From Anti-Hunting in America:
“I expect after you have many times seen a …deer or woodchuck blown to bits, the thought of a human blown to bits is that much less impossible to conceive.”
In many parts of the United States hunting remains a revered right-of-passage for young boys. YouTube hosts a disturbing number of videos of boys as young as eight killing deer. Advocates of this behavior invariably highlight the benefits that come from being in nature, bonding with fathers, and pursuing an ethic of conservation. It’s important to expose the lunacy of this rhetoric. These supposed benefits are, if the above quote is onto anything, little more than rationalizations for severe violence. Violence that could all too easily carry over into the way we view, and perhaps can treat, our fellow humans.
[The following is a statement a friend made at the recent WDFW hearing]…
I am not a rancher, but I have dear friends who own a fourth generation family ranch in Montana, located in wolf country. Through good stewardship and the use of Anatolian shepherd dogs and range-riders, they have lost no livestock to wolf depredation. They have, however, lost sheep and cows over the years to injury, illness and poachers.
I am not a city dweller, and never have been, but my stand for wolves should hold no less weight if I were. Washington’s wolves belong to no one; they belong to the landscape and to their own packs. They certainly do not belong to irresponsible ranchers and to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WFDW).
For a time, I lived in an old log cabin on 146 acres in Northwest Montana, a stone’s throw from a collared wolf pack, and I listened to their haunting howls during the morning’s wee hours.
Following Montana, I lived in the Methow Valley (on the east slopes of Washington’s North Cascade mountains), fifteen crow miles from the Lookout wolf pack, the pack that the White family all but destroyed. The White’s had lost no livestock to wolves while they attempted to ship bloody wolf pelts to Canada, emailing boasts and images of the dead wolves to friends.
I spoke up for the Wedge Pack in Olympia (WA’s capitol), after seven members of the pack were shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services in 2012, all to protect irresponsibly ranged cows grazing on terrain unsuitable to livestock. Lethal removal of the Wedge, said WDFW director Phil Anderson, would hit a re-set button with ranchers so that the action would not need to be repeated. I was at the meeting when he spoke these words and they were indeed in this context.
I now live a handful of miles from the Canadian border, on the west slopes of the North Cascades and I will tell you there are wolves here, dispersers and with packs on the horizon. I saw my first wolf fourteen years ago in this greater Kulshan area, and my second wolf nine years ago in a canyon above the Methow Valley.
On Tuesday, October seventh, I attended the WDFW wolf meeting in Colville, Stevens County, in northeastern Washington. I sat quietly and observed during the meeting, taking notes and quotes, as well as images with my camera. The crowd in attendance was filled mainly with ranchers and with those opposing wolf recovery. It was a lynch mob scene! WDFW allowed the crowd to call out mean-spirited comments to those few who spoke in support of wolves (this was ranching country, after all). WDFW allowed those speaking against wolves to talk well in excess of their allotted three minutes, permitting speakers to talk back to the WDFW panel and refuse to sit down and shut up when asked. Rancher Len McIrvine refused to stop talking well after using his and other’s time allotments, and the crowd cheered. The department allowed this behavior.
WDFW allowed the crowd to stand and cheer loudly when there was talk of wolves having been killed: the Ruby creek female hit by a car and the Huckleberry female flushed out of dense forest (forest unsuitable for grazing) and shot from a helicopter by Wildlife Services.
I acquired the necropsy report for the Huckleberry female and interviewed the department’s veterinarian who had performed the necropsy and had written the report. It is notable that the Huckleberry pack female’s stomach was empty when she was shot dead. She had not eaten for close to two days. She certainly hadn’t been eating the rancher Dashiell’s sheep, and so the non-lethal tactics and helicopter hazing had worked. And yet a wolf needed to die.
The Colville crowd called for three more Huckleberry wolves to die, and better yet the whole pack! They demanded a total of at least four dead wolves, although the department had said they would shoot “up to four wolves” never guaranteeing they would shoot four wolves total. The WDFW panel just sat and listened to the calls for more dead wolves, nodding their heads and looking sympathetic, never making this correction to the ranchers’ demands for more wolf blood to be spilled.
