Animal rights groups call for compulsory breath test for hunters

ANIMAL rights groups have called for hunters to be subject to compulsory breath-testing — much like drivers.

Hunters and those bearing arms cannot be under the influence of booze or drugs when in control of firearms.

Animal protection groups say the law does not go far enough and hunters should be subjected to random tests.

Hunters or those bearing arms could refuse breath test but it is understood police would be able to arrest them if they suspected someone carrying a weapon was intoxicated.

Victorian Advocates for Animals spokesman Lawrence Pope said his group had seen shooters drinking heavily the night before a dawn hunt.

But hunters and police rubbished the claims, saying that authorities focused on shooting hot spots.

MP Daniel Young said there was no evidence of a problem of drunken hunters. Picture: Mark Wilson

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP Daniel Young said gun licence owners were the most scrutinised members of society and that there was no evidence of drunken hunters.

“Where is the evidence that this has ever been a problem?” he said.

Read more at the Herald Sun

Man Who Shot Caged Cougar Loses Hunting Rights

The Extinction Chronicles

A Redmond man who shot and killed a cougar in a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife research trap has been barred from hunting in the state of Washington for two years.

| May 29, 2017, at 12:45 p.m.

Man Who Shot Caged Cougar Loses Hunting Rights

SEATTLE (AP) — A Redmond man who shot and killed a cougar in a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife research trap has been barred from hunting in Washington for two years.

The Seattle Times reported ( ) Saturday that the WDFW has stripped Ronald D. Wentz of his hunting privileges for the 2016 incident.

Wentz had been fined $1,300, but the WDFW made the move to take away his privileges after receiving a note from the Washington Director of The Humane Society of the United States, Dan Paul, urging the state to permanently ban Wentz from hunting again in the…

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Oregon wolf found dead; cause of death unknown

OR42, the breeding female of the Chesnimnus Pack, had her failed radio-collar replaced on Feb. 23, 2017 in the Chesnimnus WMU in northern Wallowa County. (ODFW/CC BY-SA 2.0)


ENTERPRISE, Ore. – The breeding female from an Oregon wolf pack was found dead earlier this month, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

OR42 from the Chesnimnus Pack was found dead in Wallowa County in early May, ODFW said in a press release Tuesday.

“A preliminary forensic examination did not identify a cause of death and no foul play is suspected at this time,” the agency said in the statement. “However, it is still under investigation and additional laboratory tests are being conducted.”

OR42 had her radio collar replaced in February 2017.

Two other wolves in the pack have collars that allow biologists to track their movements.

As Kim Jong Un Continues Missile Tests, Typhoon Trump Moves Toward the Koreas



With the deployment of nuclear submarines and carrier battle groups, President Trump is acting very tough, but he seems to know only China can save the day.

HONG KONG—Loose lips sink ships, and U.S. President Donald Trump’s lips are about as loose as they get. But what might lie behind his gaffes? And what might lie ahead of them? In the looming showdown with North Korea, the answers are potentially apocalyptic.

For the moment we can only guess what Trump told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week about his North Korea strategy. “It’s a big problem. It’s a world problem and it will be solved at some point,” Trump declared to the press at his meeting with Abe before the G7 summit in Italy. “It will be solved, you can bet on that.”But how does one “solve” a problem like North Korea?

Soon there will be three U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups cruising near the peninsula. But on Monday, Kim Jong Un staged another successful missile test—just the kind of operation the Trump administration has vowed to stop.

“As we agreed at the recent G7, the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the international community,” Abe told reporters in brief televised remarks on Monday after the latest missile test. “Working with the United States, we will take specific action to deter North Korea.”

There are clues to Trump’s thinking, and it keeps turning toward Beijing. His tweeted reaction to the latest provocation by Pyongyang: “North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile…but China is trying hard!”

 But “trying hard” may not be enough.

We now know that during an April 29 phone call between Trump and his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte, amid praise for extrajudicial killings of alleged drug dealers and addicts—“an unbelievable job on the drug problem”—Trump called North Korea’s Kim Jong Un a “madman with nuclear weapons.” And Trump asked Duterte’s opinion about whether Kim is “stable or not stable.” (Some would see irony in this, given the two people who were talking.)

