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Posts tagged "wolves"

The Idaho Legislature today passed House Bill 470, a bill to create a new lethal “Wolf Depredation Control Board” to administer a fund for widespread killing of wolves in the state. The bill, expected to be signed into law by Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, sets aside $400,000 in state funds to kill roughly 500 wolves, leaving just 150 in the entire state.

The new board will consist of members appointed and overseen by Otter, who said in 2007 that he wanted to be the first to kill an Idaho wolf after federal protections were taken away. The board will be made up of representatives of the agricultural, livestock and hunting communities. The bill does not require any members of the board to represent the wolf conservation community.


Reminder that it was the Obama administration that lifted federal protections of wolves, giving management powers to certain states. Conservation is the American way, not state mandated hunting.

Would you pay $19 to kill a wolf? In Montana, 6,000 people just did. Montana only has 625 wolves left after last year’s killing season.

Not satisfied with the massacre, the state has lined up 10 times as many rifles as there are wolves to finish the job.

Note this is in addition to previous efforts by Obama that allowed hunting of wolves for the first time in decades. Over 1,600 have been killed. See my wolf tag for additional background. 

Discovery Channel exploits wolf killing, garners highest cable TV ratings among males 25-54.

Lately, these shows have also filmed killing of wolverines, lynx, grizzly bears, rattle snakes, and crocodiles for no reason other than ratings. The wolf, above, was no threat to Tanana. The show exploits viewer’s naivete about guns by shooting this animal with an AR-15 semi-automatic gun. That’s not how Alaskans hunt, they use hunting rifles, not assault weapons that look good on camera. In fact, Alaskan outdoorsmen and women are appalled at this blatant exploitation of both the animal and the audience. There is no need for this.

My point is that we are at a critical time in human history. Species are going extinct at a rapid pace, science education is under attack from aging politicians, and young people are generally experiencing nature less and less.

I am genuinely worried about the future of this country’s environmental leadership. Federal conservation programs, which have taken decades to create, are weakening. The ethic of conservationism (a conservative ethos) is dwindling. Young people are being pulled in the direction of technology, and away from grandeur, away from fresh air and nature.

It seems to me that one important aspect of this messy new milieu are education based TV companies who heretofore have been untouched by healthy criticism.

I think it’s time to analyze the impact of these shows. I believe that the Discovery Channel et al are not contributing to a healthy planet nor are they assisting educating viewers. It seems to me they are mastering fear for short term gain and profits. If I am correct, and I believe I am, these companies need to stop and focus on their mission, which is non-fiction, education-based media - not sensationalism or harm.

I hope you agree with me.

After reading Adam Welz’s take down, “Bloodthirsty “factual” TV shows demonize wildlife,” of the Discovery Planet’s animal killing TV show, Yukon Men, I did a little bit of research. The City of Tanana, where the show is filmed, is absolutely not the secluded, dangerous place as the Discovery Channel advertizes. The town has never been “attacked” by bears, wolves, wolverines, lynx, etc., as the show will have you believe. Still, each type of these animals is gunned down for your viewing pleasure.

The City of Tanana (above) is small, no doubt. But it is not a remote outback full of danger.

Above, a TV show character uses an AR-15 semi-automatic (rather than a hunting rifle) to kill a wolf.

Local Alaskans posting in various wilderness and hunting forums are calling Discovery’s ‘Yukon Men’ a joke, full of lies and exploitation. They even make fun of the choices of guns that the characters in the show use (no local hunter, they say, uses an AR-15 to shoot animals in Alaska).

One man wrote that, unlike actual remote villages, the City of Tanana has a burger joint, functioning utilities, and cell phone, internet, and satellite services, making it far from “remote” and hardly dangerous.

I dug around and found other interesting facts that belie the Discovery Channel’s claim that the town is a dangerous remote outback. Tanana has schools, an agricultural extension of the University of Fairbanks, annual foot and dog-sled races, and even family and emergency services provided by the Tanana Chiefs Council (this is in addition to services provided by the State of Alaska).

Indeed, Tanana even has its own airport, with over 3,000 flights per year (see #516). The airport has a webcam, radio towers, and weather stations. This is not remote. Nor are provisions hard to obtain - twice daily a plane lands with food, fuel, mail, visitors, and materials.

Learning from and enjoying the wilderness is one of the greatest privileges we Americans enjoy. Creating a false myth that nature is scary is not what we need, especially now with so many people unhealthy from increasingly sedentary lifestyles. In my opinion, Discovery needs to set the record straight. They need to refocus on educating viewers of the deep importance of our dwindling natural resources. They need to do this rather than exploiting animals and creating fear all for a quick buck.