The department’s initial statement regarding the aerial assault on the Huckleberry pack is that they would only shoot if there were multiple animals under the helicopter as a means of size comparison so that they would only take out pups and two year-old wolves. They would not target black, adult wolves as the collared male is black (they use the collars for tracking purposes, of course). Later the department’s directive was amended (changed and twisted) and it was stated they would remove any wolf (or wolves) but for the collared male.
When the Huckleberry female was shot, she was the sole animal under the under helicopter and weighed close to 70 pounds while alive (reports of 65 and 66 lbs were post-mortem, although WDFW never made this clear). Said the department’s carnivore specialist Donny Moratello, “We were certainly disappointed in this outcome but, there was no way to sort from the air in this circumstance.” When I asked him why take the risk of shooting the wrong wolf if there is no means of comparison, he replied, “You know going into it you get what you get. We did not have the opportunity to sort in this case.” As well as saying, “To not shoot (a wolf) they would have not been complying with the directive at that point, they would not be following orders.”
So, you get what you get. The helicopter had been up on multiple occasions over a number of days, unable to spot animals due to the visibility limits of the dense terrain, terrain unsuitable for healthy and responsible ranching and in which the sheep were being grazed. Simply, the lethal endeavor was becoming too expensive, so they flushed out a single black, adult sized wolf and shot. Blam! They shot the breeding female whose pups at the time were only a little over 4 months old and unable to hunt on their own. The department’s reports to this day say the pups were almost full grown but, this is grossly inaccurate as per their own veterinarian.
It is also important to note from WDFW’s own reports and slide presentation, that most of the wolf activity and depredations fell outside of Dashiell’s grazing allotment. Dashiell had not had a working range rider for close to thirty days; during the onset and well into the confirmed depredation activity. He had merely two working guard dogs which, is insufficient for the size of the herd (1800) and sprawling, densely forested terrain. Two more guard dogs and additional human presence were added around the period of the Huckleberry kill order, but it was too little too late. Wolves needed to die.
Additionally, rancher Dashiell had not been removing sheep carcasses including well before the confirmed depredations, as evidenced by the carcass’ level of decomposition and thus, the inability to determine cause of death.
Northeastern Washington commissioners spoke in support of the ranchers and the call for dead wolves, speaking to taking matters of wolf control in their own hands. There was talk of shooting, trapping and most of all, poisoning the wolves. In a Seattle Times article Rancher Len McIrvine is quoted as saying, “Our ancestors knew what had to happen — you get poison and you kill the wolves.”
The quad-county commissioners grandstanded and played to the lynch mob. Jim DeTro, Okanogan County commissioner opened his speech with, “Welcome to Okanogan County where you can now drink a Bud’, smoke a bud and marry your bud.” He said this with obvious disdain and the crowd laughed loudly. He said, “People in my county have decided to not shoot, shovel and shut up, but to be totally silent.” He said this as a wink and nod to poisoning wolves while the department panel sat there silently, nodding their heads up and down and looking sympathetic.
I tell you, when a wolf is killed illegally and poisoned, WDFW is guilty of complicity by not speaking out against these illegal acts and by nodding their heads up and down in agreement.
DeTro continued on that people in his county don’t want the agency to know when they’ve seen a wolf or experienced (alleged) wolf depredation. They want, he said, to take matters in their own hands. DeTro then said smiling proudly, “Olympia, you have a problem.”
Mike Blankenship, Ferry County commissioner, stood there and encouraged people to take matters in their own hands, as well. All the while, WDFW just sat there nodding their heads, looking sympathetic and remaining silent. More complicity!
A local sheriff said, “Wolves are messy eaters, scattering a cow from hell to breakfast,” and making other inflammatory statements about wolves to the again cheering crowd. He said he was “pissed” that only one Huckleberry pack member had been killed.
One rancher cried out angrily, “Wolves kill to eat!” I was curious then, as to what he had done to his livestock before they ended up in the grocer’s meat section, if his livestock were not also killed to be eaten.
At the end of the meeting, WDFW director Phil Anderson acted very cozy and familiar with the ranchers, in spite of them having raked him mercilessly over the coals for not killing more wolves. He looked sympathetic and referred to them by name, and recalled riding around in their trucks with them. Anderson said he would plan a closed meeting with the area ranchers to discuss wolf issues and management.
