2015 Wolf Year in Review

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Rogue Pack pups, John Stephenson photo credit

Once again, I’ve compiled wolf news highlights for the past year. This is a challenging task and I’m sure there are many news worthy events that I’ve missed. Feel free to add events in the comment section. I appreciate your help! Thanks to Defenders of Wildlife, Oregon Wild and Wally Sykes for their posts on wolf news. This has made my work much easier. For an update specific to Great Lakes wolves read Rachel Tilseth’s post on her blog, Wolves of Douglas County.  Rick Lamplugh has also written a state by state review of wolves in the lower 48. With all of these offerings, readers have a  thorough update on what has been going on, and what is in the future, for Canis lupus.

January 2015: This month marked the twentieth anniversary of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.  The auspicious event was commemorated at YNP with a gathering of some of the folks responsible for the reintroduction, including Carter Niemeyer, Dr. Doug Smith and Suzanna Stone.

In Oregon, Journey’s pack was officially named the Rogue Pack, not because they’re rogues but because they range in and near the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Also, a new adult male wolf was seen via trail camera in the Keno area just north of the Oregon-California border, marking further progression of wolves to southern Oregon. Later in the month, another wolf was spotted in the Keno Unit, this one a large black animal. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) reports that there are now nine known wolf packs in Oregon, all of them breeding except for the Imnaha pack. These numbers triggered a move to phase two of the state’s wolf recovery plan.

February 2015: The North Carolina wildlife commission calls for an end to the 27 year old Red wolf project, requesting that the US Fish and Wildlife Service capture all wolves that were released on private property. Reasons given include wolves eating too many deer and breeding with coyotes. book cover

March 2015:  Some grim  statistics: Wolves killed so far this season in Idaho total 116 by hunting and 94 by trapping. Montana reports 127 lost to hunting and 77 to trapping. This comes to a total of 420 for the season. The total number of wolves killed since Federal delisting (not including lethal control by Wildlife Services) is 2,323.

In Washington state, an overly friendly wolf was caught up and relocated to Wolf Haven International in Tenino. Ione, the only remaining member of her family group, sought company with dogs near her namesake town of Ione. Rather than euthanize the wolf for her potentially problematic behavior, state officials trapped her and took her to safe refuge where she happily resides with a wolf-dog hybrid named Luca.

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Ione, photo credit Wolf Haven

Idaho Fish and Game reports the completion of a wolf cull program in the Lolo zone in the northern part of the state. Wildlife Service agents killed 19 wolves in late February. The costs for this helicopter extermination was not released. The expense was financed with Wolf Depredation Control Board money funded through the purchase of hunting licenses. Defenders revealed that in 2014, “31 wolves (were lethally removed) between July and January – which comes out to $4,516 per wolf.” In the press release, Fish and Game justified their actions with this statement: “The overall objective is to maintain a smaller, but self-sustaining, population of wolves in the Lolo zone to allow the elk population to increase.”

April 2015:  Two Mexican wolves were released by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, boosting the number of Canis lupus baileyi in the southwest to over 100. The wolves released were a mated pair and the female was pregnant. This new family group will bring much needed genetic diversity to the Mexican wolf population.

The BBC reports that five Norwegians were sent to prison for organizing an illegal wolf hunt. The sentences ranged from six months to a year and eight months as well as the revocation of hunting privileges for various time periods. The article states, “They were tried under Norway’s organised crime laws following a high level police operation involving telephone wiretaps.” There are only 30 known wolves living in Norway.

Montana wolf population declined about 12%, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Their count at the end of 2014 was 554 wolves. They also reported that depredations were down 46% from 2013 making cattle losses due to wolves the lowest in 8 years.

May 2015 USFWS confirmed that the animal shot (I thought it was a coyote!) outside of Kremmling, Colorado was indeed a grey wolf.  This is the second disperser to travel over 500 miles to Colorado and then be killed. Echo, a female grey wolf was seen near the Grand Canyon late in 2014, but she died in Utah when shot by a hunter. No charges were filed. The Grand Canyon has been without wolves for over 70 years.

