of’ Natural Resouces (DNR) Election and Vote go here. Discussed is the NEW online input option. A link to the 2019 Spring Hearing Questionnaire is provided, along with voting locations and the 2019 Spring flyer, and proposed changes to the wildlife and fisheries rule language. Finally, information regarding the resolution and election process is provided

Attached are posters developed by Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic for citizens to adapt to post on bulletin boards in their communities – humane societies, coffee shops, health food stores and co-ops, libraries, book stores, pet stores, and community centers. View the 8-1/2″ x 11″ format flyer / brochure here and the 11″ x 17″ version poster format here. From these links, simply download content to your computer. Then use the print screen option to make an image file which can be printed.

As noted above, the locations, questionnaire and descriptions regarding how to make a policy proposal (resolution) are all on the DNR website. Simply delete the location in the text box and replace (and size) your county location in the box to send out to your circle of influence, print and post. A little grassroots work can go a long way to opening up this election and vote to all citizens. It would be important that they be up over the weekend so people have time to see them.

The posters can also be printed in black and white too. So far this year, I have put up about 30 of them around Madison and left 125 flyers. Last year I put out 1000 flyers at Whole Foods, Willy St. Co-ops and other venues.

I really encourage all of you interested in addressing climate change, factory farming, fracking, plastics, and wildlife issues and safe public lands – to come and bring your ideas for change. Make a resolution to support THE GREEN NEW DEAL. Or ban single use plastics. Or protect wetlands and beavers – whatever your concern is (and there are many) – please send me any resolutions and I will try to network them out to other counties.

We need humane candidates running in every county for the two – year and three -year positions up for grabs every year. It is a very low time commitment of 4 meetings a year. I have had people express concern about their knowledge or background. Just know that almost all of the delegates are and have always been hunters and trappers just promoting privatizing our public lands to killing wildlife. The DNR web site states that 90% of its funding to man-age wildlife is coming from killing licenses. Many of these delegates do not believe in science or climate change and know nothing of mass extinction and the accelerating threats to human survival on a besieged planet (by us!). You just have to care about your world to run.

So please step up. If humane attendees have no option for a humane candidate, it can get discouraging so they do not return.

The Madravenspeak Column coming out Sunday, April 8 encourages citizens to make policy proposals (explained at the above WDNR link as resolutions). Bring 3 copies to the election and submit them to the panel BEFORE the event starts at 7 p.m. Keep one extra copy to read.

Come between 6 and 7 to register with ID. Please do not stay in the foyer filling out the questionnaire – go immediately into the room to do it because the election is the first event of the night and we need everyone there to have a chance against the NRA, hunters, trappers and hounders who dominate.

A cheat sheet identifying the most humane answers was developed by the Alliance for Animals. It can be found here.

NEW: Online Input Option from the DNR’s website:

Click here for 2019 Spring Hearing Online Input Option

 For the first time ever, the DBR and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress will be providing an opportunity for the public to weigh-in on the Spring Hearing questions through an online option. The online input option will be provided through a link that will be posted on this page and will go live at 7:00 p.m. on April 8. The online version will remain open for three days (72 hours). Individuals in attendance at the Spring Hearings can choose to fill out the paper input form the night of the hearing or take a random verifiable number that can be submitted through the online system. The random verifiable number will allow an individual’s input to be tallied along with the input provided by in-person attendees in the county in which they attended.

*Individuals who are unable to attend a Spring Hearing in person can provide input through the online version (without the random verifiable number). This input will be compiled and considered with the overall input but will be separate from the county-specific (in-person) input.

*Individuals who are unable to attend a Spring Hearing in person can provide input through the online version (without the random verifiable number). This input will be compiled and considered with the overall input but will be separate from the county-specific (in-person) input.

*Online input frequently asked questions [PDF]

*With the addition of the online option for providing input, the results of the Spring Hearings will not be available the following day as they have been in the past. Results will be posted on this page as soon as they are available.