The American president also let slip that the United States had “a lot of firepower over there,” and boasted, as he is wont to do, with some highly classified specifics: he told Duterte two nuclear submarines had been dispatched by the Pentagon to the region.

So, three carriers, two nuclear submarines . . .

Trump sounded amazed at the potential destructive power he commands. “I’ve never seen anything like they [the subs] are, but we don’t have to use this, but he could be crazy, so we will see what happens.”

Actually, we have a pretty good idea what would happen if full scale warfare breaks out. Diplomats talk about “the tyranny of proximity,” and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis sketched out the scenario Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation: It would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes,” he said. “The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, which is the capital of South Korea. And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well.”

Trump told Duterte, “We can’t let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that. We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20, but we don’t want to use it.”

Mercurial as ever, Trump recently told Bloomberg News that he would be “honored” to meet Kim, echoing a notion that he shared on CBS’s Face the Nation regarding his opinion of the North Korean dictator’s savage grip on his office: “A lot of people, I’m sure, tried to take that power away . . . And he was able to do it. So obviously, he’s a pretty smart cookie.”

Duterte, in his chat with Trump, didn’t seem to share that view. “He is not stable, Mr. President, as he keeps on smiling when he explodes a rocket,” the Philippine strongman said. “But it seems from his face he is laughing always and there’s a dangerous toy in his hands which could create so much agony and suffering for all mankind.”

The Duterte phone call transcript was leaked from the Philippines, and The Intercept and The Washington Post both published it online in full last week. In it, there was a lot of talk about China, East Asia’s most dominant power broker and one of North Korea’s few backers (at least, until recently).

What now are Pyongyang’s weekly launches of short- or medium-range ballistic missiles, a prelude to the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles that might reach as far as Seattle, have been described as a defiant show of power toward South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, but they are equally aimed at China and even the United States, which has 80,000 troops stationed in South Korea and Japan.

China, as Duterte told Trump, “is the last country he should rebuke.”

So Kim Jong Un has proven himself to be an unreasonable dictator, and Beijing is losing patience. For the second month in a row, Chinese imports of North Korean coal have been zero. The airport in Dandong, a northeastern Chinese city, confirmed that flights operated by Air Koryo, which transports passengers between China and North Korea, have been suspended. Chinese tourism companies have been eliminating tours to the hermit kingdom; half-day tours of Pyongyang, which is visa-free for some Chinese travelers, are becoming skeletal. Cross-border commerce, which provides consumer goods to the general population in North Korea, has been in a rut.

Even though relations between China and South Korea have been rough because of Seoul’s adoption of the American THAAD missile defense system, officials of the two nations have been meeting to repair ties.

During one of the sessions, Chinese state councilor Yang Jiechi, who is a senior policy advisor to the Chinese President Xi Jinping, said that the two nations must work together to guard against North Korean threats. A special envoy, Lee Hae-chan, has been dispatched by the new South Korean president to keep communication channels with Beijing open and smooth.

Not only has the Chinese Communist Party been withholding meaningful financial support for Pyongyang’s elite, it has slowly but surely made suggestions about how the Chinese state apparatus would react to armed conflict in the Korean Peninsula. In late April, an op-ed circulated in Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times had a tidy note buried near its end: “If America performs surgical strikes in North Korea, China will only intervene diplomatically, but not militarily.” (The op-ed, which was written in Chinese, has been taken offline.) Its author, whose name was not in the byline, even suggested that somebody should cut off most, but not all, of North Korea’s energy supply to emaciate the regime.

Trump must walk a tightrope. To counter China’s aggressive territorial grabs in East and Southeast Asia means provoking the CCP—exactly the sort of provocation sparked by the presence of two nuclear submarines and overt freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. But containing North Korea means that two superpowers need to get along in the same sandbox and work in concert.

During Trump’s visit to Vatican City, Pope Francis asked the American president to be a “peacemaker,” gifting him a small sculpture of an olive tree that, as the pope said, symbolizes peace. But when it comes to North Korea, American action—diplomatic, military, or any other form—may be insufficient on its own, no matter the intention.

Last month, when discussing the possibility of reining in North Korea, Duterte offered this sobering truism to Trump during their phone conversation: “At the end of the day, the last card, the ace, has to be with China. It’s only China. [Kim Jong Un] is playing with his bombs, his toys, and from the looks of it his mind is not working well and he might just go crazy one moment. China should make a last ditch effort to tell him to lay off. China will play a very important role there.”