Echo
Echo, photo by AZ Fish and Game

A letter signed by 36 Representatives to Sally Jewel, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and to Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, requested that federal protections be removed for wolves in much of the lower 48. The decision was delayed, perhaps due to the fact that they received over one million comments opposing the delisting.

June 2015:  An article by Taylor Hill explains the sad situation of wolves in Southeast Alaska. Known as the Alexander Archipelago wolf, these animals live in SE Alaska, British Columbia and the Prince of Wales Island. Their territory includes the Tongass National Forest. Due to pressure from hunting and trapping, as well as habitat loss and timber harvest, their numbers have declined over 60% in just one year. Hill reports a decline of 221 to 89. Greenpeace and Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the government to obtain an endangered species status for these wolves. Some believe they are genetically distinct enough to be considered a distinct subspecies. (While writing this I learned that the USFWS denied endangered species status for the Alexander Archipelago wolf, despite admitting that populations on Prince of Wales Island went from 356 in 1994 to only 89 in 2014. The article mentions that timber sales would have been restricted if the wolves had been granted endangered species status.)

OR 25, a large black male wolf from northeast Oregon’s Imnaha pack, disperses to Klamath County in the southern part of the state. His GPS collar located him near or on the 5,000 acre Yamsi Ranch at the headwaters of the Williamson River. Jerri Yamsi is quoted as saying, “I don’t care if the wolf is here. It doesn’t bother me.” She also said that she believes wolves have been on the ranch in the past.

July 2015: ODFW finds scat to verify that OR 7 and his black mate (determined to be from the Snake River and Minam packs in NE Oregon) have had a second litter of pups. Elsewhere in the state, the Umatilla pack killed three sheep near Wester Mountain. Russ Morgan, wolf coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says, “There has not been a depredation of this pack for some time. We are in phase two of our rules and that does have a different criteria for when lethal control of problem wolves is an option, but we’re really not at this stage yet with this pack.”  Washington state reported its first wolf depredations of 2015. Two cattle were determined to be confirmed wolf kills on a grazing allotment in Stevens County in the northeast part of the state.

An article in The Spokesman-Review reveals how dogs rescued from shelters are being trained to locate scat from wild animals, including wolves. The University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology spearheaded the Conservation Canine program that is aiding scientists in locating scat that helps determine the distribution of wildlife, their diet, hormone levels and other useful information.

August 2015California has its first wolf pack since 1924! Named the Shasta Pack, five pups and an adult pair were photographed in the area near Mount Shasta in north central California. Protected under both state and federal Endangered Species Acts, these wolves will hopefully avoid harassment as their numbers grow.

The second annual Speak For Wolves event was held at Yellowstone National Park. The event hosted speakers including Oliver Starr, who educated the audience on the need for a safe boundary zone for wolves leaving Denali National Park, and Kim Wheeler who spoke on behalf of the Red wolf. There was music and movies and a good time had by all. We look forward to the event again in 2016. Thanks Brett Haverstick for creating and organizing Speak For Wolves!

September 2015: News is released that two wolves were found dead only 500 feet apart from each other in the Sled Springs area of Wallow County in NE Oregon. One of the wolves was collared and a mortality signal alerted ODFW personnel of the death. The cause of death is being investigated.

In British Columbia the controversial wolf cull program makes media news as pop star Miley Cyrus speaks up against the action. In reaction, BC Premier Christy Clark choses insults over science-based evidence to support the government program to eradicate wolves in order to preserve endangered caribou herds. Nothing is said by Christy of the environmental degradation created by logging and oil extraction in the lands where the caribou herds and wolf packs exist.

Journey pic
Journey

October 2015:  Oregon Wild hosts its first ever Crater Lake Wolf Rendezvous. The event is held near Crater Lake National Park and included visits with the park’s terrestrial ecologist, Sean Mohren and US Fish and Wildlife Service wolf biologist, John Stephenson, as well as several informative hikes and long evenings around the campfire. We expect this will be an annual event, one you won’t want to miss!