*The election of WCC delegates and input on citizen introduced resolutions will remain unchanged and will require in-person participation.

*If you have questions or issues with the online input option please email staff at SpringHearingInfo@Wisconsin.gov.

*Questions or comments related to the DNR proposed rule changes should be directed to Scott Karel for wildlife questions or Meredith Penthorn for fisheriest. Online input frequently asked questions [PDF]
href=”mailto:SpringHearingInfo@Wisconsin.gov”>SpringHearingInfo@Wisconsin.gov

Once again, plan to attend, participate and network this event. Apologies for the delay in getting this information out to you. Nevertheless, any action taken by you will support humane change in Wisconsin.

Thanks.

Patricia

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Heed scientists’ warnings and elect humane delegates at statewide DNR election April 8


Red fox in Yosemite National Park
National Park Service / Chris Stermer

To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual.” ~ World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, a Second Notice, in Bioscience

Every year, the DNR holds a statewide election of delegates to represent Wisconsin citizens in setting policy to govern our state parks, waterways and wildlife, and to determine whether climate change, factory farms, sand fracking, or wetland protections are addressed.

Affect policy by attending, running candidates of like mind, or running as a candidate yourself and open this election beyond the “business as usual” of the past 85 years of hunter/trapper domination.

This year’s election and vote will be held Monday night, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. in every county in Wisconsin.

Citizens can vote to protect children from being taught to kill wildlife as toddlers, and return the starting age to 10. State parks will be safer with 10-year-olds shooting rather than 3-year-olds.

Citizens can vote on whether to ban lead shot and lead sinkers, which are spread across our waterways and lands poisoning eagles, water birds, fish and wildlife.

Quoting from the DNR website:

For the first time ever, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be offering an online option for individuals who wish to provide input on the DNR proposed rule changes and WCC advisory questions through an alternate method.

*Please note, the election of WCC delegates and input on citizen-introduced resolutions (proposals for new policies) will remain unchanged and will require in-person participation. The link for providing online input will be posted on the Spring Hearing webpage at https://dnr.wi.gov/About/WCC/springhearing.html.

The online input option will go live at 7:00 pm on April 8, the same time the Spring Hearings begin, and will remain open for three days (72 hours).

The hunting lobbies apparently are confident that they can network the questionnaire through their very-organized Wisconsin Wildlife Federation of 190 killing-group memberships.

The questionnaire link also explains the two- and three-year delegate positions that are elected IN PERSON at the election April 8. Hunting activists will know to show up because the power is in electing delegates who decide what goes on the questionnaire. I encourage humane citizens to run for election.

The focus of this forum has always been expanding hunter/trapper control of wildlife policy. There are no proposals addressing climate change, mining, factory farms, or the crisis of mass extinction.

The Conservation Congress was a hunting lobby initiated in 1934 by hunters and trappers to wield influence in the governing of our public lands, waterways, and wildlife. In 1972, Gov. Patrick Lucey signed legislation making this hunting lobby the sole policy advisory body to the Legislature, Natural Resources Board and Department of Natural Resources. The Conservation Congress, along with the Department of Natural Resources, then did not reveal to the non-hunting public — the majority of citizens — that this is a public election. They hide it by calling it a “spring hearing,” not an election, so non-hunting citizens do not know they can elect delegates. They hide it by announcing the candidates on the floor of the election that night instead of the usual transparent pre-election campaigning on issues. This strategy has resulted in the killing of wildlife being prioritized on our publicly purchased billions of dollars of public lands and waterways, and opened even state parks to hunting and trapping.

What is not called an election does not seem like a regular election. Instead of tying it to the municipal elections the week before, this election is held at night at high schools, and even a gun club in Dunn County. It is not regulated by Wisconsin election law, because it is “only advisory,” yet it is the ONLY citizen advisory body on wildlife policy.

“The State of Wisconsin had 3,420,099 active registered voters on February 1, 2019.” (Wisconsin Election Commission)’

Yet a pitiful 5,000 citizens attend this nature/wildlife election in the entire state every year — most of them hunters, trappers and bear hounders. Ninety percent of Wisconsin citizens hike, bike, wildlife watch, and visit our parks without killing anything. We have never been fairly represented.

