Wolves and Wildfires

As if wolves don’t have enough to worry about, there are massive fires in Northern Idaho with nearly a million acres already burned. And in California’s Plumas County, a place Journey seems to find to his liking, a huge fire is raging. So far, the Chips fire has burned over 63,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest and is only 40% contained at this time.  Journey has kept himself safe so far, he’s avoided traps, dodged vehicles on busy roads, and he’s kept his nose clean around livestock. Let’s hope he steers clear of the fire.

Journey near Butte Falls, Oregon, fall 2011.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center this has been one hot year for fires, with over 42,000 reported so far. The number of acres burned is reportedly 6,901,035. That’s a ton of wildlife habitat.

Natural disasters, including forest fires, clearly have an affect on wolves and other wildlife, yet there is nothing as devastating to their well-being as Homo sapiens.  Recent  news brings home this sad fact.

Washington State Fish and Wildlife currently has Wildlife Service hit men in the field to hunt down four members of the Wedge pack due to the wolves alleged predation on livestock. This kill order may include the taking of four five-month old pups. The charismatic and informative website Howling  For Justice is providing phone numbers and emails for us to contact to object to this unnecessary atrocity.

Washington Wolf Packs, August 2012. The Wedge Pack is in the Northeast.

Keep the calls coming as public pressure does work, as evidenced by the lifting of the kill order on the alpha female Mexican wolf of the Fox Mountain pack, also targeted for livestock predation (four cows in four months). However, the compromise is that she will be captured and relocated to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale (hope she likes to shop).  While this is better than the alternative, the wolf will struggle to adjust to life in captivity and (we assume)  will no longer be contributing to the much needed repopulating of Mexican wolves.

I could go on and on, wolves in Montana being managed by Wildlife Services (don’t these people read the Sacramento Bee?), Idaho’s year round hunt, and the last straw… Michigan!

I’ve bragged about Michigan, the one state with a healthy wolf population that has chosen not to hunt them. However, a bill was proposed on August 15 to go along with the rest of the wolf-phobic crowd and begin hunting in Michigan. Nancy Warren of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition is quoted in this article, and in the online comments you’ll see additional strong and smart words by many wolf advocates.

One thing I do feel good about is that wolf people are speaking up, loudly and with great wisdom. While being heard over  the powerful anti-wolf forces is extremely frustrating, our voices adhere to scientific facts and they seek to serve the greater good of the environment, rather than our own selfish, special interest.

5 thoughts on “Wolves and Wildfires

  1. dansk: ulve må ikke udsættes for flere bekrymringer fra menneskesiden, skovbrande er jo med til at ødelægge deres revir, så nu må anti-ulv-menneskerne være med et stort forståligt hjerte, og gennem-tænke deres modbydeligt morder-drab på de smukke-gode ulve, HVOR ULVEN LEVER- DER TRIVES SKOVEN :-)))

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  2. I don’t agree that captivity is a better alternative for a wild wolf (or any wild animal) than death. It is just a slower death and can be extremely cruel from a psychologically standpoint. For more info on this topic please see Jay Mallonee’s account a wild wolf who developed PTSD when placed in captivity here:
    http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/downloads/tenino.pdf
    and the paper he published about that same wolf here:
    http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/jaws.pdf

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  3. I am glad that you are working to protect wolves in Mitchigan (I’ve signed your petition). Here in Australia, our native wild dog, the dingo, is protected, but some have also been partially domesticated and bred into farm dogs, ie the Australian kelpie and blue heeler dogs, which are tougher for it.

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