Wildlife Conservation & Management Funding in the U.S.

http://www.nrwm.org/wildlife-conservation-management-funding-in-the-u-s-2/

Wildlife Conservation & Management Funding in the U.S.

By Mark E. Smith and Donald A. Molde

October 2014

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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

Action Alert: Contact Washington Governor to End the Slaugter of the Huckleberry Pack Wolves

copyrighted wolf in water

 

From another list:

Having killed one Huckleberry pup, WDFW continues aerial gunning: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug2514a/

Below is an example of a letter to WA Governor Inslee. You can contact him at governor@gov.wa.gov and/or 360-902-4111. The points elucidated in the letter make it clear that WDFW is repeating the dishonest and secretive behavior that led to the slaughter of 7 Wedge Pack wolves in 2012.

The bulleted points in the letter were provide by Amaroq Weiss at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Let’s see if we can make enough noise to stop this killing…

Thanks, W

Dear Governor Inslee -

Please intervene and prevent further slaughter of Huckleberry pack wolves. The WDFW has been dishonest and misleading in its handling of this issue and it is by no means apparent, due to WDFW’s secretive behavior, that nonlethal deterrents and techniques were properly employed or even if they were used in good conscience and with serious intent. Below are points which make it very clear that lethal removal at this juncture is unjustified and unwarranted.

  • This wolf pack has denned 3-4 miles from this location – on reservation land, but still that close – for the last 3 years and WDFW knew it.

     

  • The terrain the sheep were being grazed in should not have been used for sheep grazing; it’s rugged terrain, there are 1800 sheep spread out all over the place; the sheep owner had his shepherd quit a month ago so the sheep had only 4 guard dogs out there with them and no human presence and even then, 1 shepherd for 1800 sheep is not enough; there should be more shepherds out there.

     

  • The Dept said a week ago the sheep were being moved right then to a new location; but the sheep still haven’t been moved.

     

  • The Dept said a  range rider would be on site on Aug 15 – he did not get out there until late the night of Aug 20 and so was not out monitoring until Aug 21, 6 days later.

     

  • The dept said they had staff on site – but staff went home 1-2 nights in the midst of all this.

     

  • The dept did not accept an offer from a conservation group early on of special lights that help deter predators.

     

  • The dept did not accept an offer from WA State Univ researchers early on to come help with nonlethal measures and help sheep carcasses out that would be drawing in wolves.

     

  • The Dept showcased only their limited nonlethal efforts on the tv news, not giving any hint to the public they would carry out a secret kill operation on a weekend morning while the public slept unaware.

     

  • They have betrayed the public trust in their lack of transparency and misleading assertions of having used all nonlethal possible before resorting to lethal control.

     

  • The sheep rancher himself had signed up this spring to participate in WSU’s nonlethal research project which would have given him assistance on the front end but then he pulled out.

     

  • The sheep rancher cannot expect the public to think he can reasonably monitor 1800 sheep with no shepherds present; in fact when he first discovered sheep losses the bodies were too decomposed to determine how they died, which demonstrates it had been awhile since anyone checked on them.

     

These sheep need to be moved. Now.

Respectfully,

Compassion in conservation: Don’t be cruel to be kind

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http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229740.200-compassion-in-conservation-dont-be-cruel-to-be-kind.html#.U6L6w2dOVy2

June 2014 by Marc Bekoff and Daniel Ramp

Killing and harming animals in the name of conservation is not just unethical, it is counterproductive

EARLIER this year, a hunter based in Texas paid $350,000 for the dubious privilege of being allowed to kill a male black rhino in Namibia. The rhino, Ronnie, was past reproductive age and deemed to be a danger to other wild rhinos. Profits from the hunting permit are supposed to be ploughed back into conservation in the country.

A few weeks later, keepers at Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark killed Marius, a healthy young male giraffe, publicly dissected him and fed his remains to the zoo’s carnivores because he didn’t fit into their breeding programme. Several offers to rehouse him were declined on the grounds that the facilities were unsuitable.

The same zoo later killed four healthy lions because a male lion they wanted to introduce to a female may have attacked them. Then Dählhölzli zoo in Bern, Switzerland, killed a bear cub over fears his father would kill him.

These cases made headlines and caused global outrage. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. Zoos often kill healthy animals considered surplus to their needs: around 5000 a year in Europe alone. This isn’t euthanasia, or mercy killing, but “zoothanasia”.

The killing of “surplus” animals is just one example of people making life-and-death decisions on behalf of captive and wild animals. These are difficult decisions and various criteria are used, but almost without exception human interests trump those of the non-human animals.