"Living with wolves.” Not an art project.


Famous wolf shot and killed for sport to “protect cows”.

Yellowstone National Park’s best-known wolf, beloved by many tourists and valued by scientists who tracked its movements, was shot and killed on Thursday outside the park’s boundaries, Wyoming wildlife officials reported.

The wolf, known as 832F to researchers, was the alpha female of the park’s highly visible Lamar Canyon pack and had become so well known that some wildlife watchers referred to her as a “rock star.” The animal had been a tourist favorite for most of the past six years.

The wolf was fitted with a $4,000 collar with GPS tracking technology, which is being returned, said Daniel Stahler, a project director for Yellowstone’s wolf program. Based on data from the wolf’s collar, researchers knew that her pack rarely ventured outside the park, and then only for brief periods, Dr. Stahler said.

This year’s hunting season in the northern Rockies has been especially controversial because of the high numbers of popular wolves and wolves fitted with research collars that have been killed just outside Yellowstone in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. NYTimes

Why? Thank Obama, for compromising on a bill that delisted wolves from the Endangered Species Act. There are only a handful of wolves alive, almost all are now eligible to be shot.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals is refusing to block the scheduled opening of Minnesota’s inaugural wolf hunting season on Nov. 3.

In an order Wednesday, Oct. 10, a three-judge panel said two groups that sued to stop the hunt failed to show that letting the season proceed would cause irreparable harm.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves claimed in their lawsuit that the Department of Natural Resources failed to allow for adequate public comment before it adopted its regulations for the upcoming wolf season. The DNR countered that it received extensive public input.

just following-up my wolf hunt posts last month. via TwinCities

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Wolf pack that killed cattle taken out by sharpshooters

Sharpshooters taking aim from a helicopter shot dead six gray wolves this week, wrapping up Washington state’s strategy of killing off the pack because it had become accustomed to eating cattle.

"It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made both professionally as well as personally," Phil Anderson, director of Washington’s Department of Fish & Wildlife, told NBC station on Thursday after the last wolf, the alpha male, was shot dead. "Going out and killing wildlife is not what this agency is all about."

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Entire wolf pack family to be shot by government to protect private businesses. The businesses already have government subsidized insurance (paid by your taxes) to pay for damages from predators. Double win… Full story here.

Obama administration green lights killing 170 wolves in Wyoming after private businesses win years of lobby efforts. Techniques will be aerial gunning and gassing pups in dens. Via. (Connection to climate change).

You all know by now I love wolves. And I have incredible respect for those who work to enforce America’s environmental laws, like the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife are the heavy hitters in animal and habitat protection (they sue the shit out of the federal government to enforce environmental policy, which is a good thing).

In between my climate and environmental posts, every once in a while I post a donations/petition link for wolf protection. This one is important, as there’s only two weeks left:

The Interior Department just announced plans to approve the mass killing of Wyoming wolves on August 31. We have only three weeks to prepare an emergency legal case to stop the slaughter. 

Wyoming’s plan will allow wolves to be indiscriminately killed outside Yellowstone National Park and a few other safe havens: 80 percent of the state will become a wolf-killing zone.

That means close to 200 wolves — highly social animals with intricate family structures — will be shot or trapped to death. If the government has its way, it will be open season on Wyoming’s wolf families.

The Center for Biological Diversity can save Wyoming’s wolves. With an unparalleled record of stopping wolf killing in the northern Rockies, Oregon, the Southwest and the Great Lakes, our lawyers and activists are the best in the business at saving endangered species.

Help stop this nightmare for wolves in the northern Rockies by making a donation today to our Emergency Wolf Protection Fund and passing this appeal along to your networks.

More here.

The alpha female of the Fox Mountain Pack of Mexican gray wolves will be shot due to the seven-member pack preying on four head of cattle over several months. The owners of the cattle will be fully reimbursed, but the wolf family will lose their matriarch, according to a kill-order issued Wednesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to its sister agency, U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services. Last year, only 58 Mexican wolves and six breeding pairs survived in New Mexico and Arizona, their only home in the wild.” More: CBD

My readers know that I love wolves (and birds). Protection of their habitat has a special place in my heart and me wee brain. The Mexican Gray Wolf is protected by the Endangered Species Act. There are about 40 left, and they live here. They cross into Mexico, making it a trans-boundary species that, in my and some conservation lawyers’ opinions, ought to be subject to international law and protection. They’re not.

More information about this beautiful animal:

The only thing that can be done, effectively, is to check out and join the Center for Biological Diversity and the Defenders of Wildlife.