It is a corrupt system unique to Wisconsin. On the DNR website, a 2009 celebration of this advisory body is ironically titled “Seventy-five years of Conservation Through Democracy.” Some democracy! Five thousand hunters representing a state in which 90 percent of the citizens are not hunters.

This history of the Conservation Congress elections explains, “Sportsmen and women gather to hear and debate proposed changes to natural resource law, and to gather opinions to consider for future policies or rules.” “Sportsmen” — not “all citizens.” Pay attention when an election and vote this important is deliberately hidden for 85 years from the majority of the public.

The fact is that people who want to protect our wildlife have not been welcomed or even informed that this secretive nighttime election and vote exist. The system has been rigged against the citizens of Wisconsin for 85 years. Hunters and trappers call it “the most important election in the state.”

The Second Scientist Warning to Humanity, 2017, concludes: “(W)e have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

Care enough to show up at your election this one night a year.

Action Alert:

Wisconsin citizens can study this DNR website to learn more. There is a link to the questionnaire, locations in every county, and directions for how to make a proposal for change or helping nature or wildlife. Look for “how to make a resolution” and resolution template. Follow the template exactly. Every citizen can submit two copies of two resolutions and keep copies for yourself.

There is a DNR flyer linked here that you can adapt to your county location and post at billboards around your county. Contact me at the email below for prettier ones.

Support the Center for Biological Diversity efforts to stop the Trump administration from de-listing the 5,000 to 6,000 wolves for the benefit of trophy hunters, in the lower 48:

www.biologicaldiversity.org/, and www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/Great_Lakes_gray_wolf/index.html and https://focusingonwildlife.com/news/poll-should-all-wolves-be-stripped-of-federal-protection/ 

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This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on March 24, 2019.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Change eating habits to save humanity and the planet

Students gather outside the State Capital for the Yourh Climate strike on March 15.

We have passed irreversible tipping points. Now the end of human civilization is the positive we can hope for…” Thom Hartmann on his daily talk show February 2019

We need to treat the food system as a primary cause and cure for climate change.

Humans have abused the earth and the life of this planet wantonly. We have a deadly enemy within — resistance to change and a cultural acceptance of massive cruelty. We must reform almost everything, dramatically and now. We must close the slaughterhouses, stop killing wildlife, and help the land, water and wildlife survive what we have done to poison, plasticize, deforest, oil, frack and tar sand the land and oceans.

It is time to talk about human extinction.

Thom Hartmann, who has updated his book “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” reported tipping points just passed: Iceland, Greenland, and the Arctic are no longer regaining ice in winter but steadily losing it. That will inundate major cities: London, New York, Miami. He referred to the end of human civilization as the best we can hope for and the end of all life on earth the likely endgame.

He discusses it here on YouTube

Stephen Leahy lays out warnings in an Oct. 8, 2018, article for National Geographic:

“The impacts and costs of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) of global warming will be far greater than expected, according to a comprehensive assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It reported that 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit could be reached in as little as 11 years — and almost certainly within 20 years without major cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Even if such cuts were to begin immediately it would only delay, not prevent, 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming.”

There is an estimated 40-year lag time between emission of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere and the warming effects. “Scientists tell us that even if CO2 was stabilized at its current level (414.27 ppm on February 9, 2019 … there is at least another 0.6 degrees ‘in the pipeline’.

Leahy writes: “Every pound of CO2 emitted in the last hundred years will continue to trap heat in the atmosphere for hundreds of years to come. By 2045 or 2050 there will still be too much CO2 in the atmosphere. More forests or some form of direct capture that takes CO2 out of the atmosphere will be essential to stabilize global temperatures at 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), the report says.

We must stop ranching and plant trees instead of cows.