Often, for example, animals are harmed or killed “in the name of conservation”, or for the “good of their own (or other) species”. The result is unnecessary suffering and, commonly, a failure to achieve sustainable and morally acceptable outcomes.

Increasingly, scientists and non-scientists are looking for more compassionate solutions. Compassionate conservation, a rapidly growing movement with a guiding principle of “first do no harm”, is just such an approach. It is driven by a desire to eliminate unnecessary suffering and to prioritise animals as individuals, not just as species. It is also a route to better conservation.

Although one of us, Marc Bekoff, has been writing about the importance of individual animals in conservation for more than two decades, it took an international meeting at the University of Oxford in September 2010 for compassionate conservation to get a big push. There have since been three more meetings. NGOs are becoming interested and a Centre for Compassionate Conservation has been established at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

One sign that the influence of compassionate conservation is growing is that conservationists are questioning the ethics of producing captive pandas as ambassadors for their species. These animals have no chance of living in the wild and their existence is increasingly seen as indefensible.

Biologists are also re-evaluating the merits of reintroduction projects. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park, for example, resulted in numerous wolves dying or being killed “for the good of other wolves”. The surviving wolves also lack protection, especially when they leave the park. As a result, scientists are concerned that the project is failing.

Other reintroduction projects are being similarly reappraised. A team at the University of Oxford assessed 199 such programmes and found potential welfare issues in two-thirds of them, the most common being mortality, disease and conflict with humans.

Urban animals also get into the mix. Marc was recently asked to apply the principles of compassionate conservation to a project in Bloomington, Indiana, which proposed to kill numerous deer even when no one knew if they were causing a problem. In Cape Peninsula, South Africa, non-lethal paintball guns are being used to reduce conflicts between baboons and humans.

Compassionate conservation is also offering solutions to previously intractable conflicts. Innumerable wolves, coyotes, dogs, foxes and dingoes are killed by livestock farmers, often by trapping or poisoning. A recent study showed that poisoning dingoes by dropping tainted meat from aeroplanes changes the dynamics of the ecosystem and reduces biodiversity.

Management of this problem is being revolutionised by the use of guard animals such as Maremma sheepdogs, donkeys and llamas. These guardians bond with the livestock and protect them, not only reducing losses but also costing considerably less than shooting programmes. Even colonies of little penguins in Australia are now protected from foxes by Maremma sheepdogs.

Compassionate conservation is also changing the way researchers tag animals. This is an integral part of conservation as it enables scientists to identify individuals and estimate population sizes. But it is often harmful or painful and can reduce the animals’ fitness, which compromises the usefulness of the data collected. More researchers are now using methods that don’t stress animals or alter their behaviour, such as unobtrusive tags or remote camera traps.

There is often conflict between those interested in animal welfare and those interested in conservation, with the latter viewing concern for the well-being of individuals as misplaced sentimentalism. It is not.

Compassion for animals isn’t incompatible with preserving biodiversity and doing the best science possible. In fact, it is a must. Mistreatment of animals often produces poor conservation outcomes and bad science. It is also immoral. Only through compassion can we advance global conservation.

This article appeared in print under the headline “Cruel to be kind?”

Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He edited Ignoring Nature No More: The case for compassionate conservation (University of Chicago Press). Daniel Ramp is director of the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology, Sydney

Montana Announces Wolf Conservation Stamp

copyrighted wolf in water

[Good news for those who believe that wolves should be responsibly "managed"...]

May 21, 2014 by 

Zack Strong

Last week, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) announced that it would be proposing a “Wolf Conservation Stamp” at its May 22 meeting that, if approved, would be available for purchase by the public later this year. This is a truly groundbreaking proposal because it creates, for the first time, an opportunity for anyone to contribute funding to FWP that would only be spent on efforts to promote the conservation and responsible management of wolves and other wildlife in the state.

FWP, and wildlife management agencies around the country, are struggling to find ways to increase and diversify their revenue bases. The Wolf Conservation Stamp presents the perfect opportunity for non-hunters, non-trappers, “non-consumptive” wildlife watchers and recreationists to help support FWP while contributing to wolf and wildlife conservation in Montana – and by doing so, to add their voices and perspectives to the development of wildlife policies in our state.