I demand that NO meeting in relation to Washington wolves be closed. Two final points:
* In the case of the Huckleberry pack, the department did not adequately implement the state’s wolf management plan, nor did they adhere to their own published procedures, before lethal removal took place. This negligence WILL NOT be repeated.
* We demand full documentation of every wolf mortality, and that given the threats to use poisons, we expect that toxicology reports be made public as part of any necropsy, where cause of death has not otherwise been determined. If wolves are poisoned, WDFW will be held guilty of complicity due to their behavior in Colville; supporting poisoning by remaining silent and nodding their heads up and down.
While I sat silently during the Colville meeting, a rancher two rows back passed me a piece of paper on which he had scrawled, “Wolf Lover!” When I looked back at him he scowled at me severely. I wrote in reply on the note, “So?” along with a happy face, and passed it back to him. I’ll take his accusation as a complement.
Originally posted on Don Lichterman:
Leonardo DiCaprio Buys Rights to Wolf Movie: He must have caught the Canis lupus fever when he was filming “The Wolf of Wall Street” because Leo is buying the movie rights to a book that will tell the story the famous female alpha wolf, 06. “American Wolf” will follow 06’s multi-year journey from the time she was collared in Yellowstone National Park to her eventual death in 2012 just outside park boundaries. As any Yellowstone wolf advocate knows, 06 was a particularly special wolf, known to many as “the most famous wolf in the world.” She was monitored for years by researchers and scientists, and during that span of time, gathered a large public following due to her indomitable free spirit. In 2012, she was legally killed by a hunter just 15 miles outside of the park.
It was a grievous event made even more tragic…
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Originally posted on Howling For Justice:
October 23, 2014
It’s time to start thinking outside the box concerning the decimation of America’s wolves and WWAG is certainly doing that. Trying to protect Montana and Idaho wolves, by fighting for them in federal court, was hamstrung by the budget bill-wolf delisting rider, passed by the Democrat controlled US Senate, in 2011, which took judicial review off the table.
WWAG is demanding wolves be placed back under federal protection stating “Montana’s wolf management policy violates the United Nations Charter for Nature, !”
“Why are these psychopaths allowed to torture animals in this country, yet 86 other countries have banned trapping?” asked WWAG member Michelle Domeier.
The group held posters showing wolves dead in both foothold traps and snares identified as legal means of killing wolves in Montana. More than 2,600 wolves had been killed since being strippedfrom federal protections, they said.
After speaking on the Capitol steps…
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Here’s the text of a friend’s testimony to the WDFW at their wolf “management hearing:
I’m speaking on behalf of wolf protection and recovery. I’m going to cover three points tonight.
Wildlife Conservation & Management Funding in the U.S.
By Mark E. Smith and Donald A. Molde
The authors present a novel approach to help answer the question “Who really pays for wildlife in the U.S?” Using public information about budgets of various conservation, wildlife advocacy, and land management agencies and non-profit organizations, published studies and educated assumptions regarding sources of Pittman-Robertson Act and Dingle-Johnson Act federal excise monies from the sale of sporting equipment, the authors contend that approximately 95% of federal, 88% of non-profit, and 94% of total funding for wildlife conservation and management come from the non-hunting public. The authors further contend that a proper understanding and accurate public perception of this funding question is a necessary next step in furthering the current debate as to whether and how much influence the general public should have at the wildlife policy-making level, particularly within state wildlife agencies.
Read the full paper here: Smith Molde Wildlife Conservation & Management Funding in the US Oct14 FINAL
The global environment is collapsing and dying under the weight of inequitable over-population and ecosystem loss.
“We learn the meaning of enough and how to share or it is the end of being.” ― Dr. Glen Barry
The surging Ebola epidemic is the result of broad-based ecological and social collapse including rainforest loss, over-population, poverty and war. This preventable environmental and human tragedy demonstrates the extent to which the world has gone dramatically wrong as ecosystem collapse, inequity, grotesque injustice, religious extremism, nationalistic militarism, and resurgent authoritarianism threaten our species and planet’s very being.
Any humane person is appalled by the escalating Ebola crisis, and let’s be clear expressing these concerns regarding causation is NOT an attempt to hijack a tragedy. Things happen for a reason, and Ebola was preventable, and future catastrophes of potentially greater magnitude can be foreseen and avoided by the truth.