A new effort has emerged to end the slaughterhouses of the Western world by 2025: The website states: “(T)here is an enormous amount of evidence that killing animals for food is a root cause of not only of enormous animal suffering but also global warming, biodiversity loss, human disease, and poverty in the developing countries.

When one opens the website, a kill counter starts the count of animals being killed since opening the page. An estimated 3 billion land animals and wild and farmed fish are killed daily.

That count does not include hunting and trapping our natural predators and wildlife, the by-catch, and poaching of the last of our wild creatures to facilitate slaughter of the enslaved.

Citizens can join the Save Movement here

There are many groups working on raising consciousness of the connection between an imminently unlivable planet and our slaughter of hundreds of billions of other animals.

In the Washington Post in 2016, Chris Mooney wrote “The Profound Planetary Consequences of Eating Less Meat”: “Namely, the researchers find that shifting diets toward eating more plant-based foods on a global scale could reduce between 6 and 10 percent of (human) mortality — saving millions of lives and billions of dollars — even as it also cuts out 29 to 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions linked to food by the year 2050.

A United Nations environment report,“Tackling the World’s Most Urgent Problem: Meat,” reiterates the link between meat and climate: “The greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship combined, they said. There is no pathway to achieve the Paris climate objectives without a massive decrease in the scale of animal agriculture, they added.”

The Paris accord does not limit greenhouse gases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
A CNN article states: “Global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach ‘net zero’ around 2050 in order to keep the warming around 1.5 degrees C.” It says, “Coral reefs will also be drastically affected, with between 70 and 90% expected to die off, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Thom Hartmann asks: “Is the worst climate change tipping point just five years away?”

He cites another British report: “The UK’s national weather service, the Met Office, has set off a fire alarm. The big fear the IPCC defined was that if global warming went above 1.5 degrees Celsius before the year 2100, it could trigger a bunch of irreversible tipping points, including widespread melting of frozen methane, that could trigger a climate spiral that would kill off large parts of the life on earth, leading to the death of billions of humans and the end of what we call civilization.

Now the UK’s Met Office says this may happen within the next five years. It’s time for the Green New Deal to be put into law today, both here in the US and its equivalent in other countries around the world.”

We are in a fight for our lives and all life of the planet.

Action Alert

Watch “Ma’iingan: Brother Wolf,” a new documentary, which premieres 7 p.m. Monday, March 4, on Wisconsin Public Television.

Please send this column to your federal legislators and request support for The Green New Deal.

Choose a plant-based, non-dairy/non-meat diet.

Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, has authored S.B. 30, the Senate Bill to ban wildlife-killing contests. Please contact your legislators to support the bill and the members of the Senate Sporting Heritage committee to ask for a hearing:

Sen. Tiffany, chair: Sen.Tiffany@legis.wisconsin.gov / 608-266-2509

Sen. LaMahieu, vice-chair: Sen.LeMahieu@legis.wisconsin.gov / 608-266-2056

Sen. Stroebel: Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin.gov / 608-266-7513

Sen. Wirch: Sen.Wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov / 608-267-8979

You can email them the two Madravenspeak columns on the killing contests, found here and here.

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This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on March 3, 2019.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Urge your legislators to back bills to ban Wisconsin wildlife-killing contests

I never thought that we could get lower than hounders in general. I was wrong. These coyote haters and their sick contests are the lowest of the low.” ~ Our Wildlife/Hound Free Public Lands

“Trucks pulled into the parking lot one after the other to unload the bodies of the animals. The contestants laughed and joked about their kills as they tossed dozens of bloody carcasses from the trucks and dragged them across the parking lot so they can be weighed. One participant remarked that the snow covering the ground made it easier to track and kill the coyotes, and another pointed out, to laughter, ‘This one here got gut shot.’” An HSUS undercover investigation of an Oregon killing contest shows the animals tossed around like trash.

A bill has been authored in Oregon to ban these contests, which have taken place under the radar around the country for decades, including Wisconsin. Vermont and California have already banned them.