An article in BBC News Magazine reports that a rewilding process may see the return of wolves to Scotland. Written by Adam Weymouth, the story ventures south, following Weymouth’s 200 mile trek. He takes us to where the last wolf in Scotland was killed and to villages in the Scottish Highlands, where wolves would have adequate food and habitat to make a comeback. Hopefully, next year we’ll be reporting progress on this endeavor.

November 2015:  The big news in Oregon this month is that the grey wolf loses protection under the state’s Endangered Species Act. After eleven hours of testimony from both sides, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Commission voted 4 to 2 to delist wolves. Oregon’s wolves remain covered under the federal ESA in the western two-thirds of the state, and ODFW officials report that the state wolf management plan remains in effect to protect wolves at this time. Within a month, environmental groups file suit against the decision.

Only sixteen wolves remain on Isle Royale, and a decision is in the making whether to intervene or not. “Wolves would restore balance to the system, and their numbers on Isle Royale should be augmented now,” 47 top conservation scientists wrote in a letter to the Park Service last month, stating that wolves are essential to balance on Isle Royale and that wolf numbers should be augmented now. In their words, “Delays in acting will only worsen the situation.”

December 2015:  I must add this article that discusses how wolves may well return to my home state of Iowa, via Minnesota and Wisconsin. Of course, the ones that have dispersed there so far have been shot. Let’s hope Iowan’s will educate themselves and understand the benefit Canis lupus can bring to their environment.

We end on a good note! The congressional wolf delisting riders were removed from the Federal Budget Bill, ensuring protection for wolves that have not lost Federal protections before. Hopefully, this will regain some good feelings toward the Obama administration that was compromised due to  their previous passing of the Budget Bill that delisted wolves.

I hope this post has been helpful and will inspire you to continue to do whatever possible to speak up for wolves and the environment. Our help is needed everywhere and in all capacities, from contributing to wolf advocacy groups to writing editorials and calling public officials to educating others on the facts about wolves. And don’t forget to get out there and enjoy the wilderness whenever you can. There is no better form of therapy!

This is a link to my recent article in Earth Island Journal, called Hounding the Hunters. The article reviews the work of vigilante groups such as Wolf Patrol and Wildlife Defense League as they endeavor to protect wolves and other species.

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Hounding The Hunters

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I would like to thank Earth Island Journal for publishing Hounding The Hunters. This story describes the actions of several groups that employ innovative techniques to expose the cruelty of trophy hunting and trapping of wolves and other species. I began the article in Wisconsin during the final week of the 2014 wolf season when hound hunters were legally allowed to set their dogs upon wolves. I met with Wolf Patrol, a grass-roots group documenting the Wisconsin hunt. The story progressed from there to other efforts in protest of sport killing including Wildlife Defense League in B.C. and the Hunt Saboteurs of Great Britain.

If you aren’t already a reader of Earth Island Journal (EIJ) I suggest you consider a subscription. This publication is renown for their investigative journalism of environmental topics. EIJ is the publication of Earth Island Institute which was founded in 1982 by David Brower, the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Writer James William Gibson has written several timely wolf articles for EIJ that can be found on their website.

Below is the first paragraph of the story. Click on the text for the rest. The print edition can be purchased online or in most bookstores.

“Stephanie looked in her rear-view mirror and watched as the black Suburban descended upon her Jeep. She punched the accelerator in an effort to put some distance between the two vehicles, but the Suburban kept gaining. Matthew, riding shotgun, turned in his seat to watch it.”

photo by Sam Edmonds
photo by Sam Edmonds

 

Delisting of Oregon’s Wolves. Why?

ODFW photo
ODFW photo

Monday, November 9, 2015 marked a day of decision for the future of wolves in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Commission met in Salem, Oregon to hear public testimony on the proposed delisting of wolves in our state and then to vote on the subject.

