Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Federal lawsuit challenges Wisconsin hunter/hounder entitlement law

Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife


“Venturing into uncharted territory, we need dramatically new leadership and government laws” ~ “Wild Law” by Cormac Cullinan

On July 17, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in federal court aiming to strike down a recently amended Wisconsin statute that “bans photographing, videotaping, approaching or even maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a hunter.” The law carries a penalty of up to $10,000 and nine months in jail. The law currently states that citizens cannot take more than two photos of a hunter on our public lands.

(If you see a hunter while hiking, lower your eyes and back respectfully away, murmuring, “I hope you kill a BIG one.” Do not look at him or her.)

Hunters, of course, can take endless pictures of each other grinning over our wildlife that they killed.

Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill into law, paying homage…

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No, God won’t take care of climate change

The Extinction Chronicles

Conservationists and religious folk need to find harmony for a healthy planet.

Note: the opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of High Country News, its board or staff. If you’d like to share an opinion piece of your own, please write Betsy Marston at Colbert is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. She lives and writes in Washington.

Not long after President Trump decided that the United States should withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Michigan Republican Rep. Tim Walberg told his constituents that if it turned into a “real” problem, God would “take care of” climate change.

Social media buzzed with dismay and alarm over the Michigan congressman’s attitude, since it runs counter to overwhelming scientific evidence concerning…

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Investigation opened after decapitated bear found on Haida Gwaii beach

Another poached bear was discovered on the beach a month ago (WARNING: This story contains graphic imagery)

CBC News Posted: Aug 15, 2017 7:14 PM PT Last Updated: Aug 16, 2017 8:51 AM PT

A decapitated bear carcass was discovered on a beach near Sandspit this week.

A decapitated bear carcass was discovered on a beach near Sandspit this week. (Arlene Erlandson)

Conservation officers in Haida Gwaii are searching for the people responsible for killing and decapitating a black bear, then dumping it on a beach.

The headless carcass was discovered this week at the high tide line, just east of Sandspit, according to Sgt. Kyle Ackles of the Conservation Officer Service.

“The head was removed, but the rest of the bear was intact,” Ackles said. “My understanding is that it’d been there for a couple days.”

Photos of the decapitated bear have been posted on Facebook, prompting outrage from many commenters.

Decapitated bear

The bear was killed with a rifle shot. (Arlene Erlandson)

The bear was a large adult male, killed by a shot from a rifle. Ackles said he couldn’t be sure of the motive for the removal of the bear’s head, but he speculated that someone might have wanted to preserve the skull.

Ackles moved the carcass away from the community, so that it wouldn’t attract more hungry bears.

It’s not the first time in recent weeks that something like this has happened.

“About a month ago, I had another incident where a bear carcass was found on the beach. Nothing from that animal was harvested,” Ackles said.

In that case, the bear was washed away by the tide before it could be examined.

Ackles is asking anyone with information about either poaching incident to call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277, pointing out that the service’s resources are spread thin on Haida Gwaii.

“I do really depend on the public to report suspicious activity,” he said.

With files from George Baker

BC SPCA applauds government move to end grizzly bear trophy hunt

August 15, 2017

The BC SPCA is applauding the provincial government’s move to end British Columbia’s grizzly bear trophy hunt.“During the fall months, government will consult with First Nations and stakeholder groups to determine next steps and mechanisms as B.C. moves toward ending the trophy hunt,” the government release states.

Announced Monday by Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson and in a B.C. government release, the ban will take effect on Nov. 30 throughout British Columbia, after this year’s season.

“The decision to end grizzly bear trophy hunting is a big step in the right direction,” says BC SPCA chief scientific officer Dr. Sara Dubois.

“It demonstrates the change in people’s opinions about trophy hunting.”

The BC SPCA is opposed to the hunting of any animal for trophy or sport. Any hunting of large predators, like bears, has huge impacts on the entire ecosystem. There is great uncertainty in population numbers and more research is needed, Dubois notes.

Additionally, government will be moving forward with a broader consultation process on a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province.”

It is encouraging the provincial government is engaging in a consultation process, Dubois says.

“We’re hopeful it will be an open and collaborative process that keeps conservation and the humane treatment of animals at the forefront of any strategy or initiatives that are developed,” she says.

“We look forward to being part of the process and ensuring conservation practices represent the values of British Columbians.”

Philippines warns against killing of migratory birds amid avian flu outbreak

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines on Sunday warned citizens not to kill or poach migratory birds that usually fly in from China, the possible source of a virus that triggered the Southeast Asian nation’s first outbreak of avian flu, to avoid worsening the situation.

There has been no case of human transmission but the virus prompted a cull of 200,000 fowl last week after it was detected on a farm in the province of Pampanga, north of the capital Manila, and spread to five neighboring farms.

Migratory birds or smuggled ducks from China may have brought in the virus, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has said.

The bird migration season in the Philippines usually starts around September, with the birds returning to their breeding grounds the following March, Mundita Lim, director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), said in an advisory.

“The culling, poisoning or chasing of migratory birds is strongly discouraged as they have proven ineffective and counterproductive,” she added.

Sick or dead wild birds should immediately be reported to the Department of Agriculture to allow checks for the virus, Lim said, urging breeders in areas frequented by migratory birds to guard their flocks against contact with them.

Early tests of the virus in the avian flu outbreak ruled out the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, but Philippine officials have sought further testing by an Australian animal health laboratory that is part of a global network combating the disease.

The Philippines is monitoring the quality and prices of poultry products in its markets, but believes farm authorities have managed to isolate and contain the virus, the presidential palace said in a statement.

Roy Cimatu, the secretary of environment and natural resources, said his department would step up surveillance against efforts to smuggle wild birds by sea and air.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Clarence Fernandez