Now bills are being introduced to stop this travesty in Wisconsin. Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, has proposed a bill, which has just been submitted for a Senate bill number (LRB 1453/1) to ban the contests, and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, is writing a companion bill in the Assembly.

This is the time for citizens to step up, thank Risser and Taylor for their bills, and urge legislators to cosponsor the measures, pass the bills through committee, and then vote on the floor in their favor. So far, no Republican legislators have signed on to support Risser’s bill. Nine Democrats are co-sponsors.

Take a few minutes to contact the people listed in the action alert below.

Madison’s radio station WORT recently interviewed Camilla Fox of Project Coyote about the impacts that these killing contests have on the environment and on social, sensitive animals very much like our pet dogs. Join Project Coyote’s coalition to end these contests here.

Moondog Madness held their annual killing spree in Wisconsin over three recent weekends, and killed a record 155 coyotes. Citizens can scroll down on the group’s Facebook page to see the carnage, gloating, and total disrespect for the lives of our wildlife. Most are thrown in dumpsters or dumped on public lands. Killing contests expose the folly of the myth of “fair chase.” These events are not even monitored by the Department of Natural Resources.

Since the wolf-hating Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, chairs the state Senate’s “sporting heritage” (Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry) committee and Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond, a bear hunter, chairs the Assembly’s comparable committee, it will take intensive public pressure to get them to hold hearings and a vote on the bills. Stafsholt’s biography states, “He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, member of the Farm Bureau … member of the Sportsman’s Alliance, member of the Wisconsin Chapter of Safari Club International, and was a longtime member of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.” Looking through the committee memberships, 80 percent of members have similar backgrounds and interests.

Yale Environment 360 published “Coyote Carnage: The Gruesome Truth about Wildlife Killing Contests” in May 2018. The article by Ted Williams describes a 2014 undercover report by Christopher Ketcham, who was told by contestant named Cal: “’Gut-shoot every goddamn last one of them wolves.’ Ketcham goes on to report that Cal recommended armor-piercing bullets, explaining that gut-shooting with these rounds, rather than aiming for the heart or lungs, has two advantages: First, they’ll pass right through instead of mushrooming; so the animal will suffer, running in panic for a mile or so before it bleeds out. Second, if you’re hunting illegally (as recommended by other contestants), game wardens won’t find a bullet.”

Some 400,000 to 500,000 coyotes are killed in the United States annually. About 80,000 are killed by Wildlife Services, the federal arm of the Department of Agriculture, at a taxpayer expense of $20 million, by shooting them from the air, poisoning, trapping, killing pups in dens. The government orchestrates it. This is not in response to coyote aggression, but to facilitate livestock grazing on our public lands.

Coyotes and foxes are seasonal consumers. In summer, their scat is similar to that of a bear — full of berries and fruits. In August, it is full of grasshoppers and insects. Year-round they specialize in mice control and small mammals. Rarely, they are opportunistic eaters of fawn, deer, feral cats and small farm-animal predators.

There is zero effort by the state Department of Natural Resources to educate hunters about the vital role of natural predators and all wildlife in protecting human health by weaving together healthy ecosystems. The DNR’s silence reinforces ignorance and cruelty. Responsible for orchestrating the annual carnage of thousands of bears, coyotes, foxes and bobcats, the DNR promotes irrational mismanagement and arbitrary quotas that are killing off important keystone species.

In December, as her very first act after taking office, New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard signed an executive order  banning wildlife killing contests for coyotes and other unprotected species on state trust lands, an area of 9.5 million acres of land in 32 of 33 counties in New Mexico.

Could Gov. Tony Evers do the same?

Nicole Rivard of Friends of Animals writes on All-Creatures.org: “Wildlife species should be revered not only because they are sentient beings but because the health of our ecosystems depend on them. I learned by reading Dan Flores’ book ‘Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History’ that coyotes and humans are among the few mammals in the world who have evolved fission-fusion societies, the ability to live singly or communally — one of the explanations for the success of us and them.