The meeting began at eight in the morning and continued until seven pm. Testimony was heard from those on both sides of the issue. Out of the 77 that testified, 43 spoke up to maintain protections for wolves in Oregon, while 34 were in favor of delisting. Once testimony was complete, the Commission met with their legal counsel to discuss the possible repercussions of a partial delisting, which would remove state protections for wolves in the eastern and middle parts of the state, but would maintain protections for wolves elsewhere. It was determined that the current Endangered Species Act did not allow for this option.

So, with a vote of 4 to 2, wolves were delisted statewide.

One illusion that comes with living in a democracy is the assumption that our voices are heard. However, Monday’s actions of the ODFW Commission does not lead one to believe that they listened, except to the voices that coincided with the decision they made, and perhaps had made long before.

I did not attend. The needs of Spike, our 15 year old Jack Russell came first. He’s been having spells of some kind that lend him weak and listless, unable to walk or eat or play for hours. When he feels up to walking again, he gets stuck in corners and needs help backing out. Sometimes, he forgets how to drink. Last evening, he perked up and played like a pup with Dylan, my son and the much loved and loving owner of Spike. Then he curled up in his dog bed, worn out by the day. As you can imagine, I just didn’t feel good about leaving him.

So I stayed home and tried to watch the meeting via webcam, however technical difficulties didn’t allow this. I called the ODFW and they said they were working on it, but apparently the difficulties were too much to overcome.

Instead, I reviewed Russ Morgan’s PowerPoint on delisting grey wolves in Oregon, the submissions made by organizations and scientific sources, and the letters and emails sent to the Commission that were posted on the meeting agenda.

I learned a ton from these comments, both from the experts and from the many individuals who wrote in, some with major credentials behind their names and some whose names were followed simply by a street address. And the addresses came from all over, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington and Ontario.

Here are a few things I read that led me to wonder how well the Commission listened before the four of them cast their vote to delist:

Suzanne Asha Stone, Senior Northwest Representative with Defenders of Wildlife, wrote of the fact that federal delisting will likely occur soon, leaving wolves throughout Oregon without that protection. She also brought up concerns that the number of wolves coming into Oregon from Idaho may decrease as Idaho strives to meet it’s goal of fewer wolves. This could also contribute to genetic isolation issues here in Oregon. Stone questioned that delisting may reduce the important emphasis on non-lethal measures to protect livestock from wolves, leading to more problems. In her words, “As seen, improperly managed conflicts with livestock represent the single greatest challenge to wolf conservation. And if wolf and livestock conflicts are not well managed, as frequently seen elsewhere, wolves pay a heavy toll through lethal control and illegal killing.”

The Pacific Wolf Coalition submitted letters and detailed research by scientists and others knowledgeable on the subject. The summation of the findings was that none of these individuals believed that the ODFW’s recommendation to delist was sound. Those cited include Marc Becoff, Michael Soule, Barbara Brower, William Ripple, Adrien Treves, Jennifer Wolch, Robert Beschta, John Vucetich and many others. It was also mentioned that over 22,000 comments were submitted to the Commission that stood in opposition to the delisting.

Pam and Randy Comeleo of Corvallis researched how past Commissions have evaluated the status of other species up for delisting. Before state protections were removed for the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, both species had repopulated all suitable habitat in the state. Wolves in Oregon now live in only 12% of their potential range. The bald eagle and peregrine falcon were delisted only after “actual statewide recovery was verified by extensive, multi-year field surveys conducted by independent experts.” The peregrine situation underwent a formal peer review by three nationally recognized experts before delisted.

One letter that was signed by over 200 individuals stated, “Most published studies on species viability indicate there needs to be a population in the range of several thousand animals–not a mere 77–to be able to withstand catastrophic events like disease outbreak.”

Several people wrote in, via email or on handwritten or typed notes, encouraging the Commission to protect wolves in Oregon so there would be adequate numbers to disperse into California. Many of the comments expressed a belief that the decision to delist was a political one, rather than one founded on “sound, peer-reviewed science.” I read a lot of letters asking the Commission to just hold off and not rush into this decision. Many doubted the validity of the ODFW’s study that forecasts little to no chance of a population decrease in the future.