The single greatest truth underlying the Ebola tragedy is that humanity is systematically dismantling the ecosystems that make Earth habitable. In particular, the potential for Ebola outbreaks and threats from other emergent diseases is made worse by cutting down forests . Exponentially growing human populations and consumption – be it subsistence agriculture or mining for luxury consumer items – are pushing deeper into African old-growth forests where Ebola circulated before spillover into humans.
Poverty stricken communities in West Africa are increasingly desperate, and are eating infected “bushmeat” such as bats and gorilla, bringing them into contact with infected wildlife blood. Increasingly fragmented forests, further diminished by climate change, are forcing bats to find other places to live that are often amongst human communities.
Some 90% of West Africa’s original forests have already been lost. Over half of Liberia’s old-growth forests have recently been sold for industrial logging by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s post-war government. Only 4% of Sierra Leone’s forest cover remains and they are expected to totally disappear soon under the pressure of logging, agriculture, and mining.
My recently published peer-reviewed scientific research  on ecosystem loss and biosphere collapse indicates more natural ecosystems have been lost than the global environment can handle without collapsing. Recently published science reports that 50% of Earth’s wildlife has died (in fact been murdered) in the last 40 years .
Loss of natural life-giving habitats has consequences. We are each witnesses to and participants in global ecosystem collapse.
There are other major social ills which potentially foster global pandemics. Rising inequity, abject poverty, and lack of justice threaten Earth’s and humanity’s very being. These ills and global ecosystem collapse are causing increased nationalistic war, migration and rise of authoritarian corporatism. West Africa has been ravaged by war and poverty for decades, which shows little signs of abating, particularly since natural habitats for community based sustainable development are nearly gone.
War breeds disease. It is no coincidence that the 1918 flu pandemic – the last great global disease outbreak that killed an estimated 50-100 million – occurred just as the ravages of World War I were ending. Conditions after ecosystems are stripped by over-population and poverty are not that different – each providing ravaged landscapes that are prime habitat for disease organisms.
West Africa’s ecological collapse has brought people into contact with blood from infected animals causing the Ebola epidemic. Once human infection occurs, ecologically denuded, conflict ridden, over-populated, and squalid impoverished communities are ripe for a pandemic. As the Ebola virus threatens to become endemic to the region, it potentially offers a permanent base from which infections can indefinitely continue to spread globally.
Since 911 America has slashed all other spending as it militarizes, viewing all sources of conflict as resolvable by waging perma-war. Africa needs doctors and the U.S. sends the military. Both terrorism and infectious disease are best prevented by long-term investments in equitably reducing poverty and meeting human needs – including universal health-care, living wage jobs, education, family planning, and establishment of greater global medical rapid response capabilities.
We are all in this together. Our over-populated, over-consuming, inequitable human dominated Earth continues to wildly careen toward biosphere collapse as sheer sum consumption overwhelms nature. West Africa’s 2010 population of 317 million people is still growing at 2.35%, and is expected to nearly double in 25 years, even as squalor, lack of basic needs, ecosystem loss, and pestilence increase. This can never, ever be ecologically or socially sustainable, and can only end in ruin.
Equity, education, condoms, and lower taxes and other incentives to stabilize and then reduce human population are a huge part of the solution for a just, equitable, and sustainable future. Otherwise Earth will limit human numbers with Ebola and worse. It may be happening already.
We are one human family and in a globalized world no nation is an island unto itself. By failing to invest in reducing poverty and in meeting basic human needs in Africa and globally (even as we temporarily enrich ourselves by gorging upon the destruction of their natural ecosystems), we in the over-developed world ensure that much of the world is fertile ground for disease and war. There is no way to keep Ebola and other social and ecological scourges out of Europe and America if they overwhelm the rest of humanity.
Ebola is what happens when the rich ignore poverty, as well as environmental and social decline, falsely believing they are not their concern. There can be no security ever again for anybody as long as billions live in abject poverty on a couple dollars a day as a few hundred people control half of Earth’s wealth.
We learn the meaning of enough and how to share or it is the end of being.