“Flores says that in more ways than you would imagine, ‘this story is about us. The coyote is a kind of special Darwinian mirror, reflecting back insights about ourselves as fellow mammals.’”

Right now they look better than we do.

Action Alert: What you can do to ban wildlife-killing contests:

Email this column and my recent column on the same topic to legislators along with your comments, urging them to cosponsor and support Sen. Risser’s and Rep. Taylor’s bills. Ask the aide to take your name and address and ask for a commitment and reply

Email and call the following:

Gov. Tony Evers: 608-266-1212 / EversInfo@wisconsin.gov

DNR Secretary Preston Cole: preston.cole@wisconsin.gov

Sen. Fred Risser: Sen.Risser@legis.wisconsin.gov, 608-266-1627 and thank him for his Senate bill.

Rep. Chris Taylor: Rep.Taylor@legis.wi.gov, 608-266-5342 and thank her for her Assembly companion bill.

Natural Resources Board: Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, 608-266-5660, Sen.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov to pressure Sen. Tom Tiffany to hold hearings and bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, 608-266-9171, Rep.Vos@legis.wisconsin.gov to urge Rep. Rob Stafsholt to support and bring this bill to hearings and a vote.

This column was originally posted in the Madison CapTimes on February 10, 2019.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Farm-produced meat comes with hefty side of slaughtered wildlife

“I know absolutely that the cover-up of the illegal killing of domestic pets, the illegal poisoning of wildlife, and the illegal use of 1080 and M-44s is still going on.” ~ Shaddox, former Wildlife Services employee, March 2016.

Eating farm animals comes along with a hefty side of tortured and slaughtered wildlife. Sliced buffalo, chopped cougar, minced wolf and creamed coyote pup are appetizers alongside every “cheap” hamburger or lamb chop.

Across the planet, wildlife and their habitat are being destroyed to graze livestock for meat production. The rain forests of the world, with all their diversity, have been razed to grow feed and graze cattle. Livestock comprise 60 percent of the world’s mammals, humans 36 percent, and only 4 percent are wild. Sixty percent of large wild mammals face extinction right now. Humans choosing to eat animals bears much of the blame.

In addition to destroying wildlife habitat to raise farm animals, humans are killing wildlife with the notion that wild animals are a significant threat to livestock.

Rachael Bael wrote a 2016 article for National Geographic featuring a picture of a trapper holding up a dead wolf he shot from a helicopter. She writes, “Wildlife Services is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it specializes in killing wild animals that threaten livestock — especially predators such as coyotes, wolves, and cougars.”

Bael was reporting on an investigation by reporter Christopher Ketcham published in Harper’s in March 2016: “The Rogue Agency: A USDA agency that tortures dogs and kills endangered species.” Ketchum describes the testing done on stray dogs taken to a garbage dump to test M-44. The M-44 is a spring-loaded sodium cyanide device that is planted in the ground to kill coyotes (or any animal that comes across it).

He sets the scene: The supervisor, Charles Brown, tells his employee, Shaddox, that they will be doing a test of M-44 poison — with dogs.

“A truck with shelter dogs of various breeds pulls up: The pound officer removed a small collie from the truck, and Brown took it by the neck. The animal, docile and quiet, stared at its captors.

“Brown brandished an M-44 cartridge. He forced the dog’s mouth open and, with his thumb, released the trigger on the device. It sprayed a white dust of cyanide into the collie’s mouth.

“The dog howled. It convulsed. It coughed blood. It screamed in pain. The animals in the truck heard its wailing. They beat against their cages and cried out.

“’All right,’ said Brown to his trappers. ‘See, this stuff may be out of date, but it still works.’ He opened a capsule of amyl nitrite under the collie’s nose. Amyl nitrite is an immediate antidote to cyanide poisoning.

“The collie heaved and wheezed. Brown then seized it and unleashed another M-44 dose. The dog screamed again. … Brown kicked the collie into the garbage pit.”