Study suggests officials underestimate wolf poaching

The Extinction Chronicles

Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:00 pm | Updated: 7:05 pm, Sun May 28, 2017.

In February, an adult male from the Dark Canyon Pack, a Mexican gray wolf troop that roams through the west-central countryside of the Gila National Forest, was found dead.

It had stalked an expanse of federal land that borders Catron County, where livestock frequently become prey, with roughly three cows killed each month and regular reports of wolves lurking near chicken coops or alpaca herds. Some residents there condemn the wolves as destructive, expensive and dangerous beasts. And they have a right to shoot one if the animal is directly threatening their property or life.

But roughly every other month, a Mexican wolf is found dead or disappears without an explanation.

A new study published earlier this month suggests the…

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Climate change playing a role in growing list of species at risk

‘The North is one of the areas facing the greatest potential risk from climate change,’ officials say

By Nicole Riva, CBC News <> Posted: May 10, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: May 10, 2017 5:00 AM ET

One herd of the Atlantic walrus is already extinct and two other herds could have the same fate, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. <>

One herd of the Atlantic walrus is already extinct and two other herds could have the same fate, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. (J. Higdon/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)

The list of species at risk of extinction in Canada has grown to 751, and the effects of climate change may put those species even more at risk — especially the 62 species in the North.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada recently completed a meeting on at-risk species — which include animals, plants and lichen — adding another five to its list <> , and reassessing the status of several others.

“The North is one of the areas facing the greatest potential risk from climate change, many of these species are already behind the eight ball,” according to committee chair Eric Taylor.

Two species that live in the North that Taylor highlighted are the Atlantic walrus and eastern migratory caribou, both of which reside in the North and have had “significant changes” in their populations.

“Particularly the caribou,” Taylor told CBC News. “Part one of the large herds, the George River herd, that one had a precipitous decline up to about 99 per cent over three generations.”

The Eastern migration caribou, has seen a 99 per cent decline in its population in three generations, the committee reports. (Submitted by Katrina Noel)

The massive decline is partly from hunting and also because of a destruction <> of habitat in part because of climate change.

The walrus population in the Atlantic has already lost one herd to extinction, Taylor said, while the two others are listed as special concern, which means if things don’t improve they are also at risk of becoming extinct.

The committee identifies species at risk and advises the Canadian government on what needs to be added to the official list <> , which brings protective measures and recovery plans, Taylor said, but it all takes a long time.

‘That could take years’

It can take years for a species to land on the official list, he said, which is concerning for species with fast population decline such as the caribou.

“Who knows what’s going to happen in the time it takes to actually consider their listing and design a recovery strategy that could take years,” Taylor said.

He acknowledges that there are many challenges such as resources and Canada’s vast landscape in helping at risk populations, but “we’ve got to get moving.”

“The longer we delay doing something about these plants and animals the greater is the risk that what we do won’t be effective,” he said.

Climate change adds an element of the unknown for the protection of these species, he said.

“Climate change presents sort of a moving target. It’s hard to know what the extent will be and how that might impact our recovery actions right now.”

Another big unknown is how different species will adapt to changes in climate, especially if climate changes or other activities destroy a species’ habitat, Taylor said.

“It’s all intertwined, which adds to the enormous complexity,” he said.

The five newly identified at-risk species, not all of which live in the North, are the Ord’s kangaroo rat, some populations of lake sturgeon, the butternut tree, Harris’s sparrow and shortfin mako sharks.

Harris’s Sparrow <>

Harris’s Sparrow, a northern songbird breeding only in Canada, was among the new species added to the committee’s list. (G. Romanchuk/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)

Environmental Groups as Climate Deniers

The Extinction Chronicles

A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from


George Wuerthner, The Greanville Post
May 2017

Most environmental/conservation groups are Climate Change deniers. While most organizations are calling climate change the environmental issue of our time, they avoid discussing the contribution of animal agriculture in climate change. It is one of those topics that is avoided in many climate change discussions. We hear about the need to reduce fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy. We are encouraged to drive more efficient vehicles or insulate our homes. We are told to turn down the thermostat in winter.