Here’s how it would work. After covering the costs of administering the program, revenue generated by the purchase of wolf stamps would be equally allocated and spent in three ways:

  • One third would be made available to Montana livestock owners to help pay for nonlethal ways to protect their animals from predators like wolves, bears and mountain lions. By keeping both livestock and large carnivores alive, this would be a good deal for ranchers and wolves alike.
  • Another third would be used to pay for studying wolves, educating the public about wolves, and improving or purchasing suitable wolf habitat. This would benefit everyone, by increasing our knowledge about wolves, ensuring the public has access to accurate information about wolves, and securing habitat in which wolves and other wildlife can thrive.
  • The final third would be used to hire additional FWP wardens—essentially, wildlife police—in occupied wolf habitat. This would enhance enforcement of our wildlife management laws as they pertain to wolves and other species, and reduce incidents of poaching, trespassing, wasting animals, unlawful use of or failure to check traps, and other violations. This is something every Montanan and every American—hunters, non-hunters, property owners, public land users, agency officials, recreationists, and wildlife enthusiasts alike—should encourage and support.

And what’s more, the wolf stamp would be available to everyone. Just as FWP allows non-residents to purchase and use hunting and trapping licenses in the state, the wolf stamp would be available to any wildlife or conservation supporter, anywhere in the country.

If you care about wildlife in the northern Rocky Mountains, including wolves, we believe this is truly a chance to make a difference. Please spread the word about this proposal. And please thank FWP for its leadership and willingness to create this unique opportunity to directly support and contribute to conservation and sound wildlife management in Montana.

Bill allowing gun silencers while hunting passes out of committee

By Jim Siegel
The Columbus Dispatch • Wednesday March 12, 2014

Despite opposition from the League of Ohio Sportsmen, which called it a “bad bill with good intentions,” a House committee yesterday passed a bill that would allow Ohio hunters to use silencers.

Larry Mitchell Jr., executive director of the organization, said the goal of allowing hunters to use silencers should be accomplished through the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s rulemaking process. He said that route would be quicker and more flexible than passing legislation and putting it into law.

The bill, he said, “opens the door to the General Assembly to take away the authority of the wildlife professionals to write rules that address both the safety of our angling and hunting community but also address wildlife management principles.”

“With a few calls … this could all be handled in a few weeks,” he said. Asked if talks with the Division of Wildlife about changing the silencer rule could continue if the bill passes, Mitchell said the agency is generally reluctant to take on a new rule if a bill is moving.

Follow @OhioPoliticsNow for more news from the Statehouse

Supporters say the use of silencers will help protect hunters from hearing damage.

Also yesterday, about 50 members of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence marched to the Statehouse to lobby for action on another piece of legislation, House Bill 31, which would set standards for safe storage of firearms. The bill stalled after just two hearings.

Rep. Bill Patmon, D-Cleveland, sponsor of the bill, said losing one child killed by an unsafely stored gun is unacceptable. “If you don’t trust your child with knives, hot water, lawnmowers and running cars, why would you trust them with a .45?” A violation of the law would be a third-degree misdemeanor.

On the silencer bill, the Buckeye Firearms Association played host to about 20 lawmakers and legislative aides in February at the Black Wing Shooting Center in Delaware to demonstrate the effect of placing a silencer on a .45-caliber pistol and .308-caliber rifle.

Some lawmakers were unfamiliar with the impact of a silencer and were concerned their use would make it difficult to know if someone is hunting nearby, or illegally hunting on private lands.

An audiologist from Ohio State University recorded a 15 percent or more reduction in volume with a silencer. It was enough, he said, to protect ears from damage but still loud enough to be heard from several hundred yards away.

Asked by Rep. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, whether the bill addresses what happens if silencer technology improves, Mitchell said approving silencers by rule would allow for more flexibility to deal with such changes. Scherer voted no on the bill.

Knox Williams, president of the American Silencer Association, said the equipment will never be able to suppress the sound a bullet makes when it breaks the sound barrier.

Williams said 29 states allow game hunting with a silencer, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana.

Mitchell said the bill would affect fewer than 1 percent of hunters, but Williams argued that once silencers are approved, that number will rise. Silencer sales in recent years have been booming, he said, and Ohio is now the fourth-largest silencer market in the country.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/03/11/Bill-allowing-gun-silencers-during-hunting.html

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Idaho game management killing elk after killing wolves

by Justin King

 Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

Boise – Ranchers in Idaho are asking the state government to help eliminate some of the state’s elk population. The state is halfway through the wolf season, which was said to have been introduced to stop the wolves from attacking elk.

A group from Mayfield claims that Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game has been unable to protect their livelihoods from elk herds which they say are trampling their fences, crops, and causing other problems. The department currently allows a small group of hunters to participate in “depredation hunts,” in which the hunters are allowed to kill animals while hoping to drive the herds away.
Elk hunters have actively encouraged thinning the wolf population. Some have established co-ops to shoulder the cost of trapping wolves that are eating the prized trophy animals. Wolf trappers are paid up to $500 per kill.