Shaddox, whose job is to trap and kill coyotes for ranchers, is quoted in the article as saying, “’He (Brown) and the other trappers thought it was funny…It’s convulsing and dying, and he’s laughing. And this is what he’s teaching his men. That was just a hell of a way to die. No sympathy, no feeling, no nothing. I’m no animal-rights guy. But heartless bastards is all they were. Right there, that’s the culture. And these are federal employees. This is what your government is doing to animals.

This is what your federal government is doing to animals here in Wisconsin, and predator-killing contests going on now and for years with no regulation by the state DNR are further decimating our wildlife.

Ketchum’s Harper’s article documents some of the known destruction of our country’s wildlife: “Since 2000, Wildlife Services operatives have killed at least 2 million native mammals and 15 million native birds. Many of these animals are iconic in the American West and beloved by the public. Several are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In 2014, Wildlife Services killed 322 wolves, 61,702 coyotes, 2,930 foxes, 580 black bears, 796 bobcats, five golden eagles, and three bald eagles. The agency also killed tens of thousands of beavers, squirrels, and prairie dogs. The goal of this slaughter, according to the agency’s literature, is to provide ‘federal leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts and create a balance that allows people and wildlife to coexist peacefully.’”

In the article, Carter Niemeyer, who worked for Wildlife Services for 25 years, describes the self-reporting of livestock deaths, lack of confirmation, and the methods used to kill natural beings who dare to eat:

“’By the time Niemeyer retired, in 2000, after twenty-five years at the agency, he had personally killed hundreds of coyotes and had overseen the deaths of thousands more. On some days, working in Montana, Niemeyer skinned ten coyotes an hour as helicopters hauled the heaped carcasses in from the backcountry. (The government sold the skins for revenue.) Wildlife Services gunned down coyotes from airplanes and helicopters. Its trappers used poison baits, cyanide traps, leghold traps, and neck snares. They hauled coyote pups from dens with lengths of barbed wire, strangled them, or clubbed them. Sometimes they set the animals on fire in the dens, or suffocated them with explosive cartridges of carbon monoxide. ‘We joked about using napalm,’ Niemeyer told me.

To be continued — no end in sight.

Action Alert:

Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, has authored a bill to end wildlife killing contests in Wisconsin! Contact both your state senator  and representative and say, “Please sign on to LRB 1453/1″ (Contact your Republican representative to sponsor an Assembly companion bill). Also contact Sen. Risser at 608-266-1627 and Sen.Risser@legis.wisconsin.gov to support this effort. Make sure they take down your name and address.

Only public outrage will engage the attention of Gov. Evers to end predator-killing contests. If this is worth a few minutes of your time, contact him at EversInfo@wisconsin.gov and 608-267-2560. Here is the Humane Society’s tool kit for ending killing contests.

Sign a petition to end wildlife-killing contests here.

Ask your Congress representative to defund and terminate Wildlife Services. Scroll down to leave Sen. Tammy Baldwin a message here. Call Sen. Ron Johnson at 202-224-5323.

This article as originally published in the Madison CapTimes on January 27, 2019.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Reimagining hunters and trappers as humane educators

Black bear

NPS / Neal Herbert

Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.” ~ Carl Sagan

It is demoralizing that we have to fight our own state government to save wildlife.

It is unethical that we have a Department of Natural Resources doling out hundreds of thousands of hunting and trapping licenses to kill the wildlife on our public lands, and not a single license is sold to protect even one animal.

As a citizen born in this state and paying property taxes, I have zero rights to protect even the wildlife that lives on my land. I should be able to tag as many animals as any trapper or hunter each year — to allow them to live.

Where are non-hunter rights?

A challenge to our new governor, Tony Evers, is to create a task force to address urgent reforms that are needed:

• Democratize the funding and for the first time ensure fair, proportionate non-hunter citizen representation in all aspects of DNR-related boards and staffing. One idea is to legalize marijuana and use the revenue from taxes and licensing — “getting high on wildlife” — to replace funding generated by the killing of wildlife. Fair funding would give us all a stake, engaging the public in re-wilding, planting trees and prairies, and nurturing wildlife through difficult winters and climate change.