ODFW photo
ODFW photo

The correspondence I reviewed also included many comments urging the Commission to delist wolves. A lot of these came from members of The Oregon Hunter’s Association (OHA), who sent a notice (with a picture of a snarling wolf) to their members urged them to write letters and attend the meeting dressed in OHA attire. Overwhelmingly, the OHA comments expressed fears that they are losing elk and deer to wolves. Several said they “opposed the reintroduction of wolves in Oregon in the first place.” One wrote, “The animals breed like mice and will spread like wildfire. They serve no useful purpose to our ecosystem.” Another hunter admitted that his desire for delisting, “…may partially come from a selfish viewpoint.”

A brief email from Dave Mech is included in the ODFW literature. Mech writes that delisting is warranted and that Oregon wolves should be considered a part of the Rocky Mountain wolf population, one that is thriving and under adequate legal protection.

There was an editorial published in the Statesman Journal on November 4, 2015 that brings up a good summarizing point. Chris Albert, a DVM from Kentucky, wrote, “Perhaps wolf advocates wouldn’t be so worried about delisting wolves in Oregon if delisting hadn’t been so hard on wolves everywhere else.”

This is so true, and speaks to a far sightedness that the delisting decision does not adhere to. If Oregon follows the path of every other state and province that has denied protections for wolves we can expect a future of massive wolf “management” in the form of lethal control and liberal hunting and trapping. Delisting is only the first step. Mech’s comment that surrounding wolf populations are “legally well protected” is at the very least, an arguable one, one that sees wolves as dispensable as clay pigeons.

The antiquated thinking that emphasis only numbers disregards all evidence that wolves form close knit family groups and that the loss of family members impairs the family group in ways we are only beginning to understand. Alaskan biologist Gordon Haber understood, but his innovative beliefs are still rare in the scientific world.

I have faith in the strength of wonderful groups like Oregon Wild, Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, as well as the multitude of individuals who will continue to stand strong in protecting Oregon’s wolves. We may have lost this battle, but the entire future of wolves is ahead and will be won.

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Oregon Wild Crater Lake Wolf Rendezvous!

Journey pic

I was honored to be a part of the first Crater Lake Wolf Rendezvous organized by Oregon Wild. Click below to read the article detailing the wonderful weekend. I imagine this will become an annual event. Why don’t you join us next time!

Welcoming Wolves Back to Southern Oregon

by Beckie Elgin

The final night of the first Oregon Wild Crater Lake Wolf Rendezvous. Debriefing time. Jonathan Jelen, Development Director for Oregon Wild, tells the eleven of us sitting in a tight circle around a crackling campfire that we need to relish our victories in the wolf world, as things don’t always go well. He’s right; wolf advocacy is often fraught with disappointment as we battle the mythology and misinformation that surrounds Canis lupus. Yet throughout this event, camped along the Rogue River or on excursions nearby, we enjoyed four productive and memorable days together, learning about wolves and building friendships with like-minded people. This is the kind of success that keeps us going.

Read the complete article here.

California Dreaming

The Shasta Pack, CaDFW
The Shasta Pack, Ca. Dept. Fish and Wildlife

I’m not complaining, but the way the wolf world is changing in these parts is making me feel old. I find myself making remarks like, “I remember the day when wolves were long gone from Oregon.” And, “Before last week, it seemed like a pipe dream to imagine a family of wolves residing in California.” I remind myself of an old timer, talking about the past like I’ve lived through the industrial revolution or the advent of computer technology.