Most environmental/conservation groups are Climate Change deniers. Specifically, I am talking about the numerous organizations that give lip service to the threat posed by climate change, but don’t even mention to their membership the contribution that livestock production has with regards to rising global temperatures. While most organizations are calling climate change…

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On climate change: ‘Do something, do anything, just don’t do nothing’

My first thought, on entering the hall, was, “Wow, she doesn’t look like an endowed-chair environmental law professor.” This was back in the fall of 2006, when I went to hear Mary Christina Wood speak. She was about my age, with long chestnut hair, a warm expression, and no makeup. I’ve since marveled that I was even there that night. I live in a college town, and good talks are not unusual. But I had a young daughter at the time, and this may have been the only evening lecture I attended that entire year.

Wood, also the mother of young children, was eloquent. She understood in a way I was just starting to grasp that climate change, if left unchecked, would soon threaten the health, safety and life support systems of our own kids, as well as that of future generations and everything else in the natural world. I left the lecture hall deeply shaken.

“Climate change, if left unchecked, would soon threaten the health, safety and life support systems of our own kids.”

Three things I remember clearly: First, I was impressed with her moral clarity. Second, in an answer to a question about what to do about the approaching climate crisis, she said, “Do something, do anything, just don’t do nothing.” And third, I remember that I lay awake that night, fearing for my daughter’s future.

In an effort to compel the government to protect the climate on behalf of present and future generations, Wood was developing a legal theory based on the “public trust doctrine.” I had heard of this doctrine when I worked on water issues in national parks. But I don’t believe anyone had tried to apply it to the earth’s atmosphere before.

The basic idea is that the government has a responsibility to protect vital natural resources for the benefit of all. By allowing polluters to destroy a stable climate, the government is failing to do its duty, and the courts can compel the government to act. It seemed like an elegant argument.

At that moment, I was contemplating a career change, from conservation biologist to environmental writer. I contacted Wood, interviewed her and wrote one of my first stories, “Climate Revolutionary: Creating a legal framework for saving our planet,” which was published in High Country News on May 12, 2008. I have no doubt that encountering Mary Wood helped inspire me to become a climate writer and, in time, a climate activist.

Meanwhile, Wood wrote a book, Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, developing her legal theory. Her work provides the theoretical foundation for the global litigation approach advanced by an organization called “Our Children’s Trust.” It works with youth across the country and around the world to bring legal action to compel governments to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and stabilize the climate system.

Just two days after this year’s election, a group of 21 young Americans won the right in federal court in Eugene, Oregon, to sue the fossil-fuel industry and the U.S. government based on Wood’s approach. According to U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken, these young people have the right to seek the protection of the climate on behalf of all youth and future generations. Similar lawsuits are being brought in other states and countries as well.

As for me, one thing led to another. Replaying Wood’s words, “Do something, do anything, just don’t do nothing,” started a shift in my heart and my head. I began learning and writing more about climate change. In time, this led me to writing a book about responding to climate change and becoming a volunteer climate activist. Today, I spend a large portion of my time lobbying for a carbon fee and dividend law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So this is a story about how a lucky meeting changed my life. It is also a story about how one woman — an extraordinary environmental law professor — has influenced the world. This doesn’t take into account all the other ways she may have changed lives. So this is really a lesson about hope.

The only lesson I learned from Donald Trump’s election is that we cannot ever know the future. All the professional pundits predicted he would lose, and many of us believed them. I think I finally understand that there is absolutely no way to know what will happen tomorrow or next week or next year.

But it is possible to look back and see the small choices that mattered, to realize you never know where they may lead. So my advice is to do something, do anything, just don’t do nothing. This is the only way to plant seeds that might — just might — grow into progress toward a world in which our children can survive and thrive.

Trump fails to commit to Paris climate agreement as he concludes first overseas trip

The Extinction Chronicles

May 27 at 12:33 PM
President Trump failed to commit to remaining within the Paris climate agreement during a two-day meeting with world leaders that ended here Saturday, but he tweeted that he was still considering it and would announce a final decision “next week.”

In a final communique, the Group of Seven industrialized countries said that the United States “is not in a position to join the consensus.” The other six members reaffirmed their commitment to swiftly implement the 2015 accord to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The G-7 summit marked the last stop of Trump’s first overseas trip as president, a grueling nine-day tour that included high-level discussions in the Middle East and with NATO, as well as…

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