• If the DNR is not to be reformed, create an alternative agency to represent the 90 percent of Wisconsin citizens who do not kill wildlife and who pay for our public lands and appreciate wildlife.

• Create an alternative fair and transparent election of a wildlife-watcher advisory board run tied to the annual Conservation Congress elections in every county. Candidates should have open campaigns that discuss policy.

• Encourage creative ideas from the 90 percent of the public — the non-hunters — who have been excluded since DNR inception.

• Create an educational task force to design a program for kindergarten through high school students to learn about climate destruction and mass extinction and their causes. This world belongs to the children. They deserve to understand these challenges and contribute their ingenuity and insights.

Some ideas for transforming the Department of Natural Resources’ agenda:

• Turn trappers and hunters into school educators. They can be paid to teach children to track, how to recognize where animals live, how they survive winter, what kind of habitat they need and how they tend their young.

(Trappers are making little money from the hundreds of thousands of animals they kill in traps. According to DNR statistics, 7,482 trappers killed 347,436 wild animals in traps in 2017-18 and sold them on average for less than $5 per dead animal. Trappers killed on average 46 animals each for $230, but claim they spend $297/annually. Trappers set the rules for how many animals they can kill and estimate how many are left. It is a closed, self-serving, inaccurate system.) We can be creative and put their skills to work helping children appreciate the animals trappers have tormented.

• By 2004, Scotland, England and Wales had banned fox hunting. Now an alternate chase, much more challenging, has been set to update the tradition — hound-hunting humans. Humans volunteer to run about a half-marathon, and meet the dogs before the chase, treating them with biscuits, giving them a scent to follow. “There’s no fox torn to shreds and the people who get caught just get licked by a group of dogs,” Queen guitarist Brian May is quoted as saying on BBC News. The hunters say it is working for them: “We (the hunting community) have to look at ways keep the sport up to date while maintaining the tradition.”

• End the use of lead shot and lead sinkers that are poisoning our wildlife.

• End wildlife-killing contests. Last week, New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard signed an executive order banning wildlife killing contests for coyotes and other unprotected species on state trust lands, 9.5 million acres, as one of her first acts since taking office in January. Could our governor ban the killing contests going on right now in Wisconsin?

• End wild and captive hounding and captive-hunting atrocities.

• Engage trappers to install PVC pipes through the bottom of beaver dams instead of dynamiting dams. Trout and beaver co-evolved over millions of years. If beaver dams create flooding or warming waters, pipe at the bottom of the dam does not attract beavers to repair, and allows water to flow through. Pipes are 95 percent satisfactory where used, and are a cheap, easily installed, long-term solution to any people problems with beavers. Beavers provide habitat for half the rare and endangered species on earth. They are eco-heroes and water-purifiers.

Gov. Evers has touted Wisconsin “values of kindness and respect, empathy and compassion, and integrity and civility.” He speaks of “turning the page on the tired politics of the past.” We, the majority, have suffered along with our wildlife. It is time this state evolves and leads on ending the war on the wildlife that bring health, beauty, innocence and balance to our world.

Action Alert:

Please contact Gov. Evers on this form to support these efforts for reform. He and his staff can also be reached at 608-267-6560 and emailed at EversInfo@wisconsin.gov. Please keep this contact information. One suggestion is to email him the links to my columns as they come out to start educating him about the plight of citizens who care about our wildlife and their suffering. They cannot speak for themselves. YOU are their voice. Please use your power often on their behalf.

At noon Monday, Jan. 14, Adrian Treves will be a guest on WORT’s  “A Public Affair” with host Patty Peltekos discussing gray wolves, the status of wolves on the Endangered Species Act and the Project Coyote Film “Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs.” #EndWildlifeKillingContests #WisconsinGrayWolf #DrAdrianTreves

Endangered Species petition site is here with 13 petitions to save elephants, oceans, turtles, polar bears and more.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on January 16, 2019.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2019 in Uncategorized