But there have been enormous and rapid changes in the wolf situation in Oregon and California. Just eight years ago a wolf was found shot in Union County in northeast Oregon and ODFW wolf coordinator, Russ Morgan was quoted as saying, “It’s important for people to be thinking about the possibility of wolves in their area and to understand how to respond. It is illegal to shoot a wolf, even one mistaken for another animal. Hunters in particular need to identify their target before shooting because wolves can look similar to coyotes.”  This hapless wolf had been preceded by four others, no doubt all of them migrants from Idaho. One was returned to Idaho in 1999 and two others were found dead in 2000, one shot, the other hit by a vehicle. But they kept coming back and in July of 2008, the Wenaha pack produced what is believed to have been the first litter of wild wolves born in the state for over 60 years. About this same time,  B300, or Sophie, soon followed by OR 4, ditched Idaho for Oregon and started the Imnaha pack. The rest is history.

Of course, with available prey and a large enough area to roam, wolves do have a high reproductive potential. The current Oregon wolf population alone proves that. ODFW reported a minimum of 77 wolves in their most recent count, including eleven packs, at least eight of them breeding. There were also five known pairs that were not yet designated as packs. And Areas of Known Wolf Activity (AKWA) continue to pop up. This month two new areas were reported.

 ODFW map

Yet the dispersal of wolves seems to be fed by forces other than simply their ability to reproduce. They are returning to the landscape in many parts of the world, not just Oregon and northern California. They peek their noses into Iowa and Colorado and Utah, where they invariably end up dead. “Oh, I thought it was a coyote!” Over the last several years we’ve read of the return of Canis lupus to Germany (the last wolf was shot there in 1904), and their populations have risen in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. The Netherlands recently saw their first wolf since 1869. And, as if it were still the 1800s, some of the same paranoia and dissention surrounds their return. One group called the Sicherheit und Artenschutz (Security and Species Protection) Association campaigned to shoot wolves on sight because they were sure the animals were going to attack the first human they came across.

I haven’t heard of anyone succumbing to the jaws of a wolf in Germany, but to paint an accurate picture, their return has not been without problems. When wolves first began to enter eastern Germany from Poland there were several hits on livestock. A 2013 article in The Independent reported that in 2002, one farmer lost 33 sheep in two nights. Since then, non-lethal measures, including guard dogs and electric fences have minimized depredations according to the article.

The movement of wolves into southern Oregon and now California has been so far, so good. Journey, the leader of the odyssey, has not been implicated in a single livestock death. Nor have any other wolves. Fingers crossed. And here’s hoping that ranchers are being proactive in protecting their property.

Despite a steady increase in the human population and the accompanying urban sprawl, wolves are returning to places where they haven’t lived for centuries, contributing to a renewal of a natural and balanced environment. Perhaps this time, with an attitude of tolerance and understanding that should prevail with all the available science, they will be allowed to stay.

Wenaha wolves, ODFW
Wenaha wolves, ODFW

Among Wolves-Inspiration From Gordon Haber

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Book Review: Among Wolves by Gordon Haber and Marybeth Holleman

Among Wolves begins with tragic news of Gordon Haber’s death. Haber, the legendary biologist who spent over four decades in Alaska, died the way he lived, studying wolves in the wilderness of Denali National Park. It was October of 2009; Haber was in a research plane, as he often was, looking for wolves, when the […]
Gordon Haber, photo from ktuu.com
Gordon Haber, photo from ktuu.com
To read the rest of the review go to the website of EcoLit Books, a website devoted to literature based on environmental and animal rights themes. EcoLit Books is affiliated with Ashland Creek Press, in Ashland, Oregon. Check out their books, I’m sure there will be plenty there that interest you.
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Gray Wolf Stays ‘Endangered’ Despite Conservationists’ Request

This article from Nature World News details the recent and somewhat confusing ruling by the USFWS on the listing status of wolves. Thanks, Wolves of Douglas County for posting this!

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

By Brian Stallard Jul 04, 2015 03:54 PM EDT From Nature World News sourcehttp://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/15484/20150704/gray-wolves-stays-endangered-despite-conservationists-request.htm

Photo : USFWSmidwest / NPS) The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently ruled that the North American gray wolf will remain classified as an endangered species despite its speedy recovery across the continent. Strangely enough, many conservationists looking to compromise with angry farmers and state officials are saying that this is not the good news they were hoping to hear.