Walmart parking lots and iPads don’t sustain or feed you. Healthy ecosystems and land do. The hairless ape with opposable thumbs – that once showed so much potential – has instead become an out of control, barbaric and ecocidal beast with barely more sentience of its environmental constraints than yeast on sugar.
Ebola is very, very serious but can be beat with public health investments, coming together and showing courage, and by dealing with underlying causes. In the short-term, it is absolutely vital that the world organizes a massive infusion of doctors and quarantined hospital beds into West Africa immediately, even as we work on the long-term solutions highlighted here.
Ultimately commitments to sustainable community development, universal health care and education, free family planning, global demilitarization, equity, and ecosystem protection and restoration are the only means to minimize the risk of emergent disease. Unless we come together now as one human family and change fast – by cutting emissions, protecting ecosystems, having fewer kids, ending war, investing in ending abject poverty, and embracing agro-ecology – we face biosphere collapse and the end of being.
A pathway exists to global ecological sustainability; yet it requires shared sacrifice and for us all to be strong, as we come together to vigorously resist all sources of ecocide. It is up to each and every one of us to commit our full being to sustaining ecology and living gently upon Earth… or our ONE SHARED BIOSPHERE collapses and being ends
I desperately hope that Ebola does not become a global pandemic killing hundreds of millions or even billions. But if it does, it is a natural response from an Earth under siege defending herself from our own ignorant yet willful actions. We have some urgent changes to make as a species, let’s get going today before it is too late.
 We Are Making Ebola Outbreaks Worse by Cutting Down Forests: Mother Jones
 Barry, G. (2014), “Terrestrial ecosystem loss and biosphere collapse”, Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 542-563. Read online for personal use only: http://bit.ly/MEQ_Biosphere
 Living Planet Index: Zoological Society of London and WWF
Support Earth through a donation to EcoInternet at http://www.climateark.org/shared/donate/
I attended the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf hearing last week to find out how far the WDFW ultimately plans to go with wolf hunting, once wolves are inevitably removed from the state endangered species list, and when Washington residents can expect to hear that hunting groups are holding contest hunts on wolves like our neighbors in Idaho have already done.
It turns out the department wasn’t ready to come clean on their ultimate plans to implement hunting seasons on wolves (starting in Eastern Washington). They were only willing to talk about the few cases of sheep predation (a few dozen out of a flock of 1,800 animals grazing on public forest land), and the WDFW’s collusion with areal snipers from the federal Wildlife “Services” for some good old fashioned lethal removal. Here are some notes on what I was planning to say, had it been on topic:
Over the years spent living in rural Eastern Washington, I’ve gotten to know how ranchers think and feel, and what they’re capable of. For over twenty years I lived in a cabin outside the Okanogan County town of Twisp, where rancher/convicted poacher Bill White is currently under house arrest. Exploiting his then-good standing and local influence to get permission from the WDFW to gather road-killed deer, under the guise of distributing them as meat to members of the Colville tribe, he used some of the deer as bait to lure wolves from the Lookout pack to within shooting distance. He and his son are credited with killing nearly every member of that pack—the first wolves to make it back into Washington. Their sense of entitlement was so overblown they thought they could get away with sending a blood-dripping wolf hide across the Canadian border.
On the plus side, I also have a lot of experiences with wolves themselves. As a wildlife photographer I’ve photographed them in Alaska and Canada as well as in Montana, where I lived a mile away from Yellowstone National Park. I got to know the real nature and behavior of wolves. I’d like to think that if ranchers knew the wolves the way I do, they wouldn’t be so quick to want to kill them off again. I shouldn’t have to remind folks that wolves were exterminated once already in all of the lower 48 states, except Minnesota, which had only six wolves remaining before the species was finally protected as endangered.
Although I personally believe that wolves belong to no one but themselves, to use game department jargon, wolves and other wildlife belong to everyone in the state equally—not just the squeakist-wheel ranchers and hunters. By far most of Washington’s residents want to see wolves allowed to live here and don’t agree with the department’s lethal wolf removal measures (that no doubt include plans for future wolf hunting seasons, which are currently being downplayed by the WDFW).