Conservationists unsuccessfully attempted to stop the wolf hunts and predicted an explosion in the elk population if the wolf, an apex predator, was hunted. Tim Preso, an attorney representing the conservationists said of the wolf hunting efforts last week:

There is every reason to believe that this is not going to be a one-off, they have set a goal of inflating the elk population by removing wolves. According to their own plan that’s a multi-year undertaking. So I see every reason to believe that this is going to be a recurring activity.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, almost 900 wolves have been killed since they lost federal protection.
One of the proposed solutions to Mayfield’s problem is to move the herds closer to the areas where wolves roam.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/idaho-game-management-killing-elk-after-killing-wolves/article/367461#ixzz2uSvsIeLq

Interview on EXPOSED: The U.S. Secret War on Wildlife with Brooks Fahy

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/76044/exposed-the-us-secret-war-on-wildlife-with-brooks-fahy

February 24, 2014

Hosted by Eli Weiss

Wildlife Services-a barbaric, wasteful and misnamed agency within the US Department of Agriculture, has been having their way for almost a century, our government’s secret war on wildlife has been killing millions of native predators and birds as well as maiming, poisoning, and brutalizing countless non-targeted and endangered species, along with quite a few pets and seriously injuring people. Brooks Fahy, the man behind Predator Defense and the landmark film, “EXPOSED”, brings three former federal agents and a Congressman who blow the whistle on the atrocities committed under the guise of problem animal control, and proving Wildlife Services for what it really is: A barbaric, unaccountable, government sanctioned, out-of-control wildlife killing machine funded on our dime, which apparently thinks they will continue getting away with it. But, we can tell Congress to defund Wildlife Services, and after this program, you will.

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/76044/exposed-the-us-secret-war-on-wildlife-with-brooks-fahy

coyote contest kill

Healthy Giraffe Is Killed at Zoo Despite Offer to Save Him

By Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. on February, 09, 2014 in Animal Emotions

Yesterday I wrote about the plight of Marius, a young giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo who was to be killed because he didn’t fit into the zoo’s breeding program. Today I learned he was killed despite another zoo offering to save him. To quote from a BBC article: The director of a wildlife park in the Netherlands said, “Zoos need to change the way they do business.”

Read More: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201402/healthy-giraffe-is-killed-zoo-despite-offer-save-him

Also: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/02/10/giraffe-killed-fed-to-lions-denmark/5364775/

And: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/10/world/europe/denmark-zoo-giraffe/

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Meanwhile in CA, Gray wolf doesn’t warrant endangered status, official says

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Gray-wolf-doesn-t-warrant-endangered-status-5208673.php

by Melody Gutierrez Wednesday, February 5, 2014copyrighted wolf in water

Sacramento —

The gray wolf should not be listed as an endangered species in California, according to staff at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, much to the chagrin of wildlife conservation advocates who petitioned for the designation.

Following a yearlong review, the department’s director, Chuck Bonham, told the California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday that there is scientific evidence to support some protections for the gray wolf, but not for listing the animal on the endangered species list. The commission will consider his recommendation and may act on it this spring.

“Look, this decision has been weighing on me for weeks,” Bonham said. “It’s possible I may lose friends over this, which is why I ask everyone to read the documents before passing judgment.”

The recommendation was in response to a petition filed by conservationists in 2012 seeking protections for the species after a gray wolf from Oregon, known as OR-7, entered California. It was the first wild gray wolf in the state in almost 90 years. The wolf has since gone back to Oregon but has made some short excursions to the Golden State.

Bonham said his department’s recommendation is to designate the gray wolf as a species of special concern, prohibit the killing of OR-7 or other gray wolves and consider recommendations for placing the gray wolf on the state’s endangered species list at a later date.

Bonham said the recommendation documents will be posted on the department’s website by Thursday. Bonham’s announcement comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the gray wolf from the federal list of threatened and endangered species.

Nearly all of the public comments at Wednesday’s meeting in Sacramento on the gray wolf petition favored listing the animal as endangered.

“Wolves deserve a chance to recover in California, so it’s disappointing to see the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s recommendation against protections,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups that petitioned the state to have the gray wolf listed as an endangered.

In other developments at the Fish and Game Commission meeting, commissioners agreed to take up a possible ban on killing contests, a response to a controversial annual coyote killing contest held in Modoc County.

The annual event, scheduled for this weekend, triggered outrage last year after Project Coyote and several other conservation groups started a statewide campaign to stop the killings.

Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, said wildlife killing contests are more common than the public realizes. Organizers of the event have attempted to hide the contest from public view due to criticism and media attention.

One supporter of the event, Perry St. John, said the coyote hunt is held this time of year to help reduce the coyote population before spring calf births.

“It’s not killing for fun,” St. John told the commission during public comments. “It’s a chance for people to come together.”