To be quite honest, when this reporter first came across a petition submitted last January by The Humane Society of the United States (THS) and 22 other animal conservation groups, he was a little confused. The petition calls for Congress and the FWS to strip the grey wolf (Canis lupis) of its status as an endangered species – a status that grants its special protections under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Instead, the…

View original post 1,048 more words

Speak for Wolves 2015!

logo-sfw-web-new1I’m happy to have the opportunity to share this information on the upcoming Speak for Wolves event. Thanks to Brett Haverstick, founder and organizer, for creating the event and for the following write up. Speak for Wolves was greatly successful last year and promises to be in the years to come. Imagine–a gathering complete with live music, educational talks about subjects you feel passionate about, a film about OR 7, and all the time being surrounded by fellow wolf advocates in the magical land of Yellowstone. It doesn’t get much better than that!
YNP
This year marks the 2nd Annual Speak for Wolves near Yellowstone National Park. On August 7-9, 2015 people will gather in the Union Pacific Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana to hear about the need to reform wildlife management in America. The 3-day family-friendly event will feature speakers, panelists, live music, children’s activities and wildlife documentaries. The Friday night screening of OR7-The Journey cost $10 and the rest of the event is free.
Neil Haverstick
Neil Haverstick

Filmmaker Clemens Schenk will be in attendance on Friday August 7 for the screening of the award-winning documentary, OR7-The Journey: The Epic Journey of a lone wolf from Oregon To California. http://www.or7themovie.com/ Amaroq Weiss with the Center for Biological Diversity will be accompanying Clemens to answer questions at the end of the film. Doors open at 6pm with music by Neil Haverstick. Film begins at 7:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased on-line at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1634194

 
The Saturday August 8 afternoon program will run from 12:00 – 4:00 pm. Kim Wheeler of the Red Wolf Coalition will be delivering a program about the plight of the red wolf and the need to continue the US Fish & Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery program. http://redwolves.com/wp/. Wolf activist Oliver Starr will be delivering a program about the decline of gray wolves in Denali National Park and the need to re-establish a park boundary buffer zone to better protect wolves form hunting and trapping. Brian Ertz of Wildlands Defense will speak about the need to reform the controversial McKittrick Policy and equip the Department of Justice with tools to prosecute killers of threatened/endangered species. Live music by Neil Haverstick and Matt Stone. Children’s activities offered by Marilyn McGee and Gail McDiarmid of the children’s book, Running for Home. http://www.amazon.com/Running-Home-Gail-S-McDiarmid/dp/0985467703
Running
The Saturday evening program will feature an exciting panel discussion led by Camilla Fox of Project Coyote. http://projectcoyote.org/.

Camilla Fox
Camilla Fox

Joining her will be Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity, Kevin Bixby of the Southwest Environmental Center and author George Wuerthner. The group will discuss wildlife killing contests targeting wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and other species for prizes and inducements and efforts to ban them on public and private lands in the U.S. Doors open at 6:00 pm with music by Matt Stone. Panel discussion begins at 7:00 pm.

goodshieldOn Sunday August 9 Mary Lee Sanders will wake us up at 10:00 am with an interpretive dance of the wild wolf. Music and song by Goodshield Aguilar will follow. Mike Mease and other members of the Buffalo Field Campaign will end the program by giving a presentation about the hazing and senseless killing of bison in and outside of Yellowstone National Park in order to appease the livestock industry. The group will offer a vision for a new management plan of America’s last and only genetically pure wild bison herd and speak about the efforts to list buffalo under the Endangered Species Act.
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Speak for Wolves is an opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and take steps to restore our national heritage. The five principles to management reform can be found at http://www.speakforwolves.org/about/
We hope you and your family can join us on August 7-9, 2015 in the historic Union Pacific Dining Lodge of West Yellowstone, Montana!
Sincerely,
Brett Haverstick
Organizer
Send questions to info@speakforwolves.org
George Nickas of Wilderness Watch
George Nickas of Wilderness Watch