What’s to stop Washington from becoming just like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming in implementing reckless wolf-kill programs that eventually lead to things like contest hunts (as in Idaho) and the subsequent decimation of entire packs? Or year-round predator seasons that ultimately result in federal re-listing (as in Wyoming)? What guarantee do we have that Washington’s wolves will be treated any differently?
Originally posted on Howling For Justice:
Stop Demonizing My Brothers and Sisters
Wolves have enough problems fighting a distorted public image, without the media demonizing them on a daily basis. I’m referring to the constant use of two words – LONE WOLF! The MSM is tripping over themselves to repeat it as many times as possible. It’s driving me nuts. I think I heard it on the news tonight at least ten times. With the rise of ISIS and terrorism in general, news anchors and talking heads can’t seem to stop using this derogatory term.. It even has its own Wiki entry:
Lone wolf (terrorism) From WIKI: A lone wolf or lone-wolf fighter is someone who commits or prepares for, or is suspected of committing or preparing for, violent acts in support of some group, movement, or ideology, but who does so alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group.
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Capital Press October 15, 2014
LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The east-west divide over how Washington should manage conflicts between ranchers and the state’s growing population of wolves was apparent Tuesday at a meeting in this Seattle suburb.
Speaker after speaker told state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials that game managers shouldn’t have OK’d the shooting of a wolf in August to deter a pack from preying on sheep in Stevens County in northeast Washington.
A week ago at the Stevens County Fairground in Colville, game officials were accused of being slow to stop livestock predation. At the Lynnwood Convention Center, they were charged with being quick to kill wolves at the bidding of ranchers.
Denise Joines, representing a Seattle-based philanthropic conservation group, the Wilderforce Foundation, said the economic contribution of “wildlife watchers” dwarfs that of ranchers who graze their animals on public lands.
“The Department of Fish and Wildlife should focus on serving the interests, both recreational and economic, of the majority of our state’s citizens, not a small extractive industry,” she said.
A sharpshooter from a helicopter killed a breeding female in the Huckleberry Pack on Aug. 23. The department called the Lynnwood and Colville meetings to give residents a chance to vent.
Ania Pastuszewska, of Seattle, called the wolf a symbol of the American West and the August shooting “plain lazy” and an act of “cowardice.”
Hank Seipp said he drove across the state from his home in Spokane because he didn’t have a chance to speak in Colville.
He held prepared remarks laying out his belief that non-lethal means can deter attacks on livestock. Instead of referring to his paper, he turned to look at three department officials and spoke through clenched teeth.
“We, you, have to do better,” he said.
Afterward, Seipp said he was surprised by his vehemence. “My emotions got the better of me over this subject,” he said.
About 100 people came to the Lynnwood meeting and heard the department’s assistant director, Nate Pamplin, defend the shooting.
He said the Huckleberry Pack had killed 34 sheep grazing in rugged terrain. He said non-lethal efforts to protect the sheep, including patrols by state employees around the flock, didn’t stop wolves from killing and injuring livestock.
The state spent an estimated $53,000 in first tying to protect the flock and then in shooting one wolf.
Many in the audience accused game managers of failing to do enough before resorting to lethal action. The same managers were criticized in Colville for allegedly failing to take action against the wolves.
Tricia M. Cook, of Glacier, said a rancher at the Colville meeting slipped her an unfriendly note accusing her of being a “wolf lover.”
“I’ll take that accusation as a compliment,” she said.
In Lynnwood, south King County resident Bill McCorkle stood out when he applauded the shooting of the wolf.
“These guys are just trying to make a living. They are American farmers,” McCorkle said. “I’m not a wolf-hater. I don’t want to see them all dead. I just don’t want things to get out of hand.”
Washington lists the wolf on the state’s endangered species list. Game officials estimate there are 52 wolves in the state, mostly in northeast Washington.
Game officials say the population is growing rapidly and spreading. They anticipate the wolf population will recovery as soon as 2021.
“Wolves in Washington are here to stay,” Pamplin said to applause.
The department’s carnivore manager, Donny Martorello, said conflicts between wolves and livestock likely will increase.
The Huckleberry Pack caused the department the most trouble last summer.
In Ferry County, the Profanity Pack killed a cow and calf. “This is a pack we’ll have to closely monitor next year,” Pamplin said. “This will be a challenging area for 2015.”